Our Heavenly Father :: by Grant Phillips

I was very blessed with wonderful Christian parents, but I’m not so naïve to think that everyone has shared the same blessing. I’ve seen too much while living in this world and know that is not true of far too many.

The world has changed much since I was a young man. In the 21st century it is not at all uncommon for many to not even know who their father is. It is also not uncommon that many have suffered from the hands of a tyrant known as their father. Many step fathers and live-ins have entered the homes of America and have caused great anguish upon the innocent.

Before I go any further, I do want to make clear that many fathers and step fathers have been caring and loving parents. Unfortunately though, the ‘bad seed’ is far too numerous in our culture today, and this is where we have a problem.

God portrays Himself as the Heavenly Father, and rightly so to those who come to Him through His Son. True Christians know, or at least they should know, that God their Father is a loving God. Even when we are disciplined by Him, He does so in love, not to hurt us, but to help and protect us.

We Christians know and have experienced the indescribable love that He has shown in His provision of our salvation and adoption. But what happens when trying to tell an unbeliever about our Heavenly Father when they have had a bad earthly father? They instantly make the comparison, and conclude that God is always ready to beat them over the head if they mess up or will take advantage of them in some way.

Being a father is very important, whether you are the natural father or step-father. Those men who have brought harm upon the souls of the children in their care will be judged by God, and their punishment will be severe. Even hardened criminals in prison do not let those go unpunished.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

To place upon an innocent child’s mind that God the Father is a tyrant because their earthly father is a tyrant is a dangerous place to be. It sickens decent people to think of some of the things evil men have done to the innocent. The evil that is perpetrated on some children could cause a child to grow up never coming to the knowledge that the Heavenly Father is a loving God.

There is one solution to this problem that God has provided.

Jesus said, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7)

There it is. We can know exactly what the Heavenly Father is like by looking at Jesus. This is one reason for really studying the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and sharing them with the young. We should constantly remind them that “Would you like to know what God is like? Let us look at Jesus. He said that He and the Father are the same.”

Many adults today suffer from bad experiences in their youth with ungodly fathers. Even some Christians think God is always ready to bring judgment down on them if they fail Him. This just isn’t so. God is not some foul-mouthed, unshaven, jerk with evil intentions toward you. He is not holding a club over his head just waiting for an opportunity to beat us with it when we don’t toe the line.

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)

Even as His enemies (prior to being saved) He loved us so much He died for us and paid for our sins so that we could come to Him and be saved through Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If we look at Jesus life we will see what God is like. Why, because Jesus is 100% man, but He is also 100% God.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, He wraps us in His own righteousness. We are as pure as He is, not because we don’t sin, but because He accepted our faith in Him and gave us His righteousness.

Experiencing real, true love that comes from God in Jesus Christ, we are so grateful we don’t want to sin against Him anymore. Unfortunately, we do, since we still live in these earthly bodies. What happens? Do we lose our salvation? Absolutely, unequivocally, no, we do not. We do harm our relationship with Him though, but God loves us so much, He has said that if we are honest with Him and just ask His forgiveness, He will forgive us and restore us to a most pleasant relationship with Him.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

If you are not a Christian, God is not your Heavenly Father. He is your Creator, but not your Father. To the Christian though, we have a Father in Heaven that loves us more than we could ever know.

One more thing; never compare your earthly father with the Heavenly Father, because no matter how good an earthly father you may have, he will never measure up to the Heavenly Father. If you, as I did, have had a good earthly father, that may be hard to swallow, but the Heavenly Father is so much more.

Earthly fathers are not perfect, even the best ones. As a father, I made plenty of mistakes, but my Heavenly Father has never made a mistake in any way with me. He is always perfect, and I can’t wait to be with Him in Heaven.

If you have previously had a negative attitude about your Heavenly Father as a Christian, I pray you will see Him in a different light. Look at Jesus.

If you are not a Christian, look at Jesus. The Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to come to Him, but you must come through His Son.

Grant Phillips