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Post  goldentree on Sat 14 Feb 2009, 5:43 pm

A look at the One Jesus called "Father"

I found this beautiful article written by Lisa Master;
Of all the names of God, Jesus most used "Father." He could have chosen names like Creator, Sovereign or Holy One, but no, Jesus often let "Father" roll off His lips. In fact, His first recorded words, in the temple, included this intimate name, as did His last words on the Cross.

To Jesus, calling God "Father" was as natural as breathing. To the people around Him, it was remarkable. "It is the invitation to address God in such a personal and intimate way that is entirely new," said Richard Foster in Prayer. "The disciples must have been stunned by the response to their request to be instructed about prayer, for Jesus says simply, 'When you pray say: Father . . .' (Luke 11:2). To the faithful Jew who even hesitated tospeak the Divine Name, the childlike intimacy of Jesus' words must have been utterly shocking."

Jesus purposely chose these words to get His point across. Using "Father" painted a picture in the minds of His hearers that showed a relationship with God far more intimate than they had known.

This invitation to relate to God as our Father extends to us today, assuming we have trusted Him to forgive our sin and are following Him as Lord. Although calling Him Father rolls easily off our lips in prayer, we often fail to experience the closeness that Jesus implied and modeled. Rather than coming to our Father as a dependent child, we come as adults who think we don't really need fathering.

"The key to growing intimacy with God is knowing that He longs to be with us far more than we long to be with Him," says Cynthia Heald in When the Father Holds You Close. "We can approach Him freely confident of His desire to hold us close."

For some this comes easy, for they have wonderful relationships with earthly fathers and easily make the jump to a loving heavenly Father. Others find it more difficult, for a negative experience with earthly fathers has tarnished their view of God.

In either case, contemplating the roles an ideal earthly father would play can help us better understand our relationship with God. Join us on the following pages as we explore our heavenly Father's roles as Provider, Protector and Guide. We trust that looking at God in this way will draw you closer and help you approach Him as Jesus did--like a child coming to his father.

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