A Father’s Heart

by Terri Gillespie

“Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7, TLV

Isn’t this a hopeful and uplifting verse? Chapter seven is a part of Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount.” The context of this verse is Jesus giving insights into His Father. Prior to this, culturally, there was more a reverential posture, rather than relational toward ADONAI—the LORD—by the Jewish people. This was clearly demonstrated by the Tabernacle and then the Temple, with obstacles and a curtain that separated the “common” people from the holy places.

The Jewish people’s ancestors saw God open the ground and swallow up the rebellious (Numbers 16:32). They also walked on dry ground when He parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14). So, as chosen people of Adonai, they were rightfully fearful and yet, in awe.

This Creator of the Universe wouldn’t even give His “Name” to Moses (Exodus 3:13-15)—He was to be referred to as one of His many attributes, “I AM.” Which is why some Jewish people today will not completely spell out Lord or God, but instead write L-RD or G-D.

“For what man among you, when his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or when he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (vss. 9-11, TLV)

Jesus now explains to the people that our relationship with His Father could be different. Still very reverential, as Jesus was, because He served His Father (Luke 22:42; Hebrews 10:7), but Jesus hints that something was about to change. Those children that would be redeemed by His blood could call Adonai, Father—even Abba, which is more like Daddy (Romans 8:15).

The people’s heart cry would be heard, as any loving father would listen.

Does that mean our Father will give us anything for which we “cry out”?  As a parent or your parents, did we? Did they? Of course not.

Seeking is another essential part of our relationship. As Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10), our relationship with the Father is to be like Jesus’s—“Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) Seeking that will, our Father will make certain we’ll know what it is.

Knocking, I suppose is just making sure that we have the right “door.” We don’t want to walk into the wrong room or break into our own desires rather than our Father’s will.

Now when Yeshua had finished these words, the crowds were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as their Torah scholars. (vss. 28-29, TLV)

Many people ask why I prefer to use Father, or Abba, when referring to God. Why not Yahweh or Jehovah? I guess because of passages like this, but even more. Jesus humbled Himself to be born in a stinky stable. He suffered much on our behalf. All so that I could call the Creator of the Universe Abba. That is an honor not to be taken lightly.

As His redeemed children, in reverential awe, we can call Him our Daddy.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is terri-gillespie.jpg

About the author: Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, messages, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, because of His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, released in October. http://www.authorterrigillespie.com

Sweet Rivalry

Sweet Rivalry, is the story of twins separated by a troubled mother. One twin is lovingly raised by her grandmother who owns a small-town bakery. The other sister is raised by an addict mother. They discover one another through a televised baking competition. But will rivalry break them apart again?

Join the conversation. When do you tend to seek God?

Grace on the Golden Gate

by Christina Rose

“He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,  I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  
(Psalm 91:15-16 NIV)

It was a blustery day in San Francisco, much to the delight of all sailors and windsurfers. I had gotten blown out of the water by gusty winds and could barely get my windsurfing rig to shore. (I had learned early on to take notice when the winds and tides shifted suddenly. One day in high winds, my mast had separated from my board with a tanker quickly approaching me as I was dead in the water. God heard my prayers and sent another windsurfer to rescue me, and I made it safely to shore.)

While I loved being at home with my kids, I was occasionally able to steal a few hours to myself to windsurf. After one such delightful sail, it was time to head home. I loaded my gear in the VW bus and made sure the camper latches were secure, so that the top wouldn’t pop up in the high winds.

I approached the Golden Gate Bridge and looked down to admire the beautiful San Francisco Bay full of colorful sails. About midway across the bridge, I heard a sudden big boom and the car shook. The top of the camper had popped up and filled with wind, making the vehicle shake wildly back and forth. I reduced my speed as much as I could and pulled into the right lane, struggling to keep the car steady. I was puzzled, as I knew I had securely tightened those latches.

This had never happened before.

