The Heart of the Father…

The Heart of the Father

“For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life.
He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”

(
Luke 15:24)


Could it be that the delay in answered prayer, the longsuffering in broken relationships, the suffering we experience often in the face of affliction or adversity, could all of these things be God’s way of emptying us or our self, our flesh, that we may be filled with Him?

Could it be that it is necessary for us to suffer these things, even as the Bible says that Jesus suffered, that He might learn obedience (Heb 5:8); even as the Bible illustrates that He was tempted in every area just like you and I; so that means He also suffered times of doubt, of lack, and weakness in His humanity, in His flesh while on the earth, just as we do… as the Bible says that He was tempted in every area just as we are… and then finally came the cross?

What is Jesus saying to us today in all these things?

Luke 9:23-26

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

Do you remember the account that is given in the Bible where over 70 of the disciples who were following Jesus were offended, and walked away?

Do you remember how He then turned to the twelve and asked… Are you going to leave too?”

To which Peter answered:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!”

Could it be that in the course of our preparation and training for God’s service, that our resolve must also be tested, as was the disciples, as to whether we will persevere in the face of adversity, affliction, and whether we will also get offended and walk away?

This experience, which is common to all of God’s children (sooner or later) is called by some the “Dark night of the Soul.” It is here that we each get to test the mettle of our own faith, and see whether Jesus is truly Lord of our lives?

What do we do when the pressure is on, and we are suffering? Do we obey Jesus, and follow what He says in His Word; or do we follow the dictates of our own heart, and are we doing what seems right in our own eyes? That is the real test… isn’t it? Selah

Does not the Bible also say that Jesus is the exact reflection of the Father?

When I first read this devotion by Henri Nouwen, I couldn’t relate to what he was saying at first, and I wasn’t getting the point, that is until I read the last line where it says that: “We are all called to become like that father!

For truly if we want to know the heart of the Father, we have but to look to the heart of His Son Jesus! Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland



From: Henri Nouwen Society

Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 2:45 AM
To: theskipper@cox.net
Subject: July 4, 2010 – The Tears of the Father

The Tears of the Father

The father in the story of the prodigal son suffered much. He saw his younger son leave, knowing the disappointments, rejections and abuses facing him. He saw his older son become angry and bitter, and was unable to offer him affection and support. A large part of the father’s life has been waiting. He could not force his younger son to come home or his older son to let go of his resentments. Only they themselves could take the initiative to return.

During these long years of waiting the father cried many tears and died many deaths. He was emptied out by suffering. But that emptiness had created a place of welcome for his sons when the time of their return came. We are called to become like that father.


This email was sent to theskipper@cox.net, by email_lists@henrinouwen.org

Henri Nouwen Society | P.O. Box 230523, Ansonia Station | New York | NY | 10023 | USA
Henri Nouwen Society | 10265 Yonge Street | Richmond Hill | ON | L4C 4Y7 | Canada

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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