Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GOD as FATHER Word-Study Devotional

Perhaps today, you need to refresh your vision of God as Father. May our Father strengthen you today. -BJ


When God wanted to separate His people from their slavery, He identified Himself as their Father. He called them, “My son, My firstborn.” When He separated them, He reminded them of how He “bore [them] on eagles’ wings and brought [them] to Myself.” (Ex. 4:22; 19:4) The picture painted is one of strength, support, protection, and love. Later, as His “freed” children began to show signs of disobedience, Moses taught His children a song about God: “Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?” (Deut. 32:6, in part; full song: Deut. 32:1-43)

God the Father “made” you; that means He is your Creator. How created? “In His image” is the resounding reply. The incredible display of His image is found in the complex DNA of man’s genetic construction. The Father created “in His image” in order to establish His love into Man, thus making him His relational creation. We have a Creator who wants to relate to us as “Father.”

The word, Father, is abab. It is Strong’s first documented word in his Hebrew lexicon. It is said to be the first word spoken by a typical child. (That must prove that a baby’s first word is Hebrew for Da-da; J) It is simple to pronounce, yet hard to comprehend. God, the Creator is called, abab, “Abba, Father,” a term designed to show love, strength, support, and protection. (cf. Mk. 14:36; Rms. 8:15; Gal. 4:6)

In the Psalms, David begins to express his love to God as Father (Ps. 68:5; 89:26; 103:13). In the New Testament, Jesus declares God as His Father and our Father. The Greek word is pater (#3962; pronounced, paht-ayr), from which we get: parent, paternal, patriarch. Each of these English words expands the foundational meaning behind God as our Father. His fatherhood expresses our lineage, our kindred, our family, our spiritual “DNA.” God is our Father; that is, He is Father “to as many as received [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on His name” (John 1:12).

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16). “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes” (Mt. 11:25). “…for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16:27). “…one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:6). There are many more “Father” verses that describe His fullness in each follower.

God as Father loves you in your best interest. He knows your physical and mental character. He has created you and fashioned you to fit that special, unique place in the body of His beautiful Bride, selected for His Son. You simply need to learn to yield to Him and His direction for you. You may see your spiritual siblings running all around His feet, doing things to get His attention; but know that He sees you as well and he loves you equally and wants you to see Him, NOT through others, but through His Son, Jesus Christ, who has gained you equal access to the Father. (Heb. 4:16)

Try to envision yourself as a young child before God as Father. See yourself as one who is uniquely set in His presence as a child He deeply loves and cares for. Yes, whom the Father loves, He disciplines, that you might “readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live” (Heb. 12:9b). He is not a bad role model, as some human fathers tend to be. But it is through His loving fashioning and disciplines that He teaches you to respect Him and to be under His rule, His authority.

Can this be said of you? Do you compete with others for the Father’s attention or do you have confidence in Him because you know He sees you? The Bible calls this confidence of position a “rest” (Heb. 3:6 - 4:16). Are you in rest before the Father? Is your confidence in Him? Perhaps there is pain involved in your relationship right now; can you see this as Him fashioning you, as His loving discipline? Remember, God as Father loves His children. Be subject unto Him and bless this wonderful name: “Abba, Father.”

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