Summary: A Father's Day Message that everyone can relate to.
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
Our attention is drawn this Father’s Day to the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel of LUKE.
There are some today who would like to make the Bible gender neutral...They would like to remove all the references God as Father...God, in their edited version, would become our divine parent instead of our heavenly Father...
Do you think that it an accident that God has been revealed to us as Father?... Could it be that God actually wants to be known as Father?
There is no doubt in my mind that He does... God intentionally revealed Himself as Father because He is Father... Father reveals something of His nature and character, something He wants us to understand.
We live in an age where fatherhood has been depreciated... Robert Griswold, associate professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Oklahoma, says in his book Fatherhood in America: A History, "There is a debate in society today over father’s roles. Fatherhood has lost its cultural coherence. It’s no longer clear what we want, what we expect from fathers."
Into this culture God as Father still speaks... He declares the vital importance
of being a father and honoring fatherhood.
And in the words which He speaks to His Only Begotten Son in LUKE 3, we learn much about God’s relationship with His children and we see a wonderful example of how earthly fathers should deal interact with their children:
I think that as parents, and particularly as fathers, we sometimes fail to realize the impact our words have on our children...Words of praise or statements of criticism can linger in the minds of a child and forever change the way they view themselves...And in our text today, we find words spoken by a Father to His Son that serve as a wonderful pattern for us today in encouraging and exhorting our children.
First of all, we find words of IDENTIFICATION.
I. WORDS OF IDENTIFICATION
v. 22 You are my son…
The baptism of Jesus is commonly accepted as the event that launched His public ministry...From this point forward, there is no turning back...On this day, Jesus begins a journey that will lead Him through doubt, ridicule, praise, adulation, betrayal, disloyalty and death...And He begins this adventure with God the Father openly and proudly declaring--You are My Son.
Dad, do you remember?...Your son’s ballgame...Your daughter’s dance recital... Your child’s spelling bee...As they stand front and center, you look around and you declare That’s my kid... And as proud as the dad may be to be identified with their child, I assure you, your son or daughter is pleased to hear those words---for they identify the child as belonging to the father.
My Dad and I didn’t do a lot together as I was growing up, and he died when I was just 14, but I do remember a few times when he took me to the shop where he worked, and he’d introduce me--Butch, I want you to meet my son...Tears still swell up as I recall how proud I was to be the son of Ray Sterrett
There are two key lessons we can learn from this.
FIRST--Dads, we need to frequently and vocally show identification with our children...Not just when they are young...Not just when they do things that please us...BUT we need to let people know that we identify with our children--with their strengths and with their weaknesses...With their successes and with their failures... Let your children hear words of IDENTIFICATION come from your lips.
SECONDLY--we need to take pride in being identified as the children of God... If it’s easy for us to be proud of earthly relationships, how much more proud should we be that we have a Heavenly Father who is willing to identify with us...Maybe your here today and you can’t say what a good feeling it is to be identified with a father--maybe you didn’t know your father, or you didn’t have a very good relationship with him...Perhaps your sitting there wistfully thinking that you would love to have heard, just once, your earthly father say That’s my boy/girl....
Well friend, listen---God is proud to identify with you today as your Father...To God, you’re not a stranger...To God, you’re not just a servant--But in JOHN 1:12 we are told Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—.
That ought to send chills up your spine, to realize that the God of Heaven and Earth--the creator and sustainer of the universe, doesn’t just want to save you from a devil’s hell--BUT HE wants to have a relationship with you---HE WANTS TO BE YOUR FATHER.
Whether your childhood remembrances of your father are pleasant or not, hear this: Through faith in Jesus, you can become the child of God, and God will become your Father...He wants to identify with you today.