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Summary: A Father’s Day message based on John 3:16

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John 3:16 "The Perfect Father"

Good morning, and Happy Father’s Day! Today’s message is entitled "The Perfect Father." I’m not the perfect father. But what’s reassuring is that neither are any of you. I don’t say that to slam any of you, it’s just a fact. None of us are perfect fathers. We all make tons of mistakes. But, it’s a goal for many of us.

Some of us look to the secular "experts" to help us become better fathers. Some of us look to those "Christian experts" to help us.

Today, we’re going to look at one of the most familiar passages in the Bible. It’s a passage that really reveals what the perfect father looks like, because it’s focus is the perfect father. If you’re a father, this verse will give you an idea of what it means to be a good dad. It teaches us four ways our Heavenly Father relates to us.

First of all...

I. A Father Loves His Children

"For God so loved the world..."

Here’s a fascinating fact: The moment your children are born, you love them. In fact, we love them even in the womb! I used to talk to my children through my wife’s belly button! Did you guys do that?

I know that most of you men wouldn’t admit it, but you probably did the same thing.

The point is this: they haven’t done anything to earn your love, but you love them anyway. Why? Because they’re yours. And you’ll continue to love them, no matter what. Your children might disappoint you.

They might anger you and at times you might want to disown them, but you’ll always love them. I don’t think I’ve ever met a father who’s said, "I don’t love my children." Even mean fathers love their children. Here’s the problem: We don’t always express it. It must be some kind of a guy thing that stops men from saying "I love you."

Really! Have you ever noticed that? I’ve heard men say, "My wife knows I love her. I told her once when we got married." And we do that same thing with our children, except that we don’t always get those words out the first time. It’s like we assume that our children know we love them because we let them hang around the house and eat up our food and stuff.

Or we might only express our love as a reward for certain types of behavior. For example, our child might be really acting up. In fact, we are experiencing one of those moments when we wonder whose kid this really is. No way this kid came from my genes! Ever had one of those moments? We might express our love, but it goes something like this: "Honey, if you’re good I’ll take you to McDonalds and buy you a nice salad." (Gotta be healthy, you know!) So, our children grow up with the idea that our love for them is conditional. It will also teach them that if they act up long enough they’ll get a nice salad from McDonalds, but that’s another sermon. Listen, people can’t read your feelings; they can only read your actions. They can’t hear what you’re thinking; they can only hear what you say. That’s why it’s so important for a father to express his love for his children in what he says and what he does.

Our heavenly father expresses his love to us time and time again.

Even in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned, God took care of them — he made clothes for them and covered their nakedness.

Throughout scripture God affirms his love for us. We know he loves because he says so. (Deuteronomy 7:7, 13; 23:5; 2 Chronicles 9:8; Isaiah 43:4; Countless Psalms)

God tells us he loves us, and he shows his love for us. His ultimate act of love was sending his son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins.

Maybe your father didn’t know how to express his love for you.

If so, you can be sure he regrets it. But don’t make the mistake of transferring your earthly father’s weaknesses to your heavenly father.

God loves you unconditionally. He said so, and he backs up his words with actions. Regardless of the relationship you have with your earthly father, you can have a personal, heart-to-heart relationship with your heavenly father. He loves you unconditionally, just because you’re you, just because you’re his. That’s what a father does. He loves his children. Dads, don’t forget to show your children how much you love them. And don’t forget to say those words, "I love you."

Secondly...

II. A Father Gives To His Children

Jesus said... "God so loved the world that he gave..."

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