Here is the devotional:
What do you think about when you think about God?
Theologian A. W. Tozer famously said that our answer to this question is the most important thing about us. So, what do you think about when you think about God?
Some of us think God is there, but not really involved in our lives. He made the earth and wound it up, then sat back to watch it run on its own.
Others think God is basically a nice guy who wants us all to be good and to have good lives, but is a little hard of hearing, out of touch and basically too weak to do anything substantial.
And other people think God is a ruthless dictator, a cosmic killjoy who exists only to tell us what we can’t do.
These, and many other pictures of God, are common, but wrong. You see, God is not your cosmic butler in the sky, your hard-of-hearing grandfather, or a far-removed nebulous force. He is our Father. Throughout Scripture, God relates to us primarily as Father. Jesus himself, in the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—refers to God as Father 189 times. Clearly, it’s vital we see and relate to God in this way.
But that raises a second question. What do you think about when you think about Father?
Our experiences, good or bad, with our earthly fathers largely determine how we answer this question. Because of this, “Father” may not seem any better title to you than “cosmic killjoy,” “hard-of-hearing grandfather,” or “nebulous force.” But, no matter our experiences with our earthly dads, we’ve all experienced the longing for a perfect father.
Think about this longing. What did you always wish your dad was like?
Here’s the amazing and most freeing news for you and me today: God is the perfect Father. He’s not just a bigger version of your earthly dad, he’s the perfect Father. He’s the answer to every longing for a father’s acceptance, approval, support and love that you’ve ever experienced.
This means that each of us – no matter how amazing, absent, abusive, or aloof our earthly fathers were or are – have the opportunity to live as loved daughters and sons of a perfect Father. Seeing God this way has the power to transform our relationship with Him, and with our earthly fathers.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18 KJV
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
The term father evokes different feelings for different people.
Many from my generation had fathers that were there physically but not there for us on the emotional level and did not really guide us into adulthood.
Sadly it has only gotten worse over the decades. Now we just sleep around with no marriage so no ties.
I hope this bible study kicks it up a gear over the next few days…just saying.
But while the Lord’s prayer is presented let us take a look at it real quick and compare it to how we would like our fathers to be shall we…
Hallowed…can be likened to respected and honored.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Exodus 20:12 KJV
A lot of us respected our father out of duty instead of the father actually being worthy of that respect.
How can we respect a father that is never there?
How can we respect a father that mentally, physically or sexually abuses us?
You really can’t.
Now don’t get me wrong there are some amazing dads out there that do deserve to be respected. And I applaud them!
But Jesus said Our Father. So as a Christian, God is your spiritual father. And he is certainly worthy of our respect. He’s the perfect Father.
Give us this day our daily bread…
Many fathers believe that putting bread on the table is their only function and forget about being there for their kids in other ways. Which is so sad😢
God on the other hand is always there to lend an open ear for any topic you have. He will even give answers to your questions if you listen.
God also feeds us daily. If you are not in your Bible daily getting your spiritual food he still is there making sure you have the physical food your body needs. He created everything.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive others…
It would have been so cool watching my dad lead in this example. But the flesh likes to hold on to grudges for some reason.
I remember several times at the dinner table apologizing for bumping the table and making my dad’s drink shake. (That was one of his pet peeves. And if you shook the table while he was writing….well your butt was sore) I never heard the words it’s ok son. I heard don’t let it happen again or worse.
But God, because of Jesus, forgives us instantly upon asking! And we don’t get punished per se since Jesus took our punishment but we will suffer the consequences of said sin in one form or another.
I guess some would see that as punishment but it really isn’t. Just as our earthly fathers punishes us for our wrong deed our Heavenly Father forgives and forgets but allows our consequences to happen to shape us into better followers of him. If that makes sense. (The words just aren’t coming for how I see it in my mind right now)
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…
Wow! That would have been awesome too. As a young child/teen having my dad pull me to the side and talk to me about things, that would be coming and the temptations that would arise, might have curbed me from doing so many stupid things.
But God does this on the daily. This happens a lot to me as the scripture goes…
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV
If by chance I have a lustful thought and ponder for longer than I should my phone will go off with a text or I’ll get a random phone call from someone. There’s my way out.
A lot of people may not see that as anything other than a minute distraction and go right back to what they are doing. I see it as a distraction as well but it is a God directed distraction to get our mind out of the sinful thought. See how much our Heavenly Father loves us😊
*Let me say this….my childhood was not bad. My dad never beat me within an inch of my life. We did do things together such as hunting, fishing and playing golf. But the father and son talks just didn’t exist. The emotional bond just never formed.
But I have that bond with God. I can go to him with any problem I have and at any time. He always has time for me. Sometimes I feel his arms around me as I sit pray and cry and other times I don’t. But that doesn’t mean he’s not listening or not there.
God is God. He is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. meaning God is everywhere at every moment, knows the answers to all my questions before I even ask them and is all powerful.
My dad on the other hand can only be in one place at one time, doesn’t really control a thing (just like we don’t) and didn’t really know how to be a dad. Because his dad didn’t teach him how to be one either.
I don’t fault my dad for that anymore. I just wish we had the relationship Brandon and I have.