When our first child was born, there were some complications and she had to spend a few days in a special care ward.
She was kept in an incubator and the only way I could touch her was by putting my hands through holes in the side of the incubator wall. She was only a few hours old when I came to her, stroked her, and asked her a question.
“Who’s your daddy?”
I didn’t expect her to answer, so I answered for her.
“I’m your daddy, and I love you.”
It thrilled me to tell her this again and again.
“Who’s your daddy? I am. It’s me. I’m that guy. I’m your father, you’re my baby, and I love you.”
The communication was all one-way but that was fine with me. I couldn’t shut up. I had just become a father and my heart was fit to burst.
This little girl belonged to me and I belonged to her.
There were many things I wanted to tell her, but the first and most important thing she needed to hear was that I was her daddy and I loved her.
The most important question
The most important question you will ever ask is, “Who is my father?” Your answer to this question will influence every other question of life.
Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here?
Get the father question wrong and you will miss it on every other issue. Your identity will be muddled, and you will have no lasting security.
In your legitimate desire to define yourself, you may settle for inferior choices such as career or ministry. “I am a doctor.” “I am a pastor.”
But the truth is you are much more than what you do. You are your father’s child.
But who is your father?
Jesus answers the most important question: “Who’s your Father? God is your Father!”
Our Father in heaven … (Matt. 6:9)
What is God’s name?
The saints of the Old Testament had many names for God, but Jesus gave us the best name of all:
Abba, Father. (Mark 14:36)
Abba is not the name of a distant and mysterious God. Abba is a word of familial intimacy, not unlike Papa (which is how the Message Bible translates it). Abba is your heavenly Father who cares for you and longs for you to know him.
Why did Jesus come?
Jesus came to reveal God the Father to you. He came so that you might know who you truly are. He came that you might experience the abundant life of living as the apple of your Father’s eye.
Your heavenly Father is for you. He has tilted the universe in your favor.
With a Father like this, how can you fail?
Jesus said, “Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28). What is the name of God that Jesus wants to glorify? He just told us. It’s Father. He has other names, but this is the name he wants us to use when we talk to him.
Near the end of his life, Jesus prayed,
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known … (John 17:25–26)
Jesus is in the business of making the Father known. Yet many don’t know God as their Father. Like the saints of old, they see him as Lord but not Abba.
It’s as if Jesus never came.
What is God like?
A.W. Tozer once said:
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
Your picture of God is the single greatest influence on your life. Define God and you define yourself.
For instance, if you imagine God as a terrifying punisher, you’ll be fearful and guilt-ridden. If you see him as a semi-deaf sky-Santa, you’ll be a superstitious worrier. And if you believe God to be distant or dead, chances are you’ll act as a little god of your own little world.
Your view of God matters, but what is God the Father like?
He is exactly like the Son. Or the Son is exactly like the Father (Heb. 1:3). God is like Jesus. Not roughly so, but exactly so.
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If you ran into God the Father at a party you might mistake him for Jesus or vice versa. That’s how similar they are.
This similarity makes it easy for us to dismiss the silly caricatures of manmade religion. Since Jesus is not a semi-deaf sky-Santa, then neither is God. And since Jesus is not a terrifying punisher, neither is God. Your heavenly Father is exactly like Jesus.
A Father like the Son
God the Father and God the Son don’t have separate agendas. God is not in heaven recording your sins while Jesus is forgiving them. Nor is he giving you sicknesses so Jesus can heal you.
The Father and the Son are exactly alike, they’re on the same page, and they have the same heart.
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
The bad news of the orphaned life says, “You are on your own and nobody cares.” But the good news Jesus proclaimed says, “You are not alone and your heavenly Father cares about even the smallest details of your life” (see Matt. 6:31–32).
Perhaps you are asking questions like these: Who am I? Why am I here? Is God angry with me? Good fathers love it when their children ask questions, but you will never get good answers unless you see God as your good Father.
Who am I? You are your Father’s dearly-loved child.
Why am I here? Because your Father loved you into existence. You are his dream come true.
Is God mad at me? Nope. He rejoices over you with singing.
Can he forgive me for the things I’ve done? He already did.
Does he love me for who I am? He thinks you’re great! You’re a one-of-a-kind special and he delights in you.
Will he disown me if I sin? Never. Would you disown your own children?
What does he expect from me? He expects you to settle in his love and flourish in his grace.
Whether you are in the pigpen of dead works or the special care ward for broken people, you need to know that your heavenly Father loves you like crazy. He reaches down with love in his eyes and healing in his hands to ask you one question:
Who’s your Daddy? I’m your Daddy, you’re my child, and I love you.
This is the good news an orphaned world most needs to hear.