A small boy’s definition of Father’s Day: “It’s just like Mother’s Day only you don’t spend as much.”
This is a bittersweet day for some of us… we are celebrating our fathers… some were close to their fathers, others not so much. Some don’t know their fathers —
But one father is always close, one father always cares, one father always loves; that’s our Heavenly Father so I am saying let’s celebrate Him let’s say Happy Father’s Day to our Heavenly Father!
Let’s say Happy Father’s Day God!
Let’s think about it this way. We celebrate Jesus, God the Son, at least twice a year; at His birth and at His resurrection. So why not celebrate God the Father? And God the Holy Spirit is right with us.
Also, some of you are fathers and might be separated from your children…. this I know is hard but take the strength and courage from our Heavenly Father who sent His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for us….
There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, I want what’s coming to me right now.” So, the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and self-indulgent, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a person in town who had him work in the fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” 20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. ~ Luke 15:17-20
The fact is that many, many people, perhaps most people, yearn for the approval of their father, even years after he has passed away; even the children of men who weren’t necessarily good fathers. It’s mysterious.
Jesus desired the approval of His Father and received it.
This Father’s Day let’s show how Jesus pleased His Father by bringing us to His home.
Consider these Bible facts: Jesus traveled and taught for three years. There are about 110 pages in the Bible dedicated to His ministry and message. We have approximately 25,000 words that Jesus spoke recorded in the Bible. Of those 25,000 words, Jesus taught about the Father in Heaven at least 181 times.
This means 1 out of every 140 words, Jesus was speaking about His Father. His central message and purpose was to restore us to a relationship with our Father in Heaven.
Our Heavenly Father takes care us and He loves us, and Jesus is guiding us to Him.
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ~ Matthew 6:25-26
Because of the ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us to “take no thought” about those needs that God promises to supply. Worry can (1) damage your health, (2) cause the object of your worry to consume your thoughts, (3) disrupt your productivity, (4) negatively affect the way you treat others, and (5) reduce your ability to trust in God. How many ill effects of worry are you experiencing?
Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern – worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. ~ Matthew 18:12-14
Just as a shepherd is concerned enough about one lost sheep to go searching the hills for it, so God is concerned about you and those He created it is not His wish to let anyone to die. If you come into contact with folks around you who need Christ, steer them toward your Heavenly Father by your example, your words, and your acts of kindness.
35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. ~Luke 6:35-36
Love your enemies…that is the principle that Jesus taught and the one that brought Him to earth.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
So, if God can send His only begotten Son to earth even though we didn’t love Him why can’t we show that same love to those who don’t like us?
Love means action. One way to put love to work is to take the initiative in meeting specific needs for someone who dislikes you or even plans to hurt you. What we give to others should be a gift, not something you expect back in return. Just as Jesus’ death on the cross was a gift to us…. Give to them as though you were giving to God.
9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7:9-11
The child in Jesus’ example asked his father for bread and fish. If the child had asked for a poisonous snake, would the wise father have granted the request? Sometimes God know we are praying for “snakes” and does not give us what we ask for, even though we persist in our prayers. Remember sometimes the answer is no. As we learn to know God better as a loving Father, we learn to ask for what is good for us, and the He grants it. Jesus is showing us the heart of God the Father. He is not selfish, begrudging, or stingy, and we don’t have to beg or grovel as we come with our requests. He is a loving Father who understands, cares, and comforts us. If humans can be kind, imagine how kind God, the creator of kindness, can be.
1 John 3:1-3
1Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We are His children now, not sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are His children encourages us to live as Jesus did. The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more Christlike. This process will not be complete until we see Him face-to-face but knowing that is our ultimate goal should motivate us to purify ourselves. To purify means to keep morally straight, free from corruption of sin. God does purify us also, but there is action we must take to remain morally fit..
Here are three passages from the Word of God that helps us to live like God wants us to live:
22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. ~ 1 Timothy 5:22
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~ James 4:8
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, ~ 1 Peter 1:22
And what is the message all of these verses are hammering into our hearts?
- You have a Father who loves you.
- He is strong enough to protect you.
- He is engaged enough to teach you.
- He is tender enough to hug you.
- He is alive enough to play with you.
And the Number One verse regarding the love of the Father is this amazing truth– no matter how far you have wondered, you can still come home! Just like the prodigal son, Jesus tells us:
“When he came to his senses, he said… “I will set out and go back to my father”