GOD – Part 4

GOD as Loving Father
Sunday, January 27, 2019
John 11:18, 5:16-42, 14:1-14

No one has ever seen God. God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made God known.

John 1:18

We begin our prayers as Jesus taught us, by saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” but if we’re honest, sometimes the Father image of God is one of the most difficult roles to accept.

For so many who grew up with absent or even abusive father figures, it is no wonder they might not be interested in some all-powerful father in the sky. The image of father often brings pain and even trauma in a society where fatherhood is broken in so many ways.

Instead of allowing a broken father experience on Earth to cause rejection of the possibility of experiencing a good Father in Heaven, why don’t we allow for the possibility of a good Father in heaven to heal our memory of a broken Father on Earth?

J.D. Walt, Seedbed Daily Text

Even for those who have good relationships with their fathers, it may be difficult to see the need for another one. My father died when I was 20 and everyone said, “Don’t worry, God will be your father.” The last thing I wanted was an “invisible father replacement.” I wanted my real father back.

We don’t hear God the Father speaking very much in scripture, at least not directly. God typically speaks through prophets and mostly through the Son. We can see the face of Jesus but the face of the Father seems obscured by the light of glory. Even if we wanted to, how can we know this “Divine Father figure” who exists so far beyond our comprehension?

We are not alone in our confusion, our uncertainty, or even our fear around the idea of Father God. Even Jesus’ own disciples didn’t quite get it.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.”

Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time?

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me does his works. Trust me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on account of the works themselves.

John 14:8-11 (CEB)

Regardless of how close or distant your Heavenly Father may seem, I invite you to check out the full sermon below as we wrestle more with what it means to be “fathered by God.”

  • What emotions do you feel when you think of God as father? Joy, pain, sadness, love, hope, comfort, anger, fear, insecurity… etc.

  • How does your relationship with your earthly father affect or inform your relationship with God?

  • In prayer, come as a child to God your Father. What do you want to say to your Heavenly Daddy? What does he say to you? How does it feel to be wrapped up in his embrace?

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,  is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5)