The Love of God’s Father Heart

The Love of God's Father Heart

SCRIPTURE READING:

John 15:9-12 MSG
(9) “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me.
Make yourselves at home in my love.
(10) If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.
That’s what I’ve done–kept my Father’s commands
and made myself at home in his love.
(11) “I’ve told you these things for a purpose:
that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.
(12) This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.

TEXT:

John 15:9 AB
I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me;
abide in My love [continue in His love with Me].

Johannes 15:9 ANV
“Soos die Vader My liefhet, het Ek julle ook lief. Julle moet in my liefde bly.

INTRODUCTION:

The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington in the USA. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. In 1924 the American President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Roses became the Father’s Day flowers:
red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.
The perception of a father:
4 Years: My daddy can do anything.
7 Years: My dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
8 Years: My father doesn’t quite know everything.
12 Years: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know everything.
14 Years: Father? Hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 Years: He is totally out of date?
25 Years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 Years: Must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 Years: Let’s get Dad’s meaning first.
50 Years: What would Dad have thought about it?
60 Years: My dad knew literally everything.
65 Years: If only I could talk it over with Dad once more.
We are a society searching for a model father.

REAL FATHERS:

If there’s anything in shortage today it is real fathers that take responsibility for their actions and take care of the financial, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of their homes. Real fathers serve God; real fathers are men of action; real fathers prepare their children for adulthood; real fathers take responsibility, and real fathers are reliable.

Little boys and girls don’t know or care how important their daddy is in his career, sport or social life. As far as they are concerned, he is the best. Now that I am a father and grandfather myself, I understand that any dad worth his salt is already acutely aware of his own flaws and failures. But I also understand that God chose me, and imperfect men like me, to play indispensable roles in the lives of our families, including our spiritual families. A man can be the least influential man in the world in his career, but when he becomes a husband and a father, he becomes the most important man in the world to his family. Little boys and girls don’t know or care how important their daddy is in his career. As far as they are concerned, he is at the centre of the universe.

That is why sociological studies show that a father’s presence leads to better academic performance, makes them more likely to complete school and further studies and experience fulfilling romantic relationships. When a father is present, a child is less likely to exhibit anti-social behavior, experience depression, succumb to peer pressure in relation to drug use, become incarcerated, or live in poverty. Fathers really matter.

FATHERS ARE GIVERS:

Fathers are givers. They give to their wives and to their children. They influence. Fathers must be good stewards of that influence. There are significant ways that a man, no matter how imperfect he is and regardless of how many failures he has, can be a great father, giving and influencing.

A father:
Protects:
A father protects his family. He can protect them from bodily harm through his physical presence. He can help protect them from psychological harm by affirming them during their moments of fear, anxiety, and insecurity. He can protect them from relational harm. A child feels protected and that he belongs when he is involved in the responsibility and work of the family. Celebration of birthdays, when the person rather that the gifts is central, creates a sense of belonging and protection. That same sense is built into the chid when he hears prayers prayed on his behalf. No part of child guidance is more important than assuring the child by action and word that he is important and that he has a place in the family.

Provides:
A father provides for his family. Even though you are not wealthy and cannot provide extravagantly for your children, you can provide food for the table and clothes for the closet. But we can provide other things as well, that are often neglected. We can teach our children how to work, instil in them a sense of responsibility, help them with their schoolwork, and play with them. It is important to provide stability and security in the family. Provide an ear that listens. One evening a small boy tried to show his father a scratch on his finger. Finally, after repeated attempts to gain his father’s attention, the father stopped reading the newspaper and said impatiently, “Well, I can’t do anything about it, can I?” “Yes, Daddy,” his small son said, “You could have said, ‘Oh'”. Try to understand what your child says because the father, who listens to his child when he is small, will find that he will have a child who cares what his father says later in life. In listening I would pay more careful attention to my child’s questions. It is estimated that the average child asks 500,000 questions by the age of 15. What a privilege for every parent– unlimited opportunities to provide something about the meaning of life and about your own dependence on God! The greatest wealth we provide to our children is love.

Loves:
A father loves his family with the love of God. Small children spell ‘love’ like this: ‘time’. Author Gordon tells an interesting experience from his youth, “When I was around 13 and my brother was 10, Father promised to take us to the circus. But at lunch there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention down town. My brother and I braced ourselves for the disappointment. Then we heard him say, “No, I won’t be down. It will have to wait.” When he came back to the table, Mother smiled, “The circus keeps coming back, you know.” “I know, said Father. “But Childhood doesn’t”

THE PERFECT LOVE OF FATHER GOD:

John 15:9 AB
I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me;
abide in My love [continue in His love with Me].

Fathers can show and teach their children the love of God.
God is the prototype for fatherhood (Ephesians 3:14-15). Unlike earthly fathers, God the Father has no flaws or imperfections. So the best thing a father can do is to point his children back to him

Ephesians 3:17-18 AB
(17) May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide,
make His permanent home) in your hearts!
May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
(18) That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp
with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

Men, are you willing to take a courageous step and follow the example of Joshua regarding your family? Are you willing to say what Joshua said in Joshua 24:15?
‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’

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