ISSUES OF FAITH: Be sure to tell God he’s a ‘good, good Father’

WITH FATHER’S DAY just a couple of days away, I’d like to share with you a few father thoughts.

I had a good father. I was only 22 when he died, but he left me with a lot of good memories.

He loved camping and hunting, he loved to make people laugh, he loved making things and he loved his family. He wasn’t a perfect father, but his imperfections haven’t overshadowed any of my good memories.

I remember when he wanted to motivate me and my siblings to get good grades in school. He promised to pay us a certain amount of money for each grade we received.

I don’t remember how much money he offered or even the success of his tactic, but I do remember him taking us to a lawyer’s office to sign contracts stating what we would be paid for each grade.

Sure, our father’s word would have been good enough for us, but he was a father willing to go the extra mile to teach a memorable lesson.

I love being a father. Am I a good father? I’m sure my children could tell you my imperfections, but I hope my imperfections don’t overshadow any good memories.

I think I tried the money-for-grades trick one time, but I never had a lawyer draw up a contract, so they have probably forgotten.

I realize that some people don’t have memories of good fathers. And some people don’t even remember having a father. I’m sorry. Honestly. I can’t imagine what that is like.

But whether your father was good or bad, of this I am absolutely certain: God is a good Father. Very good.

Pat Barrett and Tony Brown have recently written a song made popular by Chris Tomlin called “Good, Good Father.” The lyrics of the refrain say:

You’re a good, good Father.

It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are.

And I’m loved by You.

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

Some things bear repeating. If you boil down the many complexities of theology, you’re left with these two immutable facts: God is good, and he loves us.

The simple fact is Jesus was willing to die for us to restore our relationship with the Father that had been torn apart by our sin.

There’s no way you or I can earn a good enough grade to earn that relationship; Jesus had to do it for us. This is the Father’s contract, and we seal the deal by trusting Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).

If at all possible, this Sunday I urge you to honor your father in some way. Grill him a burger or pull out your phone and give him a call.

I also urge you to attend a church where you can worship our good, good Father. The song declares his love is undeniable and that he gives an unexplainable peace.

These are his Father’s Day gifts for you, his everyday gifts for you. He loves you, so go say thank you.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is jbc@joycebiblechurch.org.

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