Summary: On Father’s Day it is important to honor the greatest dad -- Our heavenly Father. Any earthly dad who reflects his heavenly Father’s love in Jesus is tops!
Happy Father’s Day, dads! Did you all get pounced on in bed this morning? My boys each made me a card (that was very special). I’m going to go home after church and, of course, call my dad.
Most of you know my father. Well, this is my favorite picture of my dad. We keep it in a curio cabinet in our living room. It’s not very fancy. In fact, it doesn’t even have a frame. It’s simply a newspaper clipping of my father when he was in service in WWII. I cherish this picture of my father though; it reminds me of him, his bravery, his humility, and the wonderful person he is. If you were to ask me who my father was, I’d probably begin with this picture.
Likewise, there are pictures in the Bible that reveal something of God’s character; his great father-heart. This morning I’d like us to address that question: WHO’S YOUR FATHER? As we do, we learn two things: 1) He’s Out of this World, and 2) He’s in Your Heart.
1) He’s Out of this World
I have something to show you. It’s a necktie. Let me ask the younger children a question: Who usually wears one of these? Dads wear ties like this. And look at how long it is. That’s because dads most of the time are taller than us, and so a tie has to be the right size. Dads are someone you look up to, and God is no exception.
We have a heavenly Father who is out of this world. The Bible says: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us. God’s love is great, immense, and magnificent. Only such love can come from someone who is great, immense, and magnificent; who’s above and beyond all powers and authorities. God’s might stretches beyond our worries and problems. Our heavenly Father is someone we must look up to see. How great.
Notice how the Bible describes our heavenly Father. He is the Creator –the one who simply causes things to exist with a single word. He is our Provider – he’s the one who maintains everything in this entire universe, so that we might have his blessings. God is out of this world in the sense that he’s bigger than everything. He’s behind it all. The rotation of the earth, the alignment of all the stars and planets, the placement of every galaxy – your heavenly Father is responsible for all of this so that we might have a sunny day in this place, or a little rain somewhere else. He graciously provides all blessings. God is out of this world because that’s where he needs to be in order to completely watch over you. How great!
Now, God may be out of the world, but he’s not out of the picture. The apostle John says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Fatherhood is about love. God, our heavenly Father, is the perfect model of such love. You notice John says that God lavished great love on us. He spared no expense. He wasn’t chinsy. He poured his love out on us. He did this by giving up something very dear and special – Jesus Christ, his own beloved Son. God, the Father, gave up his own pride and joy! He sacrificed his Son on the cross for all of our sins – even the sins of fathers.
Dads are sometimes guilty of being out of the picture from time to time. We’re not always able to be there. Maybe your image of dad is an empty plate or chair at the dinner table -- a dad who was always working late, attending meetings, or away on business. It may have seemed that dad was out of the picture. The first thing we need to do is take ourselves, and our dads, to the foot of our Savior’s cross and see how God’s great love has been lavished on each of us, fathers included. The next thing to do is trust that God forgives sins, and, thereby, we find the power to forgive as well. Finally, thank your Lord for God-fearing fathers. Thank God that for dads who stay in the picture, even though they may often seem outside of the picture frame.
My father worked hard as a carpenter and as a truck driver hauling steel. And so its no surprise that he was used to wearing work gloves. Every summer, when I was old enough, my father would take me along with him in the truck. We traveled all over from New York to Tennessee. We were traveling partners, and so to keep things interesting I was assigned some jobs. One job was to always check air in the tires, and the other was to help put the chains and binders on a load of steel. This required gloves. Since I didn’t have any of my own, I borrowed a pair from my dad. I can still remember trying to lug those heavy binders or throw those rusty chains while wearing gloves that were too big for me. My father’s hands were huge in comparison to mine. My father can do many things with his hands far better than I. He worked hard with his hands, but they were always big enough to hold, to love, and to keep safe.