When Jesus taught people how to pray He began by addressing God as “Our Father” (see Matthew 6:9). I would have like to have seen people’s faces when Jesus said the word ‘father’.
The concept of talking to God as a father was revolutionary for those times. People were used to approaching God through a high priest with little personal relationship – let alone the intimacy of a father.
Today as a follower of Jesus it is common to come before God as a Father, but we may have our own definition of what a father is. This can be based on the experiences we have had with our earthly dads. So the idea of God as a father can be good or bad news depending on what kind of father you grew up with.
There are all kinds of fathers but God wants to show us what He is like.
One of the best examples in the bible of God expressing his Father heart is in the baptism of Jesus. In Matthew 3:17 we hear the voice of God unexpectedly proclaim that “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” What an incredible affirmation to hear from your Father!
This statement was spoken publicly before Jesus began His ministry or performed any miracles to achieve such an incredible comment.
It shows that God’s love is not dependent on what we do but who we are.
It is the father who gives us our identity. We are His children. God is a God of relationship and this is where His love is experienced. Some of us have never heard public affirmation from our earthly father and perhaps have only heard criticism.
Because our relationship with our earthy fathers can shape the way we approach God, we may not even know how to relate to God as a father without trying to earn His love.
So we have to learn the truth. The truth teaches us we are loved.
God loved us first and so we cannot do anything to earn his love (see Romans 5:8).
The role of a father is significant in knowing we are loved.
The greek word for “love” that God chooses in Jesus’ baptism is ‘Phileo’ meaning “brotherly affection.” Imagine that picture for a moment – God expressing His deep affection towards Jesus in front of all his friends.
It is a great example of how God’s love works and reminds us that we do not need to strive to achieve God’s love.
God loves you. His love is kind and undeserving. All you need to do is accept it.
The love God gives calls our heart to a new way of living. We begin to desire to love like He does because we lack nothing.
This Fathers day why not take a moment to connect personally with the Father heart of God. Ask him to show you His way of love.