June 27 – Father’s Day 2020 – 3 John

Read 3 John 1:4

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. The evening of September 5th, 2017…the day my son Matthew was born. Labor began super early in the morning so it was a very long day for Kelly and I…mostly Kelly. I remember the emotion of seeing Mattie brought up and the look of pure and unadulterated joy and love that Kelly and I exchanged. I remember the feeling of the tears flowing down my face as a love that I have never experienced before touched my heart for the first time. I remember family and close friends coming in and out of the room all day. There was a time, however, where the dust settled, when the last person left the room. For the first time ever, it was Kelly, Mattie and myself…alone.

I remember holding Mattie in that moment and suddenly becoming overwhelmed with emotion. All of the buildup, the pregnancy, the baby shower, the middle of the night rush to the hospital led up to this very moment. Here was this baby boy that is mine. My son. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the responsibility that was ahead of me.

Do I have what it takes to raise this boy?

Do I have what it takes to be an even better husband to Kelly?

Do I have the strength to power through the many obstacles that would come?

Do I have the patience to carefully craft this boy into the man God created him to be?

Do I have what it takes to be the best example of a godly man to my son?

Through all of that, I wish, ABOVE ALL, that Mattie would walk in the truth of Christ. I wish that Mattie would one day make the best decision of all by surrendering his life to Christ. I imagine the joy that I would experience hearing of that decision!

My question to you, the reader, is this: are you walking in the truth? You may or may not have been shown a good example of this from your father but the question still remains: are you walking in the truth of Christ? Regardless of if you are blessed with marriage, children or not…we are called, as believers, to actively walk in truth…THE TRUTH.

Where are you with this? Are you actively walking with Christ? Are there any adjustments that you need to make? What example are you giving those around you?

Imagine the joy on our Father’s face when He hears that you, His precious child, is walking in the truth!

Jake Lawson

June 26 – Father’s Day 2020 – Ephesians 6

Read Ephesians 6:1-4

Today’s reading is nestled in a larger context of three relationship pairs found in Ephesians 5:22-6:9. In what is referred to as the “household code,” Paul outlines the relational responsibilities of each individual in the pair. Thus, he addresses wives and husbands (5:22-33) and servants and masters (6:5-9). Specifically, in these early verses in chapter 6, he speaks to another relationship pair: children and parents (fathers).

You are among those considered in these verses. At a minimum, you are someone’s child. You may also be a parent or, perhaps, even a father to children. So, what is it that God has intended for you in each one of those roles?

As a child, you are to honor your father and mother. In verse 3, in fact, Paul referenced Old Testament instructions from the 10 Commandments (Ex. 20:12). By honoring parents, Jews were ensured longevity in the Promised Land.

Certainly, you can honor parents on special days like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. But honoring parents is much more encompassing than that. Depending on stage of life, honoring parents will look different. For young children, this is at least partially expressed in verse 1 as they obey their parents. Somewhere along the way, the relationship changes as we as children become independent. Often this is expressed in marriage as the child “leaves father and mother” (Eph. 5:31 cf. Gen. 2:24). Even though the relationship and expression of honor may change, the need to honor never goes away. At the other end of the age and health spectrum, then, children honor their parents by providing care and support (1 Tim. 5:3-8). We are never exempt from appropriately honoring our parents. How are you expressing that in your current stage of life?

If you are a father of young children, verse 4 provides some critical insights. There is, first of all, instruction on what not to do. Fathers should not push the buttons of their children creating unnecessary tension in the relationship. Dads, we can do this by imposing unrealistic expectations that are beyond their level of maturity or their ability to grasp its importance. Some of us can tend to be too controlling and not give enough freedom of expression. Don’t do that!

There is also here instruction of what dads must do. Positively, we are to give attention to our children’s Christian discipleship. Training and instruction in the things of the Lord are vital to our roles as fathers. Dads, how are you contributing to the spiritual development of your kids?

Steve Kern

June 25 – Father’s Day 2020 – Psalm 103

Read Psalm 103:1-22

Compassionate…that is certainly an apt description of a good father. He gently and sensitively encourages and helps his children. If you have/had a father, who knows how to appropriately motivate you to aspire to more while lovingly recognizing your weaknesses, you are blessed. It is that compassionate, father/child experience that David uses in Psalm 103:13 to illustrate our relationship with God.

But, let’s back up a few verses first. In verses 1-5, David worships God personally. But the reasons for worship were not unique to him. Beginning in verse 6, he demonstrates how all of us have grounds for exalting the God of heaven. Verses 6-10 point out multiple reasons. Pause for a moment after each one to consider the realities in your life.

