Pastor Shane Ham : What Kind of Father is God?

God So Loved · 39:18 · Recorded June 21, 2020

What Kind of Father is God?

Matthew 6:9 (NCV) “So when you pray, you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy.’”

Misconceptions about God:

God is unreasonable.

God is unreliable.

God is unconcerned.

God is unpleasable.

The kind of “father” God is:

1. God is a caring father.

Luke 15:11-24 (MSG) Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’ “So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any. That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.”

1 Peter 5:7 (CSB) …casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

2. God is a consistent father.

James 1:17 (NCV) Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows.

Malachi 3:6 (NLT2) “I am the LORD, and I do not change.”

Romans 11:29 (MSG) God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

3. God is a competent father.

Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT2) He is able, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

4. God is a close father.

Acts 17:25-27 (CEV) He doesn’t need help from anyone. He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him. He isn’t far from any of us.

Getting to know a “father” like that:

You’ve got to come to your senses.

Proverbs 20:30 (NKJV) Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.

You’ve got to trust God loves you, even before you “come to your senses”!

Romans 2:4 (NLT2) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

You’ve got to realize what it cost him, to love you that way!

Luke 15:25-32 (MSG) “All this time his older son was out in the field. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’ The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. Everything that is mine is yours— but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”

  • Has there been a time in your life when you have had misconcep-tions about God? Share with your group what they were and how you came to know and trust the truth of his character.

  • Pastor Shane gave four descriptors of the type of “father” God is. Which easiest for you to accept? Why? Which is the most difficult? Why? Are either of these impacted by the type of earthly father you have/had?

  • What do you think about the idea of trusting that God loves you before you really have a personal relationship with him? Do you feel this is more of an impossibility or the greatest gift? How has this played out in your life?

  • Look at the final point in this message. Spend some time in prayer thanking God for his great love that caused him to sacrifice everything to love you and share life with you. Sit with the truth that ‘Abba’ gave everything for you – and if you’d been the only one, he’d still have given it all. You are that precious to him!

  • Read the full story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and consider these questions: 1.) What does this story teach about sin, repentance, and God’s love? 2.) In your life do you most identify with the father, the younger son, or the older son? 3.) How does this parable remind you of your own story? What roadblocks you have faced (or are you still facing) on your way “home”? 4.) What is your greatest hope regarding broken relationships in your life? What is your greatest fear?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

  • Lion And The Lamb

  • Valley

  • King Of My Heart

  • Way Maker

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