WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 11, 2021
TOPIC: DO YOU KNOW GOD AS YOUR FATHER?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God’” (John 20:17 New King James Version).
In the New Testament, we see Jesus, throughout His ministry on earth, always referring to God as His Father and Himself as the Son of God. Jesus was both the son of man and the Son of God.
In John 10:24-25, when the Jews asked Him to confirm if He was the Christ, Jesus answered, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (verse 25 New King James Version).
Immediately after Jesus’ reply which ends in verse 30, the Bible records that the Jews took up stones again to stone Him (verse 31). But Jesus asked them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” (Verse 32 New King James Version).
In this scripture, Jesus again referred to God as His Father. But the Jews responded by saying they did not stone Him for good work rather for blasphemy and because He, being a man, made Himself God (verse 33). Jesus knew God as His Father.
But the theology of the Jews faulted Jesus’ calling Himself the Son of God. They knew Joseph and Mary as His father and mother respectively. They must be thinking how the son of a carpenter could be calling himself the Son of God. Therefore, they said He was blaspheming.
Nevertheless, Jesus did not renounce the truth that He was the Son of God. He knew who He was. Continuing His conversation with the Jews, He said, “Do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him’” (John 10:36-38 New King James Version). Consequently, the Jews sought again to seize Him, but He escaped.
See what Jesus said further about Him being the Son of God and God being His Father. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:1-4 New King James Version).
Responding to what Jesus said, one of His disciples, Thomas, told Him that they didn’t know where He was going; he asked how they could know the way (verse 5). “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (New King James Version). Do you see Jesus referring to “the Father”? He was talking about God.
But the disciples didn’t know the Father Jesus was talking about. “‘If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us’” (John 14:7-8 New King James Version). Do you know the Father? Do you know God as your Father?
Take note of the last sentence in that passage: Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” It suggests a hunger for truth. He said knowing the Father Jesus was talking about would satisfy. In other words, Jesus showing them the Father was all they needed.
Phillip’s ignorance of the Father was representative of the ignorance of the rest of the apostles. Therefore, Jesus had to reveal the Father to them. “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves’” (John 14:9-11 New King James Version). Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30).
But let us see what Jesus said further in John 14:28-31. “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here” (New King James Version).
Jesus continued in the passage above referring to God as “the Father”. He had been talking about God being His Father but later on, Jesus also said His Father was the Father of His disciples and His God was their God too. Jesus told Mary Magdalene, after His resurrection, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17 New King James Version).
How can God be the Father of a mortal? Being our Father does not diminish God; it does not reduce Him. What Jesus said concerning the disciples whom He sent Mary Magdalene to, He also said about all those who would later become His disciples. God is the Father of everyone who would come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
You can become someone’s child by being born biologically by the person or by being adopted. We become God’s children by both methods. We are born again and adopted as His children. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13 New King James Version). As Jesus said, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
In Romans 8:14-15, the Bible talks about how God’s children were adopted. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (New King James Version).
Galatians 4:5 says God sent Jesus to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (verses 6-7 New King James Version). By being born spiritually anew and being adopted into the family of God, we are entitled to the rights of being God’s children. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
The New Living Translation renders Romans 8:15-17 thus: “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family — calling him ‘Father, dear Father.’ For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures — for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”
Do you know God as your Father? Are you relating to Him as such? Perhaps the greatest priority of Jesus in His earthly ministry was to make His listeners understand that God was their Father and He loved them. This is evident in the Lord’s Prayer He taught His disciples. Matthew 6:8-9 says, “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (New King James Version).
If you’re born again, you are a child of God. You are not a slave. God is your Father. He loves you. He is not going about looking for your faults and seeking to punish and destroy you. Rather, He wants you to grow and be like Him. 1 Peter 2:2 says as newborn babes, believers should desire the pure milk of the word that they may grow thereby,
However, believers must not remain babes being fed with only milk but grow to be fed with solid food. “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14 New King James Version).
God does not want you to be condemned but to be saved. He does not wish that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). That’s why Jesus sent His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15-16). Through the ministry of the spiritual gifts, believers are to grow to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:13-14).
God is your Father and as His child, you should obey Him. Disobedience has grave consequences. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:35-36 New King James Version).
If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you’re not a slave. You are a child of God. God is your Father. The Lord disciplines those He loves and chastens everyone He accepts as a son (Hebrews 12:6). Don’t make light of His discipline or give up when He corrects you.
You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. But Galatians 4:1-2 says that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
God the heavenly Father will not only give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13); He will also answer prayers that are consistent with His will (1 John 5:14). “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32 New King James Version).
Do you know God as your Father?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for being My Father and the privilege of being Your child. Holy Spirit, help me to know the Father more and more as I fellowship with Him. Help me to grow up and be like Him, doing always what pleases Him.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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