Jesus’ mission on earth is was to reveal the Fatherhood of God to His people—He wanted them to know God as their Father, taught Sun Ho.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He wanted them to call God Father, said Sun Ho, executive director of City Harvest Church and co-founder of the church. She was preaching on the weekend of Dec 6 and 7.
Reading out the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, Ho led the congregation into her message about having a genuine relationship with Father God.
Ho said that during CHC’s Emerge conference in 2016, she received a word from God that impacted her deeply. In a vision, she saw a veil torn and was reminded that Jesus died on the cross so that the children of God can go into His throne room to commune with Him.
“I was studying the way Jesus taught His disciples, but as I read the Bible, the thing that touched me was Jesus’ relationship with the Father,” she shared.
Knowing that the Father was with Him is the only thing Jesus needed, Ho continued. And Jesus promised His believers that they can have the same kind of relationship. His ultimate goal is to bring them to the Father.
In John 14, Jesus tried to tell His disciples that He was going to leave them but they could not understand Him. Thomas asked how would they know how to follow Him there if they didn’t know where He was going. Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father.
Jesus said in John 14:9, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
“We can become like them too,” Ho said. “We can be busy Christians but never know God. Philip was part of the inner circle; he was busy serving God but he never understood the mission that Jesus was on.”
However, Jesus wanted His followers to know God in an experiential way. “The essence of Christianity is having first-hand, intimate personal revelation of God as our heavenly Father,” said Ho.
She went on to explain that the supernatural power is a byproduct of a believer’s experiential relationship with the Father. When they have a relationship with Him, they have everything.
A story commonly used to demonstrate the fatherly love of God is the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-13.
“When I read the story, I thought to myself: why would the father even bother with the son? I can imagine he could have sent the son’s aunties, uncles or even religious leaders [to deal with his son],” Ho said. The “aunties” would use emotional tactics to win him back while the “uncles” might try to rationalize with him, Ho reasoned. And if that didn’t work, the father could have got pastors to talk to his son.
Yet, the father went with what the son wanted and gave him his inheritance.
“God wants something more than His son’s presence at home,” noted Ho. “He wants a ‘heart’ relationship with him. By doing what he wanted, the father in the parable was giving the son unconditional love; telling him that he is more important than money, more important than what people thought of him.”
In Matthew 3, God gave Jesus the same assurance of unconditional love when He was baptized. Verse 17 says, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Immediately in the next verse, “…Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Satan wanted Jesus to doubt His identify in God and he is still doing that to the children of God today. “But if we know that we are the beloved of God, then he has no defense against us,” Ho taught the congregation. “When I have the revelation that I’m the beloved child of God, not just any child of God, not just a Christian, my world changes. I have a new confidence because I know He is here with me now and He will be there in my future.”
Ho went on to share a story about her son Dayan. They were in Korea visiting Dr Yonggi Cho and his wife, Dr Kim Sung Hae, who founded Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul. Ho and her husband, Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC consider Dr Cho and Dr Kim their spiritual parents.
Ho was enjoying the company of Dr Cho and Dr Kim in a garden one day when Dayan suddenly got up and started dancing. He was shaking his body excitedly in front of the Chos and Ho cringed with embarrassment. When she dared open her eyes, she saw the Chos laughing at Dayan and hugging him.
“Sometimes we think we need to get so serious and religious with our Father, but He just wants to enjoy spending time with us,” said Ho.
She closed her sermon with a quote from author C S Lewis, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Ho said, “If you keep your heart closed, you’ll never get what God has intended for you to have.” She encouraged the congregation to open their hearts to God and let Him reveal Himself as Father to them.