Post-father’s day thoughts

in God's handJesus referred to God as “My Father” fifty-three times in the Gospels. But, when Jesus talked about the Father, He did not just call Him “My Father.”

He also called God “Our Father” some twenty-one times in the Gospels.

Thus, Jesus clearly shows us that those who believe in Jesus share the same relationship with God in Heaven that He Himself shares.

But, if you do the research, you will find that it gets even better than that! Jesus calls God “your Father” twenty-one times in the Gospels as well!
As we consider this idea I would like to give you some characteristics of our Heavenly Father that we should “echo” as husbands, fathers, or men in general.

Ephesians 5:23; 25 – 29
23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church….
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.

In this passage Paul gives us a picture of how a good husband should act and what that concept looks like.
As you might expect – it looks a lot like Christ!

Every disciple is called to be in the process of becoming “Christ-like” so it would stand to reason that this image would carry over into the various relationships we have in this life.

There is the role of PROVIDING:

Paul reminds us in the first chapter of Colossians that “through Christ all things were created” and “in him all things hold together”.
• Sun, moon, stars, rain and rivers — all gifts from God
• Air, crops, dirt, flowers and trees – here because God knew they were needed for life
• Bugs, worms, beetles and snails — unpleasant but gifts from a loving God
We often forget and take for granted literally thousands of things created by God and working under his authority that make life here possible.

Children seldom “get it”. They don’t see or understand all that goes into “providing”:
• The paying of bills
• The mowing of the lawn
• The late night toy assembly before birthdays and Christmas
• The time spent at work and all that involves
• Paying taxes
• Planning vacations and special trips
• College savings and fees for sports

Providing – sometimes at our own expense. Sometimes giving up what we want for their benefit.
The Christ-like attitude of the servant – always aware – always looking for the needs that others have and how they can be met.

There is the role of PROTECTING:
All those times in the Gospels when Jesus went off to pray – who or what was he praying for?
I think he prayed for the 12 and the other followers. They still didn’t fully believe let alone understand.
He spoke in John 10 of how the Good Shepherd watches over the flock and cares for them.
Scripture tells us Jesus is even now interceding for us at the throne of the father.

As husbands, fathers, men – we are naturally protectors:
• We are concerned about safety and the welfare of our family or even just our friends.
• We spot dangers and try to avoid or eliminate them
• We fix things that pose a threat.
• We fight bullies – either in the neighbor or around the world in war.

Recently took my grandson to a sporting event in downtown Cleveland.  When we started walking down the street he instinctively took my hand as we walked along.

There was an assumption of safety in protection staying close to grandpa.  I’ve seen him do the same thing with his father.

There is the role of SAVING:
When we speak of Jesus saving we “get it” right off – he died for our sins and made heaven possible.
Scripture also notes that He is able to “keep you from falling”. Did you know that?
The closer we follow the Rabbi’s footsteps and the close we become to His way of living the less likely we are to falter and fail.
Thy word is a lamp to my – a light to my path. I hide those words in my heart to keep me from sin.
In Colossians the world of God is called an umpire for our heart.
Umpires:
• Set the rules for the current field of play
• Interpret the rules
• Enforce the rules
• Keep order so play continues without interruption
Sound familiar Dads?
At first I thought this was the same as Protecting – but saving is even more – it is a deeper heart matter.
Protect means I watch for outside dangers and take action
Save – I prepare the heart to be pure and wise. I prepare the maturing child for those times when I cannot be present.
Saving – from themselves and the evil nature within.

There is the role of LOVING:
I won’t spend a lot of time here since we all understand the Love that God has and that love is shown most graphically in the Son.
John 3:16-17

Men – we are to love in similar manner.

1 Corinthians 13: 4- 7
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

There is the role of ENJOYING:
God takes joy in the lives of his people. He loves to hear his children praise. He takes joy in the happiness and well-being of the family.

As fathers we love to sit back and watch the “clan” as they play, talk, laugh and enjoy.

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