Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is a very special day in which we pause to celebrate Dad. Although for some reason it is not as big a deal as Mother’s Day (I will not venture to offer any suggestions as to why this might be), it is still a great opportunity to show your appreciation to your father and to offer gratitude to God for him.

I must admit that this attitude is rather easy for me in light of the fact that I have a godly father who has modeled God’s love throughout my life. I realize that there are many people who do not have great relationships with their fathers and equally as many who do not find great reason for celebration on Father’s Day.

The good news is that regardless of your personal relationship with your father, Father’s Day is a great time to reflect on the fact that God is our Father. This fact is taught repeatedly throughout the Bible and is truly one of the most comforting and exciting truths for all believers.

Through faith in Jesus, all believers are by adoption and regeneration made children of God (Eph 1:5). This truth is one of the greatest comforts to us as believers. No matter what the circumstances have been with our physical fathers, we now have a perfect Father: the ultimate Father. As our Father, God has compassion on us in our times of weakness (Psalm 103:13) and gives us every thing that we have need of (Luke 11:11-13). In Philippians 4:19 Paul says “…my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” There is no need too great and no problem too large for God. Your heavenly Father can provide all that you need, and He will because He wants what is best for you.

Our perfect Father also wants to carry our burdens for us. Peter says we should come humbly before Him, “casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (I Peter 5:7).” No matter what is troubling you, God invites you to give it to Him. As your Father, He cares very deeply for you and desires to bring relief to you in times of trouble. You need not fear that He will disappoint or let you down. You can be totally confidant in that fact that He cares about you and can carry your burden, no matter how heavy they might be. He is truly a loving Father.

As any loving father does, God also occasionally has to discipline us. Hebrews 12:5-6, 11 says, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom He receives. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” This verse teaches us that even when God has to discipline us, he does so because it is what we need. He never punishes us because He is hurt or embarrassed or angry. He disciplines and corrects us so that we can grow in righteousness.

In every possible way, God is our perfect Father. As His children, we should love Him, respect Him and honor Him with all that we do. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “… be imitators of God, as beloved children.” If we truly understand that God is our Father, than we will seek to be His obedient, faithful children. God is a great and wonderful Father, but what kind of child am I? Let’s determine to honor our Father with our lives this Father’s Day and every day.

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Gospel Boldness

While preparing sermons recently from 1 Thessalonians 2, I was struck by a statement Paul used in verse 2. He says, “…we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.” I immediately recognize this as a verse that has great significance for evangelism, but I also know how foreign it may seem. As I thought about this verse and its implications on my life, I noticed some things that I hope are helpful for you as well.

  1. Boldness is confidence, not bravado. The boldness Paul described is a courageous confidence in God, not an amazing ability that he possessed. Paul is not promoting outlandish, obnoxious methodologies or compelling every believer to develop an outgoing, exciting personality. He is reminding us that we can always have an unshakeable confidence in God.
  2. Boldness comes from God, not me. Boldness isn’t something I have to conjure up on my own. It is something that I receive from God when I am relying on Him. As with anything that God offers, if I don’t think I have it I can always ask. Asking for boldness requires that I realize I need it. Perhaps Paul was able to be bold in part because he wanted to be and knew it was necessary.
  3. Boldness results in Gospel proclamation, not self-promotion. God’s boldness is for a specific purpose. When he gives boldness, I should use it to promote him. If I am seeking attention or promoting myself and my own agenda, I am filled with pride, not God-given boldness. This also makes me wonder if perhaps God gives boldness when I am already engaged in Gospel proclamation. We shouldn’t wait for boldness, we should count on it!
  4. Boldness withstands any opposition. This kind of boldness cannot be matched by anything that the world can throw at us. Paul’s testimony was that his boldness came even during great opposition. In another letter, Paul asks, “If God be for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)?” We can be bold in any conditions because God is the source and object of our boldness.

When I consider those statements, I realize that true boldness from God is confidence in God to do the work of God in the power of God under any circumstances. Isn’t that exciting? I hope you will join me in living boldly for Jesus.