I know it is not Father's Day, but as I prayed through our attribute this week, I reflected on Christ's love for us, His selfless, generous love. When I considered who I know who has consistently demonstrated this kind of Christ-like love in my life, my father continued to come to mind.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11 NKJV
One of my father's passions is the study of God's holy Scriptures. He has studied and continues to study, growing in knowledge and wisdom. Throughout my life, while under his roof or on my own, as "iron sharpens iron," my father sharpens me with insightful conversations and thought-provoking questions about the wisdom of the Omniscient Creator.
"What is the most powerful attribute of YHVH?"
"Have you ever considered a person's appearance in Sheol?"
It will make your brain hurt! Although, like him, questions swirl in my head and I can spend hours searching Scriptures for answers. All because he loves God's Word.
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man.
Proverbs 27:17,19 NKJV
A commitment to the local church has been my father's life-long, faithful practice, sharing what he has to better the lives of others. When he was young he wanted to be a pastor, but circumstances beyond his control steered him in another direction. Instead, he taught Sunday School and would occasionally visit a small-town church that did not have a resident pastor, to teach and encourage that community. Only Adonai knows, but my father may have reached more people for the Kingdom outside the church as he could have within it. All because he loves people and desires their salvation.
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:16-17,19 NKJV
There are so many special memories growing up that remind me of my father's love. He worked long hours at jobs that were never glamorous or easy. For several years he drove long distances traveling all over the state providing a service to small-town businesses. He was away from home, sleeping in value-priced motels in order to provide for his family. He regarded others better than himself and treated everyone with kindness. Later, when I was in high school, my dad had an office in town. My memory is that he was always the first to leave for work each morning and the last to return home in the evening. During the winter months, as my father left for work each morning, he would start my car. His thoughtfulness was both practical and kind. Primarily, he wanted to make sure my old Impala would actually start! However, aside from this functional action was a simple, maybe even unintentional, demonstration of love. When it was time for his daughters to leave for school, my car was cozy warm! All because he loves his family.
I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NKJV)
Thank you, Daddy, for a heritage of faith and love.