April 6, 2004

Encouragement for Today

 

A Daddy Who Loves Me

Sharon Jaynes: Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author, speaker

 

Key Verse:

 

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV).

 

 

Devotion:

 

One of my favorite retreat topics is from my books, Dreams of a Woman – God’s Plans for Fulfilling Your Dreams.  In this book I talk about five dreams every little girl has: to have a dad who loves me, to be a bride, to be a mommy, to be beautiful, and to have a best friend.

 

In talking to women all across the country, I have seen eyes fill with tears when I talk about the dream of having a daddy who loves me.  But the tears are not for me, they reveal the longing in their own hearts.  Butterfly Kisses a song by Bob Carlisle that climbed the charts in 2000, received international recognition in both the Christian and secular music industries.  The song was about the tender love between a father and his daughter, starting from her birth to her wedding day.  Mr. Carlisle said, “I get a lot of mail from young girls who try to get me to marry their moms.  That used to be a real chuckle because it’s so cute, but then I realized they didn’t want romance for mom.  They want the father that is in that song, and that just kills me.”

 

Our modern society has downplayed the importance of fathers over the past forty years.  Television programs such as “Leave it to Beaver,” “Father Knows Best,” and “Make Room for Daddy,” portrayed dads as a well spring of wisdom, compassion, and guidance.  By the end of the sixties, that began to change.  “All in the Family” featured Archie Bunker, a bigoted, bungling oppressor.  Then came Tim Taylor of “Home Improvement” with the recurring theme of Tim messing something up and his wife, Jill, straightening it out.  I could go on with the Simpsons, Roseanne, and even the Berenstain Bears.  In the nineties, Murphy Brown (Candice Bergman) announced to the world that children really don’t even need a father at all.  Suffice it to say that fathers on TV are now more likely portrayed as the obstacle instead of over comers of the obstacles.

 

Because of the societal trends, at least forty per cent of American children will go to sleep in homes in which their fathers do not live.  The feminist movement has tried to teach women that they do not need men – fathers or husbands.  A recent article in Time magazine suggested that remaining unmarried can be “incredibly empowering for women” even when the choice involves raising children without the presence of a father.   Who needs men?” they taunt.  I’ll tell you who – children.  All the feminist rhetoric has not erased the deep seated need that women have tucked in the recesses of their hearts – to be fathered by the father of their dreams.  Little girls and grown women alike want a daddy to protect them, help them, guide them, nurture them, and cheer them on through the struggles of life.

 

In the Old Testament, God has many names.  He is Elohim – the Creator, El Elyon – God Most High, El Roi – the God who sees, El Shaddai – the All-Sufficient One, Adonai – the Lord, Jehovah – the Self-Existent One, Jehovah-Jireh –the Lord Will Provide, Jehovah – Rapha – the Lord that heals, Jehovah—Shalom – the Lord is peace, Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, and many more.  His covenant name with the people of Israel was I AM. “He is: and it is because He is what He is that everything else is as it is.”

 

In the New Testament, Jesus introduced a new name for God – Father.  It is the name that Jesus referred to more than any other and the name that He invites us to use to address the Creator of the Universe.  Just stop and think about that for a moment.  The God of the universe who created the heavens and the earth, who always has been and always will be, who is all-knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere at once – that same God invites you to call Him - Daddy!

 

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He said:

 

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  This, then, is how you should pray:

 

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name….’ (Matthews 6:6-9 NIV).

 

J. I. Packer, in his book Knowing God wrote: “For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new and better than the Old, everything that is distinctly Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the fatherhood of God.  All other religions demand followers to worship created beings (Mohammad, Buddha),  but Jehovah the Creator, the great I AM, invites us to crawl up in His lap, become His child, and call Him Abba, Daddy.  He said, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18NIV).

 

 

My Prayer for today:

 

Dear Lord, Thank you for being a father who loves me as his precious child.  How amazing to think that the God who created the universe and all it contains invites me to be His child and call Him Abba, Father.  I do not take this invitation lightly, but cherish it with all my heart.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Application Steps:

 

Make a list of your idea of a perfect Father?  Now put a check mark by the ones you have experienced in God as His child.

 

God told Moses that His name was, “I AM.”  He is whatever we need. Make a list  filling in the blank…I AM your___________.

 

 

Reflection Points:

 

What does God promise in 2 Corinthians 6:18?

 

Describe how God, our Father is depicted in Hosea 11:3-4.

 

What do you learn about the love of God in Ephesians 3:18-19?

 

What do you learn about the Fatherhood of God in 1 Corinthians 8:6?

 

 

Power Verses:

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—(Ephesians 1:3-5 NIV) .

 

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:5-7 NIV)

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17 NIV). .

 

  I (Jesus) and the Father are one." (John 10:30 NIV).

 

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15 NIV)

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Dreams of a Woman – God’s Plans for Fulfilling Your Dreams by Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/dreams.html