In the three chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to God as Father seventeen times. In the context of the religious performance of His day, Jesus spoke repeatedly about His Father. Somehow in the midst of their religion, God had become a distant deity. Religion says, “I’ll just try harder” and relies on perfect performance to evoke God’s love – thus keeping Him at a distance. However, Jesus begins His sermon by saying that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who realize they can’t perform perfectly – the poor in spirit. Aware of their need, they rely on God’s mercy and help (Mt. 5:3; Lk. 18:9-14). Walking in relationship with God as Father pushes us off the performance treadmill. His love for us isn’t dependent on how we perform, so we don’t have to fear the loss of that love if we fail. Jesus further emphasizes the intimate nature of our relationship with God by showing His knowledge of our daily needs (Mt. 6:8; 32). In this context of God’s care, Jesus urges us to trust in our Father and ask for our daily bread (6:11). He feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field. But, we are much more valuable to our Father than these (6:26). Won’t He do the same for us?
Encounter: God has given you intimate access to Him and He cares for you as a good Father. Take the worries of your day and give them to Him (I Pt. 5:7.)