There have been many great fathers throughout history who are wonderful examples of self-sacrifice, commitment, leadership and strength. Men who were excellent role models for their children.
But Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father is the greatest of all because He is perfect.
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This statement comes from God’s son at the end of a bible passage that we call the “Sermon on the Mount”.
It was during this message that Jesus went into great detail listing the attributes and character traits that should be found in all God’s children.
Jesus started with the “Beatitudes” listing one by one the character traits we should all aspire to develop in our lives as followers of our Heavenly Father.
Then Jesus compared us to salt and light. Jesus went through a detailed list of how the Law of God was to be interpreted and applied in our everyday living.
Jesus talked about the sanctity of life and the sacredness of marriage, about how we should present ourselves to the world as people of integrity and honesty which characteristics exceed any oath taking we might do.
Jesus explained that justice and mercy are tied up in forgiveness.
Jesus gave us what we call the “Golden Rule” do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Luke 6
But to cap it all off Jesus let us know that there was even a higher standard above and beyond what He had already amplified for us. A standard that Jesus encouraged us to strive for. Perfection. If we truly want to demonstrate that we are God’s sons we should strive to be perfect as He is perfect.
That’s a tall order. Acquiring any one of the characteristics Jesus taught would be a remarkable achievement in itself.
But some of you fathers already possess some of this attributes and some of you are acquiring others as you continue your walk with God.
The thing is, Jesus calls us the sons of God, so that we might display the very character of our Father – Perfection.
Such perfection is beyond human achievement and to help us God gave us His Holy Spirit.
It is God’s Holy Spirit living in a man that can transform him into a great father and a perfect son of God.
For that to happen we men have to do things we are not used to doing. We have to admit our sin and ask our Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. We have to repent from the person we are in order to become the person our Father wants us to be.
The transformation will take a life time and in fact will not be completed until we take our last breath. Only by passing from this place into Heaven can we take on the perfection that eludes us while we live here on earth.
But in the meantime we are to try our best to change from the sinner we once were into the Saint that our Heavenly Father knows we can be.
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus gives us a glimpse of why our Heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus leads us through the “Our Father”
Jesus teaches us how we should address our God and Father. We are to approach our Heavenly Father through prayer.
You see our Heavenly Father being perfect requires us to use a unique and perfect language to address Him – the language of prayer.
It is a sacred language, an intimate language of heart and mind and soul.
Fathers if you would be perfect pray for your children and your wife before you pray for yourselves.
Acknowledge God’s sovereignty over your life. It is to your Heavenly Father that you must answer. Be humble in approaching God.
Understand that it is God who provides all the material things you need – just ask Him for the help you need in providing for your family.
The man of God is a penitent man a man who knows his indebtedness to others to those who have blessed him with work and opportunity.
A godly father honors his obligations and pays his bills and teaches his children about the different kinds of debt that a person should recognize.
There is the debt of gratitude, the debt of service, and obligation but the greatest debt that a father can teach his children about is the debt of love owed to God the Father for providing a Savior who paid the price for their sins.
To God the Father we owe the debt of forgiveness that was accomplished thru Jesus sacrifice. That is a debt we cannot pay but we can honor it.
A godly father must be on guard to protect himself and his children from the temptations of this world. That requires discernment and a watchful eye.
Like Jesus a godly father must walk close to the Heavenly Father knowing that in the shelter of His arms there is protection and strength to face the tempter of this world.
A man who walks with His heavenly Father is always in the majority when facing the enemy. No weapon forged against him will prosper.
James who was Jesus half-brother gave us these words; James 1:17
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
You have received a good and perfect gift if God has called you to be a father.
Know that perfection will take a lifetime of learning and you may make a few mistakes along the way but your perfect Father who knows your heart will give you what you need to try again as you strive to be like the perfect son Jesus Christ.
The perfection is already in you. You just need to trust God to help you live it by faith. – Amen.