Sunday, August 23, 2009

WORKSHOP: The Father's Heart

The Father’s Heart
by Lena Dooley

Before you can understand the Father’s heart for the world, you must understand the Father’s heart for you. It is out of the abundance of our hearts that we are able to pour forth to readers, helping their hurts to heal and giving them hope for eternity.

Zephaniah 3:17 - The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Just think about that. Father God, the creator of the universe, the one who breathed the stars into being, rejoices over you with singing. Wow! What a thought.

The first time I found this verse, God gave me a vision. In that vision, I was a baby in Father God’s arms. We were on a high plateau in Israel, a plateau with a carpet of lush green grass. He laid me in the grass, and danced around me, never taking his eyes from me, pouring His love all over me. I was overwhelmed with that love.

That’s how He feels about you. There are many scriptures that show what God thinks about you.

1 John 3:1 - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Angels are beings created to worship Him; they have no choice. God created man, because He wanted someone who could choose to worship Him, so His heart yearns for you. For you to choose Him above everything else

Genesis 1:27 & 31 - So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

Have you seen the bumper stickers and signs that say, God Don’t Make Junk. A pop culture thing that holds a lot of truth. If the Enemy of Your Soul is telling you that you are junk, it’s a lie.

Jeremiah 1:5 - Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you;

God created you unique and special in His eyes. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than He already does, and there is nothing we can do to make God love us any less. We can grieve God’s heart, but only because we make choices that break the connection between ourselves and the Father. It doesn’t change His love for us.

Jeremiah 31:3 - The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Psalm 139:13-16 - For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

We’ve all heard these words, but do we really believe them? Deep down in our heart of hearts, down where the hurts like to hide?

Romans 8:17 - . . .and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, . . .

II Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Remember the Bible tells us that His mercies are new every morning. Every day is a new day to get our relationship with God right.

II Timothy 1:9 - who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Ephesians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Ps 37:4-5 - Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Now that you know what you mean to God, listen to this word to you.

Habakuk 2:2-3 - And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

God has spoken a vision into your heart. You need to write it down and believe that He will bring it to pass at His appointed time.

Now let’s look at the Father’s heart. No one knew the Father’s heart like Jesus did.
The whole reason Jesus came to earth was for people - to reunite them with the Father.

We all need to get to know the Father’s heart more than we ever have. One way to do that is to read all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Get a red-letter edition of the Bible and read all the red letters.

The Father’s heart is that no man should perish. Read John 3:16 with new eyes. Insert your name in place of “the world,” then read it again, inserting the name of someone you don’t like. Makes you think differently, doesn’t it?

He loves the alcoholic in the gutter, the drug addict, the prostitute, the murderer just as much as He loves you and me. Remember, there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us any more or any less than He does. It’s impossible, because He. Is. Perfect. Love.

Jesus talked more about eternity than anything else. The only thing that makes it to the other side is people.

Be gripped with the reality of eternity. The stakes are too high not to share Jesus with others–our neighbors, people we meet in the store, those who are down and out, and especially our readers.

When you look at people, try to see eternity in them.
Jesus did. He would look at sinners and see saints.
Who else could have seen purity in a prostitute?
Who else could have seen a giver in Zacchaeus?
Who else could have seen boldness in a weak disciple?

What does He see in you? Ask Him, and let Him speak it into your heart. Really listen this time, and write it in your journal so you can return to it again and again.

He wants us to do what He had been doing when He walked on the earth.
He ministered to people to show us what He wants us to do.
It took the disciples three years to get it.
How long is it going to take us to get what He wants us to get–to see people the way He sees them?

All our writing, whether fiction or non-fiction should have an eternal purpose–to point others to their only hope for their lives today and for eternity.

©2009 - Lena Nelson Dooley


maxxgrl said...

having a purpose makes the commitment worth while. thank you!

Linda Beed said...

Thank you for sharing your heart for the Father with us.


Naomi said...

This is a good reminder that as a Christian writer, my success is more internally, than externally based. Thanks, Lena!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Every book I write has a spiritual thread that points readers to the Lord.

Thank you for stopping by.

Author Shelia E. Lipsey said...

Thank you Leona. This was a great message. It is complete with reminders of just how valuable we are individually to God. Thank you for allowing God to use you to share His message with us. I pray that someone reading this workshop will be touched, revitalized, reenergized and accept that God is good and He has nothing but the best in store for us. Thank you again, and God bless you for being obedient to what He has called you to do.

Susan Falck said...

I don’t need anyone or anything to criticize me. I do a great job all by myself. And yet the barrage comes anyway. I have forgotten who’s I am and how He created me.

At first reading this I thought, “Yeah right, that’s great for everyone else, but this is me.” But after a few more verses, I had to come to grips with the truth and re-evaluate this in the light of the Word.

Thanks Lena.

SanTara said...

Oh Bless the Lord oh my soul and ALL that is within me. Bless His holy name!! Lena, thank you so much for sharing such ripe fruit. Your words have blessed me so much and I thank you for sharing your heart. May Our Father continue to pour out His spirit upon you.

PatriciaW said...

I love this Lena, as I'm learning more each day about the abundance of the heart, and how it affects all that we are and all that we do. Thank you for sharing.

Melissa said...

Thank you, Lena for your blessed message. God is forever faithful and I feel so grateful to be loved by Him. I will serve him to the best of my ability, especially through my writing.

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