Many of us have trouble relating to God as Father. Maybe we didn’t have a father in our lives… or we wished he wasn’t in our lives because he was anything but “God-like”. In any event, our fathers were human with faults, so our picture of what a father is “supposed” to be like, may be somewhat tarnished.
Think about what “father” means to you. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Was your dad affectionate, or distant?
- Was he often / always angry?
- Was your dad happy to see you?
- Was he glad to be your dad?
- Was he proud of you?
- Did you feel you somehow had to “do the right thing” for him to be pleased with you?
- Did he have time for you?
- Did you feel like you belonged?
- Did your Dad help you discover who you are? Do you know who you are?
- Could you talk to him? Could you talk about your dreams, fears, hurts, relationships, etc.?
- What did you inherit from your father? Good stuff? Bad stuff? Most likely, both!
These are a few scriptures that tell us about God the Father and how He loves us.
Psalm 103: 1-13 (actually the whole Psalm is wonderful!)
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
Ephesians 1:3-8, 13-14 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
God chose us before the foundation of the world! He knew we would need saving, and decided in advance to pay the price. He wanted us to be his children and we give him great pleasure. We get our identity from our fathers. We are who our Heavenly Father says we are… and we get an inheritance!
Psalm 34: 15-17
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
- What does “father” mean to you?
- What was your father like? Was he a daddy? Disciplinarian?
- Was he distant… emotionally …or gone a lot? Could you crawl up into his lap? Could you really talk to him?
- How do you feel about God being your father? Is that a safe thought… a happy thought… or you don’t really relate to God as father at all?
- What did you call your father? Can you imagine calling God “daddy”… or “papa”?
Jesus, you had such a close relationship with your Father when you were here on earth. I want to be closer to Father God, too. I thank you for my earthly father, even though he wasn’t perfect. I choose to forgive my earthly father for any ways he failed me when I was growing up. There were times when he said or did things that hurt me very much. There were times I needed him and he wasn’t there. I place all those times… all those hurts… and my dad … into your loving hands. .. and if I remember any more, I’ll give them to you too. Please bless my dad. Also, please forgive me for the times I wasn’t a perfect child.
Father God, thank you that because of what Jesus did for me, I am adopted into your family… I am your child, and you aren’t angry with me. Thank you for always hearing me…for your love and compassion. Thank you that you know who you have created me to be. Because of You, I belong! Help me to see myself through your eyes. Thank you that you never get frustrated with me, that you know me completely, love me anyway, and never give up on me. Thank you that you satisfy my desires with good things… what you know is good for me, and when. Thank you for wanting to spend time with me. Help me to draw closer and closer to You. Amen.
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