follow me on Twitter

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    God Our Father

    from: http://www.bellewoodchurch.com/hosealogo.png
        In our country today many will be celebrating Father's Day, others will mourn their fathers, others will ignore the holiday exists because of the poor father they grew up with.  Either way, Fathers and Fatherhood is paramount today.

      Last night, I spoke on God as Father and shared from Hosea 3 5 key things God as Father is/does.  You see, some of us have pretty messed up views as to what or who a Father is.  Our image of 'Father' can be and probably is a bit distorted and we then take this distorted view of 'Father' and place that upon the shoulders of God because he claims to be a 'Father' to us who believe.  But who is God as Father?

    Hosea 3 gives a great picture of God as Father and I think gives us 5 things God is and does as Father.

    And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”  So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.  And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”  For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods.  Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3 ESV)

    1.  God as Father pursues Us 
         Just like Hosea went after Gomer and bought her back from her pimp, God pursues us.  When we walk away from the fold, he comes after us.  Matthew 18:11-13 gives us a beautiful picture as to what this pursuit looks like as well.  Hosea walked to the pimp who Gomer, his wife sold herself and he buys her back.  To me, there isn't a better picture of the pursuit of God than that.  In our humanity, we'd give up on such a person.  Let her go our friends would say.  She's a whore our family would say.  Yet Hosea went after her.  We (you AND I) are Gomer, we tie ourselves into bondage to sins and cheat on God yet he comes after us!

    2.  God as Father Loves recklessly 
          As I mentioned above, many would write Gomer off, yet God in his great, crazy reckless love chooses to love us and come after us.  This love seems incomprehensible because to our human understanding it makes no sense.  Sometimes God loves and it makes no sense.  When we get loved this way, it changes the ball game.  When we understand the depth of this love it changes us, we become undone by his pursuit and the intensity of his love.
    3.  God as Father shows us we are significant
          Gomer thought little of herself.  We know this to be true because the price Hosea paid for her from her pimp.  The price he paid was low, which means Gomer sold herself for much less than what Hosea paid.  She felt herself worthless, ugly, unwanted, trashy...so she sold herself at that level.  I'm sure Hosea would have paid 10x's that much because he wanted his wife back and God paid in blood for you and I.  He went to our pimp (Satan, sin and death) and paid the ultimate price of his life.  We are not insignificant, we are not worthless, we are not unwanted, we are not trashy, we are Loved!

    4.  God as Father shows us how to love
          Experiencing this love teaches us a lesson in how we too are to love.  Looking at our situation, recognizing what God did for us causes us to reevaluate what love is.  It causes us to rethink how we love others and eventually changes the way in which we love because it is such a raw, real deep, reckless love that it transforms the way in which we view the world.
    5.  God as Father Heals our broken view of fathers
          Seeing God as Father do for us what Hosea did, allows us to see that the views of 'Father' we've allowed to dominate our thinking no longer hold sway.  The images of father we have or had can still effect us when we forget the depth of God the Father's love, but they no longer need to define who God is as Father.  He's not the abuser, the religious task master, the absent presence, the hateful dominator or the father who never seems pleased.  He is a reckless lover of His Children and paid the ultimate price to have his children back in his arms!

      These 5 keys to God as Father are but the beginning.  Not only does it teach us how to re-view God but it gives us fathers a guide to see how we are to love our own children.  I know I fail at this a lot more than I care to admit but I desire to be a Daddy like God...and I desire my son to be a Daddy like God.  I desire my daughter to marry a man who will be a Daddy like God...don't you?