a father's
love

 
 
 

You have a heavenly Father.

Let that sink in for a moment. The God of the universe calls you his child.  His son or daughter. His beloved.

We can’t pretend to sit here and know for even a moment what your relationship with your earthly father has been like. Beautiful and bountiful? Busted and broken? Some barely recognizable space in between? Yet...whatever it has been...however it has come about...know this:

 

You have a heavenly Father.
And before this Father ever called you,
this Father loved you.

 

The Bible uses the images of Father and children all throughout its pages.

In the New Testament, Paul writes that those in Christ Jesus are the children of God, for they have been adopted as sons and daughters.  His children cry out, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:14-16). In the Old Testament, we see this language related toward God’s relationship with Israel. The prophet Hosea writes, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hos 11:1). Before this Father ever called his children, this Father loved his children.  Before your heavenly Father ever called you, your heavenly Father loved you.

You have been called by a Father’s love.

And as your Father continually calls you home to him (Hos 11:11), he leads you “with ties of love”, lifting you up like a child to his cheek (Hos 11:4).

 
 

Reflection

The story above may have stirred up all sorts of thoughts. Good ones. Challenging ones. More questions than answers. Stuff you’ve allowed to sit idly by for some time now. Often, this is because It is nearly impossible to neatly separate our perception of God as our heavenly Father from our experience (or lack thereof) with our earthly father. As you reflect, consider how this has been true in your own life.

  • Has God had to break through brokenness you experienced as a child?
  • Are there still barriers where his fatherly love has not been able to shine through?
  • Where can you continue to lean into him as a child, to be lifted up to his cheek?
  • Lastly, as he calls you to him by love, what is he speaking to you as you rest in his arms?
 
 

s.o.a.p

Psalm 103

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;

   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the Lord, my soul,

   and forget not all his benefits—

3 who forgives all your sins

   and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit

   and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things

   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness

   and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,

   his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

   slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,

   nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve

   or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

   so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,

   so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,

   he remembers that we are dust.

15 The life of mortals is like grass,

   they flourish like a flower of the field;

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,

   and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting

   the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,

   and his righteousness with their children’s children—

18 with those who keep his covenant

   and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,

   and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,

   you mighty ones who do his bidding,

   who obey his word.

21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,

   you his servants who do his will.

22 Praise the Lord, all his works

   everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

 
 

Worship