I spoke on Sunday about our need to keep adjusting the lense through which we see God our Father (click here to listen):
Read Ephesians 1v1-12 Paul reminds them that God the Father has lavished his unmerited favor upon them with all wisdom and understanding; they are His adopted children! As followers of Jesus, we have the same good, loving and benevolent Heavenly Father.
However, our emotional history often affects us more when relating to God the Father than when relating to God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. This because all of us have had has less than perfect earthly fathers.
Less than perfect Fathers - Most of us would also be able to identify a gap between 'our dad' and a ‘perfect dad’. Mark Stibbe talks about 7 negative father types:
Absent Father - When our natural father is physically absent.
Apathetic Father – He's emotionally distant, a singular drive for his own interest.
Addicted Father - His life controlled by substances or a desire.
Achievement Driven Father - Child's success pushed too hard.
Authoritarian Father - Over strict, harsh & unfair.
Abdicating Father - Fails to keep promises or defer responsibility to others.
Abusive Father - He was the one who harmed us.
All of us have lenses through which we view God as our Father, and most of us need to adjust these lenses (because of our imperfect earthly fathers).
A better plumb-line. What the bible says about ‘God the Father’ is a much better plumb-line to know 'God as Father':
Is God the Father’s love based on what you do? No! Read Rom 5v8.
Is God the Father quick to make decisions against you? No! Read Ps103v13.
Is God the Father unreliable? No! Read Proverbs 3v5.
Is God the Father cold & aloof? No! Read Zep 3v17.
Is God the Father inclined to find fault? No! Read Eph 3v12.
Is God the Father distant? No! Read Psalm 121v8.
Is God the Father dishonest? No! Read Titus 1v2.
Is God the Father abusive? No! Read Prov 2v8.
Is God the Father unforgiving? No! Read Psalm 103v12.
Is God the Father stingy, or reluctant to give? No! Read James 1v5.
The wayward son & the perfect father. Jesus told a parable about a wayward younger son and a remarkably perfect father (Luke 15v20-24).This loving 'prodigal Father' restores the boy to his place in the family and throws a party for him. Jesus was revealing the heart of His recklessly extravagant, spendthrift Father in Heaven. God the Father has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ and He wants us to hear His voice of love & grace saying: Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found'.