My Heavenly Father!
Lest there be a misunderstanding, I wish to make it clear that my heavenly Father is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the one and only God. My heavenly Father is very complex and far beyond our comprehension or even our imagination. There could be many true statements made about Him, but my time and space is limited. Therefore, let me tell you about Him in as few words as possible. He is so great that no one can compare with Him. I use a simple word to describes my heavenly Father - AWESOME! Let me explain some of the reasons He is so awesome.
My working definition of awesome:
My emotion resulting from my fear, respect, and marvel of God; being motivated by His authority because of His holiness and magnificence.
My Father Was Alone!
"In the beginning, God". (Gen 1:1) There was a period my Father was alone, though existing equally in three Divine Persons. "In the beginning, God." There was no heaven, there was no earth, there were no angels, and no universe. There was nothing, no one, but God; not for a day, a year, or an age, but from the beginning. My Father was alone: self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satisfied; in need of nothing. Had a universe, angels, or human beings been necessary to Him in any way, they would have been called into existence from the beginning.
God was under no obligation to create. He chose to do so purely as a sovereign act on His part, caused by nothing outside Himself, determined by nothing but His own good pleasure; because " He makes everything work out according to his plan." (Eph 1:11)
My Father Knows Everything!
He knows everything possible, everything actual, all events, and all creatures. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth and in hell. He knows what is in the darkness. (Dan 2:22) Nothing escapes His notice, nothing can be hidden from Him, and nothing is forgotten by Him. His knowledge is perfect. He never errs, never changes, and never overlooks anything. " Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (Heb 4:13 NLT)
My Father is Supreme!
"…He [God] makes everything work out according to his plan. " (Eph 1:11 NLT) " For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.…" (Rom 11:36) We may boast that we are free agents, have a will of our own, and are at liberty to do as we please, but Scripture says that those who say, " …we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." "What you ought to say is, if the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." (Jas 4:13, 15)
Our lives are neither the product of blind fate nor the result of unpredictable chance, but every detail of our lives was ordained from all eternity, and is now ordered by the living and reigning God. Not a hair of our heads can be touched without His permission. "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (Prov 16:9) The Christian should say, along with the Psalmist, "My times are in Thy hand". (Ps 31:15)
My Father is Sovereign (absolute ruler)!
My Father is above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; My Father does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases. None can stop Him, none can delay Him. His Word expressly declares: " Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish." (Isa 46:10); " He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him…". (Dan 4:35) My Father is on the Throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things " according to his plan." (Eph 1:11)
My Father is Unchanging!
My Father is known as "The Rock! (Deut 32:4) He is unchanging and unchangeable because He had no beginning and has no ending. He is everlasting. He " created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." (Jas 1:17)
There was never a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. My Father neither evolved, nor grew, nor improved. All that He is today, He has been forever, and will be forever."I am the Lord, I change not". (Mal 3:6) is His own assertion. He cannot change for the better, because He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. He is unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is always the same. Only He can say, "I am that I am". (Ex 3:14)
My Father is Holy!
" Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy." (Rev 15:4) In Scripture He is "The Holy One": He is holy because He is absolute Purity, unblemished even by the shadow of sin. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5)
Because God is holy He hates all sin. He loves everything which is in conformity to His laws, and loathes everything which is contrary to it. His Word plainly declares, " …wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly. (Prov 3:32) My Father punishes sin. Sin can no more exist without demanding His punishment than without requiring His hatred of it. He often forgives sinners, but He never forgives sin; and the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Jesus Christ having borne His punishment; for "without shedding of blood is no remission". (Heb 9:22) Therefore, we are told, " The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and rage. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies!". (Nahum 1:2)
My Father is All Power!
" God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you;" (Ps 62:11). Power belongs to God and to Him alone. Not a creature in the entire universe has an ounce of power except what God delegates. But God's power is not acquired and it does not depend upon any recognition by any other authority. It belongs to Him alone.
I can trust my Father! He is worthy of complete confidence. Nothing is too hard for Him. Seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve. "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps 27:1)
My Father is Faithful!
Unfaithfulness abounds today. In the business world, a man's word is no longer his bond. In the social world, marital infidelity runs rampant on every hand, the sacred bonds of wedlock are being broken with as little regard as the discarding of old clothes. In the church, thousands come on Sunday morning claiming to be children of God, only to live like the world the rest of the week. No one, not even the true Christian, can claim complete immunity from this sin: in how many ways have we been unfaithful to Christ, and to the light and privileges which God has entrusted to us!
"Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God". (Deut 7:9) Faithfulness is essential to His being, without it He would not be God. For God to be unfaithful would be to act contrary to His nature. Far above all our comprehension is the unchanging faithfulness of God. Everything about God is great, vast, and incomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, and never forfeits His word. Therefore, we must exclaim, " The faithful love of the Lord never ends!" Great is his faithfulness;" (Lam 3:22, 23).
My Father is Good!
"The goodness of God endureth continually" (Ps 52:1) The "goodness" of God reflects the perfection of His nature: "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all". (1 John 1:5) There is such an absolute perfection in my Father's nature and being that nothing is inadequate or flawed in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better.
My Father is Patient!
My Father is "The God of patience". (Rom 15:5) How wondrous is God's patience with the world today. On every side people are sinning with a high hand. His law is trampled underfoot, and God Himself is openly despised. It is truly amazing that He does not instantly strike dead those who so brazenly defy Him.
Why does He not suddenly kill the proud, the pretender, and the pretentious, as He did Ananias and Sapphira? Why does He not cause the earth to open its mouth and devour the wicked unbelievers, like He did with Dathan and Abiram? And what about apostate Christendom, where every possible form of sin is now tolerated and practiced under cover of the holy name of Christ? Why does my Father's righteous wrath not end such abominations? Only one answer is possible: His longsuffering, patience.
My Father is Love!
There are many today who talk about the love of God who are total strangers to the God of love. God's love is commonly regarded as a kind of weakness, and comfort; humans have reduced to mere sentiment, patterned after our emotions. However, the truth is, our thoughts need to be formed and regulated by what is revealed in Scripture. The urgent need for this is apparent, not only from the ignorance which so generally prevails, but also from the low state of spirituality which is now so sadly evident everywhere among professing Christians. How little real love there is for God. One chief reason for this is because our hearts are so little occupied with His wondrous love for His people. The better we are acquainted with His love—its character, fullness, and blessedness—the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him.
There was nothing whatsoever in us to cause Him to love us. There is nothing in us to attract or prompt His love. The love which one human has for another is because of something in them; but the love of God is free, spontaneous, uncaused. "We love Him, because He first loved us". (1 John 4:19) God did not love us because we loved Him, but He loved us before we had a speck of love for Him. Had God loved us in return for ours, then it would not be spontaneous on His part; but because He loved us when we were loveless, it is clear that His love was uninfluenced.
My Father is eternal, and He is love; therefore, since He had no beginning, His love had no beginning. This is clear from the testimony of Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love…" How wonderful to know that the great and holy God loved His people before heaven and earth were called into existence, that He had set His heart upon them from all eternity. Clear proof is this that His love is spontaneous, for He loved them endless ages before they had any being.
My Father is sovereign, and since He is sovereign, and since He is love, then His love is sovereign. Because God is God, He does as He pleases; because God is love, He loves whom He pleases. "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated". (Rom 9:19) There was no more reason in Jacob for God to love him then there was in Esau. They both had the same parents, they were born at the same time, being twins; yet God loved the one and hated the other! Why? Because it pleased God to do so.
My Father's love is limitless. There is a depth to which no one can go; there is a height to which no one can scale; there is a length and width that cannot be measured by any creature-standard. But, my Father's love cannot be measured because "God so loved" (John 3:16) tells us that the love of my Father is so far beyond limits, it cannot be measured.
My Father's love is steadfast. The worm Jacob supplies an example of this: "Jacob have I loved," declared Jehovah, and despite all his unbelief and waywardness, my Father never ceased to love Jacob.
My Father's love is regulated by principle, not passion, nor sentiment. His love never conflicts with His holiness. "God is light" (1 John 1:5) is mentioned before "God is love". (1 John 4:8) God's love is no mere good-natured weakness, or softness. Scripture declares, "the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.". (Heb 12:6) God will not wink at sin, even in His own people.
We must have trust and patience under God's affliction. Christ was beloved of the Father, yet He was not exempted from poverty, disgrace, and persecution. He hungered and thirsted. Therefore, it was not incompatible with God's love for Christ when He permitted men to spit upon and smite Him. No Christian should question God's love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not supplement Christ on earth with earthly wealth, for "He had not where to lay His head." But He did give Him the Spirit "without measure". (John 3:34) We must learn that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of God's love.
