Psalms 68:5 A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.
John 1:12,13 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
Romans 8:14-15 Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, <"Abba,> Father."
I John 3:1 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!
Truth for Life Daily Devotional
January 26, 2013
Our Father in Heaven
Your heavenly father...Matthew 6:26
“God's people are doubly His children. They are His offspring by creation, and they are His sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call Him, "Our Father in heaven."
“Father! Oh, what a precious word is that. Here is authority: ‘If I be a Father, where is My honor?’ If you are sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority that does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded that is most cheerfully rendered--which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience that God's children yield to Him must be loving obedience.
“Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster's toil, but run in the way of His commands because it is your Father's way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father's will, and His will should be the will of His child.
“Father! Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love that the King's crown is forgotten in the King's face, and His scepter becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver scepter of mercy--the scepter indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of Him who wields it.
“Father! Here is honor and love. How great is a Father's love to His children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father's heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, and he must bless them; they are his children, and he must show himself strong in their defense. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father?
“Abba, Father! He who can say this has uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word--Father! There is all I can ask, all my necessities can demand, all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, ‘Father.’"
This was a radical concept for the disciples – God was revered - feared – and worship was precisely circumscribed. There were rules and regulations to follow in approaching Him – and none of these things hinted at a “father.” Now – “in Christ” – and because of the atonement Jesus wrought on the cross – we have a NEW way of relating to God – as a child to their father. It must have been mind blowing for them – a whole new paradigm. And it was difficult for them to grasp – and accept – until His death and resurrection.
Too many still look at God – and relate to Him – through the eyes of the law. It’s easier to gauge how “good” you are if you can check off behavior and attributes on your “to do/not to do” list, isn’t it? Whole religious systems are built around the old way of thinking – and give lip service to the “Fatherhood” of God. God longs for us to really “get it” – to come running into His arms with abandon, even when we’ve blown it. He cherishes those moments when we’re able to lisp a childlike prayer from our heart – more than any long, beautiful oration that passes for prayer in many churches today. He wants us to enjoy the life He’s given us – in the world He has created for us! Can you imagine an earthly father building a playground for his children – only to tell them that they have to be “good enough” to enjoy it? (OK – I know there are bad dads out there – but most dads want to bless their kids!) Or – can you imagine a dad telling his son/daughter that he’ll love them IF – and ONLY IF – they keep his rules? (We all know that’s not good parenting, right?) So – why do we project that onto God – our Heavenly Father?
I hope you have a BLESSED Thanksgiving tomorrow – and that no matter what is going on in your life – and even if you feel that you have nothing for which to be grateful – thank GOD that His heart towards you is that of a loving Father! Sharon