WRITTEN 6/17/12 FOR “OUR DAILY BREAD” BY: Joe Stowell
When Jesus taught us to pray, He began, “Our Father in heaven” (Luke 11:2). It is one of many Scriptures that refers to God as a father. I find it both fascinating and instructive that when God wanted us to know what He is like, He chose to emphasize His fatherhood.
What do we know about God as our Father? According to Jesus’ prayer, we know that our Father in heaven is available and attentive to us. It is also clear that He provides for us. He forgives us and protects us from evil (vv.2-4).
What a wonderful pattern for fathers who aren’t in heaven! Granted, there is only one perfect Father in the universe, but as such He sets the pace for the rest of us less-than-perfect fathers. I discovered early in my ministry that my children were not impressed with books I wrote, titles I had, or places I spoke. They craved my time and attention, the provision for basic needs, a love that patiently forgave, and the creation of a safe place for them to grow and mature. It’s a short but very profound list of fatherly duties.
And what about those who didn’t get a dad who met those needs? Take heart in the fact that if you have been redeemed through Jesus you have a perfect heavenly Father—and He’s the best Father of all.
Thank You, God, for being our Father, Shepherd,
Guardian, and Guide. We will never outgrow our need
for Your love and care. We want to seek You
with all our heart that we might know You intimately.
The heavenly Father’s arms never tire of holding His children.
READ: Luke 11:1-13
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?