God the Father and Father’s Day

God the Father and Father’s Day

How do you picture God the Father? As distant and wrathful? As needing Jesus to talk Him off the ledge of judging us? Perhaps you see Him like an earthy father: cold, detached, angry, or absent. God is not a Father like this!

Human fatherhood is always flawed, and sometimes our regrets as fathers can overwhelm us, but God the Father is a perfect Father who is more willing to give than we can imagine! He has given us His Son and His Spirit! He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jam 1:17). My desire is that this devotional would cause us to reflect, remember, and, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, draw near to the Father through the Son. As we do so, we will live in the reality that sons are free, and our own fatherhood can be like our Father’s in heaven.

In 1 John 4:7–13, the Apostle John gives us a fundamental description of the Father when he says, “love is from God” (1 John 4:7) and “God is love” (1 John 4:8, cf. 16). Further, John says if we are born of God the Father, we know Him (v.7). It is why John had reminded his listeners in 1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are!” What a privilege that the New Testament name for God is “Father.”

John then says the Father’s love is “revealed among us” (v.8) by sending His Son into the world to be our “atoning sacrifice.” Consider the giver! The greatness of the Father’s love shines through the lengths the Father is willing to go to for us! Consider the gift! The Father sent His Son, His best when we were at our worst. The Father sent Him to be a satisfaction for our sins. He sent His Son to take away our sins (1 John 3:5) and to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The eternal Son became the incarnate Son so that we might become adopted sons!

Of course, our only proper response to this kind of love is to love one another (v.11). What a motive to love our own children in this way! Not only that but the Father has also “given us of his Spirit” (v.13) so that our family will see the Father’s love through us. How do we know? Because “God [the Father] remains in us and His love is made complete in us” (v.12).

When we are pressed by the cares of life, when we are fainthearted due to the indwelling sin that remains, when we grieve over the effects of the Fall, not only in us but in our families, this knowledge of the Father’s love will cause us to run to Him, not from Him.

I recently saw a cartoon on the internet that looked like a sticky note with a reminder: religion says, “I’m in trouble, my father is going to kill me.” The gospel says, “I’m in trouble, I need to call my Father.” How simple, yet profound. Because of whom we are to the Father (his children!), we have confident access to His very throne room.

Why? The Holy Spirit in the New Covenant enables us to draw near to the Father through a new and “living way” found in the Son (Heb 10:19; cf. Eph 3:12). Further, the author of Hebrews teaches that our approach ought to be one of “confidence” and “boldness,” that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16; cf. Heb 10:19–22). Beloved, we have boldness to enter the throne room because we have the heart of the king! And our coming is never shameful!

As His children, the Father wants us to know we are led by His Spirit (Rom 8:14). The Spirit stirs up family affections so that we would not live in the fear of a slave but in the affection of a son and that we would instinctually cry out “Abba Father” (Rom 8:15–16).

As Jude 21 says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God;” that is, live and act in the conscious knowledge of the Father’s love. And as you do so, may your own fatherhood be filled with grace and mercy to help in your children’s time of need. “Now to Him [the Father] who is able to [keep] you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.”

About the Author

Ryan Rippee
President, The Cornerstone Bible College and Seminary

Ryan is the church planter and pastor of Trinity Church of Benicia in Benicia, CA and the current president of The Cornerstone Bible College and Seminary (since 2019). Ryan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a heart to minister to the people there, training up pastors to serve and teach in this unique region. He received his Ph.D. from Southern Seminary (2016). Ryan is the author of "That God May Be All in All."

More About Ryan Rippee
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