Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Father’s Day

 

There are a number of things that I have been thinking about since the world tells us that Sunday is (or was) Father’s day.  Now every day should be Father’s day, just as every day should be Mother’s day, Children’s day, Family day, etc.  But since we are talking fathers, let us think about some things that fathers should do.  If we fathers did these things, likely our children would honor us although that is not always true.  The best Father in the world had rebellious children.  Isaiah the prophet records the words of Jehovah who said,  "I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me (Isaiah 1:2 NKJV).” Many of the verses I am thinking about deal with sons but I think we should think sons and daughters when we consider these verses.

 

Public Honor

The best Father in the world publicly honored His Son.  At the Lord’s baptism which identified Him with sinful Israel, we read, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).’” Obviously, the Lord was not a sinner or the Father would not have said what He said.  Sometimes we Fathers are quick to criticize our children to others when maybe a little public praise would have been better.

 

Teaching Rebellion

In the ten commandments we read that a father’s rebellion affects three or four future generations. The Lord says, “For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NKJV).”  Now we know that nationally sins committed by fathers affect those who come after them and often children end up in wars, plagues, and natural disasters that are the result of decisions made by their fathers.  But in a personal way this verse seems to indicate that Father’s teach rebellion, and it can affect three or four generations following them.  Thank God, the next verse talks about mercy and loving kindness to many who do not follow in the “iniquity” of their fathers.  But Fathers do greatly affect the attitudes of their children, and their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren. 

 

Sometimes a Father cannot Function as a Father

Our associations greatly affect our behavior.  When we who are saved are yoked with unbelievers, normally they don’t start thinking like the believer, instead the believer starts thinking like the unbeliever.  As a result it makes it impossible for God to function as a Father to those who have become children of God by faith in the Lord Jesus. Before we are saved, we are sons of disobedience and children or the offspring of wrath according to Ephesians 2:2-3.  After we are saved we become offspring or children of God according to John 1:12.   But when we are allowing the unsaved world to counsel and “father” us, God cannot function as the Father that He wants to be.  We need to free ourselves from the wrong company so we can enjoy the blessing of having God “Father” us by teaching, disciplining, and nurturing us.

 

One of the Functions of a Father

Hebrews 12:7 says, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten (Hebrews 12:7 NKJV)?”  The passage says that if we don’t endure chastening as Christians then we are sons without a father, that is, we are not really saved.  Now chastening or discipline has to do with correction and with conditioning and not with the judicial penalty of sin.  Payment for sin in the sense of judicial punishment has been taken care of at the cross.  But we still need the correction of a Father.  And sometimes we need to be disciplined in a positive way so that we are prepared for the race that we are to run with patience in this chapter. 

 

The Father’s Open Door

The Father of the prodigal son in Luke 15, waited patiently for His son “to come to himself” that is, to start thinking clearly.  When this son who had done so much to offend His father came home, the Father was waiting for him with an open door and with a feast and with joy.  Whether we have departed from God as believers or whether we are among those who have wandered away in unbelief, the Father has an open door policy and wants to welcome the prodigal home.

 

Practical Considerations

I wonder how many of us as fathers can say that we have used the best Father in the world as our model and guide?  This world would be a better place if we all had Fathers like the Lord had and like true believers have.  Wrath and anger would be a thing of the past.  Punishment that makes children “pay” for their sins would be gone forever.  Correction would be administered with love. Lessons would be learned through careful thoughtful discipline.  There would still be some rebellious children but at least they would know that they had a father who loved them.  They would also have a proper concept of who God is, because a father represents God to his children.

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of June 17, 2018

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