Summary: Father's Day sermon June 2016
What Kind Of Father Is God?
Intro – So, today is Father’s Day – a day dedicated to acknowledging, honoring and being thankful for our earthly fathers. Considering that this is the purpose of the day – I would like for you to take a minute and think about your dad.
A. What kind of father was or is your dad?
B. Was and is your experience with him mainly positive or negative?
a. And if it was or is negative, why?
C. Now I want you to think about this question also: What do you think a father should be like?
a. What are the qualities and attributes that would have made your father a better father?
Now, let me give you a few things to think about regarding your own thoughts about your father.
A. Firstly, where did you get your expectations of what your father should be like – was it some movie or book, or are you comparing your dad to somebody else’s dad?
a. Also, are your expectations for your dad realistic?
B. Secondly, remember that nobody is perfect, and I’m sure your dad has regrets – I know that I do as a dad!
a. Think about it -- very, very few are the fathers who would purposefully seek to harm or hurt their children in any way!
C. Thirdly, you need to understand that it’s not easy being a father or a mother for that matter – if you have not yet fulfilled either of these roles yourself, maybe one day you will get an opportunity to see how hard it is to be a dad or for that matter -- a mom.
Now, if your experience with your dad was mostly negative -- the danger is in letting that effect your view of God as Father, and your interaction with Him as Father, and your ability to love and trust Him as a Father!!
Listen carefully to me now – God, as a heavenly Father, is all that you hoped your father would be, and infinitely more!
A. Unlike human fathers, God the Father has no sin problem, nor any weaknesses or limitations that hinder Him from being the perfect Father.
a. Look at Matthew 5:48. (Screen)
b. So, when your earthly father disappoints you and let’s you down -- and he will, because he is an imperfect creature, just like you are – know that you have a Father in heaven who is perfect and who will never disappoint you or let you down. (Qualify)
To help us with this, I would like for us to now look at what kind of Father the bible describes God as being. And my hope is that this study will accomplish four things:
1. Firstly, that this study will help us to not allow any negative experiences that we had with our earthly father to hinder our relationship with God -- our heavenly Father.
2. Secondly, that we will see God as the perfect heavenly father.
3. Thirdly, that we will be encouraged to forgive our earthly fathers for their imperfections, and that we will be challenged to acknowledge them, to honor them and to thank them for being our earthly fathers.
4. Fourthly, that we who are fathers will be encouraged to improve our fathering.
Now, it’s interesting that God is only called “Father” 7x in the whole O.T. but that Jesus called God “father” 7x just in Matthew chapter 6 alone.
A. As a matter of fact -- Jesus called God His father and talked about Him as such 150x in the 4 gospel accounts.
B. In His earthly life and ministry Jesus experienced the perfect fatherhood of God.
So, let me pick just 3 areas where Jesus experienced the “perfect Fatherhood of God” to show you what kind of father God is -- with the idea that , even when your earthly father is not perfect and falls short, we must not allow that to reflect on our heavenly Father -- because He is perfect and never falls short in His fathering of each one of us!! And let it also be a challenge to us who are fathers to be better fathers ourselves.
I. God the Father is “Caring”!
The first characteristic of God that makes Him the perfect father is that “He is caring”!
A. A father should care about his children – don’t you think? Of course he should!
B. But what do we mean when we say that a father should “Care” – well, when we use this term with regard to people a good definition would be – to feel concern for and to act toward the welfare and interests of another.
a. If a father cares, he will be concerned with the welfare and interests of his children.