By Pastor Steve Priola, First Baptist Church, Little Falls
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:3. Just like Mother’s Day that is set aside to honor all faithful mothers in May, this day is a day to honor the dads who have seen their place and purpose as a dad and leader of their respective families. This is a time to not only honor our dads but to also once again speak to the importance of how vital this position is within the family unit.
For all the dads who are and have fulfilled their responsibilities faithfully, you are to be commended because of your recognition as to how important you have seen your responsibility. In this day and age it’s not easy to be a dad that leads one’s family faithfully. It’s heartbreaking to see the attack on the biblically defined family that was instituted by God in the Garden of Eden, but despite the attacks and the attempts to redefine the definition of a family, God’s word will always stand and truth will always prevail.
As I think about this day, I think of my dad who saw his responsibility as a dad and didn’t take it lightly. The model that he left for me to follow is, as the commercial says, priceless. The things that he did for me, with me, and to me discipline-wise, to teach me valuable lessons would be difficult to put into words, but the lasting impact that he left on my life is unfathomable.
As I think about my dad today who graduated to heaven several years ago, I think about my heavenly father who has provided, protected and preserved my life by revealing his purpose for me. Without his guidance and goodness I don’t know where I would be today. But in his providence, he has directed my life, even at times, when I’ve been rather stubborn and rebellious to want to be totally compliant to his will.
The Bible has much to say about the God of heaven who is called “Father” many times. Jesus said, when asked about who he was, he said, “I and my father are one.” When on the cross, Jesus Christ looked to heaven and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When his disciples came to him and asked him to teach them to pray, he began that teaching moment to reveal to them that they needed to begin their prayer by addressing him as “our Father.”
In Romans, Paul stated that through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross, that we who have believed and have become “children of God” have been adopted into his family, and because of that we “cry, Abba! Father!”
The blessing of calling God father shows the relationship that we can have with him. Just like the relationships that many of us have had with our dads; the memories, the good times, the joyous times. Those times will always be etched into our memories. So too, by his grace, because of what he did for us through the work of his son Jesus Christ on the cross, we can have an intimate, personal relationship with him. We can call on him for direction, help, comfort, fellowship, and encouragement.
For some, because their fathers failed in their responsibilities as a dad, remember and be encouraged that there is a father who will never fail or disappoint you. Call on him, he wants to be a father to you as much as you desire one in your life.