What is our Heavenly Father like?

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...For your Heavenly Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8)

Introduction

Philip, the disciple of Jesus, asked to be shown what our Heavenly Father is like (in John 14:8-9). "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father: so how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'"

It has always been of great concern to me when someone has not had good memories of their father. Because we tell them of God being a loving, Heavenly Father, they do not know what He is like, because they do not know what a loving, earthly father is.

Matthew, chapter 6 tells us what our Heavenly Father is like.

1 Our Heavenly Father does not like showiness in our giving.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

2 Our Heavenly Father sees our secret/private deeds.

Matthew 6:4 "That your charitable deed may be in secret; and you Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."

3 Our Heavenly Father answers our humble, private prayers.

Matthew 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

Matthew 6:17-18 "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

4 Our Heavenly Father likes us to pray simply and to the point.

Matthew 6:7 "But when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words."

5 Our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask Him.

Matthew 6:8 "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."

Matthew 6:31-32 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."

(See the Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13. Our needs are not only material things)

6 Our Heavenly Father also wants us to ask Him for our needs.

Matthew 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread."

7 Our Heavenly Father forgives us if we forgive others.

Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you."

8 Our Heavenly Father feeds and clothes us.

Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Matthew 6:30 "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

From the very beginning of history God has been doing this.

Genesis 3:21 "Also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them."

Illustration

Migration is God's arrangement for proper living conditions and food for the birds. It has been estimated that ten billion birds yearly engage in migratory flights. For example, Alaskan curlews fly over thousands of miles of ocean to Hawaii. A tagged Baltimore oriole was reckoned to have taken a trip to South America and returned to the same elm in a New York town. The golden plover flies 2500 miles from Newfoundland to Colombia. One species of shrike wings its way 3500 miles from Central Asia to French Equatorial Africa. It would seem that God equips the birds with an invisible compass and light meter by which they are prompted and guided on their migratory flights. He seems to have done this in order that they can sojourn in an area where the seeds or insects they need will be available and where the temperature will be suitable. If God thus provides for the welfare of a tiny bird, how much more likely that He will provide for the welfare of a human being...(Illustrations from Nature, pages 82-83)

Illustration

A chickadee has been known to eat 5500 cankerworms in a day; a robin 15 worms in an hour. An owl devoured ten mice in a night, a hummingbird feeds its young up to sixty insects a day. Young birds gobble up their weight in food each of the ten to forty days they are in the nest being fed by their parents. The mouse-like shrew can consume the equivalent of its own weight every three hours. If God supplies their needs, will He not do as much for one of His children?(Illustrations from Nature, pages 82-83)

9 Our Heavenly Father wants us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.

Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

That means that you give top priority to knowing God and serving Him in His Church, which is His Kingdom on earth. To gladly DO HIS WILL. (Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Illustration

William Carey, the pioneer missionary in India, before he left his country, was a shoemaker, or in his own words, a cobbler. He used to go about from village to village preaching, for his soul was filled with the love of God. One day a friend came to him and said, "Mr. Carey, I want to speak to you very seriously." "Well," said Mr. Carey, "what is it?" The friend replied, "By your going about preaching as you do, you are neglecting your business. If you only attended to your business more, you would be all right, and would soon get on and prosper; but as it is, you are simply neglecting your business." "Neglecting my business!" said Carey, looking steadily at his friend. "My business is to extend the Kingdom of God. I only cobble shoes to pay expenses." Thus he fulfilled Matthew 6:33.(1000 Tales Worth Telling, Page 1510)

Conclusion

Whether or not you are a father, God wants us who are Christians to be godly like Himself. To be godly like our Heavenly Father means to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Illustration

In one of Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman's meetings, a man arose to give the following remarkable testimony: "I got off at a Pennsylvania depot as a tramp, and for a year I begged on the streets for a living. One day I touched a man on the shoulder and said, "Mister, please give me ten cents." As soon as I saw his face, I recognized my father. "Father, don't you know me?" I asked. Throwing his arms around me, he cried, "I have found you; all I have is yours." Men, think of it, that I, a tramp, stood begging my father for ten cents, when for eighteen years he had been looking for me to give me all he was worth!"

So the Heavenly Father is waiting for you. Why not receive the unsearchable riches in Christ now? (Knights Master Book of New Illustrations page 20)

Note:

Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.

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