By Guest Columnist John Vaughn, Pastor,
Cross Roads Baptist Church
June 19 will be Father’s Day, when we honor our fathers and celebrate the role of fathers in society. The idea for Father’s Day began in 1909, when Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, heard a Mother’s Day sermon. Her father was William Smart, a Civil War veteran from Arkansas. As a single parent, he had raised his six children there. Sonora decided that, while it was appropriate to recognize and honor mothers, that fathers should also be celebrated. She spoke with her pastor about the idea. He carried the suggestion to the pastors of the Spokane Ministerial Alliance, who agreed, and the first Father’s Day was held the following year in churches throughout Spokane.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six
years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday, when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
When you think about Father’s Day, what comes to your mind? Can you relate to Sonora Dodd, who was concerned about taking her father for granted? Honoring fathers is important. After all, the Bible commands us to honor them; but, this year, think of Father’s Day with a new twist. Take some time to consider all the things your Heavenly Father has done for you and how you might be taking Him for granted. After all, He is the perfect example of what it means to be a dad. Looking at each of the letters that make up the word “father,” consider some of the characteristics that set Him apart and provide a model for our human dads.
F - Forgiveness is a huge part of your relationship with your Father. He is willing and able to forgive you of any sin you commit if you will only ask Him. It’s comforting to know that nothing you do is ever so bad that God won’t forgive you. His forgiveness is unconditional.
A - He is active in your life all the time. God is always at work around you. Ask God to show you what He is doing. You will be amazed at all that is going on. More important, the invitation is open for you to get involved with Him. You never have to wait for your turn to be active with God.
T - Time for you. While humans get too busy to do this or that, God always has time for you. Whenever you feel lonely, struggle with a problem, want to share a thought, or need to deal with a concern, He is there for you. You can’t find a time in your day when He is too busy to talk or listen to you.
H - The heart of the matter is that God knows your heart, and He loves you anyway. Proverbs tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. Some people may not want to be in your life if you make mistakes. God wants to be with you anytime, and He alone is able to change your heart to be all you were created to be.
E - Everywhere sums up God’s place in your life. If you’re a Christian, there is nowhere you can go where He isn’t with you. It can be encouraging to realize that when you are in a tough place in your life, He is right there with you. Whether other people are there or not, God is always by your side.
R - Rest and read. These are two areas where most people could use a little work. Rest is important to you, because it’s easy to become so busy that you don’t take time with the Lord. He wants you to set aside daily time to rest in Him and to read His word. The Bible is His letter to His children. The best way to get to know your Father is to spend quality time resting and reading all about Him in His Word.
All these attributes of God’s character make Him a perfect model for fatherhood. If you have been blessed with an earthly dad who has a lot in common with our Heavenly Father, be grateful. If you have missed out on a relationship with an earthly dad, be thankful that God is there for you and wants to meet the needs in your life. Let God know how much He means to you. (The idea for this devotion comes from an article by Rachel Lovingood.)
Be sure to take your family to church on Sunday!