I had a great Father’s Day!!! I have to say it was incredible! I got calls and cards from all the grandkids, got some great barbeque at a local church cook off, had a western omelet for breakfast, and then Sharon went to see Godzilla with me (now that’s love!!) while smuggling in Raisinettes into the theatre (don’t tell anyone!) Afterwards we went over to some friends house for steaks. See, I told you it was awesome!!
I had a great Dad and missed him greatly on Father’s day. Even though he’s been in heaven 23 years now he affects my life every day!! What are the qualities of such great men?
Luke 15 records for us the story of the prodigal son. But I think the real hero in that story is the Dad! He exhibited the qualities that God (as our Father) exhibits when we go elsewhere for things we think will satisfy us. And when the party’s over He accepts us back. Over and over again! Now this is a real familiar story but I will touch the highlights and mention a few points that make this Dad really stand out.
A man had two sons. The younger Son demanded that the Father GIVE him his part of the inheritance. The Father gave it to him and the son left and went far away and squandered the money on partying! When the money was gone, a famine arose and he got hungry and ended up feeding the pigs of that locality with the garbage of the city. He got so hungry the garbage looked good to him and he almost ate it until he realized that his Father was rich and had servants that ate better than this slop. So he rehearsed his lines that he would say to Dad. “Dad I had really blown it, your money is gone and I’ve disgraced your name and sinned against you and God, just let me be one of the hired servants and dress the fields with them, that’s all I deserve.” But as he approached the homeplace , the Father ran out to him kissed him and put a robe and ring on him, and made ready for a great party!! He stated My Son was Dead, but now He is Alive!!
Now the Older Brother got really mad at this and wouldn’t come to the party for his brother. The Father went out and pleaded with him and said, “Look Son, all I have it yours, but your brother has come home He was dead but now is alive.
Now all us prodigals know that we don’t deserve the accolades of the Father. We feel like dirt for betraying the values entrusted to us and would just as soon be a servant. But the Father sees our heart of humility and congratulates us for finally coming around to maturity and making sense of our life. You see this Father was great because:
The Father Knew the Hearts of His Sons
The Father knew the younger son would be worthless until he learned not to be selfish and sensual. The back story of this parable is obvious to me. The younger son was a pill to live with, coped an attitude about everything and moped around with a huge chip on his shoulder and always thought the grass was greener somewhere else!! The Father saw his heart and gave him his request with the hope that he would learn from his immature carousing, the true meaning of real riches. It worked and he gained his son back with the humility that is takes to see life in its proper prospective. Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain!!
The Father also knew the judgmental proud attitude of his older son. He confronted him with the truth and tried to help him overcome the simple minded envy of his superiority complex. We don’t know the outcome of his attitude, we only hope he changed, but sometimes Pharisees rarely do!
The Father Was always ready to restore the prodigal
We can always harp on something our kids aren’t doing right. That doesn’t take much character. What really takes character is being always ready to encourage our children when we see their efforts to do things right. Often we hit them with an “It’s about time” or some other damaging cliché. We don’t need to ignore irresponsibility, but we do need to encourage and recognize the good as well as the bad. Proverbs says “He that diligently seeks good, finds favor.” We don’t need to be the grumpy ole’ bear that is impossible to please, but we also need to give the hand of favor and blessing when deserved. We find here that the Father had stockpiles blessing for the children (ring, robe, fatted calf, the inheritance) and also was a Fun Dad (began to be merry). Come down off your kingly thrones and play ball and dance and make a tent with the kids. Who knows you actually might have fun also!!!
The Father settled the Justice Issues with Truth
How many children and family disputes go unresolved because Dad won’t take the time and effort to set everyone down and work things out. We find this Father “PLEADED” with the elder son, speaking truth to him to get him to realize the priorities that matter and to get him to rethink his attitude. Today we also need such Dads, willing to set down in a calm spirit and reason with truth to settle the disputes of the home. We also need Moms that will let them do it. And as such we can sense the security and love that Father’s bring to homes.
At New Life on Sunday we followed this message with an open invitation to our Dads to be men of integrity and sign the Courageous Resolution. 12 Men responded. We give God glory for our men, our Dads, granddads, and the influence they have on our lives now and into the future.