Sunday, December 28, 2008

20 Benefits of having God as our Father

Thomas Watson provided 20 benefits of having God as our Father. I have updated the language a bit and added a few thoughts.

1. If God is our Father, he will teach us.

What father does not teach or counsel his own son? If we don’t know what to pray, his Spirit will intercede for us. He will not leave us in confusion or darkness. He will give us wise counsel.And the Father’s teaching is far more effective than any man’s, for “God teaches not only our ear, but our heart; he not only informs our mind, but inclines our will.”

2. If God is our Father, he has deep affectionate love for us.

Think of the love you have for your children. How you rejoice in them and how deeply felt your affection is for them. Watson says of God, “Never was there such an indulgent, affectionate Father.”

3. If God is our Father, he will be full of sympathy.

Psa. 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

4. If God is our Father, he will take notice of the least good he sees in us.

“He takes notice of the least scintilla, the least spark of grace in his children…he can see a grain of corn hidden under chaff, grace hidden under corruption.”

5. If God is our Father, he will accept all our devotion and service as good.

What we think is too weak and mixed with sin to be acceptable, God will reward. When your children make feeble attempts to give to you, do you not accept them with gladness? On Christmas my children gave me gifts they picked out at Santa’s secret shop. They sell some of the worst gifts there, but the fact that the gifts are picked out by my children whom I deeply love causes me to rejoice in them. We may be sinners who offer weak gifts, but our Father looks upon our works through Christ with a merciful eye.

6. If God is our Father, he will correct us in measure.

God’s discipline is gracious and it will not be greater or last longer than we can bear. He will let this cup pass from us, because Jesus drank it already.

7. If God is our Father, he will intermix mercy with all our afflictions.

In every cloud of affliction, we may see a rainbow of mercy. Even with the Cross there is blessing. As a believer, you will never suffer an affliction through which no good will come. The good may be drawing you closer to Christ, humbling you, teaching you to trust, but nothing is a sweeter gift than to be placed in a position where you grow in your enjoyment of the only eternal treasure.

8. If God is our Father, the evil one shall not prevail against us.

Satan will not prevail in his temptations. God shall extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one. He will finally conquer him. Even the current temptations will turn us to God in prayer and will serve to bear the blessed fruit of humility. Satan will not prevail in his accusations. Our Advocate is before the Father.

9. If God is our Father, no real evil shall come to us.

There is therefore, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We may face trouble and affliction, but it will not harden us and turn us to blaspheme the Father as it will with unbelievers. Instead, it will turn us toward him. “What hurt does the furnace to the gold? It only makes it purer. What hurt does affliction to grace? Only refine and purify it.”

10. If God is our Father, we may go with cheerfulness to the throne of grace.

What Father does not listen to the cries of his son? Paul says we have access by grace through faith in Christ to stand before the throne of God. Think of that! You can go to the throne of the King of all. You can approach his throne and boldly say to him, “Dad, Dad, I really could use your help with this…” And you can do it knowing that our Father wants to give us good gifts! This should give flight to our prayers.

11. If God is our Father, he will stand between us and danger.

God is our fortress and strong deliverer. He is our shield.

We need not fear the one who can destroy the body! For our Father has a grip on our eternal souls.

12. If God is our Father, we shall not lack anything that he sees to be good for us.

If he deems we need to go through a time of trials, he will provide them. God provided a famine to Israel to reunite Joseph with his family. If he deems we need more worldly goods, he will provide them. God provided Joseph with great power and wealth to provide for the needs of Israel.

13. If God is our Father, all the promises of the Bible belong to us. Heb. 6:17

14. If God is our Father, we will be conquerors.

No matter what battles we lose in this life, we have won the final victory in Christ. We will be crowned at death.

15. If God is our Father, he will now and then send us some token of his love.

Although we can feel very far from home, God will send us tokens of his love which remind us he is still near.

He gives an answer to prayer, or enlarges our hearts for service, gives us joy and peace.

16. If God is our Father, he will indulge and spare us.

We often do that which merits wrath, yet God spares us. He did not spare his Natural Son so that he could spare his adopted children!

17. If God is our Father, he will put honor and renown on us at the last day.

It can be very difficult to endure slander as a believer. It can be trying to stand for truth when people are maligning your character. The maligning of your character happens by unbelievers out there in the world, but Satan also uses believers in here in the church to do it.

“If Satan cannot defile God’s children, he will disgrace them; if he cannot strike his fiery darts into their consciences he will put a dead fly to their names; but God will one day clear the innocent; he will roll away their reproach…The wicked may by misreports darken the honor and repute of the saints; but God will cause their names to shine forth.”

“God will make an open and honourable recital of all their good deeds. As the sins of the wicked shall be openly mentioned, to their eternal infamy and confusion, so all the good deeds of the saints shall be openly mentioned, ‘and then shall every man praise God.’ Thus God shall set a trophy of honor upon all his children at the last day.”

18. If God is our Father, he will give us a good inheritance.

When we see the economy failing, or we are personally struggling financially, it is good to remember our eternal inheritance which is but a short time away. We must remember that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. How can the fleeting riches of this world compare with the right hand of God where there are joys forevermore?

19. If God is our Father, it is a comfort when we lose loved ones.

When my children receive precious gifts, into whose hands do they place them for safe-keeping? Are our souls not the most precious gifts? What safer place to keep them then in the hands of our Father in heaven? This is why Jesus can say into your hands I commit my Spirit. When we, or our believing loved ones die, our souls are carried to our Father’s house where there are delights that are unspeakable and full of glory!

20. If God is our Father, he will not disinherit us!

We may for a time fall out of communion with God, but our union with him will never be broken! God has promised to make an everlasting covenant with us and he will not break his promise. Can anything cause our Father to reject his adopted children? Rom. 8:31ff.

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