I was reading the book of Matthew and I noticed something. I kept on seeing, “your Father” or “your heavenly Father” and it got me thinking. What was Jesus trying to teach us? This is what I noticed. Between Matthew 5:43 to 7:11 Jesus mentions, your Father or your heavenly Father 14 times. And one time He says, “Our Father.”
Now Jesus is known for calling God His Father. All throughout the gospels you can find Jesus saying, “My Father.” But here in between the verses above he never says, “My Father.” Why?
I believe Jesus in this portion of scripture is teaching us the ways of our Father. We are called to grow and become more like our heavenly Father. I saw 9 things in this passage that Jesus is trying to show us about our relationship with our Father. I would like to share them with you.
1) We are called to LOVE like our Father (Matt 5:44). Jesus says that we are to love our enemies. We are called to love those who use us and persecute us. Do we love those who, in short, hurt us? You maybe asking yourself, “How can I do that?” Just think of how much we have hurt God. Every time we sin we are hurting Him. Yet He still chooses to love us. He asks us to do the same. God is asking us to love those hurt us. He would never ask us something that He didn't give us the ability to do.
2) We are called to BE LIKE our Father (Matt 5:48). How are we not like our Father? Are we working on those areas that we are not like Him? I believe the other points will help us to be more like Him.
3) We are called to GIVE AND RECEIVE like our Father (Matt 6:1-4). Do we give in secret and prepare for His reward openly? He has called us to give though our deeds and actions, not for public recognition, but as a way to express love to others and our Father.
God also wants us to know how to receive from Him. More will be touched later on that one.
4) We are called to TALK with our Father (Matt 6:5-13). Our Father longs for the time alone with us in that place of intimacy. He deeply desires for us to pull the time away to be alone with Him to share with Him our deepest joys and desires. He also longs to share with us His deepest joys and desires for us.
When was the last time you had that intimidate time with our Father? Is He calling you now?
5) We are called to FORGIVE as our Father does (Matt 6:12, 14-15). Forgiveness is a basic principal in our relationship with our Father. We are called to forgive. Again, through God's grace we have been given the ability to forgive those who have hurt us. That could be your spouse, friends, parents, sibling, whoever.
Is there someone you haven't forgiven? I believe I need to say that forgiveness is a process. Depending on how deep the wound the longer the process takes. But know that forgiveness is a choice. We can choose to forgive. I also believe in the process of forgiving we also receive the healing from the offense.
6) We are called to FAST with our Father (Matt 6:16-18). During fasting we get closer to God. It should be a time of intimately and receiving a deeper understanding of Our Father. Back during the time of Jesus people would fast so they could look holy to others. In short put on a mask to look good.
How many Christians put on their “Christian mask” and who are not being real? We do it to look good to others. Christianity is not about looking good, it is all about intimacy with our Father and sharing that with others.
When was the last time you fasted with Our Father?
7) We are called to TRUST our Father (Matt 6:24-34). Do you worry about your future? Or how about to get all those bills paid? Or maybe for some of you it was you worried about what you were going to eat. My question is, what are you looking at? In verse 33 it says, “...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Are you looking at your problem, or the problem Solver? Are you looking at your business our His business? Are you looking up to Him, our down to your lack?
We don’t need to worry. You will be tempted to worry, but you don’t have to. Choose to put your trust in Him. Even when everything looks black and there seems to be no way out, Our Father can open a door that was never before seen. If He can feed 5000 off of 5 loaves and 2 fish (Matt 14:13-21) He can meet your need. This one speaks to us personally.
8) We are called to ASK from our Father (Matt7:7-12) Do you ask from our Father? I don’t mean about asking Him to have you win the lotto. I mean asking Him about those things that He wants for you and that are good for you.
If you are asking for help with your character, habitual sin, or wisdom on what to do with your kids, your job/business. He wants to help. If you need help paying the bills, saving your marriage, or need food on the table He wants to give.
There are a lot of times we don’t ask Him to give to these needs. Sometimes we don’t have because we don’t ask. (James 4:2)
9) We are called to SHINE OUR LIGHT to glorify our Father (Matt 5:13-16). Does your light shine in a way that God gets the glory? Or by the way you live your life does people become attracted to One who transformed your life?
By the way we live our lives are people becoming attracted to our Father? If not, we must wonder if we are living “The way of our Father.”
God is calling us to the ways of our Father. Hear His call and let us follow Him.
By Dustin Campbell Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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