He’s your Dad
For a few days last week I was with my children and grandchildren. Of all the ways I am described by others; friend, brother, Pastor, counselor; none compares to “Dad.” My adult kids love to tease me and can do it so well knowing all the right stories to tell. When one of the little ones approached and said, “Hi, Papa” I literally wept with joy!
Jesus taught us to address God primarily as “Our Father.” We come to Him with open heart and an expectation of acceptance because that’s Who He is. “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” (Romans 8:15-16, The Message)
There are many ways to know and understand our God. He is Majestic Lord, Creator of the Universe, the Divine Warrior, the One who lives in Heavenly Splendor, the Great I Am. And He is our Father, our Abba!
“But, Pastor, if I relate to Him like that, won’t I lose respect and treat His demands with contempt?” No you will not. If your love for Abba is deep and authentic, your obedience will be complete; not fear-based but love inspired. My adult children are self-sufficient, having nothing to fear in me. The respect they give to me has its foundation in love. Love is a much stronger motive than fear; more sustainable, too!
Is God just an idea to you? Is He ‘someone out there, somewhere?’ Pray to know Him.
Receive the Father love He has for you. John says that this ‘love casts out fear.’ If we only fear God we have not yet known the fullness of His salvation offered to us through Christ.
Receive the Father provisions prepared for you. He will meet your needs from His riches!
Receive the identity. A father provides an identity. Long before his children can consciously process thoughts about who they are and how they fit into the world, a good Daddy shows them by his life. His values become theirs. His way of ‘doing life’ is unconsciously adopted. He anchors them in the world. My primary identity in this world was given to me by my Dad and, later by my Heavenly Abba.
Here’s a word from the Word. May this truth go deep and become a rock of stability for us in a world filled with instability. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3, NIV)
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed (revered as holy) be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.” Amen (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV)