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A Father’s Love!” Psalm 121

21 Jun

Presentation1There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

Happy fathers’ day!Nationally, we celebrate five holidays that honor either family members or the family as a unit. Valentine’s day is a day for all people who are in love. But it is a day of special significance for wives and husbands. Mother’s day exists to honor mothers. Father’s day exists to honor fathers. And Thanksgiving and Christmas have become two of the most important family days of the entire year.

  • A successful father (by that I specifically mean a man who is successful as a father) is one of the most remarkable persons in our society.
  • What is a successful father? Are we talking about the perfect parent? No. Successful fathers are imperfect parents who acknowledge and accept responsibility for their mistakes.
  • Successful fathers are comfortable in accepting the fact that they are not super human, are not always right, and do make mistakes.
  • A successful father loves his children. He communicates his love with words, kindness, fairness, and touch.
  • He builds and nurtures relationships with his children rather than assuming the role of an authoritarian.
  • He dares to accept the challenge to communicate with his children in the knowledge that communication is a hard and often painful art to learn.
  • He is kind even when his children exploit him. He is fair in all his discipline.He seeks influence, not control. He literally loves his children enough to want them to make their mistakes while they are at home. Then he can in love and forgiveness help them recover and learn from their mistakes.
  • He knows that it is impossible to program a child to live his or her life in the ways that he as the parent chooses. But he also knows that he can live as a positive force in his children’s hearts even after he dies.

A Dad Is …

A dad is a mender of toys, A leader of boys.

He’s a changer of fuses, A healer of bruises

He’s a mover of couches, A soother of ouches.

He’s a pounder of nails, A teller of tales.

He’s a dryer of dishes, A fulfiller of wishes

Bless him, O Lord.  – Jo Ann Heidbreder

OUR FATHER NOTICES WHEN WE ARE WEAK AND STRUGGLING

“I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? {2} My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. {3} He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; {4} indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. {5} The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand; {6} the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. {7} The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; {8} the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Sometimes we want to put on a front; we want others to think everything is okay and we are in control; we don’t want their pity, or curiosity, or disrespect. A mask of courage, a facade of strength, a pretense of power may well fool others around us and protect our image.

But our sighing is not hidden from God! Our way is not hidden from Him! He has not failed to take notice! He has not drifted off into disinterested sleep.

Psalms 121:4:

(Psa 121:4)  indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

God sees, God knows, and God cares.  Let’s make it personal here. Let’s bring this into life:

  • You may be weighted down with debt and financial pressures. God knows all about that and has promised to meet all your needs.
  • You may be struggling with a deep-seated sense of failure and frustration. God is aware of it and cares.
  • You may be weak in some moral area of life and may be struggling with temptation to sin. God sees it.
  • You may be grappling with some personal relationship. Maybe you are at odds with a parent, or a sibling, or one of your children, or a friend. You want to reconcile, but you are having a difficult time. God recognizes your weakness.
  • You may be weak spiritually right now. You just can’t seem to pray with power; you read the bible and forget it as soon as you close it; you have to force yourself to come to worship; your witness has dried up. God perceives the problem, and cares.

In all our weakness, in all our struggles, in all our futility, he speaks to us as He did to the disciples in Gethsemane:

(Mat 26:41)  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

The wonderful invitation still sounds out, still waits our RSVP:

(Mat 11:28)  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

If you’re struggling, He invites you to come to Him for rest. So, let me tell you a secret about a father’s love, you see, father’s don’t just love their children every now and then, it’s a love without end, even when we are weak, amen!

OUR FATHER LIFTS US WHEN WE HAVE FALLEN

(Psa 37:23-24)  If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; {24} though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Our strength fails us; our foot slips. Sometimes we suffer the weakness of the flesh, and we sin. We disobey. We fall

Those of us who have watched our own children struggle to walk also watched them fall. They’d take a teetering step or two and then topple over, but we’d be there to take them by the hand. Or later, when they were learning to ride a bicycle or to roller skate, they’d take a spill or two.

That’s part of the learning procedure. But when they fell, we were there to pick them up. We didn’t kick them; we didn’t berate them; we didn’t disown them. Nor does our Father! He lifts us! He stabilizes us.

