Consider an illustration of two children and two fathers. One child feels like he’s just a tenant in the house, a servant doing what he’s commanded to do. He doesn’t know his father very well or his father’s love. He just knows what he’s been commanded to do.
The other child knows his father, that he’s a great man worthy of respect, and that he’s compassionate, kind and patient, and full of love for him. He knows that his father is working day and night to give him the best possible life, and he knows that whether he succeeds or fails in his tasks, he will always be the object of his father’s affection.
Which child do you think will be more likely to want to be like his earthly father? I think we would say it was the second child who knows his father’s love. Having been loved so well by so great a man, he aspires to become like him. We have that kind of Father in heaven. He’s the great God of renown, worthy of respect and honor by all people because he’s the Creator and sustainer of all life. He is compassionate and kind and forgiving of our sin. He causes all things to work together for our good.
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