THE PRIVILEGE OF HAVING GOD AS YOUR FATHER.
Who do you think God, the creator of the universe is? I am sure that is a question that may produce many answers from different people. Some think Him to be a very distant personality up above who is not interested with what is happening down here. Others think He is some kind of mythical figure who is out of touch with the trends and the reality of our time. Still other people think God is a mean, ogre personality who is only out to condemn them and throw them into Hell, while others altogether deny His existence. Well, my friend, which of these groups do you belong to? Could it be that the ideas you have of God are not true to what He really is? Would it not be great knowing who this God you have heard certain of your friends, classmates, colleagues talk so much about really is? I want to believe you sure want to know who this God really is.
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What has been the most important priority on God’s mind has been how He can get us into a relationship with Him. He has been very interested in getting us to know Him not as a distant, uncaring personality but one we can freely relate with love and affection. It all started in Heaven when God had you and me and all humankind on His mind and set about creating us just to be like Him(Genesis 1:26-27). He planted the garden of Eden and placed the first man and woman in it to live in as we read in Genesis 2: 18-20. He gave them authority over all other creation and had no intentions of bossing over man as He gave Adam and Eve freewill to serve Him. We learn from Genesis 3:8 that God and man had such a close and wonderful relationship, often talking together and meeting each other regularly. However, this relationship, as is characteristic of others you know, had to be based on mutual understanding. All God desired and required of man was trust and obedience to His word.
Well, man exercised his free will negatively choosing to obey the word of Satan rather than the word of God, with the accompanying consequence of a broken relationship and separation. Now if it seems to us that God is far off, the case rightly understood is that we are the ones who have separated and distanced ourselves from Him for Isaiah 1 verse 49 tells us that God is not far away from us but that it is our sins that separates us from Him. Over the ages, God has worked at bringing us back into that original love relationship that existed between Him and man in the garden of Eden. No other way was good enough to restore that relationship except that which had to be by the ultimate sacrifice of God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of the disobedience and sinfulness of man. God made that sacrifice so that you and I might once again be His children, friends and servants. So now, a way has been made for you and me to be reconciled to God, and that only way is through the acknowledgement and belief in Jesus as savior and Lord (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10). Today, you and I have the great privilege of relating with God as our father.
We relate with God as our father when we acknowledge that His very nature is in us. It is common knowledge that a son possesses certain traits from his father. In fact, in most cases, a son is easily identified through the striking resemblance he has to his father. A son is likely to talk like his father. A son is likely to take after the height and build of his father. Therefore, when God decided to create us in His image, He was putting into effect a Father – Son relationship. Please note that my use of the word “son” includes the feminine gender, we might as well refer this to a Father – Son/Daughter relationship. However, consequent upon the disobedience of man to God and separation from Him, Satan, the devil took over man, bringing a nature of sin into man (Romans 5 vs 12-19). To restore this relationship, God instituted once more a Father- Son relationship based on Adoption. The Bible book of Galatians 4 vs 4-6 tells us this “But when the time was right, God sent his son, and a woman gave birth to him. His son obeyed the law, so he could set us free from the law, and we could become God’s children. Now that we are his children, God has sent the spirit of his son into our hearts. And His spirit tells us that God is our father.”
So my friend, it is not sufficient for a man to rely on having a Father – Son relationship with God based on creation alone. Many religions(like Islam) agree on the fatherhood of God based only on creation, but that understanding is not capable of bringing us into that relationship God wants to have with us. Galatians 3 vs 26, clearly tells us this: “All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, if we have believed in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and have received redemption and forgiveness of sins, we can rejoice that God is our father. It is such a joy to know God as our father and we can declare with brother John in his epistle contained in 1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God, therefore, the world knows us not; because it knew Him not.” All glory to God and praise to the father for you who can joyfully declare these things and prayer to God for you who cannot declare this, that you may open up your heart to Him so that you would also have this joy of knowing God as your father.
It is a pity that good fathers are getting more and more in short supply all over the world. A lot of children have had to grow up without their fathers or with abusive fathers, but if you have been fortunate to know the love and affection of a good father, you will readily understand the blessedness of having God as our father. A father is always looking out for the good of his son. He wants his son to turn out good. He provides the needs of his son. He guides and counsels his son on the right way of life, the right people to associate with and the people, places and actions to avoid. We read in Matthew 7 vs 7-11, the comparison between our earthly fathers and God and this is the conclusion “As bad as you(earthly fathers) are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask”(Matthew 7 vs 11). We can trust God to take care of us even much better than any earthly father can do. Is it not such a wonderful thing to have the Alpha and Omega, the one who knows the end from the beginning as your father who counsels and guides you through the journey of life through this earth? You can rest on God’s provisions to meet every one of your daily needs and as you begin to talk with Him in prayers about the issues of life, you can be sure of this, God knows what you really need and will provide what is beneficial. A good father would not just continue to give His children the sweets, chocolates, ice creams and other junk foods that children always crave, because he knows the impact such things will have on their health. God is committed to giving us those things essential for our healthy living.
