Friday, March 8, 2019

A Heavenly Father

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. 1 John 3:1a

When you hear the words Heavenly Father, what kind of emotions are stirred within you?  Do you feel warm and cozy inside, or does it evoke feelings of anxiety, fear, or loneliness?  Some of us have not known the loving acceptance of an earthly father. You may not associate anything good with the title of father and it is hard to imagine God as someone who cares about you and wants to take care of you as long as His name is Heavenly Father.
Of course, not everyone has had this kind of father. Many of us have had the privilege of having a father who loves, cherishes, supports, and is committed to us. A caring father who nourishes an intimate and loving relationship makes a profound effect on a child's life.  God is more than willing to help make up for absent fathers. As a Christian we have a unique relationship with the Creator of the universe who is our Heavenly Father as well.  
So many times, we call on God when we need His help, but maybe we should call on Him when we are doing good and living our life in a way that would be pleasing to Him.  Just as a child seeks their earthly father’s attention, we strive to live our lives to be pleasing to God and long for Him to notice.  We long for Him to tell us that we are amazing and wonderful.  He sees, and He knows everything we do, and He loves us.  We can dance before our heavenly father the same way our two-year-old dances for us. He watches and adores you just the best earthly father would.  Acceptance and affirmation are there.  Reach out and claim them. 
Unconditional Love
For those of us with performance-oriented fathers we may tend to transfer those characteristics to God.  The Bible does talk about being disciplined and rewarded according to our actions.  We need to be disciplined but the problem comes in when our worth and our value is attached to what we do.  Beliefs such as God only loves you when you’re performing wellyou constantly have to perform to be loved by himHis love is conditional, or that when you’re having problems in your life due to sin, sickness, family problems, etc. that God isn’t present and loving youcan cause our faith to waiver. These mindsets may cause you to have difficulty in accepting grace.  It might be a concept you know in your head but not in your heart.  
Satan, in contrast to God, is the Father of Lies.  If there is one lie he wants you to believe it is that God does not love you unconditionally.  He wants you to think that you can never do enough to win God’s approval.  Don’t believe the lies of Satan.  Believe the Father who loves you enough to die for you.  He loves you unconditionally and He will be right by your side like a father teaching a child to ride a bike for the first time. He longs to see you dance in His presence and He stands ready and waiting with arms open in acceptance and love.

Scripture to Claim:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6

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