Jesus said, ?Whoever has seen me has seen the Father? (John 14:9). Our view of God is often informed by our view of Jesus?and rightly so, as he is fully man and fully God. But our view of God the Father can be skewed by our earthly fathers and mothers. At best, they are merely images of God. In Embracing God as Father, Daniel Bush and Noel S. Due show us the reality of the loving heart of the Father toward his children. A love that knows no bounds, that seeks and saves the lost and weary. This book will help you explore what it means to be sons and daughters of God the Father.
Steve Brown, founder and president of Key Life Network, wrote the forward to Embracing God as Father and he reflects on the connection between our earthly fathers and mothers and God the Father. Here it is in its entirety:
My father was a drunk. He was an executive (head of shipping) at a large textile firm with plants in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Holland. He was also an amateur pool hustler who hustled the hustlers who came through our town. He would get a call from the pool hall that there was a new ?gun? in town. My father would leave the office, go to the pool hall, and to the surprise of the hustler, leave the pool hall with considerably more cash than he had when he first came in.
?Your daddy,? a man told me once, ?was the best pool player in western North Carolina when he was sober.? I asked the man who was the second best pool player. He laughed and said, ?Your daddy when he was drunk.?
You may be thinking that my growing years must have been horrible. Actually, you would be wrong. Do you know why? Because my father loved my brother and me with a passionate, unconditional, unrelenting, undeserved, and unreserved love. I wish I had the space to tell you stories; but whether it was in defending us against unjust charges, standing with us when we were ?guilty as charged,? or showing our pictures to anybody who would look, his love and commitment to us was total. At his funeral, there was a long receiving line, and repeatedly, as people shook our hands, they said, ?Do you boys know how much your father loved you??
Years later when I became a Christian, I was reading the Bible (a book with which I was not yet that familiar) and came across a passage where Jesus said, ?Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!? (Matt 7:9?11).
I remember the incredible joy with which I received Jesus? words. I remember thinking that if my heavenly Father loved me one fifth as much as my earthly father, I was ?good to go.? I never had to worry again about my being good enough to please him (he was already pleased because I was his son). I didn?t have to worry about my guilt (he knew the bad things about me and loved me anyway). I could trust him with anything (his love would never allow him to be unmerciful, unkind, or angry because I had offended him). In short, both my earthly father and my heavenly one would never say, ?I?ve had it with you.?
A lot of years have passed. I thought I would be better than I am by now, but I?m not. I thought I would eventually get to the place where I would be good enough
to get my heavenly Father to love me, but it hasn?t worked out that way. I thought my knowledge would please him and make him glad he made me his child, but every day, in one way or another, I find out I got it wrong. But God is my Father, and it?s okay. He, like my earthly one, never wavers in doing what good fathers do. He never changed and his Fatherhood?his love, mercy, grace and gentle discipline?has been the most important and constant factor in my life.
Reading the book you hold in your hands was not dissimilar to my first reading the words of Jesus about the true nature of a Father who ?gives good things? to his children. As I read, I was overwhelmed again by a heavenly Father who revealed himself to us in Jesus. I found myself sometimes moved to tears and sometimes laughing the laughter of the free and loved.
Read this book and rejoice in your Father!
?Steve W. Brown
The digital edition of Embracing God as Father is currently available for pre-order. The print edition should be available later this year.
See who God the Father truly is and see who we are as his sons and daughters.