The Role model Father

It is Father’s day in the year of the Lord 2015 and we celebrated Father’s day by starting our day in his presence and meditating on his Word. Being blessed with a wonderful wife (Sangeetha) and two sons (Reuben and Ittai) who are gifts from above, I am highly favored by the Lord. In the evening we went skating and watching movies and I felt so loved and grateful to God for my family and life.

On Father’s day, many recognize their earthly fathers and I wondered if I was by any chance a role model. As my mind pondered, I was thinking about Abraham as a Father and if he could be a role model to us now. The very thought of being willing to sacrifice your own son, whom you love, was indeed a hard pill to swallow and I quickly wrote Abraham off, as a role model – one whom I would not want to follow – dreading at the very thought that I would miserably fail the test of Abraham, if I was placed in such a predicament. Then I realized (which I believe was by the prompting of the Holy Spirit) that Abraham was able to go through that test because he knew the very nature of God.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son to demonstrate his love for God, because he recognized and knew that God as The Father was also willing to sacrifice his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) to demonstrate his love for man. God demonstrated his great love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ Jesus his Only begotten Son, who was given for us, was sacrificed for us (Romans 5:8; John 3:16; Hebrews 10:10).

Points to ponder:
The real Role model Father is not Abraham, but God the Father himself. Are you and I willing to follow The Role Model – God, Our Father? He is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and our Abba, Father.

God our Mother

For some, the title of this article may seem absurd, but there is a point to be made. Having said that, this article is not about speculating on the gender of God as much as it is to get a glimpse of the character of God, which is not confined to merely one of the two genders, as we know about (male and female).  While most references to God is as God the Father, the Bible at times portrays God as a mother as well. In fact, God is Spirit when he created man, the Bible establishes that God created man in his own image, both male AND female, he created them.

Growing up in India, one of the familiar sights in the streets of the village of Malkangiri that I grew up was the sight of hens and chicks roaming the streets. These cute little chicks would follow their mother hen, strutting about and whenever they would sense any kind of danger, they would huddle and scamper under their mother. The mother hen would often spread its wings to cover and protect her baby chicks.

On May 10, 2015, we celebrated Mother’s day in honor of our mothers … and as I pondered about what to write, I learned that God our Father, considers himself to be like our mother as well. Jesus himself establishes this motherly character of God, when he spoke of himself/God and questioned, “how often would I have gather your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings (Matthew 23:37)”.

Points to ponder:
So this Mothers day and in all to come, let us remember to honor our earthly mothers, but more importantly, let us remember to recognize and honor God above all.

Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Psalm 91:4 (KJV)
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Our Father :: The Protecting Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, Jesus teaches us to request God to keep us from being tested/tempted and to deliver us from the evil one (the devil). This establishes the fact that God our Father is a Protecting Father. In the prayer of Jabez, one of the requests that Jabez made of God was that He be kept from evil and the Lord granted him his request (1 Chronicles 4:10). In other words, Jabez recognized that he needed God’s protection, because the evil one is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Just as David fought the lion and the bear that tried to snatch a single sheep away from his fold (1 Samuel 17:34-35), God the chief and Good Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4, John 10:11) would not allow any of us, not even one, who have believed in His Son, and put ourselves into the safety of his protecting hands, from being snatched away by the evil one. Jesus assured us of this when he said, no one can pluck those who are in Christ from the Father’s hand (John 10:29). To pray for God’s protection so that we do not succumb to temptation and to be delivered from the evil one is in a sense, uttering the same prayer of Jesus from the Cross, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

Point(s) to ponder:

Have you/I surrendered our lives to God and placed our trust in Jesus to save us?
Have you/I asked God to keep us from being tempted and t0 rescue us from the evil one?
Have you/I committed our lives/spirit into the safety of God’s hand; for Our Father is a Protecting Father God.

Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one: …

Our Father :: The Pardoning Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask God to forgive us our trespasses (sins) as we forgive those who sin against us. The not only mandates the condition that we must be forgiving of those who have hurt us, but more importantly, it establishes the pardoning character of God, our Father. In the five years that I have been a father, there has been times when our beloved son, Reuben has done something that disappointed and displeased my loving wife, Sangeetha and me, but as I reflect back on these fives years, despite that fact that we have disciplined him, I can’t quite think of anything, that we harbor or hold against him. We discipline, but we also forgive and for the most part forget. So how much more that God who fashioned me as a Father must be in his act of forgiving all of us, whom he has created in his own image.

