Summary: This is a message on the word Father as it appears in the Lord’s prayer
TEXT: Matthew 6:5-15
The Lord’s Prayer is familiar not just to the believer but also to the heathen. The saying or the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer offends hardly anyone, with the exception of a few extremist groups. Yet, few have surgically examined this lofty prayer by removing each if of its separate parts.
May we perform such an operation as we remove the first two words of this prayer and place it under the microscope of God’s Holy Word?
We will examine the words, “Our Father”, showing how meaningful these words are as this prayer begins.
I. CONSIDER THE FATHER’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS CHILDREN.
Note: the word father has two distinct meanings:
a. It can be used in the “paternal” sense. This simply describes the physical or the biological connection between the father and the child.
b. I can be used in the “fatherhood” sense when describing a relationship of love, intimacy, confidence, and trust between the father and the child.
A. “Our Father” Denotes A Loving Relationship.
1. A love that is Caring.
Our Heavenly Father’s love is a very caring love. He demonstrated this to be so when He sacrificed His only begotten Son so that He could have many sons. The blessed Book of Hebrews alludes to this truth when it says in Hebrews 2: 9 and 10, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
2. A love that is Controlled.
A controlled love is a love that has parameters and boundaries. A person’s love does not permit the person being loved to think that he has no responsibilities or requirements. Having such is the reason for the expression, “Love must be tough”. Tough love is the kind of love that the Lord has.
B. “Our Father” Denotes A Longing Relationship.
The words long or longing are old English words that speaks of having a strong desire for something as we would say of a person who is homesick, that that person is longing for home.
1. Our Father longs for our presence.
Our Father longs for our presence. A good parallel or example of how this is so would be the parable of the prodigal son and his father longing for him to come back home. If you are not near him spiritually you are unable to talk to Him. Prayer requires that you walk with Him.
2. Our Father longs for our provisions
Our heavenly Father is very interested in us. There is a mystery involving prayer. God allows us just as an earthly father would, to ask for things that we need. Katie, my daughter has learned how to ask for things that she wants. She does a pretty good job of “asking”. In my case, I may not know what she needs, but in the case of our heavenly Father, He knows before we ask. He longs or desires for us to be dependant upon Him. For this reason, He says, that you have not because you ask not… Are you asking?
C. “Our Father” Denotes A “Lasting” Relationship.
Because God is our heavenly Father, He will be our Father for all eternity. My relationship with my earthy Father ended in a personal ongoing sense at his death, but not so with my heavenly Father, I just talked to Him this morning. Praise God through prayer, we talk all of the time.
1. This relationship is never ending.
This is something unique to only our heavenly Father because of His eternality, His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His omnipotence. Nothing can end this relationship, but SIN CAN HINDER IT.
2. This relationship is never exhausted.
One of the great things about prayer is that one cannot use up the resources of God. His resources are like an artesian well that just keeps flowing.
II. CONSIDER THE FATHER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO HIS CHILDREN.
When the Bible tells us when a person does not provide for his own, he is worse than an infidel, it is describing the role of the father. The father has the responsibility of providing for his children. I sure would like to impress this on a few that I know.
I Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
A. To Provide His Children With Clothing.
1. There is the sacrifice of doing this.
God the Father gave Jesus Christ His Son that we may be clothed in His righteousness. Our righteousness is not at all adequate. We must be clothed in His righteousness. There are three kinds of righteousness. There is the righteousness of man. This is the morality and the religious aspirations of the natural, fallen man. In God’s holy eyes this impure righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6). Sinful man’s attempts at good works are unacceptable, being entirely tainted with the fallen self. Then there is the righteousness of the law (Romans 2:26) This is when man attempts to satisfy God by keeping the law. He cannot do this because of his human fall. (Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:10,11). The only acceptable righteousness is the righteousness of God. (Romans 1:17). Unless we are clothed in God’s righteousness we will die and go to an eternal, everlasting hell. It is God’s responsibility to clothe us since we cannot clothe ourselves.