In these last days God is calling his family to himself and in doing so he is revealing himself to us as our Father. God is teaching us that we are his sons and daughters and he is our Father. H e wants us to view him in these last days as our Father – not our Lord, not our God, not our King, not our Saviour etc., but as our Heavenly Father.
God wants to reveal to us in these later days the truth of God as Father. You will notice that as you read the NT Jesus referred to God as His Father and the parables that he told also by in large revealed God as a Father. In fact Jesus’ preference for calling God 'Father' (over 170 times in the Gospels) is distinctive In these last days the HS has come into our hearts and is urging us to cry out Abba Father. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ""Abba", Father." – Gal 4v16. Abba is an Aramaic word for father and it has a meaning of a close and intimate relationship – more akin to our Dad, Daddy. Or Papa, rather than the more formal word of father.
We are to see ourselves as part of a family – sons and daughters of our Father for in these last days with the birth pangs of the end coming rapidly upon us we are to take strength and comfort in the knowledge that we have a Father who is taking care of us. We are to faint not as our Father has promised that he will care for his children. We read these words from Jesus – “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Hence we are told that our Heavenly Father is like our earthly father but so much better than we can imagine for God our Father wants to shower us with good gifts. Our Father longs to bless us – he wants to see that we are looked after and to have a child/Father relationship. In these last days it is a great comfort to know that our Father cares for us, that he is looking after our interests in all aspects of our lives. God our Father longs to gather us up in his arms as a child is cuddled.
When Jesus was on earth he referred to God as his Father, which was a new concept for the Jewish people, but in doing so he was introducing a new concept of who God is and how he acts towards us. Many times Jesus said “I and the Father are one if you have seen me you have seen the Father” and it was this understanding of God that angered the religious leaders of the day. “I and the Father are one Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.” John 10.
It is from the miracles that Jesus performed that we can build a picture of who God is and how he acts towards us. This is particularly relevant in the last DAYS as the world is in a state of great flux and we have no idea how we are going to come through this. Prices are rising in all commodities – petrol, food, accommodation and so on. Our jobs are not secure – redundancies, sinking lid policy, cut backs, closures, mergers and so on. Wars and rumours of wars are on the increase, earthquakes seem to be happening every day – the whole gambit of natural disasters is everywhere; and even our day to day climate seems more sever than some years back – floods, heavy rain warnings, heat waves, hail storms and so on.
God is saying I want to be a Father to you in these end times, I want to be a Father in every aspect of your life. When Jesus was on earth one of his primary functions apart from the Cross was to show us the Father. “Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
As we read the NT we see Jesus in Action and in these actions we se how God the Father works. Let us look at some of these occasions, which are by no means exhaustive.
1/ We read in the John chapter 2 that Jesus was at a wedding and they had run out of wine – we know the story; Jesus turned the water into wine. What does this tell us about the Father? He is interested in our social activities. He likes to be involved in our leisure time.
2/ We read on numerous occasions in the Gospels that Jesus went about doing good, healing people and setting them free. God the Father is interested in our health and well being.
3/ We read about two incidents when Jesus feed thousands of people for he had compassion on them. This tells us that God the Father has compassion and that he is concerned that we have enough food to eat...
4/ In Luke chapt 5 Jesus asked Simon to let down the net to catch fish. But Simon said to Jesus that we have fished all night and have caught nothing, but at your insistence we will do that, and they caught so much fish that the account in Luke tells us that the net was about to break and they had to ask the other boat for help. Jesus is telling us that God our Father is interested in our careers and jobs.
God our Father wants to be a Father to us in all aspects of our lives and in these last days we need a Father who will “father” us through these uncertain times. We need God our Father to care and provide for us in these last days when the enemy has been let loose on the earth. As mentioned above the world and our society is sliding further into decay – same sex marriages, the blight of alcohol and drugs on out people, the rise in suicides, the watering down of the influence of the mainline churches – the list goes on and on. We need a “father figure”: in these times.
But unfortunately many of us are like the prodigal son – we have turned our back on our Heavenly Father and have gone to live in another country. In this far country we have lived our lives – our leisure time, our careers our family life etc. without a thought for our Father. God our Father does not have any influence in our Monday to Saturday living.
But God is saying to us in these last days that if we are to remain without fear or worry or anxious about the future we need to experience the loving arms of our Father to guide us through these turbulent days – to use a worn phrase – 24/7.. We must become like little children to be “fathered” by our Heavenly Father. Jesus said in Mathew –: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whenever Jesus uses the phrase “I tell you the truth” we need to sit up and take notice for what follows is a key plank in his teachings. In this case unless we think as little children in terms of our relationship to God we will not experience the kingdom of God, or we will not belong to his family as sons and daughters.