Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Experience the love of God through Jesus - Father’ day message for 2004.


On his sixteenth birthday a son approached his father and said, "Dad, I’m sixteen now. When I get my license, can I drive the family car?" His dad looked at him and said, "Son, driving the car takes maturity, and first, you must prove that you are responsible enough. And one way you must do that is to bring up your grades. They are not acceptable. Second, you must read the Bible every day. And finally, you must get that hair cut; it looks outrageous." The son began the task of fulfilling his father’s requirements, knowing that the last might be impossible.

When his grades came out he went to his dad with a big smile. "Look, Dad, all A’s and B’s on my report card. Now can I drive the family car?" "Very good, son. You are one-third of the way there, but have you been reading the Bible?" the father replied. "Yes, Dad, every day," said the son. "Very good son. You are two-thirds of the way there. Now when are you going to get that hair cut?"

The son, thinking that he could out smart the father, responded, "Well, I don’t see why I should get my hair cut to drive the car. Jesus had long hair, didn’t he?" The father looked at his boy and said, "That’s right, son and Jesus walked everywhere he went."

Happy Father’s Day! It is proud day for me, because I am one of the millions of dads that are put on the pedestal for “one day”. What’s the deal here? Just one day for all the days we bend over backwards to food on the table? (Ha, ha)

After having children for a while, I am pretty sure that God made me a father to teach about love and grace. To learn what it means to love at all costs, to be inconvenienced when a child gets sick, to leave everything to attend to a child’s need, to be others before you, to have hope for a child bouncing off the walls and not hearing a thing you say, teach a kid to ride a bike, to not know what to say as kids ask you the most profound questions such as “Where does God come from?” I really believe God gave me kids to teach me and give me a picture of what he is like. This father’s day I want you to know today that LOVE IS real…

At a time when I was doubting myself, feel like a failure, feel like giving up. God came and spoke to me through my daughter. She wrote this

Dear Dad, I love you. I’m glad you are a paster dad. Becaues I don’t like you to be eny thing els I like you to be yourself love your doder Kaylene.

You give me a leder back when you are reded you have to.

I didn’t think I was any good to anyone but God loved me…affirmed my calling. Love is real!

Just a few days ago I emailed a picture of my kids to one of my old pals. He hasn’t seen them for a couple of years and his response when he viewed the picture was, they are like junior versions of me and my wife. There is a likeness in them, that reflects me. I think that is what Jesus wanted people to know about God the father…

I believe He wants to pass on to us a message that love is real, that intimacy is not 2 hour long Hollywood production, but something that is true, real and worthwhile. It is not made up, not some sugary sentiment borne out of wishing on a star. But something that is alive, worth waking up each day for, better than a cup of Starbucks, like an encore after a commanding performance from a polished artist.

Author, Philip Yancey, has a story to tell about his father. I want to share with you his story:

One holiday I was visiting my mother, who lives 700 miles away. We reminisced about times long past, as mothers and sons tend to do. Inevitably, the large box of old photos came down from the closet shelf, spilling out a jumbled pile of thin rectangles that mark my progression through childhood and adolescence: the cowboy and Indian getups, the Peter Cottontail suit in the first grade play, my childhood pets, endless piano recitals, the graduations from grade school and high school and finally college.

Among those photos I found one of an infant, with my name written on the back. The portrait itself was not unusual. I looked like any baby: fat-cheeked, half-bald, with a wild, unfocused look to my eyes. But the photo was crumpled and mangled, as if one of those childhood pets had got hold of it. I asked my mother why she had hung onto such an abused photo when she had so many other undamaged ones.

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