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

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.

Jesus spoke of God as Father; in fact it was the one name Jesus consistently called God throughout the Gospels and, to me, this makes the Father Heart of God a major issue we ignore at our peril.

This isn’t a wee side issue or a novelty thing for a small group of Charismatics who are looking for the next new thing – this is a move of God which really began in the 1970s with people like Jack Winter and has been carried by the Spirit of God through people such as Ed Piorek, James Jordan, The Arnotts, Jack Frost, and so many others.

We have the opportunity to be in at the start of a new move of God as it begins to gather momentum and flow through God’s church.

It is a time for you to choose whether you will embrace this move of God’s Spirit or be indifferent – get on fire or remain cold and passionless.

You cannot claim God as Father and remain unmoved or emotionless because God’s love is warm toward you. Those who call God Father yet cannot express his love have never experienced that love for themselves – God desires you to experience his love and thus “know” he loves you.

There have been a number of “moves” of God throughout the centuries which have had an incredible impact upon the church and society.

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