Summary: There is no greater role model for Fathers today than our Heavenly Father.
Many years ago my kids gave me a red ball cap for Father’s Day that said on the front: “World’s Greatest Dad.” I thought I still had it and wanted to show it to you today to prove that I was truly the “World’s Greatest Dad” but when I looked in the box marked “Dad’s Hats” it wasn’t there. Either it’s in another box, or it ended up in the bag going to the Goodwill or the Rescue Mission which means that right now there is a possibility that someone else is walking around wearing my hat and everyone is going to think that THEY are the “World’s Greatest Dad!”
I’m guessing that they won’t be alone…by a show of hands, how many of you dads have received a “world’s greatest…or best dad” t-shirt, tie, coffee mug, or hat? That’s what I figured! As touching as it may be for our kids to proclaim us to be the best fathers on the planet, the greatest father of all doesn’t live here, but He is with us all the time—our Heavenly Father. This morning I want us to look at a few verses from Psalm 103 that reveal the greatness of our Heavenly Father.
Text: Psalm 103:8-13
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.
He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.
Verses 8-10 tell me that our Heavenly Father is truly the “World’s Greatest Dad.” He may not have the red hat, but He definitely has all the qualities that make for greatness. Just look at how the Psalmist described the Lord:
1) Compassionate & Gracious
2) Slow to Anger and Full of Faithfull Love
3) His Anger isn’t Forever
4) He DOESN’T Give Us What We Deserve
Wow! We could spend a lot of time right there couldn’t we? What if God DID give us what we deserve? The Prophet Isaiah spoke about the grace and mercy of God towards His people. Listen to what he says in Isaiah 64:
Isaiah 64:6-8 (HCSB)
6 All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. 7 No one calls on Your name, striving to take hold of You. For You have hidden Your face from us and made us melt because of our iniquity. 8 Yet LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands.
I think back on my own childhood and the things I did and didn’t do—I’m really glad my Dad didn’t always give me what I deserve! I realize we live in a different world today, and that parenting has changed since I was a kid, and even since Lenea and I began raising our kids, but I have always said that my Dad didn’t spank me nearly enough! I didn’t think that at the time, but as I became an adult I realized just how many times I DIDN’T get what I deserved.
What I experienced a child growing up with Godly parents who raised me to honor the Lord was a reflection of my folks’ relationship with Jesus Christ. I was “clay” in their hands, and to the best of their ability they molded and shaped me to live for Jesus Christ. They were, and are still today, real-life examples of God’s grace and love. I praise God that I didn’t get what I deserved, but instead was given the love of Jesus Christ, the same love that our Heavenly Father gives to us today.
I want us to move on to verses 11-13, and I want us to focus on three of our Heavenly Father’s great attributes…
I. He Loves Consistently (11)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.
The words “faithful love” or yours may say “lovingkindness” come from the Hebrew word chesed. It is one of the most important words in the Old Testament. The word refers to God being “loyal” in His love…that He doesn’t love sometimes, or when He feels like it. That may describe the way “we” love, but it is not how “God” loves. God loves CONSISTENTLY. You can count on God’s great love because it is always going to be there.
Most of us value consistency. We like to know that there are things and people we can count on. I wish we were as consistent with spiritual things as we are with the other things of our lives. There are many who would never leave the house without the morning cup of coffee, but…many will leave everyday without opening God’s Word or spending a moment with Him in prayer.