|My dad, Robert Nelson
Our Father (Matt 6:9)
It is significant that Jesus does not teach us to pray in formal and flowery terms. Sometimes that get’s lost in the old translations, because to us they sound formal and flowery. It makes me a little sad sometimes when folks stand up and pray in public and use Thee’s and Thou’s and words they would never use in normal conversation. God is our Father.
I know that there are lots of bad examples of fathers around today, so for some “father” is the last place they want to go for relationship, but that is not the ideal. My own dad was a great father, though like all of us dads, he didn’t think so himself. He loved God and was a great example to me of what it meant to live life as a Christian. When I look at pictures of my dad, I think, there is a guy who was always approachable. As an adult I would often bounce ideas off him, and go to him for advise. That’s the way it is supposed to be with our Father God. He is approachable.
Father is supposed to be respected, trusted, and admired. More than that, the idea of Father is supposed to carry with it comfort and safety.
|My Dad (again)
Respect we will cover further down, but suffice it to say, there needs to be an understanding of how great our God is and we should not take a flippant attitude toward prayer. The aspect of respect brings to the table making prayer a higher priority. When you respect someone, you give him honor. You honor your commitments to him. If you say you will do something, you carry through.
How God comes to be our Father is also significant. We are adopted into His family. Adopted means chosen. A child born into a family is a wonderful blessing, but to be adopted into a family indicates a level of pre-meditation, and intention. God wanted to expand His family and choose YOU!
I can trust my Father because He has my best interests in mind at all times.
] He loves me. What does it mean to love? Many of us know that there are a few Greek words for love, but the one used most often to describe the Father’s love for us is Agape. I learned last night that agape carries with it the idea that the object of this kind of love is not loved for it’s intrinsic lovability. Rather agape is express toward the unlovable.
The best definition I know for this kind of love is this. Love does whatever is in its power to bring about the best for its object. Notice I did not say gives the object of love what they want, but what is best for them. The fuller the love, the higher the expenditure of resources involved. What I mean to say is this. If I love you a little, I will expend some of my uncommitted time or energy to see that you are benefited. I will consider what I see as the best outcome for you, and put some of my free resources to work for you. That may be time, money, talent, what ever.
If there is a deeper love (agape) commitment, there will be a higher level of involvement on my part. I will be more focused on what would be best for you, and expend more effort seeing it through.
Now let’s just say I am the One who created you (as well as everything else) and love you unconditionally, with a love that never fails – a love that is stronger than death – a love that can not be separated from Me by anything, created or uncreated – and I know you better than you know yourself, and I understand all possible outcomes of your life. My resources are limitless, and are completely at My disposal to bring about the best outcome for your life.
That is how Our Father loves you.
Hey, come back tomorrow, and we are going to look at some special dads. I have been collecting stories from readers about their godly fathers and what they learned about God from them. Don’t miss it tomorrow.
Thanks for reading