“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Two Times Our Father, by Randall D. Kittle
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There was once a single father with two young children.  At first, their lives together seemed perfect. The father spent time with them every day.  The children were well taken care of and lived in a beautiful home.  But after a while, something tragic happened.  Accusations came to light that the father was controlling and abusive.  Soon, charges of child neglect and child endangerment were filed against the father.  To protect them, the children were taken away from him … to be raised by someone else.

The father always declared his innocence.  But the children (who were very young when they were taken out of the father’s home) believed the stories of their father’s wickedness, for after all there were witnesses, and would have nothing to do with him.  

The father longed for his children with a broken heart.  He loved them too much to live without them, and so he decided to spend all of his time and energy to clear his name.  Eventually, his name was exonerated, but because he had lost his rights as their father, he still had to go to court and adopt them. That’s right, the father had to pay the court costs to adopt his own children!  Finally, one morning he received the great news that the adoption papers had come through.  His children were his once again … but not until it had cost him everything he had.  

The Good Father 
This story is true … and the father’s name is Father God.  In the Garden of Eden, He was accused of mistreating His children, Adam and Eve.  The evil one said that the Father was lying to them — “You will not certainly die” (Genesis 3:4), and holding out on them — “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).  When Adam and Eve believed these lies and acted upon them, it separated their hearts from God.  God was still looking to be with them, but they were hiding from Him (see Genesis 3:10).  

But Father God refused to remain separated from us.  Though it would cost Him everything, He would not abandon us.  When the people of Israel felt abandoned by God during their exile, they complained,
“The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14).  Yet, God replied that His love for His people was greater than that of a mother’s love for her own child, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15).  Many have said that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.  They are wrong.  The love of Father God for us, his wayward children, far eclipses it!

The Father sent His very essence, His only begotten Son, Jesus, to come to this earth and pay the ultimate price for our redemption.  His death assured our life.  Our adoption papers were signed in the blood of the sinless Lamb.  Now, our loving Heavenly Father calls out for all His wayward children to come home.  The accusations against Him have been refuted; our adoption back into His family has been paid in full.  As it says in Galatians 4:4–6,
“God sent forth His Son … that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’”

Father God has become two times our father.  As the Creator of all things, the One who made us in His image, He is our Creative Father — the One who created us for relationship with Himself.  Yet, in terms of salvation, He is also our Adopted Father — the One whom, by His great love, willingly paid the price to adopt us back into His family!

If you have never accepted the heart cry of God calling you to come back into relationship as His child, let me encourage you to surrender to the Spirit of adoption this very day.  If you’ve already been restored to the Father’s family, then let me exhort you to share with others the good news that their loving Heavenly Father is waiting with longing for all of His children to come back home. 

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