|That He is our "Father"
necessarily means that God, the Father, desires a relationship with
us. He is not just some abstract "Holy Other" or "Universal Force."
He is our Father who, as any good Father, continually demonstrates
His love for us.
Martin Luther, in his explanation to the First
Article, recognized the Father's great love for us. He wrote,
"..That He has given me my body and soul
and all my members. My reason and all my senses...and all that I
need to support this body and life. Also clothing and shoes,
house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle and all my
goods....That He richly and daily provides for me and all
believers....And all this purely out of fatherly divine goodness
and mercy--without any merit or worthiness in me."
What is our response to all of God's gifts? We should "thank and
to praise, serve and obey Him." This is, as Martin Luther
emphasized, "most certainly true."
The Father's Works
1) Creation: The Book of Genesis
describes how God, the Father, created the universe in just seven
days. God didn't need billions of years to create the world. If He
did, He wouldn't be the all-powerful, omnipotent God the Bible
Working with the two other members of the
Trinity--Jesus and the Holy Spirit--all things simply came into
being just by God saying it. Now THAT'S a powerful God. Isn't that
the kind of God you want?
Yes, our God is One who can make anything
happen...simply by speaking His Word!
2) Sustaining Creation: As
Luther pointed out, God didn't just create the world and then leave.
Every single day He watches over creation, guiding it and
replenishing it according to His purpose. Nothing is left to
coincidence in this world. Everything that happens in this
world--and in our lives--is part of God's remarkable plan for us, a
plan He made before the world was even created (see Ephesians 1).
God sustains creation by providing the sun and
the ground to produce crops in their season to feed us. He provides
us with food by providing meat and vegetables...and an environmental
system that provides them.
Immediately after creating the world, God
charged Adam and Eve with the proper care of the world God made.
"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the
earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground"
(Genesis 1:28 NIV).
That responsibility rests on all people. We
must manage all that God has given in our environment as God calls
us. This means we don't misuse, abuse or pollute the world God has
given. Instead, we manage and utilize in such a way as to maximize
the blessings it provides (such as plants, meat and drink) while
minimizing the thoughtless destruction of vital resources necessary
to maintain the earth.
God, The Father's Greatest Work
What do you think the Father's greatest work
is? Is it making trees to grow from seeds? Is it making living human
beings from a simple joining of two small cells? It is the constant,
regular, dependable rotation of the planets which never collide?
As remarkable as these are, God's greatest
work is sending us His only-begotten Son, Jesus. As our Savior,
Jesus died on the cross for our sins. But it was the Father who sent
Jesus to us. That is what John 3:16 teaches:
"For God [the Father] so loved
the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Yes, God, the Father, demonstrated His
greatest love to us by giving us the greatest sacrifice He could
give: His one and only Son.
We know it is difficult to give up things.
It's even harder when the thing we are giving up is the only one we
have. But, in giving up even the only--and most precious--thing we
have, we demonstrate the highest form of love: sacrificial love.
Once God tested His faithful servant Abraham.
He called Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Though this
testing, Abraham understood first-hand the kind of love the Father
had for him. Read Genesis 22:1-18 and reflect on how the Father's
love for you is even greater than Abraham's love for God!
That's the love God gives us each day. A
totally undeserved sacrificial love which provides for us and
non-believers even though we sin daily...and much. By sending Jesus,
the Father showed us why He is our Father: Because He loves us so
How do we respond to God's love? Martin Luther
wrote that all we can do is "thank and praise, serve and obey Him."
Since He is our Father, we simply love Him as children love their
dear father--with all their heart, soul, mind and spirit.
Do you love God as your Heavenly Father?
How is this demonstrated in your life?