The Master's Instructions about Himself, Matthew 5:43-6:34
The Bible word for ‘father’ comes from the same root as words meaning ‘one who nourishes, protects and upholds’. The secret of successful Christian living is in developing a living relationship with this living God.
Every morning when you leap out of bed singing at the top of your voice, you pull back the curtains and see the glories of the new day. If the curtains were on the outside of the window you could not do anything about seeing the day. Someone outside would have to pull them back for you.
We can only see God if He reveals himself to us. We cannot pull back the curtains because they are on His side of the window. We rely on the fact
that He will show Himself to the person who is sincerely seeking.
God is beyond our understanding. The prophet Isaiah says that the
everlasting God, the Creator God, the living God, is outside the capacity
of our human comprehension. The distance between God’s thoughts and
our thoughts is the equivalent to the difference between everything and
nothing. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways My
ways,’ declares the Lord in Isaiah 55:8-9.
Yet God is beckoning our understanding. Since the first command God gives
us is to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, then we must
assume that He wants us to know Him. We cannot love Someone we do not
know. Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father is seeking
worshippers (John 4:23-24). Jesus also told His disciples that eternal
life is knowing the only true God through Jesus Christ his Son (John
17:3). We must anticipate that God is seeking us as we seek after Him.
Since it is His will that we all have eternal life, our growing in the
knowledge of God is both available to us and acceptable to Him.
God is eternal
Genesis chapter 1 tells us about the beginning of everything except the
beginning of God. God was before this world and He will be beyond it.
Moses wrote in a Psalm, ‘From everlasting to everlasting You are God’
(Psalm 90:2). John wrote that God revealed Himself as the ‘Alpha and the
Omega … Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty’
(Revelation 1:8). Consideration of the eternal God sets our lives into
proper perspective. Our years are like the flash of a camera in relation
to the sun. Yet God beckons us to understand Him!
God is unchanging
Everything about us changes. If you look at old photographs of yourself
you may hide them in embarrassment when someone looks over your
shoulder. Hopefully your wisdom has increased with your wizened looks,
because then at least you can claim maturity! ‘I the Lord do not change’
(Malachi 3:6). Our feelings may change, but our Father does not. What
we read about God doing in the Bible, He still does today. His intentions
then are His intentions today. His attributes in the past are His
attributes in the present. He beckons you to understand Him.
God is holy
Not only is He holy, He lives in holiness, everything He does is holy and
every thought He thinks is holy. Isaiah sees Him as three times holy and
Moses sang about His majestic holiness (Isaiah 6:3; Exodus 15:11). We
are exhorted to ‘worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness’ (Psalm
29:2). We are also told that ‘without holiness no-one will see the Lord’
(Hebrews 12:14). Any sin in our lives is a barrier to our understanding of
God. We must be willing to dismantle these barriers.
God is our Father and not just a force
The Old Testament shows His dealings with the family of Israel. The
New Testament shows His dealings with the Christian family. As our
heavenly Father He is the source of our life. He guides us; He counsels us;
He disciplines us; He loves us; He commands us; He gives to us; He lives with
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about ‘your Father, Who sees
what is done in secret’ (Matthew 6:6, 18). Though He is unseen, He sees
us. Though we don’t know Him, He knows us. The secret life we live with
our heavenly Father will be the secret of success in our Christian walk.
To be children of our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:45), we must take
great care of the faith in our hearts.
Discussion Guide on ‘God the Father’
Read Matthew 5:43 to 6:34.
1. Share every statement about God the Father – at least 14, some
duplication – you can discover in this Bible reading.
Perhaps you can make two lists:
What is the Father like? … What does He do?
2. “The secret of successful Christian living is in developing a living
relationship with this living God”.
If you have had a good relationship with your human father, share
what made it good? Share things which helped the relationship
develop. Discuss if, and how, these may apply to your new
relationship with God.
3. In John 4:23-24 Jesus expresses that the Father is looking out
for people who will worship Him in the right way.
Since Jesus also said that the greatest commandment ever given
urges individuals to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
soul, mind and strength” (Mark 12:30), describe – from both
passages – the qualities you would expect to see in a Christian’s
relationship with God.
When my wife Brenda used to teach these classes she developed a
simple phrase, in just a few words, that pointed towards how we
should learn to view our Father God in heaven:
“Unchanging and infinite is holy Father”.
4. Look up these verses for each of the key words. It is a good idea
to use your own Bible if you have one. You will get to know your way
around it given a bit of time. If you are in a group, some of you look
up some passages while others look up others:
God the Father is Unchanging – Psalm 33:11
God the Father is Infinite – Job 11:7-9
God the Father Is – Psalm 115:3
2 Timothy 2:13
God the Father is Holy – Exodus 15:11
God the Father is Father – Malachi 2:10
John 14, many verses!
Matthew 5:43-6:34, many verses!
Because God is unchanging I can have confidence in Him. Because He is
infinite I am in awe and wonder. Because God IS I am never alone.
Because God is Holy I must be careful in my own life. Because God is
Father I have my security in Him.
Why not finish your own sentence?
“Because God the Father is … I am…”