November 18 - LD 46, Day 7: Father Almighty
Sunday the 18th of November
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Read: Matthew 7:6-12
It is no wonder that the child of God holds his heavenly Father in great esteem. He rejoices in the Word from his Father. He loves His law. He rejoices in opportunities to speak to others concerning his Father in Heaven. The Christian points out the greatness of his Father: He is the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. He directs the affairs of nations. He continues to gather His children from the four corners of the earth. Not a sparrow can fall and not a hair from one’s head can drop without the will of our heavenly Father (Matt 10:28-30).
He is my Father. The Christian enjoys that very close relationship with his Father - of which earthly father-son relationships are but a faint picture. The Christian holds his Father's hand. God guides and directs him in the way he must go. His Father encircles him with His arm. His Father can and does defend him from every enemy. God is closer to His people than a human father could ever be to his children. Our Father guides us by His Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity). He assures of the forgiveness of sins through Christ (the second Person come into human flesh).
It’s all so amazing—even unbelievable if not for the gift of faith. How can it be that One so infinitely great, so almighty, would care for one so finite, and sinful besides - so that He works all things together for his good! His people treasure that relationship above anything that this world has to offer. Material things, earthly prosperity, are as dung compared to this glorious relationship to their Father.
That relationship is established by our Father out of pure sovereign grace. We did not contribute to it nor deserve it—but Christ offered Himself to obtain for us the forgiveness of sin and the right to sonship.
Christ now teaches His disciples and us what we ought to ask of our Father. In six short petitions, He teaches what we must ask of our Father, how we must express ourselves, and why we can be sure God will answer our prayers. Though we can bring before our Father all of our concerns, Christ shows us what is absolutely essential for us to bring before Him. In presenting our petitions to our Father, we acknowledge our great need. We cannot live before our Father unless He provides that for which we ask in this prayer. Only He is able to provide for us.
In the final Lord’s Days, we confront the glorious teaching of Scripture concerning these six petitions.