One of the distinctives of Christianity is its view of God as a loving Father. While reading John Owen’s Communion with God, I was struck by this passage from his chapter titled “Conclusions arising from the Doctrine of Communion with the Father in Love.” (They really knew how to title things back then, didn’t they?)
“Let us then see the Father as full of love to us. Do not see the Father as one who is angry, but as one who is most kind and gentle. Let us see the Father as one who from eternity has always had kind thoughts toward us. It is a complete misunderstanding of the Father that makes us want to run and hide from him.
The Psalmist said, ‘They that know you will put their trust in you.’ How sad that we cannot stay long with God in spiritual meditations! The Father loses the company of his people because they are so ignorant of his love to them. His saints keep thinking only of his terrible majest, severity and greatness, and so their hearts are not drawn to him in love.
We must learn to think of his everlasting gentleness and compassion. We must remember his kind thoughts towards us which have been from eternity. Let us remember how eager and willing he is to accept us. If we did this, then we would not be able to bear one hour’s absence from him. Instead, we find it difficult to spend even one hour with him.
Let then this be the first thought that we have of the Father, that he is full of eternal love to us. Let our hearts and thoughts be filled with his love to us, even though many discouragements may lie in our way.”
Reminding ourselves of God’s love is the greatest motivation to personal worship and communion.