Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lessons From a Great Father

(Dad's Birthday Celebration - February 2012)

The title of today’s sermon at church was called “Lessons from a Great Father.” The message was about the life and fatherhood of Joseph (Jesus' earthly father). There were many great points and I couldn’t help but think about my own father as I listened...

Pastor Torres shared that Joseph was a loving man – he was willing to bear the shame that Mary would carry for becoming pregnant prior to marrying Joseph. He said that there are times when we will suffer for no good cause and that it’s an example of Jesus’ suffering when he bore our sin and shame. The next point was that Joseph labored. The emphasis was that you can’t live on just love; a man is known by his labor. A good father is a good provider. Joseph had a skill he was known by; he was a carpenter that not only provided but he trained his sons. Lastly, Joseph was a man who was led – led by the Lord. There were many times that he could have left Mary and bolted away from a situation he did not ask for. His departure would have been justified. But God spoke to Joseph multiple times through dreams and, because he was a man who was led, he stayed by Mary’s side. Part of the last point shared was that when a man is led and hearing from God, it is a sign of one who is really spiritually protecting his family.

I am incredibly blessed to have a father who has not only always been physically present but a man who has always been loving (to both his wife and children), always has labored (no matter what it took), and always chose to be led by God (in prayer and in the Word). I have found that the love my father displays to his family is an example of the love that Jesus displays to His children. The older I get, the more I am in awe of the grace he has with me (and so many others) and the unconditional love his shows me. No matter what situation I was in, whether as a rebellious teenager or a broken hearted woman, I always knew that I could go to my dad and that he would receive me. Having the example of an earthly father who I could boldly approach, even in my biggest messes, helped me to learn to draw near to my Heavenly Father and receive mercy and grace in times of failure. (The awesome thing is that no matter what our upbringing, good or bad, we all have access to our Heavenly Father).

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. - Hebrews 4:16

I praise God that I have always felt loved, provided for, and protected. In a world where so many fathers are absent and so many grown women often struggle through unfortunate daddy issues, I see now more than ever how absolutely blessed I am to be the daughter of such a wonderful man of God.

Thank you, Dad, for loving, laboring and being led by the Lord. I love you and am so grateful that God chose you to be my father. Happy Father's Day!

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