Summary: Examining the attributes and characteristics of our heavenly Father as a pattern for Christians fathers today.

A Faithful Father For Fathers To Follow

Luke 11:2 ". . . Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."

Ro. 8:15 " . .ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

I John 3:1-3 "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

Have you ever noticed the subtle difference in the promotion and hype surrounding Mothers Day and Fathers Day? Rarely, if ever, will you find politicians running for election on Fatherhood. Often the policies and programmes announced at election time clearly focus upon the things that matter most to mothers. I am sure we all sense some of the reasons why. But is it not sometimes just a bit overdone? The overwhelming importance of mothers and motherhood is an undeniable historical and functional fact. But perhaps we should have another look at the role of fatherhood from a unique Biblical perspective and discuss its importance and application in our churches and culture today.

Motherhood is clearly important in the scriptures. The vital role of such Godly Old Testament women as Deborah, Hannah, Esther and the Marys and Martha of the New Testament is clear. But the role and responsibility of Godly fathers is emphasized throughout all the scriptures. The life story of such patriarchs as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon dominate the Old Testament narrative in a very positive way. If we look to the New Testament for confirmation of this fact, we need to look no further than the apostles and the mighty and courageous men of God they chose to help them in getting out the gospel and teaching and leading the early churches.

You may call Paul, the writers of the Book and true Bible preachers male chauvinists if you wish, but that is just the way it is. Those who label the writers of the New Testament in this way are also attaching the same tag to the God who gave us the scriptures. Attempts by liberal so-called theologians and their ilk to rewrite and revise the scriptures cannot change the importance of the role of fathers in the Word and in our world today. New translations designed to remove so-called gender bias are merely perversions of the pure Word of God. Attempts to reverse the gender roles so clearly and concisely given in the Word of God are clearly blasphemous attacks upon its validity and authenticity.

Since Fathers Day brings a focus upon fatherhood, perhaps it would be good to ask ourselves how do we view fathers? Some of us must look back over many years in order to remember the father of our childhood. Some would perhaps view fathers as stern disciplinarians, standing with the rod of correction in their hands ready to pounce and punish the slightest step off the straight and narrow way. Others might view fathers as the number frequently missing from the family equation. The one who, because of the struggle to make ends meet for the family, seemed to rarely be with the family. Others may view fathers as the money milk cow. The one to whom one would go when finances run low. Much as the father who received an email from his son who was away at university. The message was short and simple: "No mon, no fun, your son." His reply was just as straight and succinct" "Too bad, so sad, your Dad."

I had rather remember fathers like I remember my father. Faithfully leading his family to the house of God and showing his children the way of God and going on to be with God and await them there. This most important thing is to view fathers and fatherhood the way God shows us in His Word.

Since fathers have been given such awesome responsibilities in the family and other God-or- dained institutions in our world and since our heavenly Father is clearly the ultimate example of real Fatherhood, on this Fathers Day let us look at the best example of A FATHER FOR FATHER'S TO FOLLOW.

FATHERS SHOULD FOLLOW OUR FAITHFUL FATHER'S EXAMPLE OF LOVE AND MERCY. God our Father is the ultimate scriptural example of sacrificial love and spirituality. Since He is the Father of all who have been born again spiritually into His family, our Savior taught us to address Him as our Eternal Father when we approach His throne of grace in prayer. Since He is the Father of all who have been redeemed by the blood of His only begotten Son, we are urged to glorify Him by crying out to Him as our dear Father. We are enjoined to marvel at the manner of love this Eternal Father has through His mercy and grace given unto those of us who do not deserve it. It is clear God's eternal purpose for the future is focused upon His Fatherhood. "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Eph. 1:4-5) "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," (Eph. 3:14-15)

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