From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is another great word from the XP Ministry team. It's important how we see and know "Father God". He loves us unconditionally, His love is everlasting and cannot be compared to anything earthly. You'll read more about this from Lyn Packer, who is an itinerant minister from XP Ministries. Patricia King writes a brief intro below.
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The Word That Changed Everything
Lyn Packer serves with the XP Ministries team as an itinerant minister and is one of the overseers of XP New Zealand. In this month's devotion, Lyn brings a simple yet powerful message about a "word" that is bringing monumental change to the Church from the inside out. Prepare your hearts to receive the simplicity of this message and allow it to help you explore the deeper places of the Father heart of God.
The Word That Changed Everything
We are in the midst of a great awakening in the Church where the children of God are waking up to "who they really are." Part of the foundation of this awakening is a deepened revelation of the love and goodness of God that is giving birth to a "Love Revolution," now sweeping the earth. The Church is learning how to live loved and, as a result, is becoming "living love" – pouring out love in ways that is causing transformation to come to thousands daily. You are called to be a part of that revolution, and it starts with knowing that you are loved – unconditionally and irrevocably.
Let Father God love you, really love you, and through the transformational effect on your life, you will not be able to do anything but love as He does. As a result, you too will transform the lives of those you come in contact with.
The One Word That Is At the Heart of the Good News of the Gospel
One of the amazing things Jesus accomplished through both His life and death was to reintroduce a reality that had not existed since the fall of mankind – a loving close relationship with God.
With one word Jesus changed everything. He declared the end of religion and proclaimed the restoration of relationship. He changed forever the way man would see God (if they really looked). That one word is at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel. It's not the word "forgiveness," or even the word "grace." Those are powerful words, but the one word Jesus used to change everything is "Abba." Abba is the word for "Father" or "Daddy." It may not sound like much of a revolution-starting word when you first hear it, but that word "Father" changed everything and assaulted every religious belief in existence, both outside and inside Israel.
Knowing "Father" Changes Everything
Jesus came not only as the Savior, but also as a Son. He came to reveal the Father and to provide a way for us to return to relationship with Him. Knowing God as "Father" changes everything because it reveals our reason for being created – to be in a loving, cared-for, protected and provided-for relationship with Father God. We were never meant to have to strive in order to know God, or have to earn a relationship with Him. We were meant to be "children" to the Father – a Father who loves us with 100% pure, untainted, undiluted love and goodness.
Jesus came not only as the way back to the Father but as a model of how we were created to be in relationship with the Father. That's why He came as a child, as a Son, because only a Son could reveal God as Father. A servant cannot reveal God as the Father – he can only reveal God as "master" or "boss." Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father" (John 14:9). In Jesus we see the Father's love revealed and expressed. And once we see the Father, something in us wakes up and remembers that we were made to be in loving relationship with Him!
Experience His Daddy Love
God wants to lavish us with His love. He wants the experiential knowledge of His love to be the very foundation of our lives. He wants all that we do – all the decisions we make and our revelation of who He is and who we are – to be a result of knowing and dwelling in His glorious love. The apostle Paul understood how important it is to have this revelation of God the Father's love and to experience it. That's why he prayed, "That you, being rooted and grounded in love...may comprehend what is the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of God that surpasses understanding, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19).
He's a Good Dad. God is Love. Everything He does is motivated by love. He has no ulterior motives, no agendas except to love. Love is not just something He does; it's who He is! He doesn't love you because He wants something from you. He's not looking for servants. He's not expecting people to try hard to please Him. He is looking for someone to lavish His love upon. That is the type of Father He is. Yes, we will serve and we will obey, but those are the results of knowing His love, not the means of gaining it.
Some of us never knew our fathers. Or maybe we had fathers who were absent emotionally even if they were there in person. Some of our fathers were abusive. Others demanded perfection of us. Earthly fathers have let many of us down, but we can't afford to judge God the Father by what our experiences tell us a father is like. I used to, and because of my relationship with my dad I didn't want to know God as Father. In my mind, fathers weren't nice; they abused their children. Thankfully those hurts have been healed and I am set free from those lies. Now my relationship with Abba, Daddy God, is so precious to me. I know He will never abuse me, that He only has good things for me. And I know He is the same for you.
Daddy God has chosen us as His special treasure. He IS love and His love melts away our performance-oriented mentality. God does not want to treat us like a servant/slave but as a son/daughter. He'll let us be a servant if we insist, but it's not what He wants from the relationship. And if we insist in seeing Him just as master and not Daddy, Abba God, we miss out on so much.
You are a son or daughter of your heavenly Father, the One who is Love and who is forever good through and through. There are no hidden agendas in His love. You now live under a new and everlasting covenant based on Daddy's promise that He will never stop loving you or doing good for you (see Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 32:40)!
God is love; and Daddy God loves you with an everlasting, 100% pure, unfailing love! Revel in His love; soak it up! You are not being greedy; you are not being somehow less spiritually mature by reveling in that love. In fact, really knowing His love is a mark of maturing in childlike faith and trust. Enjoy it – go on, really enjoy it. There are no catches here, no tricks, just pure undefiled love. God, your good Father in Heaven, wants you to know that glorious love, to be set free by it, to make your home in it, to be comfortable in it, and to find the full expression of who you are in it.
Weekly Scripture Meditation
Week ONE – Ephesians 3:17-19
Week TWO – 1 John 4:16
Week THREE – Romans 8:38-39
Week FOUR – Psalm 139
XP Ministries New Zealand
Rob and Lyn Packer are itinerant ministers with XP Ministries in New Zealand, and minister throughout the South Pacific and Asia. They are passionate lovers of Christ who have given all to follow the call of Christ on their lives. They carry a catalytic revelatory anointing that brings breakthroughs and shifts to both individual lives and churches as they minister. They are a part of the Prophetic Round Table in New Zealand and are widely respected as prophetic ministers for their ability to hear and declare what God is doing in the nation.
They are accredited pastors and have pastored in New Zealand in a variety of situations for over 30 years. As a couple, Rob and Lyn minister in many ways. The different facets of their ministry – worship, music, teaching, the prophetic, dance, art, poetry, storytelling, healing, and restoration – are a powerful combination of giftings enabling them to minister with sensitivity and passion in any situation.