Does God the Father really love me? This question resides deep within each human being. Is there a God and does He know about me and care about me? Most of us believe that God exists but are very tentative when it comes to believing that God has genuine affection for us. What if you were definitely sure that you are loved by the Almighty? How would that change your life?
God the Father in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament period which spans four thousand years God is rarely portrayed as Father. A few times He is called the Father of Israel. ‘Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?’ (Deuteronomy 32:6). At times He is referred to as the Father of an individual. To king David He says ‘He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.' (1 Chronicles 22:10). In other places the imagery of a father is used to describe the Father. ‘As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him.’ (Psalm 103:13).
The total times God is referred to as Father or the imagery of a father is used to describe Him is less than 25. When Jesus came to earth the revelation of God the Father was brought to a whole new level.
God the Father in the New Testament
‘Father’ was Jesus’ favorite name used to address God. Jesus refers to the Father more than 65 times in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the gospel of John, as if pulling back the curtain, Jesus refers to His Father over 100 times. Jesus used the Aramaic term ‘Abba’ which is close to our name ‘Daddy’ or ‘Papa’. It is a name used by family, by an heir, by one who has the closest relationship. He taught His disciples to also use ‘Abba’ in addressing the Father. It was not just a way His disciples were to address God, it was the way.
Concerning Jesus’ mission, ‘No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the Father’s intimate Presence, He has revealed Him.’ (John 1:18). The Amplified Bible says ‘He has brought Him out in the open where He can be seen’. In other words, Jesus’ mission was to show the world what God the Father was really like. Jesus said, ‘If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.’ (John 14:9).
God is referred to as Father at least 80 times from the book of Acts to Revelation. Just reading the pages of the New Testament and seeing how God the Father is revealed through Jesus should cause us to come to this realization. The revelation of God the Father through Jesus in the New Testament is as high as the heavens are above the earth when compared to the revelation of God the Father in the Old Testament. The Lord of heaven was trying to tell us something that would forever change our relationship with Him.
Jesus Our Everything
Think of this. Every time God is mentioned in the Bible, unless there is the specific designation of God the Son or the Holy Spirit, the reference is to God the Father. There are many names used particularly in the Old Testament to describe or address God. God Almighty, Elohim, Jehovah, Yahweh, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, the Holy One of Israel, the Ancient of Days, and many more. Each time this is referring to the Father.
But then comes Jesus, with skin on. And suddenly we have, as humans, someone in the Godhead that we can relate to. After all, our sin has separated us from the Father and we don’t have any right in His Presence. We feel very distant and separated from God the Father. Until Jesus.
Without Jesus we have no access to the Father, no forgiveness, no right, no communication, no hope, no peace, no present and no future. Without Jesus the only relationship we have with the Father is Judge. Jesus is our everything concerning the Father, forever.
Believing in the Father’s Love
Speaking from my own experience, why is it that we relate to Jesus so well, accepting His forgiveness and love, and yet still see the Father as Judge? In light of everything said before this should it be that way? Didn’t Jesus come for this very reason, to bring us back to the Father? If we don’t allow Jesus to bring us ‘all the way back’ to the Father then is the Father’s plan really being fulfilled in our lives? Are we experiencing all that the Father and the Son have for us?
Do you ever feel that in order to be in God the Father’s Presence you have to hide behind Jesus? It is that kind of believing and thinking that Jesus came to completely do away with through His life, His death on the cross and His resurrection. He came to bring us ‘all the way back’ to the Father.
I took the liberty to replace ‘God’ with ‘the Father’ in the following passage that you might see His love for you in a different light. Please forgive me if this offends you.
1 John 4:15-19 (NLT) All who confess that Jesus is the Son of the Father have the Father living in them, and they live in the Father. 16 We know how much the Father loves us, and we have put our trust in the Father’s love. The Father is love, and all who live in love live in the Father, and the Father lives in them. 17 And as we live in the Father, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face the Father with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced the Father’s perfect love. 19 We love each other because the Father loved us first.
He wants us to believe completely in His love. I know, it sounds too good to be true. Your performance has nothing to do with His love for you. He loved you completely even before you ever drew a breath on earth, knowing every deed you would ever do.
I don’t love my children because they live perfect lives. I love them because they are my children.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Through Jesus Christ you are now free to live in the Father’s love.