Welcome to Turning Point
“The Best Dad in the World”
Matt. 3:16-17 NIV “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”
It’s Father’s Day and there’s a lot of great dads here that love their children and have done their best to raise them well.
We honor you today!
And there are also some people here whose memories of their dad is not so good…
Some of you watched them walk away to not be part of your life.
Others of you might even have experienced terrible, life-altering abuse at the hands of your father.
So even the word “father” brings pain to you.
And it may be that, if that was your experience, you have struggled with the whole concept of God as your Father due to the painful memories of your own father.
Our prayers are with you today as well, that God might even begin a healing process in your life.
Now, since it’s Father’s Day I want to talk about the greatest dad of all time—the God of the Bible!
You may not think of Him that way, but Jesus very much wanted us to view God as our Father.
He wasn’t known so much as Father in the OT.
While God is only addressed as “father” 11 times in the whole 23,145 verses of the Old Testament, in John’s gospel alone God is called “Father” 122 times because of the teachings of Jesus.
The OT God was known instead by the name Jehovah or Yahweh meaning “the eternal, living one.”
Or by the name Elohim—the Creator.
He was viewed with fear as the God that appeared on the mountain with fire, accompanied by blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words…and so terrifying was the sight that even Moses said, ‘I am exceedingly afraid and trembling” (Heb. 12:18-21 NKJV).
But when Jesus came along, He began putting a Father face on God.
When teaching His disciples to pray, He taught them to begin by addressing God as Father—“Our father in heaven…”
The Apostle Paul wrote that at the moment we are saved we cry out to God the words, “abba, Father.”
So since the NT presents God as the Father of those that turn to His Son for salvation, I want to show you a number of ways that He is a wonderful Father!
First, we see that God the Father was:
- Present with His Son
John 16: 32 NLT “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.”
God the Father was very present and accounted for in the life of His Son in good times and bad!
Five-year-old Christopher was standing outside the door of the church where his grandmother was inside serving people who needed clothes or food.
Standing there on the curb enjoying the sunshine—waiting for granny to finish, a strange man rides up to Christopher on a bike and begins to talk to him.
The stranger begins his inquiry by asking Christopher, “Do you know who I am?”
With childlike honesty, Christopher tells the man, “I don’t know who you are.”
To which the stranger replied. “I’m your biological daddy.”
Biological daddy? Christopher was thinking: “What in the world is a biological daddy?”
The strangeness of this man’s response prompted Christopher to go find his grandmother.
He said to her, “Grandma you need to come outside. There is a man out here who says he is my biological daddy.”
When his grandmother stepped out the door, sure enough it was his biological father on the bike.
She greeted him, and then the biological daddy took five dollars out of his pocket and gave it to Christopher.
He promised he would come by to visit him.
Years have passed however, and the man on the bike has not shown up again. ABSENT!
—Quite unlike the picture presented of Father God who was THERE for His only Son!
Currently in the United States, roughly 45 million children under the age of 18 go to bed at night with no father present.
Statistics tell us that, “In America, 24.7 million children (33 percent) lived in a biologically father-absent home in 2010.
20.3 million lived with no father (biological, adoptive, or step) in the home.”
I am a firm believer that absentee fathers are the primary cause for gangs.
Why do you get into a gang?
To be affirmed, acknowledged, validated, and to belong.
Gangs are Satan’s counterfeit for a healthy home!
But God the Father did not abandon his Son, nor will He ever abandon you!
Moses told God’s own people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
So we see that God the Father was PRESENT with His Son.
The next thing we see of the Fatherhood of God is found in the text we read where Jesus was baptized by John.
I want to stay with verse 17 for the rest of my message.
“A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”
We note here first that God the Father:
- Acknowledged His Son
Notice how God takes ownership of Jesus—“This is my Son.“
He uses the possessive pronoun, “MY.”
God essentially said to His only begotten Son—“I see you. You’re important. You’re a big deal to me, and I want everyone to know it!
How important it is to acknowledge our children like God did Jesus!
The Bible says that “The glory of children are their fathers” (Prov. 17:6 NKJV).
The word “glory” means “Joy, brightness, boasting, it refers to what a child looks up to and admires most!”
It’s not an uncommon thing for children to get into a tussle over whose dad is the bestest!
Three boys in the schoolyard were bragging about their fathers.
The first boy says, “My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a poem, and they give him $50.00!
The second boy says, “That’s nothing, my dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a song, and they give him $100.00!
The third boy says, “I got you both beat. My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!”
Since children’s glory and bragging rights are their fathers, no one can acknowledge their value and importance like their dad!
Then next, we see that Father God:
III. Loved His Son
“This is MY Son, whom I love…”
He didn’t just acknowledge Him, He loved Him and told Him so!
And God our Heavenly Father speaks the same words of love over the entire human race, including every person in this room!
Jesus said, “For God so LOVED the world…”
The God of the Bible is the God who says, “I love you!”
He made the first move, the first overture, the first gesture, the first effort toward you and me.
He SO loved us that:
“He GAVE His only begotten Son…”
The God of the Bible loved you so much that He sent His own Son on a rescue mission to die on the Cross for you!
Ro. 5:8 NLT “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
What a wonderful Heavenly Father He is!
How long since you told your children you loved them?
If it’s been a while, that’s too long.
When it’s all said and done and the curtain closes on your life—how much money you made, what size house you lived in, or how popular you were with your peers will matter little to none.
What WILL matter is your FAITH—how well you walked with your God, and your FAMILY—how close they are when you leave this world.
The last thing I want to point out about Father God is that He:
- Validated His Son
“This is My Son, Whom I love; in whom I am well-pleased.”
Several years ago, when Pete Rose broke baseball great Ty Cobb’s longstanding record for the most career hits, a reporter asked him what he thought about as he stood on base with the whole stadium on its feet cheering wildly.
Rose said that he thought that his dad was probably looking down from heaven and was pleased with him.
Of all the things Pete Rose could think about at that moment, as a grown man he was still thinking about his father’s approval.
The Heavenly Father validated His only begotten Son with the words, “With you I am well pleased.”
In the same way, children long for the validation of their fathers.
This is where their sense of self-worth and confidence comes from.
In the Bible we see that Jewish fathers practiced blessing their children in 3 ways:
Spoken message—In biblical times, children weren’t left to “fill in the blanks” as to whether they were valuable to a parent or grandparent. Words were used, aloud and in writing.
High value—Speaking a blessing carries the idea that the person you’re blessing is of incredible worth and value. “You are a chosen generation…”
Special future—The light goes on in their hearts and minds when they realize that, because of the way God made them, they can do more than they ever dreamed in living out a God-honoring future.
Our Intercessory Prayer team is eager to pray for you. While you are here, say a prayer for someone else and let them know by clicking the “I Prayed” button.