Good, Good Father
This past Thursday at Fusion Brandon from Riverside Calvary Chapel shared with us about God being our heavenly father. Although we may have different experiences of our earthly fathers that hinder our view of God as a heavenly father we know him to be a good, perfect father. This shows itself in three ways.
First, God loved us enough to adopt us. As it says in Galatians 4:4-7:
Adoption requires a choice and God chooses everyone of us to be his child but it also requires a choice on our part. God made his choice by giving us his only begotten son to die on the cross so that we may be viewed as his children. On our part we must choose to give our lives to Christ in order to be adopted by him. He chooses to adopt us because he is love and he wants to show us that love.But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Second, God loves us as a Father that he disciplines us because he doesn't want us to be spoiled brats:
My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. (Hebrews 12:5-6)We bear his name and so he wants to make sure we represent him well. He also wants to make sure he corrects us so that we do not hurt ourselves. What does God's discipline look like?
A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail. Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn't keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn't pulverize it. The Lord of Heaven's Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom.God disciplines us based on what it takes to correct us. Some of us just need a tap on the shoulder, just like the cumin just needs to be tapped to be harvested. Some of us (me included) need to be crushed to be corrected like the wheat under the wheel of a cart. God disciplines us in the way that gets us to respond, to stop hurting ourselves, and to realize his love.
Thirdly, God's love is unconditional. He loves us enough to see us through the end and there is nothing we can do that will make him stop loving us. This is seen in the parable of the prodigal son. Even if we reject God and go into our own sin he still loves us that when we come back he embraces us and celebrates our return.