June 25, 2016
“Father’s Day Rewind”
We have been working our way through the book of James. However, since Sonoma always brings a number of guests to chapel I would like to take a break and do a “rewind” back to Father’s Day so everyone is on the same page.
The name Father, Dad, Papa, Abba, and others immediately invoke all kinds of responses in people. It ranges from the wicked, never knew him and don’t want too all the way to the kindest, most loving, and gentle man ever with everything in between.
Isn’t it interesting that God chooses to indentify and address Himself with that title, a Father in our life? Like it or not we ALL have one.
That means every one of us have been influenced by our father. Children are designed to be influenced by a father. If you are a father; then you have no greater opportunity to influence anyone more than your kids. Most of us guys will become a father someday if we are not already.
Even if you are like me when I got married to Kathy; …I had it concrete in my mind that I wanted no part of bringing kids into this insane world, period! Well, there’s a big Kathy & God story here; but things can change, and I am so glad they did because my two girls who many of you know are the joys of my life!!!
It’s only today that I honestly realize how much my father influenced me growing up. As a kid I knew my dad left home every day, worked at Kodak and gave mom money to buy food and clothes. I had no idea the influence he had on the world out there, but the influence he had within our home was huge!
EXTRA: Sometime do a Bible study in the Gospel of John. Jesus mentions His relationship with His Father at least 95 times.
There are numerous scriptures and examples in the Bible, especially in Proverbs that speak of a father‘s role and inheritance. It is a normal concept for us, isn’t it?
Sometimes I giggle at the bumper sticker on a motorhome in front of me that says “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.” Sometimes I don’t. Cute, but then is money the only inheritance that is important?
So that’s my first question: What, as a dad is the most important inheritance you can leave to your kids?
Let’s look at the Gospel writer John as he describes Jesus’ mission in the first of those 95 mentions about the Father-Son relationship:
John 1:14: “The Word became human flesh and made his home among us. We personally saw His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God, except the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.”
In the Old Testament God is shown sometimes as Awesome, Powerful, Lord & Master calling nations into account, sometimes He’s silent and speaking through the Prophets as a disciplinarian, other times He is shown as a warrior, defending His people Israel. But, in the New Testament you see this crystal clear revelation that He is revealed as a Father by Jesus.
Jesus says in John 12:49: “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it.” We find Jesus mirroring the image of the Father in John 5:19: “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Yet, through all this even the Disciples missed the connection that seeing, hearing, and knowing Jesus was seeing and hearing the Father which they wanted so badly. Phillip in John 14: 8-12 says to Jesus “show us the Father and that is enough for us and Jesus replies that you have seen Me and I AM the Father.” You see Me get on the ground with children, move toward the sick, hurting, and this is who the Father is. We often find ourselves still in the same boat today even though we have this revelation.
In that same fatherhood what do we want to pass onto our kids?
Stop and think how your kids say what they hear you say, mimic your actions both good and bad. That’s the power of parenting!
Here are three (3) things to highly consider as I do:
1. It is worth honoring God with our lives.
Honor is the cornerstone of the relationship with God. The definition of honor is: The recognition of a person’s worth or value and the attitude that is appropriate to that recognition. Honor is both a belief and an attitude. Today we live in a culture where it is a point, or even make a living at; dishonoring authority, race, jobs, physical ability, etc. because that puts me in a position of power by pronouncing judgment on it/you.
By the way, if authority is our problem, the root is a problem with God’s authority. That’s the bottom line.
2. It is worth loving others well.
My childhood was a lesson by my dad in the areas of respect of others, integrity, and sold out love for my mom and my brother and me. When we love others well people don’t have to fear being around us or do business with us. Let me tell you how I remember getting to REALLY know who my dad was: That came when I began working at Kodak also after High School. It was then that I got to ride to work with dad in his car pool, but also got to go into his work area which was Kodak’s machine shop tool and die section. That’s where I found how great he was loved and respected. The men that worked with him at Kodak Park and around the world in Kodak machine shop took and die sections were fiercely loyal and spoke how highly he loved, trusted, defended if necessary, and respected them. Yeah, this was MY dad. They came from all races and backgrounds both educated and uneducated. THAT was when I finally understood all the values he held, and also how much he loved God also because they were clear about that also!
3. It is worth living for something bigger than myself.
American culture today shows dad as either the top of the food chain or the complete incompetent fool. But the God kind of dad is the kind that gets down and cares more for others than himself and seeks to leave a legacy.
Let me share something with you that my daughter Sarah said to me on Father’s day last Sunday and also went on Facebook. I can say that while I sure tried to be, and show every one of these to her and Leeanne; it still rocks me that maybe I actually got something right during all my mistakes as a dad:
Happy Fathers Day to the first man I ever loved! The man who taught me how I should be treated and loved. A man who taught me to never give up, that I can do anything I set my mind to. A man who taught me how to use tools, not be afraid to get dirty and work hard. But also how to be a princess and own my beauty. Who taught me how to “really” hug and that there is always a safe place to show weakness.
I am beyond honored to have grown up with such an amazing man in my life and am so thankful that my boys have you as an example of what it means to be a man.
We love you Papa!
Some parts and words are from:
Church On The Hill
Pastor Bruce Stefanik
Pastor Jason Treadwell
Bible Version Used:
(Gospel by Bob)