I recently picked up a book I have read before but is worth reading again and again. Owen should be read slowly, thoughtfully, and repeatedly for there is so much good fruit to glean from his writings.
For example, how would you answer this question: “what is your first thought of God as your Father?”
Got it? Now compare your answer to Owen’s:
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 towards us. It is a complete misunderstanding of the Father that makes us want to run away 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 looses the company of his people because they are so ignorant of his love to them. His saints keep thinking only of his terrible majesty, 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 ever 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.
If this sounds foreign to you or contradictory to what you know of God’s holiness and justice, please pick up Owen and read more. Chapters 2 and 3 lay the foundation for why this wonderful news is not only true but transformative.
How frequently and how urgently we need the promise of the gospel to shape the way we think of our Heavenly Father!