The Father Heart Of God

God’s Transformational Word

The Father-Heart of God

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Welcome: 

Let us stand for His Word in worship of Him who is God Almighty, Everlasting Father, and the Holy One.  

Psalm 36: 5-9 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Happy Father’s Day to all our dads and grandpas joining us today! 

You know as I was preparing this message for this special day to honor all of our dads I was reading over and over again how some feel dads get the hand me down’s from all the Mother’s Day hoop la.  I pray none of our dads feel that way because you are a big deal! Not only within the families who call you dad, but within this church family.

Your fatherly presence is significant and today we celebrate you! 

What qualities come to mind when you think of your dad or maybe dads in general? 

Some might say strong to be able to open every jar lid that dares laugh in his face; brave to take on any spider and creeping bug that shows up in unwanted places and commands all monsters to leave from the shadows-saving the day so all can sleep in peace;  Master Builder– conjuring up princess castles, tree forts, lego masterpieces, to every project sent home from school-to building loving homes for his family to live in; Comedian- always ready with some corny joke-first to laugh at his ridiculous jokes-and always the one to lessen the tension with some witty comment. You make us roll our eyes quite often, but deep down we love it and we love you. Fun Maker–  you dads come up with the coolest, craziest stuff that leave most of us moms praying to God for mercy and protection, but from a kids’ point of view-you are pretty awesome! We might also think of you as our strong defender and shelter when life is hard. There is no better place to be then next to Dad when the storms roll in and hearing some comforting words that all will be ok. Wisdom holder- we may not always act like we are listening or that we even want your wisdom, but dads know we are listening, we are watching and we do so appreciate how much you care for us and strive to show us the path that is good.

Probably best of all is just to think of you all as “Dad” because it implies a known relationship, a closeness and something that is personal to each one of us. 

You’re all pretty amazing and each of you is uniquely gifted with talents, interests and abilities to impart to your children and others from your fatherly influence, as God purposes you to do so. 

Being a dad, much like being a mom, is not for the faint of heart is it? There are seasons for dads that are so great when your children see you as their superhero and are so excited to see you every day. Thank goodness for dogs because that season never changes-they are forever happy to see you and come running to meet you. Then there are seasons you are lucky to get a grunt of acknowledgement out of those same children and you wonder what happened-did someone swap out your loving, kind, appreciative children with something else-are they even human anymore?  Hang in there dads-because a new season is coming! 

That’s when they grow up and get out on their own and suddenly have questions again. They start calling and showing up to ask for, wait for it… your advice! They might not take it or show they appreciate it yet-but they will start asking. 

Then grandbabies come and guess what-you are back to superhero status-but like even more because you are Grandpa and everyone knows grandpas rule! So live it up grandpas-you have arrived! 😊 

In all seriousness, we are grateful for dads who are present, sacrificing, working hard to provide for their families, caring, encouraging, yes even disciplining though we don’t like it in the moment-later on we are grateful for that guiding hand. We are grateful for the prayers of our dads and grandpas who speak blessing over our lives and invite God to move and act in our lives. We are grateful for dads who walk with God and do so humbly, even when life is really hard-we see your steadfast faith. We see your example and it shapes us. 

Today we honor you-all of you- who have chosen to step up, step in and be a dad and fatherly figure to those who need you, who need a dad, who need a man of God building them up. What you do and who you are is so very important to the development of a child and in the continued development of teens and young adults finding their way. I pray you each know how much you are loved. I pray you each know you have a Father in Heaven to show you the way, to support you and teach you what is good. I pray you go to the One who will build you up and encourage you with words of wisdom, strength, and comfort. For you dads, are not meant to carry these burdens on your own-but to walk side by side with Jesus who equips you with every good thing in this journey of being a dad. 

To all of us, let us reflect today on the loving support we have from our Heavenly Father. Let us remember He is our first and eternal father and dad. I think this can be difficult for some to view God in this light, in the name that Jesus referred to Him as, Abba-which is a term of endearment such as dad or daddy or papa. 

