By Beth Doohan
“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” ~Psalm 119:15-18
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me… My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” ~John 15:27, 29-30
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Have you noticed how much you can tell about a person by watching the fruit in their life? As you get to know a person, you probably can learn a lot about them and what they believe based on the things they share, how they act and their opinions. In the same way, how a person thinks and acts reveal the way they view God.
In our previous article, we discussed how Scripture shares many different names, attributes and descriptions of God. That understanding of His character impacts our lives and relationship with Him. When you think of God’s character, what comes to mind? He may be your Savior, but is He also your Father? He may be your Lord, but is He also Your Confidant? How have you experienced His comfort, His faithfulness, His justice, His grace? Are you seeking Him every day, or only when you need Him? When He speaks to your heart, do you actually listen and obey?
Today, we will discuss two specific aspects of God’s character: God as our Savior and God as our Father.
In Modern Homemakers (a podcast we highly recommend!), Donna Otto posed a question, “Is Jesus first my Savior? If I have made a surrender of my life to Him, then I first know Him as Savior, not teacher, not great leader, not all the things we can say about Jesus Christ, who lived and walked on this earth and was killed on a cross and then was resurrected three days later.” We may know about Jesus, we may call Him our Savior, but if He is not our Savior first, then, as Donna Otto said, Scripture would become, “just another bondage of things we think we ought to do and how we should do them.” (“Thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount,” Modern Homemakers) Christ being our Savior brings redemption, meaning and purpose to our lives and is the pillar of our Christian faith.
Calling God our Savior recognizes that we are all sinful beings in need of a perfect Savior. We are all broken, selfish by nature and in bondage to sin. but because of God, OUR SAVIOR, we can be forgiven and walk humbly before Him, so that we might have life to the fullest in Christ! II Timothy 1:9-10 says, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.”
Living with Christ as our Savior also means walking in humility with hearts of gratitude, revering and loving the one who gave His life for ours. Titus 3:4 says, “When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of His grace He made us right in His sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Let us live with gratitude and love for our Savior, yearning to please the One who gave His all for us!
Have you had a parent or friend call just to say they love you? It always makes you feel special and cared for when a loved one reaches out. Imagine how much more our heavenly Father cares for us and longs to show us His love! He is always waiting, calling and ministering as we seek Him. When we spend time with Him, God speaks to us through His Word, worship and prayer. Our Father fills our deepest heart needs to feel loved and accepted, to have a purpose and calling, and to be confident in who He designed us to be.
How do you respond to your Heavenly Father? Do you talk with God, not just to Him? Do you show Him love and receive the love He has for you by spending time with Him every day through listening prayer, Scripture meditation and journaling? These are ways to connect with our Father’s heart and hear His voice, by tending and investing in the relationship.
Our Father longs for an intimate, wholehearted relationship with you, to tend your heart as you tend His, to care for you as you show care for Him. Much like other relationships, what you invest will determine your return. The only difference is that God will never give up on you. No matter what, He is always calling and beckoning you to draw close to Him. But remember, “How much you love God and how you love God are your choice.” (Donna Otto of Modern Homemakers, Episode “Sermon on the Mount ~ Sand and Rock”). Will you “Draw near to God” today so that “He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)? Will you abide in the love of your Father, so that He can minister healing and tend your heart?
Tying It All Together
Understanding God’s character is the key to living in wholehearted surrender, allowing Him to be at work in your heart and life. As our Savior, God calls us to walk humbly before Him, following His precepts. And as our Father, He desires for us to come to Him, opening our hearts to receive His deep love and care.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He wanted His disciples to understand more of God’s character, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” (John 14:22) Let us spend time with our Savior and Father today, listening to His voice, loving Him and doing what He says. As we do, He will enrich our lives and lovingly tend our hearts as His children!
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- Is Jesus Christ first of all your Savior? Have you dedicated (or re-dedicated) your life to following Him and walking in His ways? Do you approach Him daily with an attitude of humility and gratitude?
- When you think of God as your Father, does it bring delight to your heart? How have you experienced God as your Father (showing you His love, tending to your heart, etc.)? How can you choose to spend time with your Father today?