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Honoring the Father

Life Lesson 18: I celebrate my Heavenly Father because His love is everlasting, sacrificial, and unselfish.

The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.”

-Psalm 103:13 NLT

A father’s role in a child’s life is pivotal to his or her emotional and spiritual development. A father provides stability and protection. He shares knowledge that will equip his children to make wise decisions when they are of age.

In Proverbs 22:6 (NIV), parents are encouraged to “Start children off on the way they should go,and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

As a positive role model, dads demonstrate to their children godly leadership, integrity, trust, discipline, strength, hope, and courage to face the ups and downs of life. Most importantly, a father loves at all times and he never gives up. Throughout Scripture, we see the characteristics of some amazing fathers of the Bible, like Adam–the first earthly father, Noah, Jacob, King David, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph–Jesus’ earthly father. Although these men had faults like any of us, their stories certainly impart important spiritual lessons that any dad can use to govern his child’s life.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, how wonderful it is to honor our Heavenly Father as well. Every dad should attempt to emulate God the Father. The Lord God is our Father not only because He is the Creator of all, but because His love for humanity is unconditional. He is faithful and true. God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. The Bible tells us that:

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4:9-10 NLT).

There is no love like the love of God. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when He was crucified on the cross for us (1 Peter 2:21), and so it is with humility, honor and praise that I say, “Happy Father’s Day every day to our Heavenly Father!” John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most well-known and beloved Scriptures of the Bible. Here we are told:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we put our trust in Jesus, He removes our sins and freely gives to us the precious gift of eternal life. Now, as we celebrate dads, let us honor them with the love of Christ by gleaning from the ways Jesus demonstrated His love for the Father. The Lord God and His relationship with His Son Jesus is the perfect model of a father’s love and a child’s commitment to him. Here are just a few of the many ways Jesus honored His Heavenly Father while on earth.

Spend time with God

For any relationship to be successful and meaningful, we must invest time. You have heard it said, “Time equals relationship.” In Scripture, we see where Jesus spent much of His time in communication with the Father. As His fame and demands grew, Jesus would often retreat to a quiet place to spend time with His Father. In Luke 5:16 (NLT), we are told, “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Mark 1:35 (NIV) also tells us that, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Why was it important for Jesus to spend time in God’s presence? Jesus was showing us that as human beings, we cannot do life without God. Not only must we invite Him into our hearts and lives, but we must seek His wisdom and guidance every day. When we spend time in communion with God, we are strengthened, refreshed, encouraged, and empowered to carry out God’s purpose for our lives. Even more, we have the awesome opportunity to know the Father in a very intimate and real way that makes us hunger and thirst for His righteousness.

Seek God’s Guidance

Jesus sought the Father’s will so that none who believe in the Lord will be lost. When we put our trust in Jesus, we have eternal security through the gift of salvation. Since God desires to save sinful man, Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will” (John 6:38 NLT). We honor our Heavenly Father when we seek to do His will. Jesus glorified the Father by accomplishing His God-given purpose on earth.

Speak to God

Another way Jesus demonstrated His love for the Father is by speaking the Words of God that leads to everlasting life. In John 12:49 (NLT) He said, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.” The lesson here is that God should be our ultimate authority. When we seek Him, He directs and guides our lives. We speak to God through prayer and He speaks to us through His Word–the Bible. In Scripture, Jesus gives us a model for how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13 NLT) when He said:

“Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.”

There are countless other ways we see in Scripture where Jesus honored God. Take time to read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) so you can experience the love of Christ and His love for the Father. Knowing that God is our eternal Father when we receive His Son Jesus into our hearts and lives, let’s honor fathers everywhere by following the examples presented in Scripture.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 NLT

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