The Lord’s words help us to behold Him. Beholding is more than a glance; it is looking at Him attentively and seeing clearly how good He is, His relationship with us, and how He treats us. We need to see clearly His image. Since birth, we have encountered many situations and circumstances, which in turn affect us. For those who have strict and fierce fathers might think that God is also very strict and fierce. It’s hard for parents on earth to be perfect. We are affected by our past experience–how our father treated us might make us feel angry or unfair. Our fathers’ facial expressions would also affect us.
God is our heavenly Father. We should know that God created fathers on earth to help us understand His affection. All normal parents love their children. Although it is not the deepest affection, it can help us to taste and understand it. We need to spend time learning about this affection. Otherwise, we would be affected by our past experiences. It would be even worse when we project these negative experiences and feelings to our Abba, Father. Even if we do not have any of the bad experiences I described earlier, no father on earth could be exactly like our heavenly Father. The difference is just too immense! The sum of all the good fathers on earth cannot equate to His goodness! Furthermore, many fathers on earth do not appear to be happy. They have no smile on their faces because they may be carrying heavy burdens. This might cause us to think that God also has a stern face towards us. We often see in public places, such as a restaurant, where a father reads the newspaper while the children play with mobile devices. Therefore, the Bible tells us to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. (Romans 12:2) We need to see clearly our dearest Abba and His image. He is very different and unique from all the others. We ought not to project any wrong image of earthly fathers onto Him and in turn, misunderstand Him.
I want to use some Bible verses to help you. When you draw near to God, don’t be too busy talking from the beginning but fail to see His image clearly. When you talk to others, you will also focus on the person you are talking to rather than just talking on your own. In fact, keeping quiet in front of God, beholding His glory, meditating on His image, His goodness and glory is drawing near to Him. This is also a form of worship. Worship is to treasure God and our heart is attracted to Him. When you enjoy Him and feel His presence, you will see more clearly how He is. He rejoices over this. The Lord told us in John 4 what kind of worshippers the Father was seeking. He is seeking such worshippers who will worship in spirit and truth. Therefore, do not be affected by wrong teachings and wrong concepts. Do not misunderstand Him. This misunderstanding will make it hard for you to draw near to Him. If you think that Abba doesn’t love you that much, you would not be greatly attracted to Him. You may not even want to be close to Him. This is very important to take note of.
The Lord told the parable of the lost son when He was on earth. This parable helps you see the Father clearly. He rejoices over the lost son so much! The Lord told us the truth—heaven rejoices over you when you believe in the Lord. If the Bible had not told us so, we would not have known about it. The Son of God came to the earth to manifest God. He used a man’s story—how the father treated his lost son, to let us see God clearly. This story is very precious. It’s an eternal story. You will continue to understand more what this story represents and how God loves you. Not only did He forgive you, He held a party for you, a party with music. Today, time is not enough for me to share those simple Bible verses about our Father. Neither do I have time to share in detail the stories of some fathers written in the Bible.
On the night before His crucifixion, the Lord prayed that the love with which the Father has loved Him be in us. His prayer was like giving an account to the Father. He said, “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.” (John 17:6) The Lord mentioned this early in His prayer because man does not know God well due to Satan’s deception. When we see so many false gods, we see how foolish man can be. They worship gods that need to be cleaned by man’s hands, and they can even be purchased for a price. What a great mistake man has made! Isn’t it foolish to worship false gods? Their appearances are terrifying. If they were true, I would have fought with them. Man’s concepts can be so wrong! Therefore, the Lord came to manifest God to us, and made known the Father’s name. He is the radiance of the glory of God. He helps us to see how God is, His goodness and glory.
The Lord showed us His love on the cross. He loved us and died for us. The cross also let us see the Father’s love. The Father sent His beloved Son to be our Saviour and endured great pain. The suffering endured by the Father was not less than that of the Lord. The Lord came to make known the Father’s name and told the world how good the Father is. I lost my father when I was young. Psalm 68:5 touched my heart even before I believed in the Lord. It reads: “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” Since I grew up without a father, I have always treasured very much that God is my heavenly Father. But still, I need to dedicate my whole life to understanding His love, for His love is so immense! My understanding of the Father has been reasonably good. However, the journey in Vancouver has helped me to enter deeper into His love. You can see that from my hymns.