This is dedicated to my Father, Richard Day…
There is no doubt there is no love like a Mother’s love. A mother’s love often defies understanding because the child spends the first nine months of its life in the Mother’s womb. There’s no denying the fervency and intensity of this love – however, there is power in the love of a Father.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1).
Before I get too far down the path, I want to talk about the importance of being a son of God. God is the King of all. Sons have an inheritance. Sons are able to assume the authority of their Father. Being a son imparts a sense of security.
In other words, it’s good to be a child of the Most High God!
Society and its lapdog media likes to celebrate the deadbeat dad and the absentee father. Because of these images – and the opinions formed by them – people have developed a distorted image of God. This is the result of an increasingly secular society that desires to remake God in its image and likeness.
God, from the very beginning of time, had us inside Himself. When He created us in His image and in His likeness, He took His very essence to make us to look like Him and act like Him. A good Father has dreams and plans, beliefs and knowledge that is in him that he desires to reproduce.
God is love and He intended for us to understand what a good earthly Father is, that we would have an understanding of our Heavenly Father. If you study the Gospels carefully, you find that almost everything Jesus taught was a revelation of the Father – His Love and His Grace. Here is what you could call the marquee Scripture of God’s love for us:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
God loved the world when it was at its sinful worst. So much so that He sent His very best to reclaim a part of Him – His children – ripped away from Him by sin.
God love us so much that He not only gave us His Son, but He gave us His very Spirit – His very essence – to dwell in us.
Jesus gave a revelation of God that had never been given before.
Jesus demonstrated the Love of the Father in everything He did. He went around doing things that benefited people – the personification of Psalm 103:
Bless the Lord, O my soul:
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s
Jesus revealed the BENEFITS of being a son of God! And, because he brought no calamities, He showed us that these things did not come from the Father.
Think about it, what good father would give their child so much as a toothache because He was dissatisfied with them?
Let me help you…NONE!
One of the greatest revelations of the Father’s Love was the story of the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32.
I want to juxtapose this story with the story of my own life and my relationship with my earthly Dad.
First of all, my Dad wasn’t always around when I was a kid. It would have been easy to dismiss him as a deadbeat. I found out, as an adult, that he was driven away – kind of how people tend to push God out out of their lives.
The father of the prodigal son, likewise, was pushed out of his son’s life. My Dad, like the prodigal’s father and our Heavenly Father, did not try to force himself into my life. The father of the prodigal, like my Dad and my Heavenly Father knew where to find me but let me learn on my own.
Like the prodigal son, I went my way with no direction and spent my life and money recklessly. I knew how to reach both my heavenly Father and my earthly Father but did not reach out to either until I found myself in life’s pigpen.
In 1985, I realized I needed my relationship restored with my earthly Dad. In 2002, I realized I needed the relationship with my Heavenly Father restored. In both cases, I came to them on their terms, not mine. I repented for offending them and not living the hopes and dreams they had for me.
Like the father of the Prodigal and our Heavenly Father, my Dad was waiting for me. He never stopped loving me. He never stopped praying for me. He longed to have a relationship with me – as did my Heavenly Father – as I longed to have a relationship with him. And when my Dad and I had reconciled, we both celebrated in our own way.
When my Dad and I reconciled, he began to share the wisdom of his life with me. Hearing his side of things made me respect him. Knowing that he loved me made me trust him and love him even more. To this day, beside my Wife, he is my best friend and one of my closest advisors. When I reconciled with my Heavenly Father, I learned His plan for my life. I learned how much He loved me – and I learned to love and trust Him.
And not everyone appreciated our reconciliation – just like many friends and family did not (and do not) appreciate my reconciliation with my Dad, they didn’t (and don’t) appreciate my renewed relationship with my Heavenly Father. Not everyone is going to celebrate your relationship with God. But I have two words that should help you:
Your unsaved friends and family can’t save you. They can’t heal you. They can’t raise you from the dead. Put your trust in the God who enables and empowers these things!
This is all good news for me. But what about those who either do not or have no hope of a relationship with their earthly fathers? Allow me to take you to Scripture for that:
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)
In other words, if you love God and trust Him, He will fill in the blanks and the empty spaces where your father belongs. He sent Jesus to save and reconcile you unto Him. He sent His Holy Spirit to comfort and instruct you. He sent His Word as a lamp for the path of your life. He will not give you stones for bread or scorpions for eggs.
If He gave us Jesus, how much more will He give us.
Love you, Abba! Love you, Daddy!