Devoted Fathers

My hero didn’t lead legions of men into combat. He didn’t play organized sports, let alone in the professional ranks, and he certainly never wore tights and a cape. (If he ever did, I don’t want to hear about it.) Every weekday my hero wore a light blue shirt with dark blue pants and steel-toe boots. In one hand was lunch box, a took box in the other. In my hero’s future there will not be a hall of fame induction ceremony or  a statue erected in his honor. But there is no man more deserving of the label hero than my hero, my dad.
While he didn’t win medals for heroics in combat or awards for athletic exploits, dad did go to work every day. He came home to his family every night. Put food on our table, clothes on our backs, and a shelter over our heads. He was there. Always. Dad demonstrated faithfulness to Christ, to mom, and to church. No man has worked harder and laughed louder than my hero. I love hearing dad laugh. Working with him wasn’t always pleasant, because that meant I had to work hard, too. Dad didn’t suffer laziness. But as I grew into manhood that lesson was one I appreciated more and more.
I was born privileged. Not because I was born white, American, or healthy. My native privilege was being born to a mother and father who loved each other and me, and who in time came to love Christ and His church. They still do.

Devoted Dads

Today is Father’s Day, and in our service this morning we will walk through a familiar text (Ephesians 6:4), especially for this day. Until then, consider that text’s parallel passage. Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” God’s Word calls dad to not exasperate their children. Here are eight exasperaters I heard Alistair Begg share once. I’ll share them with you. We must avoid. 
  1. Failing to allow them to be children
  2. Treating them with harshness and cruelty
  3. Ridiculing them in front of others
  4. Displaying favoritism/making comparisons
  5. Failing to express approval
  6. Being arbitrary in discipline/lacking consistency
  7. Neglecting them/making them feel like intruders
  8. Seeking to achieve our goals through their lives
That’s what not to do. Here is what we should do.
  1. Cherish them fondly.
  2. Rear them tenderly.
  3. Sustain them spiritually.
  4. Deal with them individually.

Only One Perfect Dad

There is only One perfect Dad. God the Father is the ultimate pattern to follow, but none of us will follow Him exactly. The goal isn’t to be perfect. My hero isn’t. The goal is to be devoted. My hero is. I can be. So may you. But only as we “above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:14-17


But There Is a God in Heaven

Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled he couldn’t sleep. His problem wasn’t just a weird or scary dream. The king feared losing what he had gained and still desired. Those fears about security and safety highlighted his struggle with ultimate issues: “Who am I? How did I get here? Why am I here? Where am I going? What does it matter?”
Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled he couldn’t think clearly. Since the wise men of the realm couldn’t explain his dream before they interpreted it, he commanded that they all be executed. In stepped Daniel. He got involved, along with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Their involvement was characterized by tact, prayer, practicality, thanksgiving, purposefulness, and humility. As Daniel stood before Nebuchadnezzar, this ruthless government leader asked him, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?” (2:24b)

Not Me. But God

Every eye in the room was fixed on Daniel. A lot depended on what he was about to say and do. Time seems to stand still in meaningful moments like this, and the senses seem to be sharpened. Not only were all eyes focused on Daniel, but every ear was straining to hear exactly what he would say. What they heard was, “No. There is not a wise man, astrologer, magician, or soothsayer who can show the king what he desires.”

No doubt there were audible gasps in the room at that moment. Arioch the Captain of the Guard may have looked stunned and betrayed. I imagine Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes were instantly enflamed with fury. Perhaps not a few wise men sighed and hung their heads. All of this would have transpired in mere seconds, you understand, because there was not a wise man, astrologer, magician, or soothsayer who can show the king what he desires. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days.”  (vv. 27-28)

You’ve heard it said before, but it’s a truth worth repeating, with men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible. That’s not restricted to interpreting dreams.
This morning (and next Sunday) we will have an 11am drive-in service, and it will also be live-streamed. Please join us!


God’s Glory, Human Dignity

Psalm 8:4-5, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”
This verse asks the fundamental question of our existence. Mankind’s answer has it all backwards, because we more often than not think big thoughts about ourselves and small thoughts about God. But God is mindful of us! He is not watching us from a distance, but is personally involved. We do not exist by our own power or as the result of cosmic chance. The equation nothing + chance + time = us” IS FALSE. Everything that exists has been created by God, and mankind is God’s special creation. Man is created with dignity, being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Man is also marked by tragedy, being marred by sin (Genesis 3:1-7). But God has given man an opportunity to be reconciled to Him! There is only One way, and His name is Jesus. That One way is available to all men and women (1 John 4:9-10). Trust Him today!
Find the time to read all of Psalm 8. That will only take a minute. So, go ahead and spend five. Then you will declare with David, “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth!”