A good father would not spoil his children by refusing to correct them when they go wrong. Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us of this loving correction of our heavenly father; “And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, ‘My Child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.’ As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own Children. Whoever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12 vs 5-11).
Wow, what a great thing that God corrects us so that we may become more like Him. He will correct the way you think, the way you talk and the way you do things. Don’t despise this discipline of the Lord for God is preparing you to be blameless and fit for the kingdom He is preparing for you. The discipline and correction of the Lord will take anger out of your heart, it will take out covetousness and selfishness, it will take out the love of money, the love of the world and the pride of life from you. In the end, you are going to shine to the glory of God by your exemplary lifestyle. Do you have this Father-Son Relationship with God my friend? Are you a child of God? You can be a child of God from today.
Fathers love to watch their children grow up. It gladdens their hearts to see their children turn from toddlers to adolescents and then to teens, youth and adults. They are happy that there is someone who would continue the family traditions and business when they are gone. They love to be able to say “That is my Son”. They like to be able to say “My son is a Lawyer”, “My daughter is that Medical Doctor”, they like to be introduced as parents of children who are respectable members of society, children who are successful in their vocations and careers. No parent would want to be identified with a son or daughter who is a criminal or one who tarnishes their reputation and brings shame to the family. They like to have children they can trust with their possessions, children they would happily apportion an inheritance. Almighty God wants to have such children too! God delights in our growth and maturity and would like to boast about us. He would like to show us to this world that we are His children. He was happy to introduce Jesus Christ to this world as His beloved son. He declared concerning Jesus on two occasions “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3 vs 17), “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17 vs 5). God wants to be happy to say that about you and me. God has found pleasure in men who have honored Him with their lives over the years. He has introduced His children to this world by showing forth His power and glory in their lives. Be sure of this; if you will honor God with your life, He will gladly introduce you to your colleagues in the workplace, your classmates in School, your Community.
I need not elaborate further, but know that when God is pleased with you, he will honor the words you speak. When God is pleased with you, he will show forth his mighty power through you. When God is pleased with you, as He was with Joseph, he will bring you through the pit and prisons of life to the palace. When God is pleased with you, those who hate you will eventually become your friends and work for your good as Proverbs 16 vs 7 tells us “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him”. It should be our greatest desire and occupation as children of God to please our father in all our ways. We please Him when we obey His word and His commandments.
We please Him when we keep off sin and live a holy and righteous life. We please God when we do good to other people, when we help the poor and when we meet the needs of the needy. We please God when we commit to God’s business of saving the souls of men, when we talk to our friends about the love of God and his salvation through Jesus Christ. Will you be a son God would be proud of? Just please Him! Beyond this world, God has an inheritance stored up for us in Heaven where we shall be with Him forever. 1st Peter 1 vs 4 says “and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” Let us please God, and inherit these blessings God has for us here in the world and in Heaven.
What a great privilege it is to relate with God as a son. If you have not been in this relationship with God yet, this opportunity is for you to do so. Come to God as you are and repent of your sins, be sorry for your sinful life and belief in Jesus Christ who died and took the punishment for your sins and resurrected to give you a new life, eternal life. Confess with your mouth these things you have believed in your heart and pray to God. God, our Father, is waiting ever ready to receive in adoption anyone who come to Him. Pray and say to God "My God and my maker, I come to you now realizing I am a sinner. I am sorry for living my life doing the things that displease you, please forgive my sins. I believe in Jesus Christ sacrifice and I ask that you save me today. Make me your child today in Jesus name. Give me a new life from today and may I live for you the rest of my life in Jesus name. Amen."
Jesus Christ told the story of the Lost son(Prodigal son) recorded in Luke 15 vs 11-24 demonstrating the long patience of God who does not want anyone of us, no matter how bad and sinful, to perish. Like the father of the lost son eagerly anticipated the return of his son after many years and was constantly watching the road until the day the lost son came back home, God is watching and hoping that you will come to Him today. This is the purpose of my writing these words to you this day. Let this day mark your adoption into God’s glorious family in Jesus name. Amen.
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