By Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith, Crosswalk.com
When someone is your father, you take on their characteristics. We should take on the characteristics of God if He is indeed our Father.
How Often Does the Bible Refer to God as Father?
Several Bible verses overtly refer to God as our Father. Matthew 23:9 tells us to call no man father on earth, for only one is our Father, which is in heaven. First John 3:1 speaks of the love that the Father has given us. We are called God’s sons and reminded that the world does not know God. Ephesians 4:6 says, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Galatians 3:26 says that we are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. John 1:12 says, “As many received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even them that believe in His name.” Galatians 4:6 says, “Because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father.”
Jesus instructed us on how to pray in Matthew 6. In verse Matthew 6:8, he tells us that our Father knows what we need. He goes on to show us how we should pray, starting with “Our Father which art in Heaven.” In previous Scriptures, Jesus referred to our Father, who knows what we need.
God is our creator of heaven and earth. It is only fitting, and it is in right standing, that we refer to Him as our Father if we belong to Him. There is a Biblical reference to those who do not belong to God as having the devil as their Father. John 8:44 declares, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” The verse goes on to say that “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Why Is it Important That God Is a Loving Father?
Parents love their children, and they are responsible for their growth. Even in adulthood, you still have a relationship with your parents. God is love, and He will be a loving Father. He desires that we have a relationship with Him. It is to our advantage to have a relationship with God.
As Christians, we need to know the benefits that we have. Getting grace and mercy from God is an added benefit. God will also give grace to sinners because He said He is married to the backslider (Jeremiah 3:14). Since we have a relationship with Him as His children, we can go to Him in a time of need to obtain grace and mercy (Hebrews 4:16).
Why Is it Important That God Is a Forgiving Father?
We are human, and we often miss the mark. We thank God for the blood that was shed at Calvary. We can go to God and plead the blood of Jesus. The blood covers our sins and helps us to obtain forgiveness from God. God is long-suffering and forgiving towards us. We should be the same towards others. We want God’s mercy, and we want God’s forgiveness. Asking God for forgiveness should be a part of our daily walk. Forgiveness is a part of God’s character. Daniel 9:9 and Mark 2:7 speak of God’s power to forgive.
The Bible declares that God’s commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3). A mature Christian walks in forgiveness and love and has a godly character. Your nature should be loving because that is God’s nature. If we are not loving (or at least civil) towards people, we misrepresent what Christianity is.
How Does Knowing That God Is a Father Help Us Overcome Father Issues?
There are many different situations and many different upbringings that we have. My grandmother raised me, though I had interactions with my mom and dad while growing up. After my grandmother died and I went to college, my relationship with my parents increased. While growing up with my grandmother, and after I came to know Christ as Savior, I would often go to God as Father and talk to Him.
We love our parents, and God does want us to be in a relationship with them. However, you need a relationship with God the Father. When things are not what they appear or how they should be with your birth parents, or if your birth parents are no longer here, know that you have a heavenly Father who is close to you. He is willing to hear you and ready to be close to you.
We should approach our heavenly Father as a child. To Him, that is what we are. We are not on His level. He is our creator and our Father. Do not be deceived by the various religions and material wealth as if you are self-made. It is God who gives us the ability to obtain things (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Prayers Thanking God That He Is a Good Father
Here are some Scriptures that will help you to get started in prayer in thanking God. Psalm 3 thanks God for protecting us against our enemies. Psalm 8 thanks God when things are going well. Psalms ninety-five asks us to sing unto the Lord and make a joyful noise. Psalms 100 declares that we should make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Psalm 98 asks us to “sing unto the Lord a new song for He has done marvelous things.”
Heavenly Father, we come today praising Your name. We magnify and lift You because You are worthy to be praised. We give You glory and honor because You are good all the time, and all the time, You are good. We thank you for your protection, mercy, and grace toward us and our family.
Help us to keep a heart of thanksgiving. Help us follow Your example of forgiveness so we may also obtain forgiveness. Give us Your characteristics, and we pray that we will help humanity and not hinder it. Take away anything in us that is not like You. Show us how to relate to others so they will see Christ in us. We hope our light will shine, and others might want to get to know You and Your ways.
We desire to have Your characteristics if we are to be called Christians. Let our flesh die daily to sin, and help us live a holy life pleasing to You. Let your Holy Spirit fall fresh on us. We pray that our name is found in the Lamb’s book of life so that we can have an eternal resting place in heaven. Let nothing separate us from Your love. We pray that we will mature as Christians and witness to others as they come into the fold. These things we ask in Jesus’ name Amen.
Photo Credit:©Getty Images/Anastasiia Shavshyna
This article is part of our Names of God Series featuring the most used names and titles of God found in the Bible. We have compiled these articles to help you study all that God says He is and to help you understand His nature and character. Our hope is that you would focus on these truths and find hope as you rest in the promise of God’s presence, no matter the circumstances.
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God's character and God's name remain the same through all generations. He is fully trustworthy, always powerful, forever loving, and constantly present with us. Studying what God’s Word says about all that He is can help us to understand his very nature and character even more.
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