Summary: If Jesus called God Father then we minimise this aspect of God’s nature and character at our own peril.

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ROMANS 5:1-5 “hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”.

The Love of God, the Love of your Father is an experience of the heart not about an intellectual understanding or knowledge of the head.

Mike Bickle relates this story about life on a game reserve in Africa: After a while the rangers began to discover animals that had been brutally killed and butchered but the meat hadn’t been eaten and the hides hadn’t been taken.

After setting some traps and watches they soon discovered the problem.

When the reserve was being set up they imported a lot of animals from elsewhere and among these animals were a handful of immature bull elephants and it was these who had been going on a rampage.

They puzzled over it for a short while before hitting on a solution which stopped the carnage (they imported some mature bull elephants).

Hundreds of young men in our city run wild rampaging because they have no idea how to behave, how to relate to other people; others have little value in their eyes because no one has given them a perspective on life – everything is imbalanced and these boys spend life trying to prove to themselves that they are men without really knowing what a man is.

In an article in the Herald newspaper one contributor wrote about the levels of delinquency in Glasgow. He considered one of the factors which contributed to this was the absence of older male role models for young men.

He realised for many years there has been a father gap in our society but it was somewhat compensated for by the number of apprenticeships where young men were trained by older, mature tradesmen who taught them, perhaps imperfectly, how to be a man – it no longer happens.

Fathers are missing and people think it is a modern problem BUT for centuries Fathers have been absent – they have ignored their children, they have been cruel to them, they have abused them, they have been emotionless with them, they have walked out or died young and children have missed what is probably the most significant human relationship you can ever have.

It is from your Father you get your sense of significance and importance; it is him who should be the one filling you with confidence, providing you with security and affirming you in being the person you were created to be.

But for too many it is not so – the normal people are now those who have no father or have had no relationship with the one who sired them.

Those with good father experiences and good father relationships are the weird ones in today’s society.

I have talked a lot about God as our Father and now I want to take us through a few weeks of looking in more detail about the Father Heart of God.

God wants to Father you – not from a distance but up close and personal; in relationship. That may be hard for many of us but it is not impossible. God’s heart for you is the heart of a true Father; he isn’t angry with you because God so LOVED the world that he sent his son. Jesus is an expression of Father’s love for you – Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn but to save.

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