If we grew up in a generation where love was not outwardly shown or expressed, to see our God as an affectionate loving father might seem foreign or uncomfortable. We’re not sure what to do with that. If we grew up with an abusive, ornery, critical father, it could be a far stretch for us to understand our God as loving, gentle, and kind. If our father was impatient and never took the time to teach us because we would just mess it up anyway, it can be hard to truly understand that we have a Father in Heaven filled with patience and loving kindness who delights in teaching us His ways and truth. That He delights in spending time with us watching us learn, even watching us stumble and get back up. If we grew up without the presence of our father at all as so many children do today, the concept of a dad is unknown and simply not part of our world. 

For many, it’s far easier, less complicated, and certainly evokes fewer emotions that you don’t want to deal with, to keep God distant. To maintain that He is God way up there, far above this world, far away from your life and someone you can’t relate to. It’s understandable why people respond this way-for they have been hurt, deeply hurt, deeply disappointed, abandoned, and even forgotten at times. Why would God be any different? 

What we have to remember is we as parents, along with our parents, are all broken and imperfect people. It’s a cycle of what we know and have lived. I am not trying to gloss over real pain and disappointment from anyone who has experienced these and other hardships at the hands of their fathers or mothers… but if we can remember imperfect people who have been hurt or disappointed by other people, will likely act in ways that will intentionally or unintentionally hurt those around them, it might give us a different understanding as we approach God, the Father, who is not broken. 

He is perfect and good. He is love. He does not shift and change with the winds like we can as people. His love remains for all and is not based on our performance and whether we measure up to His standards of approval. He is a father, a dad, who is ever-present, who delights in His children, who loves them beyond measure, and walks with them every step of the way through every valley and mountain top. 

Our God that we worship is our Heavenly Father and His greatest desire is for us to see Him as such and join in a relationship with Him. Dads where do you think you get all those wonderful attributes from that we commented on a few minutes ago? They were given to you by your Father in heaven, as He has assigned you the very special and important role of Dad. He has gifted you uniquely to show His heart to the children He blesses you with and to others He places in your life to be a fatherly figure. 

Today as we worship God, let our hearts be softened to His heart. Let our eyes see the heart and love of our Father. Let us draw close to Him for this is what our hearts yearn for. We can suppress it, but God the Father, invites us to come close and soak up His love. Let us know for certain, there is nothing we can do to ever have His love taken from us. He loves us now and for all eternity. There is such comfort in knowing this truth-really knowing this. 

This is why we turn to His Word-because as you’ll see, this truth is expressed over and over again throughout to affirm His love, to cast out any doubts and to draw us to the heart of the One who loves us beyond what we can comprehend. 

                                                                              Romans 8: 31-39 NIV

       31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   

Many of you have heard this Scripture before, many times before no doubt. Maybe it was your first time hearing these words of truth. When you listened today and read it, do you see the amazing attributes and heart of our Father God who is our defender, our rock, our refuge and shelter, our comforter, and our anchor knowing His love will always be freely given. We don’t have to earn it and it can’t be taken away. It doesn’t matter how many times we mess up; our father loves us.  It’s so important that we know this truth in the depths of our being. The truth that we are loved completely and for eternity by our Father in Heaven who absolutely delights in us-His prized possession! 

  • Unfailing Love

Our heaving Father tells us directly about His love for us. He speaks boldly about His love and leaves no room for doubt that His love is constant and complete. He makes it known His desire is to be a present father caring for us in every regard, going through life’s ups and down’s with us-through every age. We are always His children-even when we’re 90. 

 

Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.                   

Jeremiah 31:3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Isaiah 46: 3-4 “Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you.

 

We can’t say that about our love can we? Our love will fail others at times. Others have failed you in their love. But God declares His love is unfailing. His is everlasting. His will carry us through our lifetime. 

       

2 Corinthians 6:18 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 

This means we can trust Him with everything-our greatest worries, our weaknesses without feeling judged, the things that keep us up at night-we can safely bring to our Father who loves us and will carry us along-all the days of our life. We don’t outgrow our need for our Heavenly Father. 

Maybe you have or had a dad who boldly declared his love for you and showed you in countless ways how much he cares for you. Thank God today for him and the blessing he is to you, even if he has passed on-that love remains. 

Maybe you didn’t have that kind of earthly father-but in his way he tried to love as he knew how. Thank God for the ways he did show his love. If you didn’t have a dad present at all, then I want you to hear and know this truth-your Heavenly Father knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He saw you and He has loved you always. He is your father who desires to show you, unfailing love, as you turn towards Him. 

