I grew up with a mental image of God as a somewhat stern, authoritarian father, looking down from heaven just waiting for me to mess up so He could zap me.
Some people think of God as a kindly and indulgent father, one who never says no, never scolds, slips them money, and always bails them out of trouble.
Some people view God’s fatherhood as that of a dear old man, well-meaning but hopelessly out of touch.
Some feel God is like a father who is capricious and impossible to please.
Others feel that God is a distant Father, either absent or uninvolved and uncaring.
But our Father God is not like any of those.
Our earthly fathers help inform our view of God for better or worse. A faulty father might imprint on our minds a skewed perception of God. A good father will give a positive but still shadowy picture of our heavenly Father.
But it’s good to learn of our Father for who He is.
He loved us enough, even when we were His enemies and totally uncaring about Him, to rescue us from our rebellion and darkness.
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:12-14).
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1a).
He makes us heirs with Christ:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:15-17).
He keeps us secure.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30).
He wants us to come to Him with our needs.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven . . . ” (Matthew 6:8-9).
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6).
He provides for us.
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you (Luke 12:29-31).
He has compassion on us:
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13.
He cares enough for us to discipline us when we need it.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights (Proverbs 3: 11-12).
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:7-11).
He reassures us:
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
He shapes us, surrounding us with care and concern and interest like a potter bending over his creation:
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:6).
He gives good gifts and doesn’t change moods or character:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17).
He comforts us:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
He leads and guides us:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).
He blesses us:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).
He’s preparing a place for us to live with Him eternally.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2).
There was a popular song years ago that said God is watching us from a distance. But no. He is close and personal, caring and concerned.
Is He your father? “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
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