Note: This was originally published in the November 2013 issue of Decision Magazine.
My daddy is hard of hearing, so I’m never sure I’m actually communicating with him when I call him on the telephone. Because my life is now somewhat restricted by the need to stay in close proximity to my husband, I have not been able to get away and see my father as frequently as I have tried to since Mother went to Heaven. It’s sad to me, since it’s in those sweet, face-to-face encounters that I get a sense of how much he hears of what I say.
What I want him to understand is that I have been swamped with the details of life, but I’m not sure he really knows. So my heart was warmly stirred when the Holy Spirit whispered to me from the passages below.
As I read through these verses, I could feel the tension releasing, as though my own spirit had taken a deep breath and let it out slowly. Because the Holy Spirit whispered that my heavenly Father knows! He knows! Every feeling of frustration, every pinpoint of pain, every weight of worry, every flicker of fear … He knows. It’s OK if my daddy doesn’t know, because my Father does! I’m so very thankful that He knows …
… THE NEEDS OF MY HEART
- Give phrases from Matthew 6:5-8 and 6:28-33 that indicate Jesus makes a distinction between God’s children and everyone else.
- If we are not all children of God, how does a person become a child of God? Read John 1:12-13 and John 3:3-8.
- Are you the Father’s child?
- How should this distinction affect your priorities, anxieties and activities? Give phrases from Matthew 6:25-34.
- How does having a heavenly Father who knows your needs affect your prayer life? Make a list of as many specifics as you can from Matthew 6:5-15.
- Take each phrase of the prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and use it as a pattern for your own prayer.
- Write out your prayer. Conclude it by thanking God for the privilege of having Him as a Father who knows the needs of your heart. Pray it now.
- Your Father not only knows your needs, but what does He also promise in Philippians 4:19? Romans 8:26-32? 1 Corinthians 13:11-12?
… THE DEEDS OF MY LIFE
Read Psalm 139.
- What does the Psalmist say that God knows about you? Give the phrases with verses.
- What does the Psalmist imply that God knows about you? Give the phrases with verses.
- Which is most meaningful to you, and why?
- What else does your Father know about you? Make a list using: John 1:43-48; John 10:25-30; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; 2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 7:21-23.
- Read Revelation 2-3. Were these letters written to His children or not? Give phrases with verses to support your answer.
- How many times does the phrase “I know” appear? Give the verses.
- List the things the Father knew about each one, giving phrases and verses.
- Reread Psalm 139:6, and put it into your own words.
- How does Paul’s prayer in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 encourage you?
… THE SEEDS OF MY MINISTRY
- Whom do you know in ministry who is sowing the seed of the Word of God?
- When have you shared God’s Word, including the Gospel, with someone else?
- From Psalm 119, give as many reasons as you can for giving others God’s Word. (If the length of Psalm 119 is overwhelming, make your list from verses 89-112.)
- When you give others God’s Word, are you always aware of the impact it makes?
- Why is the ministry of sowing the seed not only challenging, but sometimes discouraging? See Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; and Romans 10:16-17.
- What special promises to sowers are meaningful to you from? 2 Corinthians 9:6-15? Jeremiah 1:12? John 6:63?
- How are you encouraged by Isaiah 55:8-11?
- Would you use these verses today to encourage someone else who may be concerned about the seeds of their ministry?
If sometimes, like me, you long for a father who understands and knows your thoughts and your feelings, your needs and your deeds, your failures and your fruit, be encouraged! And thank God! You have one … your heavenly Father!
©2013 Anne Graham Lotz