We will have disappointments in life-many times over at the hands of other people- but our Father will never disappoint us as we walk with Him and remain in His love. This is truth-but we’ll only know it as we open our hearts to receive His love. 

  • Strong Tower

How many of you when you were afraid as a young child ran straight to find dad because you knew you would be safe with him? Or grandpa maybe? 

How many as you grew older called your dad when you had something on your mind and needed that reassuring voice to calm and guide you?  If not your dad directly, was there a father-type figure you felt safe running to? 

My dad used to say he’s “bulletproof”, but that isn’t exactly true. He’s more bullet resistant-thank You Lord.  That’s another story for another time.  But the truth is that is how we see you dads- our strong towers to run to, find shelter in, and feel safe. 

 

This is who our Heavenly Father is too for all His children. He is our safe place, our shelter, our shield because He is our dad who cares for us. It’s His heart to protect and watch over His children. He doesn’t want any of us in danger or consumed by fear. 

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.   

May we remember this truth as we ponder our Heavenly Father-may we have eyes to see Him as our strong tower and may we proclaim as King David did:                           

Psalm 3:3 But You, Lord, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.     

As we look at our key Scripture today, we are reminded how very generous our God and Father is-just as so many dads are. Dads are selfless, make countless sacrifices, find ways to make things happen for their family, and work hard to give their children good things. For it brings joy to the heart of a father to do this for his children. 

So it does for our Heavenly Father who is overjoyed to shower us in blessing after blessing.                                    

 

  • Generous Giver

Matthew 7:11 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  

Do you see God as a dad who delights in blessing you as you walk with Him and trust in Him?                                                                 

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

 

Our God does not require or expect perfection. He’s not measuring our performance. He’s looking for our obedience and loving trust in Him. He’s watching to see how we invite Him into our lives to guide us as any father desires to do for his children. May we open our hearts fully to receive His unfailing and generous love, as our father. May we see the many good and wonderful gifts He shares with us and give thanks to Him. 

James 1:17 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 

The good and perfect gifts we receive from our Heavenly Father might be packaged very differently from the good gifts we receive here on earth, but they are precious and priceless. Our Father is developing us, guiding us, and transforming us to our eternal glory with Him. It’s not that He doesn’t care about our immediate pleasure and blessings-He does but His purposes are for preparing us for eternal glory. His purposes do not change. His love is constant and abiding and His Word is true as our guiding light.   

 

Dads as you love, instruct and walk with your children it’s really quite the same, isn’t it? Your greatest gifts are not necessarily those physical or temporal gifts you bless your children with-although they are pretty wonderful- it’s the lessons, modeling, and even correction that shapes the child into the man or woman you pray for them to become. Those are precious gifts too. 

 

Conclusion:  The Word reveals the Almighty God we believe in is more than an all-powerful God, He is our Father who loves us with unfailing love, our strong tower to run to, and generous giver of all good things. To fully experience these truths, He calls us into a relationship with Him so He might lavish us in His love. 

Dads you are a visible manifestation of His vast love. Show your children and grandchildren the way to the heart of the Father. 

Prayer of blessing over all fathers and children towards their fathers: 

Our Father in heaven, you have made yourself known to us through Jesus Christ and have invited us to pray to you as our Father, that we may pray boldly and confidently to you.

Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.

God, we thank you for the gift of Dads in this life. We thank you that you are the greatest Dad ever, Abba Father, and we know that you cover us in your great love.

Bless all fathers as they care for their families. Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience. Give them the ability to love in a way that reflects your love.  Support them in the work they have to do, protect those who look to them, and help them stand firm in their faith, modeling the example of Jesus’ love and character. 

We pray for children. Give them guidance. Give them a spirit of obedience. Give them warmth, comfort, and peace in their fathers’ homes.

We pray for the fatherless and those who struggle in their families. Be their Father when earthly fathers fail. Show them love and guidance and help them to know a father’s love through your love, providence, and care. 

In Your name, we trust and hope, Jesus. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: As you go from here, remember this: God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting, from generation to generation. Just as a father has compassion on his children so God has compassion on those who fear him, who listen to his voice, and who do his will. Go out in the knowledge that the everlasting love of God goes with you. Amen.

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