This title ascribed to many men of the earth through history can have a different meaning and impact on people, depending on what type of father they have or have known. Some of us have Fathers that we love and respect, others may not even know who their father is or have a father that is abusive or has abandoned them. We typically define a father as: a male parent, a man who has begotten a child. The fact is that not all fathers are alike. It has been said that “Many a man can spread his seed, but do they stay the course and cultivate their children?”
God is a Father also. He is THE Father of all fathers and the greatest example of how an earthly father should aspire to be…..loving, caring, strict, a great teacher, provider and friend, a trustworthy guide and fortress of protection, honorable and moral. God is all of this and more.
James 1:17 states “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
For Jesus, "Father" was his favorite term for addressing God. It appears on his lips some sixty-five times in the Synoptic Gospels and over one hundred times in John. He knew His Daddy intimately and wants us all to come to Him as our FATHER who art in heaven. If God then is our father, that makes us His children. God LOVES His children and shows it in a myriad of ways in our lives.
Some fathers in this world step in, either when they adopt a child or where divorce or death has left a mother alone with her children and he chooses to marry her. These step-fathers or adoptive fathers show us how much a man can love and care for another man’s children. Any step-father worth his salt will make every effort to be the man he is supposed to be to both his new wife and her children, making them a solid family.
God too is our adoptive Father. Ephesians 1:5 says “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus …” God draws us to repentance, faith and baptism so that we may become co-heirs with Him, sons and daughters.
The point is that God is THE BEST FATHER, who, through His love for us, gave us earthly fathers, charging them to take care of us in this physical realm.
So today we celebrate Father’s Day in an encompassing way, including Father-God and all earthly father’s and step fathers. God certainly deserves our praise and worship for being such a great and Holy Father EVERY DAY and our good, earthly fathers deserve a day of recognition and appreciation. It is not, nor ever was, easy to decide to become a parent. Sacrifice and grace and loving patience are needed and required.
Happy Father’s Day to God and all the men whom He has called to father His charge of parenthood.
On this Memorial Day of 2020, let us all remember that sacrifice is not sacrifice at all without selflessness. The pride of life or mankind’s natural instinct for “self preservation” is inherent in every fallen human being. This curse from the fall has left us all with the desire to preserve ourselves, to survive at all costs, even at the expense of others' safety or lives.
It is only with the selfless love of Christ that we could ever overcome such natural, sinful powers, to be so concerned regarding the lives of others to the point where we sacrifice our own for them. So it is an amazing thing (a miracle, if you will) to see all the men and women throughout history who have given their lives for our country and our individual freedoms. When we look upon their gravestones or upon their caskets or in some cases, upon their very bodies as they are brought back to America from foreign lands, we cannot help but to fold in grief and in many tears. The love of Christ has definitely shed upon or through each of these men and women. At some point in their young adult lives, they had made a decision to eschew their privileges and rights in order to give themselves up wholly to our nation's cause. The life that would soon be theirs would be one of many trials, heartache, separation from family and physical and mental stress that many of us could never imagine. Each warrior knew fully what they had committed to and understood that their very lives could be extinguished while serving their country. Just like Jesus, they knew exactly what they were signing up for. This was their cross to bear, to lay their lives down for their friends, for their families, for their great, free nation, for God and country.
How we choose to regard and remember these individuals and the families that they have left behind is of great importance, as we are all reaping the benefits of their hard work, stringent discipline and ultimate sacrifice as citizens of this nation. They died for God and country. They were fighting for us, for our liberty, so that we may enjoy the privileges and freedoms that they set aside.
Wherever there is an individual who chooses to run into the catastrophe, charge into the fire, rally towards the pandemic, fighting for the people in need, stifling any fear or regard for his or her own life, there is evidence of Christ likeness in their action and in their motive, whether they be christians are not. To lay down your life for your friends is the epitome of Christ likeness.
So to the spouses, children, parents, friends and families who have suffered loss from such sacrifices, we pray for you. To the men and women who gave their lives while serving our country, we honor and remember you. To God our father who is in heaven, we give You praise, glory, honor and worship for having the love and grace and mercy to create these lives for such a great, honorable and selfless service. Thank You Lord, for all of them.
We Glorify God and Remember The Fallen.