Challenged to Change
WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
Transcript of a clip from the talk OUR LOVING FATHER by Rev. Ernest O’Neill.
How are we meant to live this life? That’s what we started to talk about last Sunday. How are we actually meant to live? That connects up with the other questions: What is the meaning of life? And why are we all here at all? Those of you who were here last Sunday remember that what we said was, our God who made us, is really closer to a good father than to anything else we know here on earth. And the relationship that he wants with us is the kind of relationship we would have with a good father.
Now, I understand that some of you had good moms and some of you had good dads. I understand that some of us did not have good dads and therefore we maybe have a little problem…. except that probably all of us know what a good father is like. I was glad and grateful that I had a dear dad.
A good father is one who is older than you, who loves you more than he loves himself and who cares for you more than he cares for himself. He knows more than you and he is able to provide you with all that you need. He is the one that provides the food on the table that your mom serves. And he is the one that advises you when you begin to get into things that you don’t know anything about.
Now, the only difference between that and God, is our dads reached that time when we were teenagers when they suddenly realized that they knew nothing and we knew everything. Then there came a time when we realized we didn’t know everything. But there still came a time when we eventually went on and left our dads behind. We went on to other things and we had to start providing for ourselves.
Now, God is older than that. God is a dear Father that is permanently older than all of us here. He knows continuously until the end of time more than you know. He knows what you’re going to get into and he knows what you should do in that thing. He has absolute infinite ability to provide you with all that you need. So, His desire in putting us here in this world was that we should trust Him like a Father. That is, we should love Him. We should depend on His love. We should trust Him to provide for us what we needed and to guide us in what we were to do in our lives. His will was that there should be an intuitive trust between Him and us — a loving thing, a warm, friendly thing. He is like our dads.
You know the joke as the millionaire’s wife turns around to the millionaire and says, “Things, things, things, you don’t love me, myself. You just give me things.”
Well, we all know that a dad likes to give us things but most of all what we like about him is that he loves us. And what he likes most about us is that we were able to sit on his knee at one time and talk with him. Or later on we were able to sit beside him and talk with him. And even when it was his last days in bed, we were able to sit by his bedside and talk to him. That’s the dearest thing to a real dad.
You are the dearest thing to a real dad. Not the things he gives you, not the things you do, but you yourself. A real father loves you to be with him. That’s why he loves you. He loves you because he enjoys being with you, that’s God. God made you to be with Him forever. He loves you. He really loves you. He likes you. He wants to be with you forever. That’s why he made you like Himself.
OUR LOVING FATHER