It does not matter what we have done, where it be idolatry, dishonoring God’s name or his day, dishonoring our parents, murder, adultery, stealing, lying or coveting, or how far we have run from God, when we address him as Our Father, which we can only do if we have been redeemed by His Son Jesus Christ, He can’t help but forgive us and remembers our sins no more. The vilest offender can receive a pardon from God, irrespective of the gravity of the offense committed, because God the Father, is a pardoning Father God.

Point(s) to ponder:

Matthew 6:12 (KJV)
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Hebrews 8:12 (KJV)
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Our Father :: The Providing Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, he teaches us to ask God to give us our daily bread. This establishes the fact that our God is a providing Father. Additionally, it also reflects the fact that God the Father is one who is willing to meet us daily. Jesus asserted this fact when he asked us to consider the birds of the air, which neither sow, nor reap nor gather, yet God the Father provides for their needs (Matthew 6:26). Interestingly, the Bible also records of birds (ravens) that were used by God to provide for the sustenance needs of God’s prophet, Elijah, twice daily (1 Kings 17:1-8). God as a Righteous Father is ready and willing to provide his children of what they ask him (Matthew 7:11), for He is a Providing Father God, but the important thing is that we must ask God (and not anyone else) – Give us this day our daily bread.

Point(s) to ponder:
Our asking of God not only affirms that God is a providing Father God, but it also demonstrate our ongoing (daily) dependence and reliance on Him to provide for our needs.

Matthew 6:11 (KJV)
11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:26 (KJV)
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

1 Kings 17:1-6 (KJV)
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Our Father :: The Powerful Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, he teaches us to praise and give glory to the Name of God, our Father, and seeks that God’s kingdom comes and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). He ends this prayer, by affirming that the kingdom is of God, and the power and the glory is God’s forever and forever (Matthew 6:13). If there is a kingdom there must be a King. While God is a Father to those redeemed by Jesus Christ, He is also a Powerful King. In fact, He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, not someone to be trifled with.

Jesus came and preached that the Kingdom of God is near. God’s kingdom is not in word, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20). It is  the power of God that transforms men and women from sinners to saints; from unrighteousness to righteousness. No one who is unrighteous can enter into the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). Only those who have been imputed righteousness, because they have believed in Jesus Christ (i.e., born again believers) can see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3). The Kingdom of God is not only a powerful kingdom, but it is also a righteous kingdom for God is THE RIGHTEOUS one and all who inherit his kingdom will be clothed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus. So when we pray to God the Father that His kingdom comes, we are indeed praying that righteous is imputed and that everyone believes in Jesus Christ, for without that exchange of our sinfulness for God’s salvation, one cannot see the kingdom of God or Him as a glorified and Powerful King.

Point(s) to ponder:
Are you part of the kingdom of God i.e., have you been born again? 

Matthew 6:10, 15 (KJV)
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
13 … :For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

John 3:3 (KJV)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Our Father :: The Paternity of God

We celebrated Father’s day 2011 on June 19, 2011 and I wondered as to what kind of Father, our God is? As I wondered, I realized that the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray not only addresses God as Father, but in it, are hidden many characteristics of the kind of Father that God, Our Father, is. When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, he started out by addressing God as ‘Our Father’. This establishes the Paternity of God. However, even in our natural self, we don’t go around calling anyone other than our earthly father (biological/foster) as our father. In the same manner, only if we have been born into or adopted into God’s family, can we address God as Our Father. So how can one be born into or adopted into God’s family or in other words, what would give someone the right to address the Almighty Creator God as ‘Our Father’?

We can address God as Our Father, only if you have been born again into God’s family. To be born again is to be redeemed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Redemption comes by believing in Jesus Christ; believing that He is the Only begotten Son of God, and the Only Way to God the Father (John 14:6). Without believing (through faith), we cannot receive the Spirit of adoption in our hearts and without being adopted, we cannot address God as ‘Out Father’. The Paternity of God comes with the free gift of His Spirit being poured into the hearts of all who believe in Jesus Christ. When we believe, we receive as an inheritance the very essence of God which is eternal life, overcoming death and its power. When we believe in His Son Jesus Christ, God accepts and adopts us as His very own.

Many a times in the Bible, we see God saying, “I shall be their God and they shall be my people”, but in the consummation of the Scripture, from the book of Revelation, we see how God says to all who overcome by believing in Jesus Christ, “I will be his [her] God and he [she] shall be my my son [daughter]” (Revelation 21:7), implying that God will be ‘Our Father’.

Point(s) to ponder:
Can you address God as ‘Our Father’? In other words, “Have you been redeemed by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ?” i.e., Have you believed in Jesus Christ, God’s Only begotten Son? i.e., Have you been adopted into God’s family?

Matthew 6:9 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Galatians 4:4-7 (KJV)
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.