Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Tuesday, August 14
“They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.”
Jn 8:27 NKJV
UNDERSTANDING YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER (1)
The people in Jesus’ day found it hard to grasp the concept of God as a Father. Lord, king, judge, they understood—but not Father. The Old Testament rarely speaks of God as Father, whereas the New Testament mentions it often. Until Jesus came and revealed the Father, He remained a mystery. “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11:27 NIV). And many of us still don’t comprehend His fatherhood and the rich blessings we have in Him. “Father,” God’s all-inclusive name, incorporates everything we could ever need, while disclosing how He feels toward each one of us. It exemplifies every trait of the best father imaginable. Think what a loving, all-powerful father would do for a needy child. Your heavenly Father will do all that for you—and then some! When you recognize God as your Father, your fears dissolve and you start to believe that all your needs will truly be met. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid…it gives your Father great happiness to give you the [benefits of His] Kingdom” (Lk 12:32 NLT). It makes God happy to offer you the resources of His kingdom! Why? Because He loves you as much as He loves His Son Jesus! Jesus prayed you’d know with confidence that your Father “loved [you] in the same way [He has] loved me” (Jn 17:23 MSG). As His redeemed child, you have all the benefits that come with membership in “the household of God” (Eph 2:19).
Wednesday, August 15
“As parents feel for their children, God feels for [you].”
Ps 103:13 MSG
UNDERSTANDING YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER (2)
To see God as a loving Father may not come easily, if you carry the scars of a neglected or abusive childhood. Perhaps you had so many unmet needs growing up: affection, security, trust, comfort, material necessities, etc., and your lack of these things makes it hard to believe God will provide for your needs now. What to do? Recognize that your “father-image” is flawed and in no way resembles your heavenly Father. Even the best earthly father can’t measure up to Him. He wants you to approach Him as a caring, sensitive, generous, dependable, loving Father. That’s why Jesus taught us to call Him “Our Father,” not just “Almighty God and Lord.” Like a good father, God understands your needs and makes full provision for them (See Mt 6:25-34). And just as a good parent recognizes the unique characteristics of each of his children, He knows your distinctive personality, gifts, thoughts, and feelings. “As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud” (Ps 103:13-14 MSG). God’s care is tailor-made to your specific gifts—and weaknesses. And like a loving father, He accepts and fulfills His responsibility to provide for you. So what’s your role in the relationship? To act like the child of a trustworthy, generous, permanently-loving Father!