Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Luke 11:2
When Jesus taught us to pray, He began, “Our Father in heaven” (Luke 11:2). It is one of many Scriptures that refers to God as a father. I find it both fascinating and instructive that when God wanted us to know what He is like, He chose to emphasize His fatherhood.
What do we know about God as our Father? According to Jesus’ prayer, we know that our Father in heaven is available and attentive to us. It is also clear that He provides for us. He forgives us and protects us from evil (vv.2-4).
What a wonderful pattern for fathers who aren’t in heaven! Granted, there is only one perfect Father in the universe, but as such He sets the pace for the rest of us less-than-perfect fathers. I discovered early in my ministry that my children were not impressed with books I wrote, titles I had, or places I spoke. They craved my time and attention, the provision for basic needs, a love that patiently forgave, and the creation of a safe place for them to grow and mature. It’s a short but very profound list of fatherly duties.
And what about those who didn’t get a dad who met those needs? Take heart in the fact that if you have been redeemed through Jesus you have a perfect heavenly Father—and He’s the best Father of all.
Thank You, God, for being our Father, Shepherd,
Guardian, and Guide. We will never outgrow our need
for Your love and care. We want to seek You
with all our heart that we might know You intimately.
The heavenly Father’s arms never tire of holding His children.
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Luke 12:40
Through the years, quite a few people have predicted the return of Jesus at a specific time. Just last year an American radio preacher stirred up the interest of the mainstream media with his prediction that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011.
Anyone who knows Scripture well knew that this advance warning wasn’t accurate, because Jesus Himself said His return would be “at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40). Often I get so caught up in the busyness of life that I live as though Jesus’ return is some distant reality. I forget that Jesus could come back at any time. The prediction, wrong as it was, reminded me about the importance of being prepared for my Saviour’s return, and it renewed my excitement that it could be any day—even today.
Sometimes when we think of being ready for Jesus’ return, we think about what we shouldn’t be doing. But being prepared is really about purifying ourselves and becoming more and more like Him so we are pleasing to Him when He comes back for us (1 John 3:2-3). Jesus taught that being ready for His return requires living according to our Master’s will now (Luke 12:47). Will we be prepared when it’s time for the real thing?
Keep me praying, keep me trusting
Every step along life’s way!
Keep me waiting, keep me watching,
For He may return today! —Thiesen
Look for Christ’s return and you’ll live for Christ’s glory.