My Father is the Father of Mercy!
How many people say, I do not believe that God will ever cast me into Hell; He is too merciful. God is a God of justice as well as mercy, and He has expressly affirmed that He will "by no means clear the guilty". (Ex 34:7) He has said, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God". (Ps 9:17) A man may reason: I do not believe that if filth is allowed to accumulate and sewerage becomes stagnant and people deprive themselves of fresh air, that a merciful God will allow them to die. The fact is that those who neglect the laws of health are killed by disease, despite God's mercy. Equally true is it that those who neglect the laws of spiritual health shall forever suffer the Second Death.
My Father is merciful to His own people. "Thy mercy is great unto the heavens". (Ps 57:10) His mercy is greater than our highest thought. "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him". (Ps 103:11) None can measure it. His children are designated "vessels of mercy". (Rom 9:23) It is mercy that saved them when they were dead in sins. (Eph 2:4, 5; Titus 3:5) It is His mercy which brought them unto an eternal inheritance. (1 Peter 1:3) Unto His children, God is "the Father of mercies". (2 Cor 1:3)
My Father is the Provider of Grace!
My Father's grace is His favor to those who not only have no reason to deserve anything of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving. His grace is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether un-attracted by anything in or from or by the persons upon which it is bestowed. My Father's grace can neither be bought, nor earned, nor won. If it could be, it would not be grace. His grace comes to a person as pure charity, unasked for and undesired.
"Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the axe of justice, so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures, so averse to God that they cannot turn to Him, so blind that they cannot see Him, so deaf that they cannot hear Him, and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and lift them into resurrection." - G. S. Bishop
There are three principal characteristics of my Father's grace:
- It is eternal. Grace was planned before it was exercised, purposed before it was imparted: "Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began". (2 Tim 1:9)
- It is free, for no one ever purchased it: "Being justified freely by His grace". (Rom 3:24)
- It is sovereign, because God exercises it toward and bestows it upon whom He pleases: "Even so might grace reign" (Rom 5:21). If grace "reigns" then is it on the throne, and the occupant of the throne is sovereign; therefore, "the throne of grace". (Heb 4:16)
My Father is the Founder of Grace!
He is the Fountain of all grace. He purposed in Himself the everlasting promise of redemption.
My Father is the Channel of Grace!
My Father's grace is manifested in and by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. "The law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". (John 1:17)
My Father is the Publisher of Grace!
My Father's Gospel communicates that every descendant of Adam is a fallen, polluted, hell-deserving and helpless sinner. The grace which the Gospel publishes is his only hope. All stand before God convicted as transgressors of His holy law, as guilty and condemned criminals; awaiting not sentence, but the execution of sentence already passed on them. (John 3:18; Rom 3:19)
My Father is the Imparter of Grace!
My Father's Holy Spirit is the One who applies the Gospel in saving power to the soul of the lost while they are spiritually dead, conquering their rebellious wills, melting their hard hearts, opening their blind eyes, cleansing them from sin.
"Analogy has been drawn between a savage finding a watch upon the sands, and from a close examination of it he infers a watch-maker. So far so good. But attempt to go further: suppose that savage sits down on the sand and endeavors to form to himself a conception of this watch-maker, his personal affections and manners; his disposition, acquirements, and moral character—all that goes to make up a personality; could he ever think or reason out a real man—the man who made the watch, so that he could say, 'I am acquainted with him?' It seems trifling to ask such questions, but is the eternal and infinite God so much more within the grasp of human reason? No, indeed! The God of Scripture can only be known by those to whom He makes Himself known." - AW Pink
All creatures, including humans, have no rights. He, the creature, can demand nothing from his Maker; and in whatever manner he may be treated, has no authority to complain. Yet, when thinking of the absolute dominion of God over all, we ought never to lose sight of His just perfections. God is just and good, and always does that which is right. Nevertheless, He exercises His sovereignty according to His own good pleasure. He assigns each creature, including humans, his place as it suits His pleasure. He orders the diverse circumstances of each according to His own direction. He moulds each vessel according to His own uninfluenced purpose. He has mercy on whom He wills, and on whom He wills, He hardens. Wherever we are, His eye is upon us. Whoever we are, our life and everything is held at His disposal. To the Christian, He is a tender Father; to the rebellious sinner He will be a consuming fire. "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen". (1 Tim 1:17)