April 18, 2014
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth on the cross, will draw and attract all to Myself.”
James 12: 32
“What The Cross Tells Me About My Father”
“God proved His love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died it was God saying to the world – I love you.”
What have I seen in my own life that shows me how much my heavenly Father loves me?
“Nothing binds me to my Lord like a strong belief in His changeless love.”
C. H. Spurgeon
“The cross is God’s centerpiece on the table of time.”
I am one of those very blessed girls who had a kind, compassionate and Godly earthly father who served as a role model in helping me better understand the characteristics of my heavenly Father.
As with most kids though, my relationship with my dad was not always problem free. Especially in my teens and early twenties. My view of my dad was tainted by my own immaturity and lack of knowledge. I saw many of his decisions as harsh and arbitrary. I felt he was demanding and that his desire in life was to keep me from “having fun.” Some of the boundaries he set up to protect me were seen as hindrances to impede me.
However, as the years passed, and my relationship with my father grew, much to my surprise, the very qualities in my dad that I once criticized, eventually became the elements of my father’s character which I admired most.
Time spent getting to know my dad, gave me a completely different perspective on the person he was.
This is why I want to spend some time today looking at what the cross and the events that surrounded the death and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, tell us about our heavenly Father.
There are two critical reasons why it is so important we have a correct view of our Father. First, my view of my heavenly Father is key in helping me form a correct perception of myself and God’s other children. Let me explain this thought in very practical terms. Children growing up in homes where fathers are mean and unkind, find it is more difficult to understand qualities like gentleness and kindness. In fact, psychologists tell us that what we are surrounded by in our early years can end up having such an affect on us we may even become like the person we detested. If I perceive my heavenly Father to be mean and demanding, cruel and arbitrary – it is possible the God I believe in may end up being the God I reflect.
Second, and this is a question I’ve asked myself on more than one occasion, if I believe God to be demanding, critical and harsh – why in the world would I want to spend eternity with a person who contains these distasteful qualities.
Today, there are four specific truths that the cross tells us about our Father:
This day and everyday, with gratitude, let us lift our voices in rejoicing that the cross is God’s evidence of the essence of who He is – truthful, trustworthy, merciful and loving. This is a God I not only want to get to know better every day of my life, but my Father, who I want to spend eternity with.
“O God, my heart is fixed, steadfast…for Your mercy and loving-kindness are great and high as the heavens! Your truth and faithfulness reach to the skies.”
Psalm 108: 1, 4
“O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee,
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”
I recently read a poem written by Nancy Thomas, an American Quaker missionary who served with her husband and their family among the Aymara Indians in Bolivia. Her words deeply moved me and I pray they will do the same for you, too. The words of this poem express, so dramatically, the nature of a Father who would do everything possible to restore His relationship with each one of His children.
“Candles and rose light
Through cathedral glass
Poorly define Him.
No gentle picker of pale
Violets in grass.
No wandering shepherd
Breathing wisdom and hymns
In shaded vale.
Let it pass.
I serve a hard God.
Liken Him to a raging fire.
Forcing Pharaoh higher
To cliff’s edge,
Then to churning sea;
See him swallowing Korah
In an extemporaneous tomb;
Recall His intended pyre
To be built
From His erring
But chosen sons,
Quenched only by Moses’ plea.
I serve a hard God.
He walks a stern path
Through the earth.
His voice roars
In His wake
Waves are hurled
Mountains quake –
Desolations are His footprints
In the world.
He is hard
And His way was stone,
Touch and free
Driven through bone
And splintered to a tree.
He thunders and kills
From below, in, above;
He consumes all dross.
He is stern
Like a cross.”
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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