Who is God the Father? Part Two
Who is God the Father? Part Two
While growing up, how was your relationship with your father? Was he a part of your life? Did he invest in you? If so, how did he express his love to you? What did he teach you? If not, was there another man that showed love to you and/or fit that fatherly figure?
A father holds a special place in a child’s life. His presence and role shape a child into the adult he/she becomes. A good father’s love helps keep a daughter from looking for, “love in the wrong places.” A good father’s love teaches a boy how to become a mature man. A mother can invest every ounce of her time and energy into her children, and do an excellent job, but there’s still a place in each child’s life that only a fatherly figure can fill.
There are many men, even today, who are excellent models to follow. But there is but one example of a father that any man should look to for perfect guidance – this is God the Father. Have you ever considered looking in the Bible to see the example of the Father to His children?
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God the Father is sacrificial. He chose to give up His Son in order to save the world. He gave part of Himself to save the lost. Though He does not call you to give up your children, He does call you to sacrifice your own desires in order to follow His. He doesn’t call you to anything He hasn’t done Himself. This isn’t in a full-authority dictator type way. This is in pure love, intending the best for everyone, for our greater good. Prayerfully consider if there’s anything God is calling you to sacrifice in order to raise your child(ren) in the way of the Lord.
God the Father is extremely generous.
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his gracethat he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.
In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory.
In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14
This passage increases my love and respect for the Lord! Picture this:
You choose to believe in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and the reality of His life, death, and resurrection on your behalf. Then God the Father throws a huge party. Upon your acceptance, He gives you, “every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.” He hands you, your adoption certificate, having transferred your birth order to His family, with Jesus’ blood as the signature. You’re filthy, stained by years of deserted wandering, nakedness, and famine. You’ve been deprived your whole life, unaware of what you were missing. But because God sent His Son to die for you, and having now been adopted into His family, Christ’s forgiveness and redemption have washed you of your filth and robed you in the finest garments all because of His amazing grace.
Kneeling before His throne of grace, He teaches you, “all wisdom and understanding.” Then, He begins to show you around His home, teaching you the, “mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure…” Again, all because of what He did through Jesus, His Son.
But He doesn’t stop there. Oh no, this gracious Father brings you back to the throne room and mentions that your adoption gives you rights to take part in Christ’s inheritance. He couldn’t just stop at your adoption into His family. He wanted you to know just how precious you are to Him, so He takes part of what He had inherited to His Son and gives it to you too, to share with Him.
But He doesn’t stop there either. He knows you’re overwhelmed by all of this, so He assures you it’s all true by giving you a down payment to guarantee His word – The gift of the Holy Spirit; another part of Himself to seal the deal until you enter His home forever, when the full measure of your inheritance will be received.
What a gracious Father! You don’t deserve any of this, and yet, He loves you SO MUCH, that He’s given it all to you; to you who have chosen to receive the gift of salvation given by His gracious, generous Son, Jesus.
God loves you so much that He also disciplines you as His child. He does this to help you mature, making you more like His Son.
“My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or lose heart when you are reproved by him,
for the Lord disciplines the one he loves
and punishes every son he receives.
Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11
Picture this like a coach with an athlete. The athlete listens to her coach because she knows he is there to help her succeed. If she were left to her own knowledge to figure out how to advance her skills, she wouldn’t get very far. But, with the coach’s help, she has the potential to become a professional. How does the coach get her to that position? He challenges her to do things harder than she thinks she’s able. He pushes her body until the point her muscles ache and quiver. He assigns her to competitions against other athletes to help measure her growth. This fosters humility and confidence within her. He cheers her on in her successes and helps her regroup when she fails. He gives her consequences when she gets lazy and slacks off in her practices, knowing she can’t afford to get distracted.
More often than not, an athlete will not respect her coach if he doesn’t model what he’s requiring of her. He has to set the example first, then she will be more likely to follow.
This example is much like a good father with his child. He takes care in his children’s growth, challenging them to do things that are uncomfortable or maybe even a bit beyond their current abilities in order to help them advance to the next level of maturity. He celebrates their achievements and disciplines them when they do wrong to help correct their behaviour to choose what’s right. A child won’t respect her father if he isn’t living the way he’s directing her. There needs to be consistency on both sides.
God the Father lives the righteous life He directs His children to live. He’s consistent, staying true to His word and character. He is always loving and generous. He is also always just. He does what He says He will do. There are consequences for our disobedience, which He always executes with grace and love, seeking to help you turn from sin and choose obedience.
There is much to explore about God the Father. Hopefully this ignites curiosity to explore this further for you. You’re growing in understanding of The Father and the Son. Next, we’ll look at the Holy Spirit, the down payment of your inheritance given from the Father for your maturity in becoming like the Son.