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Monday, June 16, 2014

Reflections on Father's Day

With yesterday being Father's Day, I spent some time reflecting on fathers and God as my Heavenly Father. We all have various experiences with our earthly fathers. On one end of the spectrum some of us had fathers growing up who were loving, supportive, devoted and trustworthy. On the other end, many of us had fathers who were absent or distant emotionally or harsh and demanding. I'm not saying that any father is perfect but many people had dads that were pretty close. And others had fathers that were far from the ideal. And most of us, in some way at some point in our walk with God, project our relationship with our earthly fathers on our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

But Scripture reveals to us that God is the only truly perfect Father. Since I've been studying Psalms, let's start there.

"As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him." Psalm 103:13

Psalm 68:5 calls God a "father to the fatherless".

"For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in." Psalm 27:10

The New Testament is also chock full of verses on God as our Perfect Heavenly Father.

"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

Luke 11 begins with Jesus' teaching on prayer and includes the Lord's Prayer. From there he explains how God our Father delights in answering the prayers of His children. God loves to listen to His children talk to Him and He loves to give good gifts to those who are His own.

"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

Paul also writes often in his letters on the subject of sonship (or daughtership) and how when we are brought into the fold of God as one of his children, we get to experience God as our daddy, our perfect father. One of my favorite passages of Scripture and one I cling to often is Galatians 4:6-7.

"And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."

When I became a child of God through Jesus, I gained a relationship with God my father that could never be had with even the best earthly father. I now get to call the Almighty God, Abba or Daddy. What a precious privilege!