Our Relentless Father

We create nurseries for our babies. We work hard to have everything just right for them. The right color! The right furniture! The right everything! All of this for a tiny, helpless bundle of pure joy and happiness. After they are born we sit and look at them and we dream! What will they accomplish? Who will they be?

Father, all of creation was just a backdrop, a framework for your crowning glory, man! Our wonderful Father lovingly set everything in place just for us. He exquisitely calibrated the atmosphere to sustain our life. He breathed out the sun, moon & stars to give us light, constantly declaring his Glory so that we might realize just how big he is! Then He created the land and trees for shade, comfort, color, enjoyment, food, the herbs for healing. Next came the birds and fish created for beauty for our eyes and songs to fill our hearts with joy and pleasure! He thought of everything!! By just a word from his mouth he created the animals to keep all of creation in order; to give us contentment, help and sometimes just plain fun!

When everything was ready He shaped, formed and created Adam! Father, did you smile with pleasure as you gazed into his face? Did you just sit and marvel at the work of your hands, this man? Did you dream of all he could be and do? Did you laugh as you thought of him running in the cool grass? Did you cry when you knew he would fall down, literally ‘fall’?

Then came the saddest words ever uttered throughout all eternity: “Adam, where are you?” “My Son, can you hear my heart breaking for you, crying out for you, longing for you?”

“ADAM! Where are you?”

And Adam hid from God.

Relentless in his pursuit of us, he continues to call, “Where are you?”

And we hide.

We hide in our busyness. We hide in pursuit of our own dreams. We hide behind our failures and even our successes. We hide.

But our relentless Father never stops calling out, ‘Where are you?”

In his mercy and grace he gently uncovers our hiding place to find us. By His own blood he pays our enemy the full price to buy us back from our captivity. Then He cleans us up, dresses us in beautiful robes of His righteousness and seats us right up next himself, so that once again we can enjoy the world he created just for us! Once again we can walk in the cool of the day and enjoy close relationship with him, our relentless Father who searches for us, finds us and gives us his own eternal life!

Why? Because he loves us THAT MUCH!

MY! WHAT A REDEEMER! WHAT A SAVIOR!

Abba or Judge?

Abba, Dad or Supreme Court Judge?

Son/Daughter or Orphan?

Last week we were in Greenville, SC, visiting our daughter, JoAnna, son in love, Rich, and our amazing grandchildren. What a joy! Rich is pastor of The City Church, and one of the best preachers I’ve heard. (Go to their website sometime and listen, I think you will agree.) He made a statement that has ‘stuck’ in my heart and has been marinating in my spirit all week.

“Jesus called his father by the name of ‘Abba’ every time he addressed him or spoke about him. All except one time!” I immediately went to my Strong’s on my phone and looked it up! And he was right! Yea Rich!

For example, rather than “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven,” it could read: “Dad, We ask for your desires to be carried out in our lives and cities, so that this place looks like that place! Will you help us do that?”

Interesting change. Dad. Intimate relationship, loving relationship, close relationship. Jesus and his dad had never been apart. They could finish each other’s sentences. They loved each other so much that one only had to indicate a request and the other fulfilled it.

In our vernacular Jesus could have said, “I only do what I see my dad do. I only say what I hear my dad say. I get up early every morning to get a chance to be with my dad alone. I love him so much that I try to get away from others to get a quick moment with him, just the two of us. He never leaves me. He is always close at hand. In fact, His face shines on me when I lie down at night and when I get up in the morning he is there. In fact, I’m a chip off the old block! I am so much like him that when you’ve seen me, you’ve actually seen him too! We are really tight, my dad and me.

“And my Dad loves a good party. I went to a wedding once, and the father of the bride had run out of wine. So my dad said, “Son, they need a little help. Why don’t you supply all the wine they need. Now remember, Son, I’m pretty particular about things, so make sure it is the best wine, better than their money can by! And Son, don’t be skimpy, be a little extravagant! I figure about 180 gallons should do it!” So I did it. I took some water jars and changed the water into the best wine! The folks at the party we so amazed and kept asking questions about the wine. Dad and I just smiled and I saw the tinkle in His eye. That sort of thing really makes us both happy. We take great pleasure in supplying for folks and watching them enjoy the results. That’s my Dad! Always loving and doing extravagant things just to bring joy into the earth!”

But there came a day when Jesus did not call him “Dad.”

On the cross, at a time when he needed the close, loving relationship of a father the most, he looked up to find that familiar face hidden from him. The encouraging smile which said ‘You are my son! You are doing great! Keep moving forward! You can do this!’ was nowhere to be found. At a time when he needed the blessing of Aaron the most; the blessing which states, ‘and make His face shine upon you’ was gone and the curse of darkness was all around! Instead of the kind, understanding eyes he sought, he stared into the face of the Chief Magistrate, the Judge of the Supreme Court of the Universe, as the court was being seated and called into session. Now he found himself appearing in court as an orphan, forsaken, guilty of sin, cursed by the darkness. The one he had known so intimately and loved so dearly, the one with whom he had never been separated was now his judge. And the verdict rang out through eternity: GUILTY AS CHARGED! One last plea was cried out by this magnificent Savior and Redeemer. Addressed not to His dad, but to El Elyon, the Supreme Judge of the Universe: “My God, My God, Why have YOU forsaken me!!!!”

You see, at this time, the great Holy Son of God had become an orphan, guilty of my sin. Unable to stand under the blessing of Aaron, he stooped under the curse of darkness in my place, so that I, an orphan, stooping under the weight of darkness, could be lifted up as a daughter of the King. I could walk upright in the light of His countenance! No longer dressed in my dirty, filthy rags with all of my rotten failures around me, I could now become pure, holy, without spot or blemish, dressed in the robes of his righteousness! His beauty for my ashes, His oil of joy for my sadness and mourning, and His glorious robe of praise and holiness for my spirit of despair and heaviness.

He chose to do this for two reasons: Number one: Above all, it pleased his Dad. And number two: He loved me THAT MUCH!

My! What a Savior! What a Redeemer! What a magnificent loving, kind, extravagant, glorious God we serve! How can we help but praise, love, and worship him!