God as a Father
(1) Read the History of Father’s Day
(2) “Our search for a father will never end until we see God as our only perfect father” (Cope 25).
(a) Isa. 64:8 – O Lord, you are the Father
(b) Matt. 6:9 – Our Father in heaven
(c) Rom. 8:15-17 – we cry Abba, Father because we are God’s children
(3) “God has chosen us, adopted us, despite all our failures” (Cope 27).
(4) Let us note 3 descriptions of God as a Father:
I. A Loving Relationship
A. Hosea 11:1-3 –
When Israel was a youth I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.
The more they called them,
The more they went from them;
They kept sacrificing to the Baals
And burning incense to idols.
Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them in My arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
B. “God is like the thirty-year-old coaxing his toddler along while he tries to steady the video camera, catching those 1st smiles, 1st steps, and 1st words” (Cope 27).
The story is told of a young man who stood before a judge to be sentenced for forgery. The judge had been a friend of the boy’s father, who was famous for his books on the law of trusts. “Young man,” said the judge sternly, “do you remember your father, that father whom you have disgraced?”
“I remember him perfectly,” the young man answered quietly. “When I went to him for advice or companionship, he would say, ‘Run away boy, I’m busy.’ Well, my father finished his book, and here I am.”
II. A Demanding Relationship
A. “Because of His great love for us, God had insisted that we allow Him to guide us” (Cope 30).
1. Jer. 3:19 – I thought you would call me Father, and not turn away from following me
2. Mal. 1:6 – If I am a father, where is the honor due me?
B. Illustration –
A little girl followed her father as he carefully stepped through a new garden. She stepped exactly where he stepped and said, “Daddy, if you don’t get mud on your feet, I won’t get any mud on me!”
III. A Relentless Relationship
A. Illustration –
On Saturday, Sept. 18, 1982, the US government released the results of a sad investigation. The government determined that an army soldier stationed in Korea had been a defector to the Communists. The day after the findings were released, the parents of the young man held a press conference on the lawn of their St. Louis home. Wiping tears from his eyes, the father said that they had accepted the fact that their son was indeed a defector. “He has lost his credibility in this country, even with me,” said the father. But then he showed the heart of a father. “I still love my son,” he said, “and want him back.”
B. Luke 15 – The Father and the Prodigal Son
(1) God is the perfect father.
(2) Will you be his faithful child?