Panic seized me. I envisioned the evening news, announcing “Gusty Winds Send Surfer Mom and Van Flying Across the Golden Gate.” I finally made it the length of the bridge and saw a small shoulder. As I pulled over, a distraught weeping woman came running towards me and fell on her knees. Fortunately, I understood Spanish. She told me she had been praying to God for over an hour. Her car had broken down, she had no phone, there was no walkway to get off the shoulder and she was stuck by the side of the road.

With how fast all the cars were speeding by, no one would have noticed her in time to stop, unless they were in the right lane and going 5 miles an hour like I was.

“God has heard you, I will help you,” I told her in Spanish. We put a note on her car, and I handed her my phone so she could call her husband. Then I gave her a ride home.

All I could do was smile the rest of the day and evening thinking, “God you are amazing.” Not only was I grateful to help this woman, but I got to witness how awesome God can be. He does hear our prayers and answers them in astounding ways. Of course I latched my camper that day; but God popped it open so I would stop and help the praying woman. He may have even made the gusts blow stronger when I was sailing, so that I would get off the water and get in my car to go help her.

“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;” (Psalm 65:5 ESV).

Grace on the Golden Gate – encouragement from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina roseAbout the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. A devoted mom of two daughters and great aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews, Christina loves spending time in nature and hosting gatherings for family and friends.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. Her marriage in shambles, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power that is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Have you ever experienced a dramatic answer to prayer?

Nothing Too Small

by Joy Anisa

The lights were off, and my little boy was tucked under his covers. As I picked up a few things in his room I heard him say, “Mama, I haven’t prayed for our new house.” As a single mom facing a move out of state, I had a tight budget and limited time to find a place to live. I had mentioned to my two children that we needed to pray that the Lord would provide the perfect house for us.

I teasingly said to my son, “What are we going to live in, a tent?”

He giggled and then said, “I have prayed that God would give me a creek.” Immediately I felt the tears rush to my eyes. Little did he know, the only house that was available for us to look at had a creek running beside the property.

I scooped my son into my arms and said, “I want you to always remember that God cares about little boys and creeks.” By the grace of God, the house with the creek became our new home. For the next year and a half, every time I heard the bubbling of that creek, I was reminded that our God cares about every part of our lives.

Sometimes we can underestimate our Heavenly Father’s interest in the small things. That we should only bother Him with our “big” requests. How often do we “shrink wrap” our trust in Him by what we choose to ask?

The simple faith of a child has taught me nothing is too insignificant to bring before Him. (And truth be told, what request of ours would ever be “big” to God, anyway?)

I often think back to that night with my son and wonder if his unassuming child-like faith gave him insight that His loving, Heavenly Father would not let us be homeless. Maybe he assumed God would handle the big details, so he prayed for the “little things”.

His example set the tone for my own prayer life, and I began to pray about everything. I stopped shrink wrapping my trust in God by limiting what I thought He cared about and what He didn’t.

We can trust God with it all. As He told Isaiah: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NASB) We can bring all of our concerns to Him, and trust Him with even the smallest details.

A young boy prays for a creek.  A young girl prays her dog will get well. A father prays for the healing of his daughter. A mother prays for her wayward son. A pastor prays for unity within his congregation. A missionary prays for the gospel to penetrate the darkness of the people group he serves. A wife prays for her marriage to be reconciled. He hears all of it, big and small. Prayer is a conversation with God that is rooted in confidence that He will accomplish what concerns us (Psalm 138:8). We can trust Him to answer our requests with nothing less than wisdom and love.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20a NASB

joy anisaAbout the author: Joy Anisa speaks for women’s retreats, MOPS, and Single Mom conferences. Her book, Identity Crisis: Moving from Crisis to Credibility,  offers an invitation to hope in the God who loves deeply, heals wounds, and offers His joy when life around us crumbles. You can find Joy on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. Joy lives with her husband, Jeff and their son, Caid, in Conyers, GA.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Joy’s book, Identity Crisis: Moving From Crisis to Credibility,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: How has God blessed you in the “small” things?