This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day, a day when we honor dads, acknowledge their contributions, and say thank you, remembering the great sacrifices so many fathers make to support their families, work hard and be all that God has called them to be.
The Unsung Heroes of Our Culture
I think fathers are the unsung heroes of our culture, and I think we can trace many societal ills to the absence of fathers in the home. I thank those fathers who are standing by their commitments, and I pray they will continue to do that.
I also want to offer a word of encouragement to fathers. To be a good father, you need to take time with your children. Moses had some exceptionally good advice for dads. Referring to God’s commands, he said, “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 NLT).
How practical is that? It’s great to have a devotional time with your children. (Don’t make them too long, don’t make them boring, and involve your kids in the conversation.) Rather than rolling their eyes or falling asleep, the greatest compliment children can pay to their parents is saying, “I want another story. Tell me more.”
Enter their world. Watch television with them and help them interpret what is going on around them. Talk to them about conversations they have with their friends. They need your input, and they need your counsel.
Most kids start to turn away from their faith at the age of 13. They are going through a transitional time, and they need their parents more than ever. And the best example of a good father is our Father in Heaven.
God the Father
You may think that because He is in Heaven, you can’t relate to Him. But if you want to know what God is like, then look at Jesus, because Jesus is God. During his time on Earth, Jesus was God walking among us. Jesus was God with skin on. He breathed our air. He lived our life, and then He died our death.
Jesus told a story that shows us what God the Father is like. It’s a story about a father who had two sons, and we often refer to it as the parable of the prodigal son. I relate to this parable, because I have two sons, one in Heaven and one on Earth.
In this story, one of the sons ran away from home. He took his part of the inheritance and squandered it on foolish choices and horrible living. Then he faced the consequences of it and decided to return to his father.
In this picture that Jesus gave us of God, he is presented as a loving father who misses his child. He longs for his child to return. Jesus said that when the son “was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20 NLT).
Then the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found” (verses 22–24 NLT). That is how God feels about you and me.
The Bible is God’s autobiography, and he speaks to us through it. Maybe you’re feeling hopeless today. Hope is something that seems to be in short supply lately. And maybe, like the prodigal son in Jesus’ story, you’re terrified of the future and don’t think you can ever be happy again.
I can’t think of anyone who faced a bleaker scenario than the baby Moses. He was chosen by God to save a nation, but as an infant, his life was in danger. The pharaoh of Egypt gave a decree that every Hebrew baby boy, as soon as he was born, was to be put to death.
Obviously, Moses’ parents didn’t obey that ruling. Instead, they put him into a waterproof basket and placed it in the Nile River. None other than the pharaoh’s daughter discovered Moses, and she took him into the pharaoh’s home as a son. Some believe that Moses was being groomed to become the next leader of Egypt.
God saved his life. He took a situation that seemed hopeless and turned it around.
Whatever you’re going through today, it ultimately will pass. You will get through it. God can take all the hurt and pain that you’ve experienced in life, use it to touch other people, and make you the man or woman that He wants you to be.
I am not speaking from a vacuum, by the way. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I didn’t have a Christian mother and father who tucked me into bed at night and read Bible stories to me. I lived a life opposite of that. I was raised by an alcoholic mother who was married and divorced seven times. It was a very crazy, tumultuous childhood.
But when I came to faith in Jesus Christ, it changed the course of my life, and now I feel that I can take the things I’ve learned from the pain and hardship I experienced and use them to help others.
We all could use some hope. A famous cardiologist wrote in his autobiography, “Hope is the medicine I use more than any other – hope can cure nearly anything.” Could you use some of that medicine right now?
You need Jesus. He is the one you’re searching for. He can send a rush of hope into your life today. Maybe your circumstances won’t change, or maybe they will. But I know this much: your heart will change. And when your heart changes, everything changes. Hope has a name, and it is Jesus Christ.
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Originally published at WND.com
Used with permission from Greg Laurie.