By Mark Tetley
I hope that this year you have a wonderful Father’s Day. Even if you are a woman, or if you don’t have any children I want you to have a fantastic Father’s Day. For this year, as you honor your earthly father, I hope that you will honor your Heavenly Father.
In Luke 11 we find the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. What makes this a strange question for me was that they had been praying most of their lives. They would have seen people pray in their families and in the temple. Yet, they probably never heard anyone pray like Jesus. His prayer was different. As he began to teach them how to pray, he told them to pray to God as Father. The Bible is filled with numerous names for God. Out of all of them, Jesus chose Father for them to use as they prayed. (Luke 11:1-2)
It is incredible that Jesus invites us to use the same designation for God as he used when he prayed. Understanding that God is our Heavenly Father adds such great depth to our faith.
The word Father denotes a relationship.
As Christians, we can freely call Him Father because He has made us His children (John 1:12). We speak to Him as someone who knows us intimately. In movies or on TV when people pray, they say something like, “Hello God, it’s me, Mark …” This is the prayer of someone who does not have a relationship with God. For who would go to their earthly father and feel the need to introduce themselves before they start speaking to him?
The word Father denotes dependence.
God is my provider. This is why Jesus taught us to ask Him for our daily bread. He even went further to show how God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, so we should not worry about Him not providing for us. (Matthew 6:25-34) He looks out for our needs and we depend on Him for everything.
You might have felt the sting of someone who has not fulfilled their responsibilities toward you. It could be a parent, an employer, a girlfriend or boyfriend. These disappointments can cause us to live in a defensive way, distrusting others who might hurt us again. I invite you to get to know your Heavenly Father. He is the Creator, the Sovereign Lord, the Almighty God, but he invites you to know him as Father.
I love the fact the Scriptures use so many names or titles for God. Learning them has helped me realize how complete He is. However, being able to talk to Him as Father brings me the most comfort from day to day.
He can be the creator of everything, the All-knowing One, the Ever-present One, the Holy One, and Almighty God and stay distant from our world. Even though He is all those things, He is so much more, because He comes right down in the middle of our world to be daily connected to our lives. Every day He is saying, “I love you.” In every victory, He is there cheering us on. In every defeat, His is there to pick us up. He is the perfect Father.
If you don’t know God as your Heavenly Father, read John 1:12 below and then have a talk with Him this Sunday. It might just be the best Father’s Day of your life.
Luke 11:1 – 2 — Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
John 1:12 —But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Matthew 6:25-34 — “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.