 “…who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”

But when that inevitable fall comes, God is there to lift us and to encourage us and to help us. So, let me tell you a secret about a father’s love, you see, father’s don’t just love their children every now and then, it’s a love without end, even when we fall, amen!

OUR FATHER IS WITH US SO WE DON’T HAVE TO STRUGGLE ALONE:

God has given us unfailing promises

(Gen 28:15)  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

(Exo 33:14)  The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

(Deu 31:6)  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

(1 Chr 28:20)  David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Jesus promised his disciples: (John 14:18)  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

We sing the truth, let’s believe and live by it:

“He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own!”

“No, never alone, no never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”

So, let me tell you a secret about a father’s love, you see, father’s don’t just love their children every now and then, it’s a love without end even if He has to carry us to the finish!

You can have that love today if you put faith in Jesus Christ and obey Him as Lord. And when you cross the finish, everyone in heaven will rise and cheer. You won’t win the gold medal, however, but something infinitely more valuable and desirable; you will receive a crown of life. That is the promise of the one who brings us love without end, amen!

Some what are some of the qualities of a great dad?

1.  A great dad treats the mother of his children with adoration and respect.  Little children see it all! Nothing gets by them.  They see the contemptuous looks and they hear the words that drip with sarcasm. The way you treat their mother, impacts the way they will treat others later on.

2.  A great dad is moral, even when his children are not looking.  A great dad realizes that an immoral lifestyle impacts his children whether they ever know the details or not.  After all, his character is slowly being diminished.

3.  A great dad shows his children what it means to love the Lord as he allows them to see his heart and life each day. Children don’t grow up loving God simply because they’ve seen Dad sing loudly at church.  Rather, they grow up loving God because they have seen how the Lord has impacted his life.

4.  A great dad lives his own life and deals with his own issues himself.  He doesn’t use and manipulate his children into thinking that they must somehow make their daddy happy.

5.  A great dad behaves like a grown up.  It is true that parents can be friends to their children.  However, more than needing friendship, children need a parent.

6.  A great dad tells the truth.  There is a certain security that children experience when they learn their parents always tell the truth.  However, children who learn that they cannot always count on their parents’ word, grow up wondering they  “really mean it” this time.

7.  A great dad treats his child right – regardless.  A great dad does not allow his moods determine what he says to his children.  A great dad lives by his principles not his emotions.

Build Me a Son, O Lord

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.” -General Douglas MacArthur

An incredible event took place at the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. A runner from Britain, Derek Redmond, had trained for and worked toward and dreamed about winning a gold medal in the 400-meter race. The starting gun sounded in the semifinals and his aspiration seemed attainable. As he ran the race of his life, he could see the finish line as he rounded the turn into the backstretch. Suddenly, Derek felt a sharp pain go up the back of his leg. He ran with difficulty for a few steps and then began to stumble. His father, watching from the stands, became keenly alert to his son’s difficulty. As you and I press on through life, we grow weak and we struggle and we, too, often stumble badly, and our difficulties do not escape the attention of our Father.

Derek was struggling, and his father was watching from the stands. The pain in Derek’s leg was the result of a torn right hamstring. He tried to run, but stumbled and fell face first onto the track and winced in agony. As help was approaching, Derek fought to his feet and began hopping toward the finish line in a desperate effort to finish the race. But he had fallen, and was now far behind. Suddenly, his father came out of the stands, brushed aside the security guard and ran to Derek. Putting his arms around his injured son, he helped him stay on his feet. In our weakness, we often stumble; but in that very moment, our Father is there to help.

Derek’s father came to his side and spoke kindly. “You don’t have to do this,” he told his weeping son. “Yes, I do,” Derek said, through clenched teeth. “Then,” said his father, “we’re going to finish this together.” And the two of them pressed on; sometimes Derek’s head was buried in his father’s shoulder, but they stayed in his lane all the way to the finish line. When you are overwhelmed by the hard happenings of life, you will never face them alone. You have the Father by your side.

As Derek and his father crossed the finish line, the crowd rose and cheered and wept. He didn’t win a gold medal at Barcelona, but he walked away with the incredible memory of a father who came to him in his need and helped him finish the race.

This father demonstrates the same kind of imminent, present, caring, helping love God has brought to us in Jesus Christ. He did not remain apart from us in Heaven, He came to us, He identified with us, He brought us love. Love divine, all excelling love, redemptive love, saving love.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Article

 

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