Bible Society of South Africa

Day 17: God is a loving PARENT (Father) – 3 March 2020

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

13As a father is kind to his children,

so the LORD is kind to those who honour him.

Psalms 103:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Children of God

1See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children — and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God.

1 John 3:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

During the Great Depression in the 1920s, successful businessman John Griffith lost his fortune overnight. To survive, he and his wife and baby boy, Greg had to move to Mississippi as the only job John could find, was at the large railroad bridge across the Mississippi River. He had to move the bridge up and down whenever a ship wanted to pass.

Greg was 8 years old when John decided to take his son to work one day. It would be a wonderful opportunity to spend time together. Greg was in awe of the large machinery in the control room his father had to deal with. At lunch time, John raised the bridge for scheduled ships that would pass before father and son went down to the river to eat.

They just finished eating when the whistle of an oncoming train reminded John that he had not yet lowered the bridge. He jumped up and ran to the control room while yelling over his shoulder to Greg to sit tight.

In the control room, John wanted to make sure everything was safe before dropping the bridge. He looked back and with horror saw that Greg was stuck between the massive gears of the bridge. He instantly knew that his son followed him and probably slipped. Right there John had to make a decision: He could either save the 400 passengers on the train or his son. If he dropped the bridge, his son would die.

With tears streaming down his cheeks, John turned his face away and lowered the bridge. The noise of the train extinguished his son’s screams. As the train passed, all passengers went about with their lives – reading newspapers, telling jokes, looking after their children. No one understood why John was hammering his fist on the counter while shouting, “What’s wrong with these people? Don’t they care? Don’t you realize that I gave up my son for them!?”

God did the same for us when He sent His son to earth. In John 3:16 we read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In Psalm 103:13 we read, “As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.” Also in 1 John 3:1 it is written: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

God is our loving Father. He created us to be in a relationship with Him. Even though it must have broken His heart to leave his Son abandoned on the cross, He knew Jesus had to die to overcome death and sin. Through this, we are reconciled with our Father once again. May we live in such a way that with our lives we thank God for this sacrifice! God bless.

Father God, thank you for sending Your Son to die for us so that we can inherit eternal life. Please help me get to know You as my Father more intimately every day. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.11
Find us on