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Summary: Our Heavenly Father is the supreme example of what a father should be.

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Introduction: The traditional role of a father is to protect and provide. These are very important for the well being of the family. But the following example of our heavenly Father helps us see other aspects of vital importance as well.

A loving father gives recognition and praise

1. At the baptism of Jesus, John the Baptist hears a voice: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

2. This is my beloved Son; shows recognition. A mother shows love, but when the father recognizes with satisfaction his son, that is very special.

3. Children need words of gratitude from their father

4. If a person has never gotten that recognition; the Lord wants you to know that He is pleased when you follow His plan.

5. A mother's hug shows love, acceptance and forgiveness; while a father's hug shows honor, support, and belief.

6. Our heavenly Father has honored us as a royal priesthood, He supports us in our work, and believes that we can become that light in a world of darkness.

A loving father shows compassion and seeks to guide

1. The Lord speaks to Jonah regarding the people of Nineveh: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than 120,000 persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand...

2. Nineveh were people that needed direction; God looked from heaven seeking to guide them.

3. A father's role is to patiently guide their children in the right path.

4. The heavenly father wants us to look to Him for guidance

5. Sometimes fathers think they should be detached from their children; but children need fathers engaged in their development

6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct thy paths. ( Proverbs 3: 5, 6 )

A loving father holds no grudges and forgives

1. We read the reaction of the father of the Prodigal son: And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

2. The father disregarded how his son had left; he only cared that he returned

3. A father should see this example, and disregard offences. Forgive and embrace your child.

4. If you feel like a prodigal; the attitude of the Heavenly Father is to run to you and receive you.

5. Our Heavenly Father is a God of relationships and opportunities.

A loving father is approachable and accessible

1. Hebrews says: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

2. We are invited to come boldly and that we will receive.

3. Do our children approach us cautiously or boldly? Are we busy or accessible?

4. The Lord wants you to know, you can come to Him boldly. He not only has time, but wants to meet your need.

5. There may be a misconception about God; that He is unapproachable. Perhaps because of our sin or lack of communication with Him.

6. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

A loving father believes in restoration and new beginnings.

1. The father of the prodigal said: Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet...for this my son was dead, and now is alive again; he was lost, and is found.

2. Clothing him, putting a ring, and shoes was a symbol of reincorporating him into the family. Being dead and now alive speaks of a new beginning.

3. A loving father believes in restoring relationships and in new beginnings..

4. The Heavenly Father speaks to you today: You are not only welcome in His house, but he wants to reincorporate you in the family. God believes in new beginnings.

5. Every day is a day of hope. As the Lord said: Choose life.

6. We may not fully understand God's mercy, but we can accept it and rejoice to be home.

Conclusion: I speak to the fathers and to the fatherless. Look at the example; follow the example. Our God is our protector and provider, and He is so much more. Will you come to Him today?

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