Hey, Dad! I’m loved by You!

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Children who have a loving, involved Dad are miles ahead on the road of success!  I rejoice when I see a child who is secure in her parents’ love, who experiences affection, who knows the boundaries of life are set, who rests that her needs – emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical – are the concern of another. Being fatherless can make a child insecure and that insecurity can become a seed bed from which self-destructive behaviors grow. A friend of mine whose ministry brings him into constant interaction with young men who are in trouble finds one common issue among the majority – fatherlessness.

I have good news for us all! We are ‘fathered.’ “O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)  Christians who know that God is their good Father are ready to grow in grace, to trust Him, to find rest within His embrace. Many who worship the Lord call Him “Father” but they do not love Him as such. They fail to understand what it means to trust Him to care for them with a father’s love. Instead He is their Boss, or Judge, or Source. He is all of those things in a sense, but the primary way the Scripture reveals God to us is as our Father. The New Testament takes the concept a step beyond telling us that God is our ‘Abba.’ (A Biblical word for Daddy) Yes, we are not in error if we pray to our Heavenly “Dad” approaching Him as a beloved child would seek out her Daddy. “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16, NLT)

Jesus explains this basic relationship with God as He teaches us to pray to “Our Father in heaven.”  He is a good Father! “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11, NLT)

Now here is the tough part of this truth.  The Word reminds us that like an earthly father who wants the best for his children, it is not all ‘bless you, wonderful child.’  When we need it, our Father disciplines us!  I cring as some memories of ‘discipline’ of my children because I realize that I sometimes acted out of fatigue or frustration, not to justly correct them.  But, our Abba never is just in a bad mood.  He will discipline us, sternly when needed, but always for our best.  The Word encourages us to “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” (Hebrews 12:7-9, NIV)

Are you living like an orphan, a survivor, self-protective, because you do not know the strong arms of a father? Are you always on guard, ready to protect yourself, unable to trust the care of One more powerful? Were you poorly or sinfully fathered so that it is hard for you to relate to God as “Abba?”

Go to the Scripture and read of the Father-heart of God. Ask the Spirit to reveal the depth of your Father’s love to you.  That is one of the most healing truths in all of the Word.  Know this – God is not the dreaded Authority Figure who is watching for your failure so He can punish you.  He is the Waiting Father, whose grace is amazing, whose mercy is deep and wide, and who acts always for your ultimate good. When that is settled into your heart and mind, you will pray with faith, live with peace, and find richer relationships in this world that rest in the security of your intimate love of the Father.

Our word from the Word is the prayer that Jesus taught us-
“Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need, and
forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)

__________________ 

Good, Good Father  (listen, learn, and worship at this link)

 I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

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