Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Perfect Father

Jesus had a lot to say about "the Father." He made numerous references to our heavenly Father in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:7). I have selected three paragraphs in each of the chapters that teach us something very important about God. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV).

Jesus often used the expression, "You have heard that it was said...but I tell you..." The point Jesus was making here is that God's children are supposed to imitate their Father in Heaven. People usually excuse themselves for their less-than-perfect behavior. What Jesus was telling them to do in this passage would cause many to say, "I cannot do that because I am not perfect." This may be true but Christians should do their best to be perfect. It is like starting a course in school and deciding to attempt for "100" on every assignment or test. God is perfect and he wants us to try and be like him.

Another thing we learned from Jesus about God our Father is that he knows our needs even before we ask; but he wants us to ask nonetheless. Jesus taught his disciples to pray by giving this model prayer: "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,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one '" (Matthew 6:7-13 NIV)

Prayer includes petitioning God for what we need. Jesus taught us to first pray about the things that pertain to God and then our own needs. If we "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness" and if we ask, then "all these things will be given to you" (see Matthew 6:32-33).

The last point that we will consider is this article is that God our heavenly Father wants to give us "good gifts." Jesus said, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11). Human parents generally want to give their children good things. That is why they make such an effort to get just the right gift(s) at Christmas and birthdays. If we care about this, how much more does "our Father in heaven."

All of these things plus who he is (his divine attributes) make God "the Perfect Father."

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