“Jesus replied, ‘Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…'” John 15:9 (AMP)
Personalize this verse for a moment, as Jesus speaking it to you. That is how this verse was impressed upon me this morning. How often we seem to forget the truth of who God is, or do not yet know Jesus and the Father as They truly are because we still need to pursue knowing God intimately (John 17:3).
At times we think we know Him very well, but often our knowing comes second-hand, such as through what we have heard from the Church, TV, books, and others who don’t always get it right themselves. We even get our perceptions of God through our own experiences with our earthly parents, which may or may not line up with truth.
Jesus said whoever has seen Him has seen the Father (see above), but have we really opened our eyes to God’s true personality, emotions and ways, seeing Him as He really is? How often is God portrayed misleadingly, as some entity up above who is looking at our every fault, sin and flaw, an uncaring Person who is not like a Father at all?
Yet this God is full of mercy and loving kindness. Think of Moses, to whom God declared, “I will make all My goodness pass before you” (Exodus 33:19, 34:5-7, emphasis mine).
Our faithful, all-knowing Father hates sin, but loves each one of us. When He disciplines us it is as our loving Father who LONGS for us to be free from all that causes us pain and heartache, including our own sin (Heb. 12:5).
He is not mad at us, but exceedingly and joyfully in love with us. He sings and dances around us with His love (Zeph. 3:17). After all, Who else would sacrifice His only Son in such sufferings unto death, or even have His Son deal with even the tiniest struggle of an earthly life though He is God, all to set us free? Surely He would not have if He did not love and enjoy each and every one of us whom He fashioned in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
Who would rightly pour out so much if they did not love us in a way that no other could–with a perfect love that surpasses all human thoughts of what love truly is (John 3:16-17; Phil. 2:5-11)
This is how He loves us: Perfectly and desiring to show mercy and not sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we could receive mercy and be set free from all darkness and evil, from every sin and sickness, from all pain and heartache, to transfer us into His Kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-14).
This is our God: Father of all fathers, perfect and giving good gifts to His beloved children, our God who never changes (James 1:17).
He gave, and desires with such yearning that all would accept the sacrifice Jesus made and be saved, delivered, and set free. He is the only Way (John 14:6). If you don’t yet know Him or have not been spending that intimate time with Him: Do you want to be a part of that love-filled, adventurous life of knowing more this One who gave all for you? It’s worth it, so give it a try! YOU WON’T REGRET IT, NO NEVER.
So where are you in your journey to know the Father as Jesus knows Him? What is the Lord currently teaching you about Himself that is imparting His love even more greatly into your life?