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BY MAX FERNANDEZ

 

My Father

It had been at least 22 years since both Carlos and I had seen our father. We arrived in Spain, met new family, drove to a strange city, and staked out where we thought we might find our father. We waited for a day and a half, and finally, we saw our father drive by us. The shock of the moment cannot be expressed in a short blog post, but that moment was the convergence of many factors that could not have been mere coincidence. We were able to enjoy a short, all-be-it nice visit with our father and were able to speak with him about his soul and eternal destiny. 

While our Lord graciously provided me and my brother a wonderful grandfather who filled the role of a father in our lives, we still were raised in what may be considered a non-traditional way. A traditional, biblical home would have a father in whom the children could trust—a father who provided and was dependable.

A Patriarch Father

While mine and my brother’s story is interesting, believe it or not, there is a historical account of a father-son duo that is even more fascinating for several reasons. Jacob had fathered twelve boys, and one of them was a favored boy. Though Joseph was a favorite, he did not manifest any of the pompous, privileged, stuck-up maladies one would expect. Joseph trusted his father, and he showed this trust through obedience to his father’s request, on a given day, to journey and check on the other brothers. The brothers saw Joseph coming and out of hatred for him, the boys conspired against him, sold him into slavery, and lied to their father about what happened to him. The brothers led Jacob to believe that Joseph had been attacked and killed by a wild animal.

A Father’s Inevitable Reversal

It would be 20 plus years before Jacob would actually learn the truth about what happened to Joseph. After Joseph had been betrayed by his brethren, he spent the better part of 13 years in slavery and prison. After the 13 years in prison, there was a radical turn of events. Through a series of miraculous happenings, Joseph was actually promoted to Governor of the most successful country of the known world at that time. What made his country so appealing is that the world was having a shortage of food, and Joseph’s country—the one over which he was in charge—had plenty. Consequently, the very brothers who betrayed Joseph were forced to go and stand before him to request food for survival. Even though the brethren did not recognize Joseph at first, Joseph did reveal himself to them. You can imagine the shock of the moment. 

What ultimately took place is what I am calling an inevitable reversal. Though Joseph, as a boy, trusted in the will of his father Jacob, he was wrongly treated and disposed of by his brethren. By the end of the story, it is not Joseph who has confidence or trust in his father Jacob, but Jacob is actually dependent upon Joseph. Joseph would later provide food and lodging for all of his family. The family, including the father, had to trust that Joseph would sustain them. Do you see it? The reversal. It is not the son trusting in the father, but the father trusting in the son. You can read about this amazing story in Genesis 37-50.

Do you see it? The reversal. It is not the son trusting in the father, but the father trusting in the son.

A Call to All Fathers

So, this Father’s Day, I am calling all fathers to confront several realities. First, you are not invincible though your children may momentarily think that you are. I am not saying that Jacob feigned himself invincible, but that the dire circumstances forced him to look for and find help from his own son.

Second, don’t wait until life or circumstances force you to humble yourself. Fathers, please be careful that pride does not lead to your demise—especially an eternal demise.

Lastly, I am not calling you to place confidence in your biological son. Rather, consider carefully who the historical Joseph points us to—the Son Jesus Christ.

You see, the sin of Joseph’s brothers is a real reflection of our condition before a righteous God. Indeed, we are all sinners, but God has lovingly responded to our sin. God did NOT send Joseph for this purpose per se, but God sent Jesus Christ, who lived, was betrayed, beaten, crucified, raised, and exalted. All that Jesus endured was to call us to dependence, to trust, to faith in Jesus alone for eternal life.

What will you do with the Son?

 


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BY JIM TAUBE

 

Father’s Day is always a special day for me—thankful for being a father and for the children God has blessed me with.

I think back to how my life changed when our first son was born. Our home changed because I had a new life for whom I was responsible. Life expanded to outside of myself and extended to my son. That felt like a huge responsibility, and I sensed the gravity of taking care of his every need. This makes me think of how Christ takes care of our every need.

