God created fathers, and it’s great that He did! What makes a good father? And how does God behave like a Father to us?

ROBERT >> Today is Father’s Day, and I’m thinking about my dad and what a great dad that he was, and I’m also thinking about my father in heaven and how wonderful and blessed I am to be his child. I hope you’ll continue with us today as we want to talk more about what it means to be a great dad and what God does for us.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Let’s begin this morning with the top ten things you’ll never hear Dad say. Number 10, Well, how about that, I’m lost. Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions. Number 9, You know, pumpkin, now that you’re 13, you’ll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won’t that be fun? Number 8, I notice that all your friends have a certain hostile attitude. I like that. Number 7, Here’s a credit card and the keys to my new car. Go crazy. Number 6, What do you mean you want to play football? Figure skating’s not good enough for you, son? Number 5, Your mother and I are going away for the weekend. You might want to consider throwing a party. Number 4, Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingys that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks. Number 3, No son of mine’s going to live under this roof without an earring. Now quit your belly-aching, and let’s go to the mall. Number 2, What do you want to go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend. And number 1, What do I want for my birthday? Don’t worry about that, it’s no big deal. Okay, they might say it, but they don’t mean it.

The story is told of a father of five who came home with a toy. And he summoned his children and he asked which one should be given the present. Who’s the most obedient and never talks back to Mom and does everything he or she is told to do, he asked. There was silence, and then of chorus of voices, You play with it, Daddy.

Well, dads, we want to tell you today how much we love you and we appreciate you, and we want to honor you and we want to tell you how much we thank God for you. But I also want to remind us today what it is that makes a great dad. And let’s notice that a great dad loves his children. I know often when I go to the grave of my dad with my mom that she’ll often remark how much dad loved all of us, his kids.

It reminds me of Psalm 103:13, where the Bible says, “As a father pities his children.”

And that word translated pities is a word that means to have compassion, love deeply, and to cherish. Dads are to cherish and nurture their children. And moms, you aren’t off the hook. You’re to love your kids, too; but far too many dads aren’t doing this.

There’s a second thing, dads. A great dad is to be fair to his children.

You know in Ephesians 6:4 where the apostle Paul speaks to you fathers, he says, “Do not provoke your children to wrath.”

In other words, don’t make your children angry by the way that you treat them. Don’t exasperate your children, don’t wear them out, don’t nag them, don’t make them hostile, and treat them fairly. But that doesn’t mean you don’t discipline them. Just don’t unfairly punish them. Be reasonable with your children. So dads, love your children and then treat them fairly.

And thirdly, a great dad takes the time to train and instruct his children.

Look at the rest of Ephesians 6:4, where he says, “But bring them upin the training and admonition of the Lord.”

What kind of instruction are we talking about here?

We’re talking about moral and spiritual instruction. A better way to say this is to teach them absolute truth. Teach them right from wrong. Teach them good and evil, heaven and hell, morality and immorality. Dads, don’t let the world shape your kids’ views.
Let God’s word do that. Now, as we briefly looked at these three responsibilities, do you see why it’s so crucial that dads be the kind of dads they were meant to be?

We have a generation of children who don’t know their right from their left because they had no fatherly influence in their lives, no fathers who loved them, who treated them fairly and taught them right from wrong. We have so many young people who have a very distorted view of God because their relationship with their earthly father was so messed up. It’s hard for them to see that God was loving and patient and merciful. One of the greatest characteristics I love most about God is that he is a father to me. You and I both have two fathers: Our earthly father, and our heavenly one.

And so here are some truths about God being our father. Let’s notice first of all that God will always be around.

In Isaiah 9:6, we have this passage concerning our Lord. It says, “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.”

He’s not going anywhere. Our heavenly father will always be around. He’ll never walk out on us, he’ll never pass away.

Hebrews 13:5-6, we have this promise of the Lord, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you,” so that with good courage we say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.

What shall man do unto me?

Yes, God, our father in heaven, is our constant hope. When we’re alone we can trust in him. He’ll always be there for us. There’s a second thing about God as our father. He is a father to the fatherless.

In Psalm 68:5, I want you to notice what the scripture says. Here the Bible says, “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy habitation.”

A father of the fatherless, the orphan. It’s used many times in the Bible. The defender of the widow, again a number of times we see this stressed over and over again. Almost every time these words are used, it is in the context of God either looking out for them or he’s giving instruction not to mistreat them. I want you to see that God our heavenly father has a special place in his heart for children living in a fatherless home. I want you to know you have a great heavenly father who loves you, who cares for you.

That brings me to my third point. God loves you and he loves me as much as he loves his Son, Jesus Christ.

In John 17:23, I want you to notice these last words of Jesus’ prayer for his church. Here he says in verse 23, “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfect in one, that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as you have loved Me.”

That was Jesus’ prayer to his father. That’s how much he loves every single one of you. As much as he loves his son Jesus. That means every way he deals with us, he deals with us out of love.

Sometimes we don’t understand, and we wonder, what is God doing?

But remember he loves you like he loves his own son, Jesus. This is especially true when he disciplines us. Look in Hebrews 12:5-11. The Hebrew writer reminds us of this because it’s so easy for us to become discouraged in the persecution and in the trials and the temptations of this life. But he wants us to understand that this is God’s chastening and discipline and that he’s doing it out of love for us.

Hebrews 12:5, the Bible says, And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

You see, if these things are happening to you in your life, understand that God loves you, that he cares for you; else he would not bother with you.

