ODJ: new kind of father
June 4, 2013
READ: Luke 11:1-13
If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (v.13).
Many people struggle in their daily life due to a poor relationship with their earthly fathers.I’ve counselled some who tend to humanise and view God through the lens of their negative experience. Many believers in Jesus also get tripped up in their relationship with their heavenly Father. If their earthly dads have failed them, it’s hard for them to believe that God won’t do the same.
Still, Jesus pointed to a heavenly “Father”. Time and time again He addressed His “Father” and taught His followers to do the same when they prayed (Luke 11:2). And after His resurrection from the dead, Jesus referred to God as both “My Father and your Father” (John 20:17).
Jesus spoke of God as “Father”, though God was no ordinary dad. He was revealing to us a father unlike the world had ever seen. Jesus was opening our eyes to the kind of amazing father He portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
The parable, which is more about the dad than the son, presents an image that goes far beyond anything one would expect of a father. A Jewish father in that day would not have accepted the prodigal son back with open arms. Instead, he would have disowned his son for disgracing the family and would likely have had him stoned for his rebellion (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
But Jesus was not describing a father based on the men of His day. He was declaring that there’s a Father who will never let us down—One who is full of grace, mercy and love. Paul wrote, “God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life” (Ephesians 2:4-5).—Jeff Olson
› Jonah 3:1-4:11
Read Romans 8:15 and consider that “Abba” is an Aramaic word for “Daddy”—a word a child would use for his father.
What qualities come to mind when you think of your heavenly Father? Why is it vital that you have a true view of Him?
Today’s reading is a great encouragement for me. Oftentimes, intentionally or not, Christianity seems a code of moral duties and obligations. But this is an encouragement to view our belief in God in personal, intimate terms. I think it makes a difference in my life knowing that God is my Father and He cares for me, despite me being undeserving.
I’m going through some struggles within my college Christian Fellowship and this is a reminder for me to ‘ask, seek and knock’ for God’s wisdom as I deal with those issues. I do hope today’s reading has been an encouragement to others as well! =]