Despite the times that I’ve failed as a father, Jesus has been faithful in answering my prayers for our family and forgiving my failures. His grace has supplied answers when I didn’t know how things were going to work out. Growing my faith, He has provided solutions far above what I could ever imagine for my family.

Despite the times that I’ve failed as a father, Jesus has been faithful in answering my prayers for our family and forgiving my failures.

Father’s Day makes me think of our heavenly Father and the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus was totally obedient to God and sacrificial to the point of going to the cross. He gave Himself completely for saving the world. That’s an example for me to give myself like Christ did—for family, for church, and for witnessing to others who need the Lord. It also reminds me of how I am to be the leader of our family, in serving Christ and being the spiritual leader of our home.

God’s Word shows the most important paternal relationship—God the Father with Jesus His Son. I know that through my faith in Jesus and Him sacrificing His life on my behalf, I become a son of the one true God and joint heir with Jesus. I can rest in the fact that through that faith in Christ, I have a heavenly home waiting for me and will spend eternity worshiping the Lord and heavenly Father.


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BY GARY LEWIS

 

As I think about Father’s Day and the stage that I’m at now, it’s much easier to look back with some clarity and yes, pick out all of the many mistakes, but also by God’s graciousness, see growth in my role as a husband/father. I’m reminded that countless numbers of men have looked into a newborn’s face and wondered, “What in the world am I going to teach this kid?…Am I good enough? Nope! Am I smart enough? Ego aside, the answer is still nope! Do we make enough to feed three people (or four)? Not a chance. Then how are we going to make this work?” You see, when our boys were born, I didn’t truly know my Savior. Of course I knew things about Him, and I had gone to church some, but I hadn’t trusted Him with my life. Thankfully Terri knew Jesus from a young age and, praise God, she was patient. But at that moment…with this little boy bundled up beside us in the hospital bed, I was wondering if I could be the husband she needed and ultimately the father he needed.

But God has a plan that slowly became clearer with time. From a biblical perspective, this is like the scales being removed from our eyes: “Whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). Little by little, I could see better. The fog was still there, sometimes close by and at others, farther off. But not gone. Truth is, I don’t think it’s ever gone. This is how I understand my continual need for growth, for trust in Him…to be sanctified by Him, through Him. I needed something other than the talents my parents had bestowed upon me. I needed knowledge, wisdom, and training that wasn’t found in your typical textbook. I needed the Jesus of the Bible. And so, almost six years later, with our boys now five and three years old and me being thirty-four, I tossed my ego aside long enough to admit I needed Jesus as my Savior. I repented of my sins and trusted Jesus’ payment (His death, burial, resurrection) as the final payment for my sins. I didn’t have to be the best dad, or the smartest, or the richest. Jesus was! What I needed was to be obedient to God and teach my boys to love God. Now I wanted them to know Him the way I knew Him, and that became my goal. Being able to see this changed my approach to being a father.

I didn’t have to be the best dad, or the smartest, or the richest. Jesus was! What I needed was to be obedient to God and teach my boys to love God.

It is true that this is the best decision anyone can ever make, but it wasn’t easy. It is incredibly scary to have a perfect God show you your faults. But oh, what joy when we finally learn He doesn’t want us to stay in that condition. He wants us to be just like His own Son! He has the biggest and best plans for us if we will only humble ourselves and be obedient to Him. For most of my early life, I didn’t understand this. I would have told you I was good. I knew how to behave; I respected people; I worked hard, and I was driven (note the number of times the personal pronoun “I” is used in that sentence). Slowly and patiently, God pointed me (sometimes it felt like an actual nudge) down His path and away from what I always thought was my path. I would wrestle with God and try to “sneak in” my own willful thoughts. Like Jacob wrestled with God but to a lesser degree. Surely my way is better in this case?? Nope. And so this process continues, repeating daily like any routine we have…wash, rinse, dry, repeat. Fail, repent, learn, repeat. I’m secure in my salvation, and secure in the knowledge of Christ’s continuing work in my life. So goes fatherhood…so goes life. I am not yet who I should be, but praise God, I’m not who I was!

I’m secure in my salvation, and secure in the knowledge of Christ’s continuing work in my life. So goes fatherhood…so goes life. I am not yet who I should be, but praise God, I’m not who I was!

