The argument can be made that Jesus was the most revolutionary figure of all human history. In revealing His Father, Jesus broke almost all the man-made, established, “rules and regulations” of the religion of his day. He publicly spoke to women. He showed compassion to the outcasts. He “called out” the self-righteous religious leaders. He touched and healed lepers and other “untouchables.” He accepted and rejected. He offered forgiveness to those who had been branded as, “sinners”. And, Jesus introduced God in a way that exploded the stereotypes that had been formed about him.
In the thousands of years before Jesus came to earth, the years covered by the Old Testament, God is called, “Father” only seven times. But in the four Gospels, Jesus addressed God as “Father” over 150 times! I think what God wants us to know is that rather than being an impersonal force that’s far-removed from you and me, God passionately longs to have an intimate relationship with us. In fact, the Bible says, in Exodus 34:14. “He (God) is a god who is passionate about his relationship with you.”
One of the greatest tragedies in today’s culture is that many people have trouble relating to God as their Father. They find it almost impossible to believe that God would really want to have an intimate relationship with them. The root cause of their feelings is because so many kids- and “big kids” - “adults” – have a poor relationship with their earthly father and many have no relationship with him whatsoever.
Fathers today can be physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive. Dads today are often absent, neglectful, uncaring and insensitive, angry, self-centered, or impossible to please. As a result, we’re raising a generation of kids who really don’t understand God, who are afraid of God, who have huge misconceptions of God, and who have no idea who relate to god.
Having been a pastor for over 36 years, I’ve heard people say things like, “I never knew how my dad would treat me. I didn’t know if he would be silent, caring, and loving or mean, angry, and violent. I didn’t know if he would hug me or hit me. I didn’t know if my dad wanted me or wanted to leave me. I just couldn’t depend on my dad”. As a result, I’ve watched those who have shared these things with me, struggle through Father’s Day, year-after-year.
Regardless of what your father was like or is like, God wants you to know that he is truly passionate about having an intimate relationship with you! Even if you don’t have a father in your life or if your father is/was absent or abusive, God wants you to understand what he’s really like and who he really is!
The Bible teaches that God is a caring Father. In 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” God cares more about you than even you care about yourself, and because he cares so much about you, He will help you in those times you struggle with circumstances in your life. Because he cares so much about you, He will comfort you when your heart is breaking. Because he cares so much about you, He will steady you when life throws you off- balance. Because he cares so much about you, there is nothing about your life that he’s not concerned about.
The Bible also teaches that God is a consistent Father. In Malachi 3:6, God says, “I am the LORD and I do not change”. God will never change in his love for you. There’s nothing you can ever do that will cause him to love you any more or any less than he has always loved you. God will never change in his faithfulness. He’s never moody. He’s never inconsistent. He’s never had a “bad day.” You’ll never find him to be “grumpy”, “fickle”, or “abusive.” You never have to wonder if he will abandon you.
God is also a close Father. He’s never absent or far-removed. He’s with you in every moment, every circumstance, and every situation. God promises, in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you”.
God wants you to know that he is a competent father. Nothing is too hard for him. Nothing is beyond his ability or resources. He can handle every problem and every need of your life. “Impossible” isn’t even in God’s vocabulary! When your world is shaken, he remains unshaken because he is in complete control. When things seem impossible, you can be confident that with him, all things are possible. His plan for your life can’t be derailed or destroyed. And he is so powerful that he takes every life experience and circumstance and works it for our benefit.
And understand this: God is never too busy for you. God never says, “You again! What do you want this time?”. God will never tell you, “Leave me alone, Can’t you see I’m busy?”. God thinks of you, far more than you think about him. Truthfully, you may get too busy for god, but he’s never too busy for you.
Regardless of where you are in life, God wants to be your father. Regardless of what your circumstances are, God loves you and wants to be your father. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed or how many mistakes you’ve made or how many sins you’ve committed. God’s love for you has never wavered. Because god desperately wants to be your father, he gave his only son to be your savior. Only when you have a personal relationship with Jesus, are you free to experience God as your father. The Bible says this, in John 1:12 “To all who received him (Jesus), he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.”
Faron Rogers is the Senior Pastor of Clinton’s First Baptist Church