“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort . . . And I will be to you a Father, and you shall be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 1:3; 6:18)
This Sunday celebrates another Father’s Day. Perhaps this hymn is the best way to express
Our thanks, O God, for fathers who follow in Your way,
And who, with glad and trusting hearts, exalt You ev’ry day.
Our thanks, O God, for fathers who show, by word and deed,
Commitment to Your will and plan, and Your commandments heed.
Our thanks, O God, for fathers who meet You oft in prayer,
And who, for all life’s toil and care, find strength and wisdom there.
How blessed are the children who in their fathers see
The tender Father-love of God, and find their way to Thee.
First, I would like to pay tribute to my own father from whom I received a rich heritage. A child’s father represents God to him, and I can say that my relationship with my Heavenly Father has been made richer by what my earthly father modeled to me. In my memoirs (a fancy name for telling my story) I credit my Dad for encouraging in me characteristics such as integrity, loyalty, industriousness, generosity, and reverence. And trust! I firmly believe that, because my Dad proved his trustworthiness to me, I have found it easier than many to trust my Heavenly Father.
I realize that not everyone enjoys such a blessing, but that is when our Heavenly Father comes to fill the empty spaces: He has promised to be a “Father of the fatherless, and a defender of widows.” And, “as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those that fear Him.” (Ps. 68:5; 103:13)
Under the New Covenant, God has graciously “sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts” whereby we can come to Him as children and call Him our Dad. That is not being irreverent, but it invokes an intimacy with God that He Himself greatly desires. He loved us so much that He gave Himself to redeem us from sin and death, giving us His Divine eternal life and making us a part of His royal family. He has promised to love us, and come and make His home in us. He has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance reserved for His children. (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15; John 14:23; Col. 1:12)
As a loving and caring Father, He provides for His children. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not plant or harvest or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they?” Your Heavenly Father knows all of your needs, even before you ask Him. “If your natural father knows how to give good gifts to his children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him?” “And my God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Matt. 6:8,32; 7:11; Phil. 4:19)
As a faithful and wise Father, He also reproves and corrects us when necessary. “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines; even as a father the child in whom He delights.” I have memories of my Dad taking me to the woodshed a couple of times! He knew how to administer effective discipline that inspired in me love and respect for him. “If we reverence our earthly fathers who chasten us, shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:9)
Isaiah presents this picture: “For now, O Lord, YOU are OUR FATHER; we are the clay and You our potter; and we all are the work of Your hand.” Can you possibly begin to imagine what His finished perfected work will be like? “IN HIS IMAGE” – “LIKE HIM“ He says! (Isa. 64:8; Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2)
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and GOD OUR FATHER Who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and GOOD HOPE through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thess. 2:16,17)
In Agape, Eulene