“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
–Psalm 68:5 (NLT)
To find grace, we must seek Christ’s face.
Today, I’d like all of us to think about our earthly fathers. We tend to view our heavenly Father in direct correlation to how we feel about our dads on Earth.
If you had a loving father as I did, you’re most likely to love our heavenly Father. However, if you had an abusive dad, the concept of a Father who loves you might seem foreign and almost impossible to grasp. But it doesn’t have to stay that way, because of the word “grace”.
Since knowing about grace intelectually and understanding it as a daily reality can be two different things, let’s move it out of the ivory tower mothballs and into the daily grind of our existence. In other words, we need to give the vague and general concept of grace a facelift.
To do this, we will break the word “grace” down, and talk about how we can apply it to our lives. Then I would like to share some thoughts with you that may reinforce my definition of grace. These will hopefully transform and transmit God’s love to you in a way that makes it crystal-clear.
I like the tried-and-true acronym for grace, “God’s riches at Christ’s expense”. Have you ever thought about God’s riches in depth? If you haven’t, you might want to take a moment to do just that. Think about the vastness of a God who created everything out of nothing. The Bible also tells us that Christ holds all things together.
Now think of the tremendous price He paid for you and me. I don’t mean the mere act of going to the cross. First, contemplate the staggering fact that He gave up all of His heavenly riches to accomplish that feat.
But it certainly doesn’t stop there. The Bible says that you and me are the apple of God’s eye. That means that we are the central focus of all He does.
Now let me tell you about something which happened in my life that I hope will drive this point home. One day, a family member and I were talking about my father, who had passed away some years before. My father made my early years great, and he was always affectionate to me. Despite this, however, he could be a man of few words. He often kept his feelings locked inside his heart, so I came to the conclusion that he didn’t understand me. Since I had made that assumption, I didn’t listen when he gave me a critical piece of advice. Therefore, I hadn’t seen him for about 20 years.
In spite of my conclusion, I learned that he once got up in front of everyone at a special function I attended and anounced that I was his son. This really shocked me, and filled me with wonder. Once I was able to speak, I said I didn’t know he felt that paternal towards me.
“Yes,” came the quick response from my family member, “your father was proud of you.”
After mulling this over, I asked my family member why I hadn’t done anything special to earn that praise from my dad. It was clear from his statement that my father thought it was enough that I was his son.
It is the same way with our heavenly Father. You might not think you have done anything special enough to earn His unconditional love. In fact, you may feel like you have made a mess out of your life. But the good news is that you don’t have to do anything, for God has done it all. He made a special announcement in heaven when you turned away from sin and towards Christ. I know this because all the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents, according to the Bible. God’s Word also says that our thoughts are precious to God, and He will always go ahead of us as we live our daily lives.
So regardless of how your earthly father raised you or related to you, God is asking all of us to focus on His love. Put yourself in the place of grace, and listen to your heavenly Father’s loving call. If you are faithful to listen to His voice on a consistent basis, you will find the strength to face the unknown, and a new confidence that will help you move forward in your life on Earth.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.