For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Let’s begin today with an awesome story.
When Rick Hoyt was 15, he told his father that he wanted to participate in a benefit run for an athlete who had been paralyzed. The biggest obstacle to this was that Rick was also unable to walk, having been born quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy. His father, Dick, agreed to run the race while pushing Rick in his wheelchair for the entire five miles. Afterward, Rick told his dad that he didn’t feel handicapped when he was running, so the pair began running more races. For the past forty years, they have run more than 1,100 races together, including triathlons and marathons, as well as biked/run across the entire United States. This is fatherly love on display; Dick sought the best for his son, even if that included running hundreds of thousands of miles to help him feel more able-bodied. How much more is God’s love for us!
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9–11)
As Scripture says, “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18). Jesus is God the Father revealed to us, giving us a fuller understanding of our Creator. Jesus’s himself said:
"I and the Father are one . . . know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." John 10:30, 38
Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? John 14:9–10a)
Through the Son we are able to discover just how good and loving the Father is. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is the perfect image of God, and the exact representation of his being. (Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-20) Jesus alone makes the Father known. He is our Everlasting Father.
Our response to the word father is undeniably tied to our experience with our earthly father. If your father is, or was, distant, absent, or abusive, your reaction might be one of fear, resentment, or even feeling unworthy of love. If your father is, or was, involved, encouraging, and handled discipline from a place of love, not anger, you most likely associate positive feelings toward the word father. The bible does not teach us that God is a father like our earthly fathers, rather we are taught by the scripture that God is a Father unlike any other. Jesus, your Everlasting Father, came down at Christmas to fill our hearts with God’s amazing love. This is God the Father’s gift to us at Christmas.
How comforting it is to read, “His name shall be called . . . Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6) Forever. There will be no goodbyes with him. Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from his love. Not even death itself—indeed, it will only draw us nearer.
1. Read Psalm 103 and take note of the actions and characteristics of God that resonate in your soul. Use those verses to sing a song of praise to your heavenly Father.
2. What stands out to you when you reflect on Jesus as your Everlasting Father? How does it inspire or comfort you? How does it change your perspective on the birth of Christ?