The BEST FATHER Ever!
Father’s Day. Do those two words bring a feeling of sadness, anger, guilt, anticipation, or joy? Depending on our relationship with our father, it could be any one of those or a a multitude of other emotions. Or, if you’re a father, what has been your experience on Father’s Day? Were you pleased with how your children honored you? Being a father, or mother, helps us get our minds around (in the smallest of ways) how our Heavenly Father might at times feel. He is the PERFECT FATHER. He’s literally, “heavenly.” He sacrificially chose to adopt us at the price of His only begotten Son’s suffering and death. Are we showing the honor to our Heavenly Father that we long for our children to show us? What are we daily doing to express our thanks to our Heavenly Father? Are we praying as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” Our Heavenly Father is here. His mercies are new every morning. Rather than ignore Him or not honor Him, we have “overs” to listen, obey, and bring honor and glory to Him this year.
HEAVENLY FATHER, thank You for being ever present and for loving us. Help us increasing show You honor by our words and lives.
Praise to OUR FATHER
“‘Pray, then, in this way: OUR FATHER who is in heaven…’”
- OUR FATHER sees us.
- OUR FATHER rewards sacrificial effort that no one sees.
- OUR FATHER knows what we need before we ask.
- OUR FATHER forgives us as we forgive others.
- Regardless of what kind of earthly father we had, we have a HEAVENLY FATHER who is holy and who is listening as we pray.
Would you join me today in praying the Lord’s Prayer in worship and praise to OUR FATHER.
Praise to Our HEAVENLY FATHER
“Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your HEAVENLY FATHER is perfect.”
How would you describe your earthly father? Was he “perfect?” Did you know him or was he an absentee dad? Was he loyal or disloyal? On this side of heaven, there are no perfect fathers. But we have a HEAVENLY FATHER who is…um….heavenly. He’s perfect. What a blessing it is to know that He is here for us. He loves us. He is available 24/7. He wants us to come to Him with our needs. If you’re feeling alone or down, be encouraged. Your HEAVENLY FATHER has His eye on you. Call to Him in your need. Wait silently for Him to speak to your heart and direct you.
HEAVENLY FATHER, thank You for being ever present and for loving us. We praise You.
“Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Perfect? As our heavenly Father is perfect? Gulp. Does Jesus’ statement cause you to take a step back, as it does me? What does He mean? It helps, as always, to take His statement in context. Jesus has been teaching the ways of God’s Kingdom; that they are different from our natural inclinations. For instance, in the verses prior to Him saying we are to be perfect, Jesus has said we’re to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?” Mt 5:47. So when Jesus says we’re to be perfect, He is not implying that we’ll attain sinlessness this side of heaven. Rather, He is saying that we’re to be “mature and complete in the likeness of God.”* The point? We have a heavenly Father and He calls us to mature and be like Him, not the fallen world in which we live.
HEAVENLY FATHER, I praise You and Your high, kingdom, holy ways!
*Charles Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, New American Standard Bible 1995 Update, pg 1521
“Please be good. It’s Father’s Day.”
The words rolled off Keith’s tongue years ago to our two young children as we hung suspended in a bucket high above the Magic Kingdom. Days earlier we had boarded a flight to Orlando, Florida. Everything from our happy face tee shirts to our hotel had been well thought out. Keith and I were giving Taylor and Lauren the vacation of their dreams. Had it not been for the heat and forty-five minute long lines for what seemed to be forty-five second rides, I think everyone would have been happy. However, human nature’s fussy side showed up even in the midst of Disney waffles and pictures taken with Mickey Mouse.
Somehow Keith’s plea seemed reasonable. “It’s Father’s Day.” In other words, the cards and presents our children had given Keith earlier that morning had been nice. However, the gift for which he yearned was behavior that showed they appreciated being in the Magic Kingdom.
Yesterday, Keith taught our adult class at church. Since it was Father’s Day, he emphasized our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Unlike children’s classes that often make Father’s Day cards for their earthly fathers, we closed the lesson by writing words of thanksgiving and praise to our Heavenly Father. It was a meaningful lesson. However, this morning as I woke, God reminded me that today is Father’s Day, too.
Lying in bed I pondered that reality. Keith had a right to expect love and behavior appropriate to the Magic Kingdom. Our Heavenly Father has a right to expect love and behavior appropriate to the Heavenly Kingdom. Unfortunately, I often forget the wonderful place to which my Heavenly Father has taken me. Colossians 1:13 reminds me, however. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
This morning, my Heavenly Father pierced my heart with several truths.
1. Every day is Father’s Day.
2. Matthew 22:37, “to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind,” isn’t just a verse to memorize. I’m to live it from the time I rise until I go to sleep. The morning devotionals I give Him pale if I think and behave as an ungrateful child later in the day.
3. The war between my Father’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom is real. My Heavenly Father calls me to walk wisely; not according to the world, but rather according to His Kingdom. I must be more mindful of this and quick to stand against the enemy or I unwittingly revert to unredeemed patterns of thinking and acting.
4. My behavior is an expression of either my appreciation and love for my Heavenly Father or my callousness to the gift of His Kingdom.
“Please be good. It’s Father’s Day.”
I don’t know in what bucket you find yourself suspended today. However, if you’re a Christian, your Heavenly Father is in your bucket with you. May each of us show by our good behavior and the way we speak to one another that we love and appreciate Him for taking us to His Kingdom.