The concept of God-as-Father is difficult to accept for some people:

  • Not everyone can relate to God as a good Father.
  • Not everyone has a good relationship with their earthly father.
  • Some of us have broken relationships with our Dads.
  • Some may have had abusive fathers or neglectful fathers.
  • Some may have just never known their Dads due to death, or abandonment, or some other cause.

Please, let me ask you: please don’t judge the fatherhood of God according to the failings or limitations of your earthly father.  If relating to God as Father is difficult for you – in any way, for any reason – please, can you let me give you a new picture of what the fatherhood of God looks like.  This is a picture of God given to us by His Son, Jesus.  And no one knows the fatherhood of God better than His only begotten Son, Jesus.  This is how Jesus describes the fatherhood of God:

prodigal1A man had two sons.

The younger son told his father, “I want my share of your estate now before you die.”  So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

prodigal2He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.  The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.  Please take me on as a hired servant.’ ”

prodigal4So he returned home to his father.  And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”

But his father said to the servants, “Quick!  Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him.  Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.  And kill the calf we have been fattening.  We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life.  He was lost, but now he is found!”  So the party began.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working.  When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on.  “Your brother is back,” he was told, “and your father has killed the fattened calf.  We are celebrating because of his safe return.”

prodigal5The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in.  His father came out and begged him, but he replied, “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to.  And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.  Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!”

His father said to him, “Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.”

–Luke 15:11-31 (NLT)

God the Father looks on you with immense love in His heart, and He says,

My dear son, My precious daughter:  I am always with you.  I will never leave you, never forsake you, never abuse you, never abandon you.  And everything I have – everything I have – is yours through Jesus.

Jesus loves us, this we know, for Hebrews 1 and 2 and 9, and Romans 8 and 9, and John 1 and 3, and Luke 15 (and about a thousand other verses in the Bible!) tell us so.