(Scripture reference from NIV)
Today we celebrate Father’s Day. Sonora Dodd first suggested it in 1909 in Spokane, Washington. Her Civil War veteran father had reared 6 children as a single man; and, after she heard a Mother’s Day sermon she decided that fathers should also be honored. But the idea had a lot of resistance for fear it would just be another commercialized celebration. Amazingly, it was 1966 when President Johnson issued the first proclamation for the celebration and honor to fathers and then was 1972 when President Nixon finally signed it into law. (Who knew that it was really that new of a celebration? I did not!)
We all, of course, have fathers to celebrate – or else we would not exist at all. We also know that there are those that have had fathers that were not there for them in many ways as they were growing up. I am certain that such negative circumstances can make it difficult to want to celebrate and enjoy the day. But, as Christians, regardless of what our earthly fathers were like, we all have a heavenly Father worthy of celebration. He is a Father that has a deeper love for us than we can ever fathom. So try to spend some time today celebrating the most important Father ever!
Often I hear parents and grandparents refer to the children in their lives as “the apple of my eye.” Well, who knew that this is actually a Biblical statement?
Zechariah 2:8b says “…whoever touches you touches the apple of My eye.” This is a statement delivered by an angel – as a message from God. Deuteronomy 32:10 is another place where it says “He…guarded him as the apple of His eye.” These verses should conjure up a picture in our minds of our loving Father, with a gleam of joy and pride in His eyes and a smile on His face as He watches us, His children.
Okay, yes, these statements were made to and about the Jews. But read in Zechariah 2:10-11 where it says “’Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.’”
If then you will read Ephesians 2:11-22, you will see where it talks about how the Gentiles (non-Jews) “were separate from God” and “without hope”. But because Jesus came to earth and died – shedding His own blood like a sacrificial lamb – we were all brought together as “one new man”. We also read “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one…” “His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God…” “For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”
Then very plainly in Ephesians 3:6 it says “…through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus.”
This all explains that no matter who you are or where you came from, if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a member of God’s family. God is your Father and Jesus is your Brother. All those wonderful people we read about in the Word are our relatives as well – one really big family.
And – our Father God looks at us with love and tells anyone near Him that will listen “He/She is the apple of my eye.” WOW!
Last, but certainly not least – George Bragg, my most wonderful father, you are still missed and loved!
Written by Karran Martin – March 9, 2019