March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”—1 John 3:1 (NIV)
Emperor penguins may take the “Best Animal Dad” trophy if there ever was one. Incubating a single egg at subzero temperatures for months while surviving solely on fat reserve shows their determination and sacrifice to keep their offspring alive. But far better than any animal or human father is our heavenly Father.
There are several lessons we can learn from knowing and experiencing God as our father. First, we can experience a loving and nurturing relationship with Him. God isn’t just a master or lord, but a parent—and just as an earthly parent cares for and protects their children, God loves, guides, and provides for His children (Psalm 103:5; Isaiah 41:10). God cares about our lives and wants to provide for us and meet our needs. Nothing we need or ask is ever a burden or too much for Him.
Additionally, God the Father is the only one who can give us our true belonging and identity. There’s no place we could belong to more than with God and in the family He has given us as believers. He made us for community and, through the church, established a new spiritual family (Ephesians 2:14–18). We’re not meant to live life alone, but rather to walk and grow with the family He’s given us through one another. Moreso, just as a baby has traits that resemble their parents, we have characteristics that reveal who and whose we are. Our ability to form relationships, to rule over creation, to create music, art, and literature all reflect what our heavenly Father is like. The deeper we grow in relationship with God, the more we become like Him.
Lastly, because God is our Father, we can rest in His authority and wisdom. God instructs (Psalm 16:11), disciplines (Hebrews 12:4), and gives wisdom to His children (Proverbs 2:6), leading them on the path of righteousness (Psalm 23:3). God loves us so deeply He gives us boundaries and limitations, showing us how we should walk so we can live our lives to the fullest and experience His favor and blessing over us (Psalm 128:1–2).
Though sin once separated us from God, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have now become adopted into God’s family and can experience a deep and intimate fellowship with Him. Galatians 4:6 (NASB) says, “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”
God is a better father and mother than even the best earthly parents, for His love is perfect, steadfast, unconditional, and never failing. God is a father, which means He cares for us and desires to meet our needs and satisfy our deepest desires. He fights for us and protects us from evil. He grants us wisdom to live well, guiding our steps. God is the infinite, all-powerful, self-existing ruler of the universe, and yet He delights in us being His children. Dr. Tim Keller said it this way, “The only person who dares wake up a king at 3am for a glass of water is [his] child; we have that kind of access.”
Pause: What aspect of God’s fatherhood do you find yourself in need of today (e.g., His comfort, guidance, provision)?
Practice: Listen to the song “Good Good Father” by Housefires and thank God for being a father to you.
Pray: God, You are my perfect Father! You love me deeply and desire to care for me in every way. I’m sorry for the times I resist being parented by You, thinking I can do things on my own. Teach me what it means to be Your child and to be loved by You. Amen.
Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.