bits from bob....

Every Person Has a Heavenly Father

by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
June 10, 2004
©, 2004, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Father's Day is special to me. Our youngest son was born on Father's Day. Last year, his birthday was again on Father's Day. He is now a father. To celebrate Father's Day and a birthday on the same day is special!

Not all have fond memories of their fathers. If God gave us fathers so we could better understand Him as our heavenly Father, some fathers have fallen down on the job big time. On this Father's Day, may I suggest a focus not only on our physical fathers, but on our spiritual Father. What if we were to remember our Father God in a special way on this Father's Day? What might we want to remember?

I. Remember that you have a heavenly Father. Even if your physical father is deceased, or perhaps was never a meaningful part of your life, every person has a heavenly Father. Augustine wrote, "Our souls are restless until they are at rest in Thee." All have a heavenly Father by creation; especially blessed are those who also have a heavenly Father by re-creation.

II. Remember that your heavenly Father provides for you. It is easy to forget that the blessings of life come because of our blessing God. He blesses all, just or unjust, without respect of persons, in a way that seems almost random. The heavenly Father is by nature a blessing, providing God. His provision is at the heart of the word providence. If we look around us, we see quickly that God blesses His creation. An even greater blessing comes to those who are children of the heavenly Father by re-creation in Christ Jesus. God provides for eternity, God saves, God sustains. That would be worth remembering on this Father's Day.

III. Remember that your heavenly Father loves you. Fortunate are those who have experienced the continuing love of a physical earthly father even when things didn't go right or when guilt was obvious. When we get in trouble and our fathers keep loving us, that is an expression of the highest kind of love. This love is based on the one loving, not on the one being love. Blessed are those who have experienced this love from an earthly Father. The ultimate definition of this love is the God of heaven. This kind of love does not mean we are never disciplined or punished. Even the heavenly Father disciplines those he loves (Heb. 12:7). In fact, discipline is a mark of love.

It's not easy to be a father. Our modern culture has demeaned fatherhood, and the lives of many fathers have not helped improve our image of fathers. God defines fatherhood. Each has a Father in heaven who provides and loves. I hope for you two things. I hope you have an earthly father as much like the heavenly Father as possible. I hope you know your heavenly Father not only by creation, but by re-creation.

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Last updated June 10, 2004.