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FATHER’S DAY

Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Paul became true fathers—physical and spiritual—when they met God, their heavenly Father. Every day, not just Father’s Day, we should love, honor, appreciate, remember, and even forgive our fathers.

Christmas carols reflect the experience of the woman God chose to be the mother of His Son, but few reflect those of the man God chose for His Son’s human father. In “Joseph’s Song” written by Michael Card, this stepfather asks, “Father, show me where I fit in this plan of yours. How can a man be father to the Son of God? All my life I’ve been a simple carpenter. How can I raise a King?” Although words of Jesus’ mother and her relatives Elizabeth and Zachariah appear in Scripture, no words of Joseph are recorded. Instead, Matthew highlights three characteristics of Joseph: godly, compassionate, and courageous. God chose to portray him further as a man of deeds who heard and obeyed God’s commands. Deuteronomy 32:6 asks,

Is He not your Father your Creator, who made you and formed you?

Quaker John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem and hymn “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” speaks of God’s fatherhood in a general sense as Creator, to whom all who have lived and are living owe their existence. Jesus taught His disciples about His Father in a personal sense, encouraging them to use the personal term Abba. Through faith in Jesus Christ we become God’s children and can claim the right to call God Father in this intimate sense. 1 John chapter 3 describes our adoption paid for by Christ‘s blood at the Cross.

God is a perfect Father, and His children should have a family resemblance (Colossians 3:12).

The Holy Spirit works in our lives to produce a family resemblance to our heavenly Father that anyone can easily see.

In the ‘60s, Tommy Smothers famous line “Mom always liked you best” usually provoked his sibling Dick. Studies show that Mothers often have a favorite among their adult children—so Tommy may have been right. Does God have favorites among His children? Genesis 6:8 says that

Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

The Hebrew word translated “favor” is the Old Testament word for “grace.” Noah and his family were saved by grace from the worldwide flood judgment God sent upon the earth. Hebrews 11:7 adds,

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

Just as the ark saved those inside from God’s judgment, your faith in Jesus will save you from eternal judgment, for Jesus is our ark.

The faith of a father doesn’t automatically pass to his sons like physical traits. Noah’s experience of God’s grace did not make him or his sons perfect, for both curse and blessings followed. God spared this family from destruction in the worldwide Flood, but sin and discord would still characterize human relationships.

Hebrews 11:8-10 describes another father of faith. Abraham’s faith caused him to obey God and move to another land for his inheritance. Hebrews 11:11 adds the faith of Abrahams’ wife (Romans 4:3; James 2:23).

Even Satan received the name “father” (John 8:44).

The reality of sin combined with the mystery of God’ grace helps explain why good parents can have bad children and why children from bad homes can turn out better than expected. No perfect families exist. All families are dysfunctional in some way.

 

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

         Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.