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Heavenly Father | Discipleship Prayer Day 2

Heavenly Father, God Most High, Most Holy, Most Loving

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

–James 1:17-18 (NIV)

“Heavenly Father…”

Everything good, right, perfect, and true comes to us by the divine initiative of our Heavenly Father, who is:

“God Most High”

The Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all that is contained in all the created world (Gen 14:2). There is no thing and no one greater or more powerful the Almighty God who is above all things (Isa 46:9).

“God Most Holy”

The greatness of God is grounded firmly in holiness (Lev 11:45).  God is wholly separate (different) than the created world (Jos 3:14); completely pure and free from contamination (Deut 32:4); entirely perfect, complete, and whole, lacking nothing; and defined from beginning to end by love—holy, perfect, cross-bearing love (Psalm 13:5).

“God Most Loving”

Self-sacrificial, cross-bearing, perfect love is the foundational, defining nature of God (1 John 4:16). This love is also the essence of holiness and the motivation behind every display of divine creativity and power.

As we come into God’s presence in prayer it is important to begin with praising God for who God is – most high, most holy, most loving, and much more – and remembering that it pleases God to love and be loved. As we come before the Lord, seeking to be renewed and re-created in the Imago Dei (image of God), it is God’s pleasure to give the gift of renewed goodness and re-created perfection (wholeness and purpose) to those who sincerely seek the face of God.



→ If I must err, let it be in the direction of love… 

 

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Most High, Most Holy, and Most Loving (2 of 28)

Where does my help come from?

Most High, Most Holy, and Most Loving

Post 2 of 28

Jesus modeled to his disciples a prayer that began with “Our Father in heaven” which, at the time, was likely considered a near-blasphemous statement, if not outright heresy. God was flesh and blood human and to associate God in anyway with a human identity was not appropriate. Interestingly, our Muslim friends today hold similar ideas about God — the greatest of sins is to lift up any human being to God-status or to lower God down to the human level. This is a great obstacle in thinking about the identity of Jesus, the Messiah, for Christian faith does both of these things.

Love is the very nature of God

Nonetheless, I think that in calling God “Father,” Jesus is attempting to teach us something about God. Rather than being an impersonal, capricious, disinterested Deity, God is personal, loving, and involved in the daily affairs of God’s creation. God is a Father, not in the biological sense but rather in God’s authority, responsibility, and loving care of all that God has created. We can address God as Father, knowing that God is paying attention, has our best interests in mind, and is always working for the good of those who love God.

Even so, we cannot lose sight of the fact that God is the Most High — the greatest, most-powerful, highest authority, the One that stand above all. Even the greatest of humans barely registers on the height chart of God’s heavenly door frame. He is the Most High, worthy of all worship, adoration, and praise.

The child asks of the Father whom he knows. Thus, the essence of Christian prayer is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition. The right way to approach God is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

God is Most Holy — completely “other” from humanity and all that has been created, yet unafraid to mingle with humanity, calling us and raising us out of the mess of our messed-up lives. God is perfect in God’s plans and purposes — in God’s holiness, God is perfectly just, perfectly compassionate, and perfectly loving.

Finally, God is the Most Loving — the perfect model of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. There is no greater love than the love of God, and in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that love (grace, mercy, and forgiveness) is on full display in all of its perfection.

We praise you, Lord, because you are most high, most holy, and most loving.

 See the prayer from which this post was taken here.