Embrace God as your father
Now all glory to God our father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:20 NLT
See how very much our father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 1 John 3:1 NLT
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 NLT
Father is the title God holds
Abba is the relationship God wants
When you know God as your father it will change how you behave as his Child.
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the father but are from this world. 1 John 2:15 NLT
Recognize your need for a father
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:36 NLT
Accept the unique role a father has and how that is different from a mother
Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:21 NLT
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NLT
Honor the fathers in your life
- “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 NLT
- If you can’t honor the person, then honor the position.
- 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. Ephesians 1:5 NLT
- “Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” Acts 22:1 NLT
- I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison. Philemon 10
- For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 1 Corinthians 4:15 NLT
Pray about becoming a spiritual father
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 NLT
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT
Personal Reflection Guide
Take yourself somewhere you can get comfortable and imagine if you will, God hunkering down next to you, settling in for a good conversation. When you think of God as father, what words come to mind? When you think about him as Abba or Daddy, what images do you envision? Share with God the words that come to mind and ask him to open your heart to any healing work he may want to do in your heart. Are there views you have of him that are maybe not true or that have been skewed by imperfect earthly fathers? As you ease your way into honest and real reflections with God, remember this encouragement from James 1:17: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” Now, ask him what he might also want to teach you about your relationships with others as it relates to fathers. Is there a father you need to forgive? Do you need to practice honoring better? Are there character traits of fatherhood you want to better develop in yourself? Is there someone God is calling you to be a father to? Close your time by thanking God that he offers us the perfect picture of fatherhood and that in Jesus, we see a perfect example of how to relate to him as our “Abba Father.”
- What “fatherly characteristics” have been revealed about God in your personal Bible reading time this week? Has anything in particular stood out to you?
- Read Galatians 4:6. In what ways, if any, does it affect your view or relationship with God to know that he doesn't just want to hold the title of “Father” in your life but to relate to you as “Abba” or “Papa”?
- Read Matthew 26:36. When in your life have you really needed a father and, regardless of the result, in what ways can you invite God and others into that wound to heal it?
- Read Exodus 20:12. What is one practical action you can take this week to honor your biological (or adoptive) father regardless of whether they deserve it or not?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:11. What is one childish thing that you need to put away to continue to grow into who God is calling you to be and who can help you be accountable to that change?
- Read James 1:27. What can you practically do to help care for the widows and orphans in our Church and help them connect to a spiritual Father?