The Father's Heart

The heart of Dick Hoyt was to do something so amazing for his son. The key thought that motivated this dad was that his son felt that when he was in the race with his dad, he felt like he had no disability. To do this for his son was to do something hard that cost him a lot but what it gave him back was the joy of doing something amazing for his son. This is the Heart of the father. Dick Hoyt has inspired millions of people around the world with his feat of super human endurance motivated by love. (Now over 91 marathons or triathlons)

1 John 3:1 (AMP)  See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

This morning I am inviting you on a journey to discover the heart of the Father. What is God’s heart like? Our God is a Father, how He loves and How He treats us is a revelation every person needs. Secondly, as a Father I hope that with His help I can become like Him.

Jesus came to reveal the Father, in the Old Testament God is only referred to as Father one time, by King David, a man ahead of his time in terms of relationship with God. God was always referred to as Elohim (God) or Yawey (Covenant God)

When Jesus came he revealed God as Father.

Romans 8:15 (AMP) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “[a]Abba! Father!”

An Aramaic word used by young children when addressing their fathers, but not used by Jews in prayer because it implies a sense of familiarity. Jesus’ use of the word emphasized his Father-Son relationship with God.

Jesus referred to God as “Your Father” 31 times in the gospels, giving His disciples a new revelation that God was their Father not just His.

But what is the heart of the Father?

Three pictures.

1. He desired to have children.

Genesis 1:26 (AMP) Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.”

Abraham longed for a son, someone to whom he could leave everything. He was passionate about having a son, yet he was well advanced in years. He called on God to provide a son, and in so doing set up a picture of the Son of God being sacrificed by the Father.

When we decided to have children as a young couple I can remember thinking, Jesus will be coming back soon, is it responsible to have children? Another reason for hesitancy was the fact that my father and grandfather had died young and I wondered if the same fate awaited me. Would I leave these children without a father?  What if I die? Can I provide financially for them? In the end we choose to have children because we longed to have children of our own.

Some fathers gave a wrong message to their kids, I never wanted you. I wish you had never been born! You were a mistake! NO – You’re not a mistake, God knew you before you were born. God planned for you to come to Him and know Him and be restored. Let the love of the father restore you today.

2. He desires the best for His children.

Luke 12:32 AMPDo not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Ezekiel 39:25-29 (MSG) 25-29 “But now I will return Jacob back from exile, I’ll be compassionate with all the people of Israel, and I’ll be zealous for my holy name. Eventually the memory will fade, the memory of their shame over their betrayals of me when they lived securely in their own land, safe and unafraid. Once I’ve brought them back from foreign parts, gathered them in from enemy territories, I’ll use them to demonstrate my holiness with all the nations watching. Then they’ll realize for sure that I am their God, for even though I sent them off into exile, I will gather them back to their own land, leaving not one soul behind. After I’ve poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I’ll no longer turn away. I’ll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master.”

Cheering them on from the sidelines. The basketball story.

Sometimes our fathers have failed us, perhaps as a father I have failed my kids. God restores. He restores the hearts of the fathers to the children and hearts of the children to the fathers. Mal 4:6 In God there is healing and forgiveness.

3. He loves and forgives and restores.

Matthew 23:37 (AMP) “[a]O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who murders the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I wanted to gather your children together [around Me], as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

The picture of the prodigal son is a beautiful picture of God forgiving and restoring a son.

Over the years there have been broken relationships with people who have served under my leadership. Sometimes it deeply hurts when people walk away. But we hold an open door policy. Restoration is always possible. Humility love and forgiveness on both sides makes restoration possible.

Have you walked away from God? Have you walked away from a father? Come back to God today. If your father is still alive call him today, restore relationship.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. When you picture the heavenly Father, what pictures come to mind?
  2. What pictures of the Father does Jesus give us in the gospels?
  3. Does your perception of the heavenly Father need to change at all?
  4. Has your own father created pain in your life?
  5. Can you allow your heavenly Father to restore and heal you?
Chris Campbell