FIRST-PERSON: Overlooking the Father

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- In driving through some desert roads, I was praying and praising the Lord Jesus. For a moment, I started to think about the creation of man (Genesis 1:26) and how blessed we are to be created by a trinitarian God.

After a time in prayer and meditating on God's Word, thinking about God the Father preoccupied my heart, mind and soul. I started to praise the Father.

I searched for praise music to help me with my time of praise -- music that would honor God the Father specifically. I did not have many choices to choose from because my love, devotion and gratitude for the Lord Jesus had led me to music that specifically honored Him as my Lord and Savior.

I asked myself, "Have I forgotten the Father?"

My spirit trembled and made me seek the Father in a different way because He also deserves our love, devotion and adoration.

God told His people, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5 CSB). Even though Jesus said, "The Father and I are one" (John 10:30), I still needed to worship the Father within the Godhead. Because I love Jesus, this love for Him created in me a tremendous desire to honor the Father.

After studying Jesus' relationship to the Father, I was encouraged by Jesus' life to love and honor the Father because Jesus -- being God -- did the following:

-- Jesus came into the world because the Father sent Him: "For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Jesus, being God, became a man to die for the sins of the world in obedience to the Father. God's love has no limits: "He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us," the apostle Paul wrote, "so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

-- Jesus desired that we follow the Father. As children of God based on Jesus' sacrifice, we are encouraged to follow the one who sent the Savior. As Jesus said, "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is my brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:50).

-- Jesus prayed to the Father for Himself, for the disciples and for all believers (John 17:6-26), which gives me a desire also to pray to the Father. Praying to the Father encouraged me to bear fruit: Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you" (John 15:16).

-- Jesus was loved by the Father (John 5:20, 5:24, 3:35, 10:17, 17:24). "This is why the Father loves me," Jesus said, "because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again" (John 10:17). Jesus was loved by the Father and encouraged us to love and follow His commands so that we can experience the love of the Father. "The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father," Jesus said. "I also will love him and will reveal myself to him" (John 14:21).

-- Jesus wanted to glorify the Father: Jesus wanted to be glorified so that He could glorify the Father (John 17:1-5). Jesus never forgot His mission -- to die for the world to honor the Father so that He could bring all the fallen souls eternally to heaven to be with the Father.

Since that day on those desert roads, I honor the Father with devotion. I consider myself a child of God and the words of God in Isaiah remind me of the fact that I need to honor the Father because I am His creation: "... everyone who bears my name and is created for my glory. I have formed them; indeed, I have made them" (Isaiah 43:7).

Clara Molina, a member of the Southern Baptist Hispanic Leaders Council, is a conference speaker and author of "A Legacy of Wisdom: Wisdom and Encouragement from Women in the Lives of Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, and from the Ministry of the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul" and "Oh No! My Husband Is the Pastor." She and her husband Bruno, evangelism associate for language and interfaith evangelism with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, have two grown children and two grandchildren. She holds a master's degree in Christian school education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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