Today is a day we honor fathers. For most of us the days of getting homemade cards or breakfast are long gone.  Now we might get a nice present or taken somewhere for dinner.  Others simply hope for a phone call or maybe a card in the mail.  Most of you have celebrated many Father’s Days, and some in here may have wonderful memories of their dad, while others remember a cold, callous, indifferent dad or maybe even a wicked, hurtful man.

On Father’s Day we try to focus on the good qualities of our dads. The facts are that none of us have had perfect dads. Even the best dad has his flaws. This morning I want to take a look at the Perfect Father, your Heavenly Father. My hopes are that dads would want to be more like Him and that all of us would put our hopes in Him. He’s the best Father of them all.I want to focus on the roles that my perfect Father fills:  

First He is my Provider. 

In early times the man was the provider and the woman the nurturer. And while culture has changed some things, it is still fundamentally true. The man has the responsibility to provide for his family. He is the head of the family, therefore the buck stops there. In Matthew 7:9-11Jesus says:9“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Granted, there are wicked parents that abuse their children and would give a stone if the son asks for bread. But generally speaking, mostparents wouldn’t think of depriving their children of the basic necessities of life. And they surely wouldn’t give them a poor substitute as some kind of joke to mock them. Earthly dads are far from perfect. But most of them would provide for their children’s needs. How much more so can God give us exactly what we are needing!

In Matthew 6:33 God promises to provide the things we need if we will seek first His kingdom. I know we can say like Abraham in Genesis 22:14, “The Lord will provide.” Like a good Father, He may not supply every single want in our life, He may not supply every need in the way we think it should be provided, but He will take care of His children because He is a Perfect Father.

He’s my disciplinarian

We tend to not like the word disciplinarian. Perhaps you cringe a little because your dad was a staunch disciplinarian. I’ve heard older folks talking about being ‘taken to the wood shed.’ Perhaps you cringe because your dad was abusive and punished you in ways that strike fear in you today. Or maybe we don’t like discipline at all anyways and would rather not talk about it.  The perfect Father disciplines. 

John MacArthur, Jr. explains the meaning of the word discipline: “The word is a broad term, signifying whatever parents and teachers do to train, correct, cultivate, and educate children in order to help them develop and mature as they ought.” He also states, “God uses hardship and affliction as a means of discipline, a means of training His children, of helping them mature in their spiritual lives.”

The writer of Hebrews lets us know:that discipline is a sign of sonship (v.7)  If we do not undergo discipline we aren’t true sons (v.8)If we respected our human fathers for disciplining us, then shouldn’t we submit that much more to God who is doing this for our own good (v.9-10)?  God’s discipline, if we let it, will result in our spiritual growth (v.10-11)

John MacArthur, Jr. writes that God has three purposes of discipline: punishment, prevention and education.God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh to prevent him from being proud, not to punish him for pride. God allowed Job to undergo suffering not because he was sinful or to prevent him from sin, but rather so that He would come to know God in a whole new light.

God can use even the most painful of situations to teach us things we might never have listened to Him about when we were all comfortable. The fact is that the Bible tells us we will have trials and God always uses everything for our good and His glory. So listen to your teacher in the midst of your sufferings. God’s ultimate goal is that we would become more like Him in our character.

He’s my security

Have you ever heard a little boy say, ‘My dad can beat up your dad’? Kids like to think of their parents as the biggest and strongest.  The Father is the protector. Has been down throughout history and will be till Jesus comes despite the feminization of our culture. Dads should be looked to as the protector. And dads should see themselves as the protector.

As the Perfect Father, God is our protector. In a computer word search I did in the NIV it has listed 16 times the word fortress used to refer to God in the book of Psalms. God is a safe haven to run to when you feel insecure and afraid.

Even during a time of suffering for Paul, he was able to write Timothy and say, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). At the end of Jude’s letter he writes, “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”(Jude 24). These men were confident that God offered protection that would see believers through to the day they would be presented to God.

He’s personal

Unlike the impersonal idols of the nations in Israel’s day, God is very personal. There are still many in the world that bow to idols. But they offer no relationship and their cold eyes show no care. But listen how personal God is.  Matthew 10:30 tells us: “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

God is personal. When we pray we call Him “Our Father” according to Jesus’ example of prayer to the disciples. He knows everything about your life whether you want Him to or not. And if you give Him the opportunity, He knows how to untangle your messes, fix your brokenness, and get you back in good working order. He is not a god who does not speak or give guidance, but rather He is a God who speaks and delights in giving us guidance.

He’s always there

Not only is it good to know that God is personal, but it is good to know that He is present.  We are invited to approach the throne of grace with confidence in.Hebrews 13:5 quotes Deuteronomy 31:6 when it says, ““Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  It is good to know that God will never walk out on you.  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NIVAnd while adversity will come it is great to know that all of those problems we go through will not be able to separate us from the love of God (see Romans 8).

On this Father’s Day we barely touched the surface of who the Father of us all truly is. But we know that He is our Perfect Father. He’s the Father you have always wanted.He is the Father that we should reflect in our lives.  We are not perfect.  There are no perfect fathers on earth, on our Father in Heave is perfect in every way. He is the Father who is available to you. 

As a dad in here today, regardless of your age or your situation, you need to be an imitator of God, asking Him to make you more like Him. You’ll never be God. But you can grow in His character. If you are in here today and you are really needing the touch of a perfect Father today, please know that God is here and wants to minister to you this morning. When everyone else fails He never fails. Put your trust in Him.