The Hebrew writer goes on to say, If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons. For what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who
corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

We understand when our earthly father corrects us that he is doing this for our good, and we respect him for that. Especially do we understand this later on in our life as we look back and see how our fathers dealt with us in the home. But how much more our heavenly father is disciplining us, is chastening us for our own benefit, for our own profit?

Read with me a little further in this passage in Hebrews 12, and notice what he says here in verse 10. “For they indeed, our earthly fathers, for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Yes, discipline hurts. It’s hard. But it’s for a good purpose. It’s for our own profit, for our own benefit, to make us holy, he says, to yield ultimately to peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. And so we need to remember that God loves us like he loves his own son, and no matter what might be happening to us in our life, we can know that God is working these things for our profit, for our good, to help us to be the kind of people that we need to be and that God wants for us.

But then I want you to notice a fourth point today. You decide whether he will be your father or not. In one sense, he has every right to have ownership in your life. After all, he created you. But he will never force his way to be your father, and he’ll never take you to court to make you recognize his fatherhood. You must choose whether or not you will allow him to be your father.

In John 8:42, I want you to notice when Jesus was speaking to the Jews of his day. Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.”

You see, we can’t depend upon anyone else’s relationship to God. Just because your parents have a belief in God doesn’t make you a believer of God. The religious people in this chapter thought that just because they had the right lineage, they were accepted; but Jesus changed all that. He said, if God were your father, you would love Me. I remember a number of years ago when we were privileged to teach some young people about the Lord in a vacation Bible school. We were going out to Kinlichee, Arizona, and we were going to reach out to the Indian children there to tell them about Jesus. I remember a number of years ago when this boy who learned about Jesus was ready to open up his heart to Christ, to put his faith in him and to give himself to Jesus, he was baptized into Christ. After his baptism, I noticed his eyes welling up with tears, and I asked him, Why are you crying? And here was his answer: Because I love Jesus so much.

We can give lip service to God being our father, but until we have an encounter with Jesus, we’ll never know what a relationship with our heavenly father can truly be like. You see, to love Jesus is to know God as our father.

What does all of this mean as we think about Father’s Day and as we think about our fathers and our father in heaven?

Well, dads and want-to-be dads, you are crucial in the life of your children. They’re looking to you for instruction, for example, for love. The ultimate example of fatherhood is found in the person of God. You want to know how to be a father? Model after the heavenly father. And even if your father’s not around you, you’re still not alone.

Psalm 27:10, the Bible says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”

I hope that some of these words this morning will help us dads to be better dads; but more importantly, that it will help all of us who are listening today to realize how much our father in heaven loves us and cares for us, and that we would want to be his children.

You might remember the words of Jesus in John
chapter 3, when Nicodemus came to him at night to learn from him. “And Jesus said to him, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This shook Nicodemus up. He didn’t really understand what this was all about. Because you see, he assumed that he was a child of the heavenly father simply because he was of the Jewish nation, a descendant of Abraham, the father of faithful. But Jesus said you’ve got to be born again. And Nicodemus asked him, “Must I enter into my mother’s womb and be born a second time?”

How could that be possible?

He didn’t understand. But then Jesus explained a little further in verse 5, “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Here Jesus explains that this new birth is not a physical birth, but it’s a spiritual birth that takes place in the waters of baptism. You see, the Bible teaches us that we become the children of God spiritually when we’re obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ, how that he died for our sins, how that he was buried, and how that he rose again to live forever.

In baptism, according to Romans the 6th chapter, we’re baptized into Christ Jesus; but not only that, we’re baptized into his death, verse 3, and “we’re buried with him by baptism into death, verse 4, that like as Christ was raised from the dead, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Just as Jesus came forth from the tomb that third day, so we come forth from the waters of baptism with new life. We’ve been planted together in the likeness of his death, and we’re planted together in the likeness of his resurrection.

We’re united with Christ in baptism; and there being baptized into his death, we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, that perfect one who made that perfect sacrifice who paid for our sins at Calvary, and the old sinner is buried, having been put to death. And being cleansed, being forgiven, our spirit renewed, we’re raised up to new life just as Christ was raised from the dead.

Paul put it like this in Colossians 2:12: “Buried with Him in baptism, and raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

You see, the same power that raised up Jesus from the grave is able to raise us up from the waters of baptism, to live again spiritually alive, united with Christ, his child, a part of his kingdom.

You see, it happens through faith, through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. If you believe that what Jesus did for you at Calvary can truly pay for your sins and that God will forgive you, if you trust him for your salvation today, then you will turn away from your sins, you will make that decision to repent, to leave off that old life and to live for God; and confessing your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, you will give yourself to him in the waters of baptism, to die with him, to be buried with him, to be raised with him, to be born again of water and the Spirit, to enter into his kingdom, his grand rule and reign in your heart, to be a part of his church. And trusting him and being honest about your sins, he promises to take you home to heaven.

“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of His Son cleanses us from all our sins. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Yes, God wants to be your father. He wants you to be his child. And he made that possible through his precious son, Jesus Christ. We encourage you to come to him, to put your faith in him and be obedient to the gospel today. And please, let us know how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else, all else.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else, all else.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.

SINGING>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll,
eternal love shall feast their soul.
And scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view,
rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing,
oh almighty king.
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We’d love to hear from you. So let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long, sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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