This Sunday is Father's Day. It is the first one in 67 years I have not had my dad to observe it with. It has been nearly five months since his passing at 101. I think about him every day... things he said, things he did, advice he gave. He is in so many ways still with me. He, more than ever, has my love, respect, admiration and I miss him as do so many including my mom.
In many ways, it is said, we learn much about our Heavenly Father if our earthly fathers reflect God's goodness. I believe that is true. My dad was a Christian man and he embodied unconditional love, a sacrificial spirit, a servant's attitude, unselfishness and humilty... and many other attributes that God, Himself embodies on a grand scale.
I learned to trust and understand life and God and the goodness of God so much from my dad. As I said at his funeral...he was my mentor, hero, role model and so much more. He was in every way a great dad.
Later this summer, his church, Trinity United Methodist, will be putting up a beautiful 30-foot flag pole in his memory. We are simply waiting on the bronze plaque. My dad now is where he should be, with the God he trusted and loved. My father is with his Heavenly Father. He is with Jesus, the Good Shepherd who cared for His sheep and he will dwell there forever. He is home.
Home. Great word. Where is your focus, your home? On this Father's Day, it is an appropriate question for all dads. Dads, what are you doing to point your children in the right direction in life? Dads, what are you doing to point your children to Jesus? Dads, what really beneficial legacy and me mories are you establishing for your kids? Dads, granddads, what kind of role model are you? What character traits will you be remembered by? What kind of quality time do you share with your kids or grandkids? What kind of husband are you? What kind of language comes from your mouth? What kind of values do you live by? I could go on and on.
My dad taught me how to live and what to live by. He even taught me how to die. In him, there was much to emulate and remember. Dads, what will your kids remember about you? In our world that is a fair and important question. It is one every dad needs to answer and to contemplate.
Being a father is a gift. I wish I was one. But on this Father's Day, dads, make sure the gift He gave you is one you cherish and utilize wisely so that your kids and grandkids see you as the treasure I felt my dad was and that they know that God is their loving Heavenly Father who they can always go to and count on.
In John Capter 14, verse 3, Jesus said, "If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself."
That place is Home. My dad is home. But what I am saying to all dads is that home is critical here. You need to make sure your family really has all a home should be and I mean not the things, but the love. And you need to more than anything point them to their real home. And that means being an example and that means being the spiritual leader you should be and going to church on Sundays and being a man of prayer and faith. Happy Fathers' Day men. As we honor you, honor God. We need godly leaders and men. Let your kids and family see one each day.
On another front...
With the exception of Jesus, no one in the Bible endured more scorn than Noah. Told to build an ark to escape God's judgement, we read in Genesis 6:22 that he did all God commanded him. Can you imagine what his neighbors said? Can you imagine the head shaking and laughing? Can you imagine the name calling? Can you imagine people mocking him as they rejected his warnings? 2 Peter 2:5 says he was a preacher of righteousness. But when the flood came, only Noah and his family were saved.
For those who scorned him and his pleas, it was too late. You and I are called upon to proclaim a message to a lost and dying world. It can seem foolish to many and bring us scorn from even family and friends and associates but the message of the Cross and the love of God is so important that we must share it.
Not everyone will listen and respond. We can be mocked and be made fun of. But we must never stop sharing it we cannot be timid. If you know Christ as your Savior and Lord then never be ashamed to share it. It is the "power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." Roman's 1:16. Share what He means to you and what he is doing in your life this week.
Someone you know needs to hear it.