Everyone’s got a dad, but unfortunately not everyone has a good one. Alongside the crises we’re already facing in 2020, we see the crisis of prevalent fatherlessness in western society and a world that is all too familiar with toxic masculinity, apart from the redemption Jesus offers men and women alike. On this Father’s Day, experience the hope offered us by our Heavenly Father –– hope for our eternal salvation, and also for true healing and redemption in our lives and relationships today.
1. Great fathers are saved
- The most loving thing that we can do for those around us is to experience the grace of our God. We can’t give somebody what we don’t have. The best thing we can give anyone is Jesus, and we do that by falling deeper in love with him.
- You can be a good dad (or a good friend, mom, person) and give good gifts, but being “good” does not satisfy. In order to give the best gift and be a great father (friend, mom, person) you have to know Jesus personally and let Him transform your relationships.
- When we let him have His way in us, we can share the free gift of grace with others. This isn’t just a one-time exchange, but a constant relationship. We have to receive from God himself daily.
How are you proactively demonstrating the image of Christ to people in your circle? Are you giving the gift of Jesus’ image and grace in all your circles –– home, work, social media? If not, what do you need to change in your heart and behavior to give the best gift of Jesus’ love to others?
2. Great fathers are sanctified
- Surrendering to God’s grace, also means allowing him to convict us and teach us to deny ourselves. As the people of God, we need to deny our lusts–not just our sexual lusts, but all lusts of the flesh. As we are saved by Jesus, we are also being sanctified – set apart by Jesus and for Jesus.
- We are not what we used to be. We are not who we’re going to be. Today is the day to move in the right direction as God leads us.
Great dads and followers of Jesus are growing. As we become more like Jesus, we become people of love and of grace. We also become more “sober-minded.”
- This means that we are steady in our pursuit of God. There is a steadiness to the child of God.
What are you lusting after or passionate about that doesn’t reflect the heart of God and his desires for your life? How is God inviting you to line up what you love with what he loves?
3. Great fathers are smart
- In our human understanding and strength, we will never know what our priorities should be. No amount of book smarts is going to make us into the person we were create to be. A great father realizes that he has to live intentionally because the time and the seasons are short until Jesus returns.
- When it comes to the tricky parts of life, like human relationships or Heavenly, priorities, we need to seek the Lord and ask for wisdom. Or as Psalm 90:12 puts it, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
- We need to make the right investments in our spouses, children, families, friends, communities, and our world. We need to seek the Lord on the best way to line up those priorities every day. Our intelligence isn’t enough. We need to seek him, knowing that Jesus’ return is imminent.
How are you living today in recognition that Jesus’ return is imminent? What are you choosing to invest in that has an eternal consequence? What are you investing in that is not worthy of your time and energy?
4. Great fathers simply respond to Jesus
- This is what it means for a father to be the spiritual head of a family –– to continue to simply respond to Jesus. That’s a day by day, moment by moment decision that all of us are capable of making.
- In Ephesians 5, we find the model for the Godly family. The relationship between a husband and wife is meant to reflect that of Christ and his Church. The responsibility of a husband and father is to continually surrender, sacrifice and die to yourself.
- The further responsibility is to set apart his family as the unique dwelling place of God on earth. That’s what Jesus does for his church. He is our example as we seek to become the people that God has called us to be.
How are you looking to Jesus to purify your heart to make you a more fit dwelling place for God? How is God inviting you to be an agent of purification in the lives of your family and loved ones?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?