God’s way: constant, unchanging, rewarding beyond words. And now, at this stage, I think I see true peace, God’s peace through the fog.


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BY JIM WINTERS

 

It has been close to 50 years ago that I became a father. Now in our present day, there are numerous opinions as to when this event actually takes place. I, however, can remember the moment as if it were yesterday, when my wife uttered these immortal words: “Congratulations, Daddy.” I have to admit, it took a few moments for those two previously unheard words to sink into my 21-year-old, somewhat naïve brain for digestion. Having searched the Scriptures, I believe a baby’s life begins at the moment of conception, develops in the womb, then enters this strange new world at God’s appointed time.

Nine months after the life-changing news was given, my wife delivered our first child, a living soul. From that very moment at 10:52, Sunday night, December 26, 1971, I became a full-fledged father, responsible to provide for, and to lead that beautiful, little bundle of life in the ways of the Lord. My daughter’s eternal destinywas at stake, and I was the one now responsible for leading her by my direction, example, and leadership; she was going to be influenced by dear ol’ Dad. And incidentally, that awesome privilege has never changed even after 51 ½ years.

Dads, you have a tremendous challenge before you, as you realize God has given you an everlasting soul to love, guide, train, protect, and lead in the paths of righteousness. Remember those little eyes will follow you wherever you lead them.

What a privilege to call the Creator of this universe, the Savior of the whole world, the Redeemer of all who will receive Him, our “Father.” There are too many situations of which we are all aware that a father figure is missing in the home, and a solid role model is nowhere to be found. You see, one can become a dad, but not all dads are true fathers. Gentlemen, let’s be bold, faithful, and true.

The good news is that God has provided a magnificent and perfect plan for all mankind to enter into His family. John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Wow! By accepting what Christ did on the cross paying our sin debt (in full) with the shedding of His own sinless blood, believing that He was buried and rose three days later from that grave, and calling on Him to enter our hearts as our personal Savior, we can call him “FATHER” for all eternity!

Who is your Father?

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY.


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BY MARK ALLEN

 

I was married at a young age and became a father when only 20 years old. I was a raised in a religious home but didn’t know Christ as my Savior. I was working hard, as taught by my Dad, to provide for my wife. When I came home from work and heard we would soon be a family, my reply to her was, “I need to be promoted and get a raise!” I then realized how little I knew about fatherhood.

I was searching for a church, and we began to attend Grove Bible Church in St. Johns, Michigan. Shortly after attending, I discovered I needed Christ (John 3:16) and asked Him into my heart. We attended a young couples’ class on family and were taught biblical principles on raising children. Realizing how little I knew, I also went to the men’s Bible study class. Any time the Church was open, we were there.

“Train up a child” (Proverbs 22:6) became important as we realized we wanted our family to be raised on biblical principles, and the Bible was no longer taught in the schools. After much prayer, we were blessed with a good Christian school and a principal who challenged me to trust God for the ability to provide! Provide He did, as I was learning to give my children, wife, and job by faith to Him. I prayed daily for His wisdom and guidance in my heart and grew in the ability to hear God through His Holy Spirit as He guided us.

The Pastor, Barb, and the Christian teachers were all sounding boards as my children grew and were saved at Grove Bible Church. We had devotions daily and read Christian authors like Tim La Haye and James Dobson to understand the training up of each child, as God had given each one a different character and spirit. The Lord gave Barb great insight into each child’s life; she was a godly mother who prayed for her family. Both of us relied on the Lord to show us their needs and bents. We have five children and now twelve grandchildren whom we continue to guide and pray for daily.

We continue to pray for our two unsaved grandchildren to be drawn to the Lord, and for the others to keep God first in their lives. Family gatherings and holidays always give me opportunities to pray and read Scripture. Pray for our oldest son, as he has walked away from our God. Once a father, always their father. I still walk in faith praying God will intervene and draw him back to Himself.

As a father and grandfather, I realize I need Christ more each day. Dear God, please continue to guide my life with Your Holy Spirit and for Your Glory!


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