Righteous Father

Righteous Father!  The world has not known You.  But I have known You and these have known that You sent Me. I made your name known to them and will make it known so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them…

Holy Father, protect them by Your name.

You should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy…

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children… heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.–The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature.–We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him…Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons….Shouldn’t we submit to the Father of spirits and live?…He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness…Discipline yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Let us hold onto grace. By it we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Jn.17:25,11; Mt.6:9; Rom.8:15; Heb.1:3; Jn.1:4; Ps.103:13; Heb.12:7,9-11,28-29 HCSB

A good, good Father we like.  The love of God we warm to.  But Jesus calls His Father Righteous Father, Holy Father.  He instructs His disciples not to be afraid of haters who may kill them but to ‘fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ Always there’s this tension between attributes we feel safe with and those associated with pain!  But of course God is perfect in all of His ways.  Being both loving and holy is only a paradox in my limited brain. For much of my life I have subconsciously associated holiness with its less than beautiful counterfeits.  Think: stern, frowning, restrictive, uniform, prudish, ugly, no fun and nothing’s funny. The holiness movement I grew up in inadvertently fostered these sorts of behaviour.  But thank God there were exceptions–people both loving and holy, people like Jesus, who made you want to be like that too. True holiness is beautiful. It is what we were created to personify, us as we were intended to be from the start.

I suspect if we could see more truly the glory for which we are destined we would surrender more readily to the Consuming Fire, this fire that consumes all that persists in us that is truly ugly and hurtful, selfish and self-sabotaging.  It is this Consuming Fire that is at work in us to give us the desire and the ability to be like Jesus.  It is this One who is fitting us for a glory that will take our breath away and leave us forever beholding and worshipping the God who loves us this much, enough to make us Holy so we can see Him as He is and not be consumed.

Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before Him.
Ps.96:9 CSB

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