WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 24, 2021
TOPIC: IS GOD YOUR FATHER?
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (Matthew 6:8-9 New King James Version).
John 1:10-13 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 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 1:10-13 New Living Translation)
This passage is about Jesus Christ and the relationships that two different categories of people had with Him when He was on earth, which are still the relationships people have with Him today. There were those who were His family members, the land of Judea, and fellow Jews but rejected Him as the promised Messiah. He was eventually crucified.
But there were those who accepted Him and believed in His name. He gave them the right to become the children of God. In other words, He gave them the right of adoption and sonship. 1 John 5:1a says everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. In other words, whoever believes that Jesus is the promised Messiah is born of God.
Salvation is for individuals who will accept God’s way to salvation, and that is Jesus Christ. Salvation is for all but then each person must receive it for himself. It is not a group affair. When you are born-again, you become a child of God by the right that Jesus gives.
The Greek word translated “right” is “exousia”– authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength. Jesus gave those who believed in Him the “exousia” to become the children of God. Most Bible translations render “exousia” as right while others translate it as authority, power, or privilege. The Bible in Basic English says, “To all those who did so take him, however, he gave the right of becoming children of God–that is, to those who had faith in his name” (John 1:12).
However, the King James Version uses “power” instead of “right.” “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (King James Version). The Amplified Bible says, “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”
No person can become a child of God without faith in Jesus Christ. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 New Living Translation). He also says, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved” (John 10:9a New Living Translation). He is the entrance or door you pass through to reach God. Jesus is the entrance to the Kingdom of God.
As John 1:13 says, becoming a son/child of God “is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan” (New Living Translation). In other words, it is not a natural birth but a spiritual birth. That’s why those who are born again are called the children of God, not the children of their parents, as in natural birth. “They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father. Is God your Father? If you’re not born again, God is your Creator but not yet your Father.” (John 1:13 Good News Translation).
Jesus first enjoyed Fatherhood and later introduced us to this relationship with God. You may know that God is the Creator of heaven and earth but do you know God as your Father? If you have given your life to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are a child of God and you should be enjoying the Fatherhood of God.
Jesus Christ emphasized the Fatherhood of God during His earthly ministry. For instance, Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount taught, among other things, what is popularly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” He first warned His followers not to pray like the Pharisees “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6 New King James Version).
Then, Jesus went into the model prayer. He didn’t start the prayer by saying, “God, our Maker, the Almighty.” Rather, He said, “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” (Matthew 6:9 New King James Version). If you read through the Bible, particularly, the book of John, you will discover that Jesus related to God as His Father, thus teaching His disciples a lesson on the Fatherhood of God.
You should understand this very important aspect of God. Knowing God being as your Father transcends just knowing Him as the omnipotent, the omniscient, and the omnipresent. Yes, it is good to know all that about God but God wants you to be able to relate to Him as your Father in heaven. Is God your Father?
Before Jesus was born as a human being, God related to the children of Israel as Father in the Old Testament. However, they betrayed the Fatherhood of God. They did not relate to God as true children. God told the priests, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor?” (Malachi 1:6a New King James Version). Fathers have responsibilities towards their children and children have responsibilities towards their fathers, and, indeed, their parents.
If you understand that God is the Father of every born-again person, it will change your attitude towards Him and enrich your relationship with Him. You will not see God only as the Creator of heaven and earth and a holy and powerful God always looking for your faults to judge, condemn, and punish you. No. You will see Him first and more like a loving Father – your Father who is in heaven. Nevertheless, loving fathers discipline their children. “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children” (Hebrews 12:6 New Living Translation).
Your heavenly Father can do for you what your natural father cannot do. He does not suffer the limitations they have. David said, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10 New King James Version). The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, LORD, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past” (Isaiah 63:16 New Living Translation). Is God your Father?
God is the father of the fatherless. “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5 New King James Version). Psalm 10:14 describes God as “the helper of the fatherless” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation renders this as “the defender of orphans.” Understand God is your Father by adoption through Jesus Christ. Behave like a true son or daughter of God and enjoy the benefits of sonship.
Your earthly father may have died or is alive but unable to help you over some matters. However, your Father in heaven never dies and is never helpless! He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13, 22). He can do all things (Job 42:2). With Him, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Is this God your Father? If He is not, the right, authority, or power to become His son is available now.
You can be born again now. You can believe in Him now. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18 New King James Version). Is Jesus your Saviour? Is God 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 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: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege of adoption and sonship. Father, I thank You for the right I have in Jesus Christ to become your son. I shall always walk in the knowledge that You are my Father. Holy Spirit, give me more revelation of the fatherhood of God and help me to fellowship with my father more intimately. Convict sinners who are yet to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour that they may be born again and stop rejecting 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.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947