  • Bless the Lord because of His righteousness and justice shown toward the oppressed (v. 6)
  • Bless the Lord because of His miraculous intervention in the lives of the Israelites (v. 7)
  • Bless the Lord because of His mercy, grace, and steadfast love (v. 8)
  • Bless the Lord because of His short-lived anger (v.9)
  • Bless the Lord because of His grace in the face of sin (v. 10)

David further enumerates God’s goodness in verses 11-13 by using three similes. First of all, God’s love for those who fear Him is like the great distance between the heavens and the earth. The recent launch of the SpaceX rocket reminds us of this vast expanse. God’s love is immense!

Secondly, God’s forgiveness is like the separation of east and west. He separates us from our sins the way that east and west are distanced. No matter how far one goes to the east, he could still go further east. Regardless of the distance of one’s travel to the west, she could continue further in that direction. God’s forgiveness is total!

Thirdly, God’s compassion towards those who fear Him is like that of a father. He recognizes the weakness and the temporal nature of our frail existence. In His justice, He demands perfection of us. In His compassion, He understands that we will never attain that. So, in His grace, He made every provision for a relationship with Him. God’s compassion is real!

If you have experienced the compassion of a father on earth, you have had a small taste of your Heavenly Father’s compassion toward you. Even if you haven’t experienced that here on earth, recognize that it is yours in a relationship with Christ.

Steve Kern

June 24 – Father’s Day 2020 – Proverbs 20

Read Proverbs 20: 6-7

Promises, promises. I heard of a man who had 3 sons. He promised his sons for years that he would take them fishing. The sons waited and waited and waited for the father to take them. Then one day, the father finally said they would go. Only the father had seen the weather report. Well, the boys hadn’t and they were excited. They started to pack up the car and then it happened… a storm came and the trip was canceled. Sadly, that father never took his sons fishing, not ever.


The Psalmist says “… a faithful person who can find?” When God looks at you and  me, does He find a faithful person? Does He see someone who comes through on their word? Someone who can be trusted?

The next verse takes it even further and says that “The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.”  God knows that we won’t be perfect. He knows there will be times when we fail. But unlike the father in the story who never came through, a faithful and living right dad works to come through on his promises and lives life the right way, God’s way!

So, how are you doing? If we were to talk with those closest to you, would they say that you keep your word? Would they say that you are living in the way God would want you to live? Or is there an area of your life that you know needs changed so you can be more like Jesus?

Here is the best part… if you have not been a person to keep your word, you haven’t been living the way God would want you to live, or there is an area of your life that needs changed… God forgives!! Take time right now to ask Him for forgiveness and go to those you have hurt and do the same. Then, seek help! Talk to someone who can walk with you to become a person of your word and living as God would want you to live.

Because, for those of us that are dads… our children will be blessed because we chose to follow God’s way!

Tim Boucher

June 23 – Father’s Day 2020 – Matthew 7

Read Matthew 7:7-11

Good dads give good gifts!

I suppose that we should qualify that last statement. If your dad did/does not give you all that you ever asked for, that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad dad. Good dads have a way of assessing the needs and wants of their kids. Even though we may have described everything as “essential,” they have the challenge of discerning between wants and needs. And when it comes to the wants, they do their best to discern the feasibility and implications of fulfilling the desires of their children.

I am glad that I had a dad like that. Our family income was pretty low, but because of my parents’ loving provision, we never lacked the essentials of life. Dad never tried to substitute the ridiculous (stones and snakes) for the required (bread and meat). Additionally, he seriously considered the other optional and, at times, extravagant requests that we, his children, had. He granted my desire for a model airplane, but he turned down my request for a TV for my bedroom. Thanks, Dad!

Regardless of your experience with your father, Jesus uses this general parental experience to teach us about our Heavenly Father. If an imperfect earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his kids, “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

There are two good takeaway principles from that statement in verse 11. The first is this: God loves for you to ask. That is the thrust of the entire passage. It is introduced in verse 7 with the threefold invitation to “ask, seek, and knock.” For some reason, God finds pleasure in hearing the requests of His children. Even though He is omnisciently aware of all of your wants and needs, He loves for you to acknowledge and verbalize them to Him.

The second takeaway is this: God loves to tell you, “Yes.” I know that He has all of the resources necessary to meet the need or provide for the request. I have, however, at times, perceived Him as some kind of stingy multi-millionaire. According to my imagination, He has to be begged, bribed, and persuaded against His will to respond. That is certainly not the picture that is given here. Instead, He is one who loves to give good gifts even more than a generous, caring dad here on earth.

Don’t delay in taking your requests to your Father Who loves to have you ask and Who loves to say, “Yes!”

Steve Kern

June 22 – Father’s Day 2020 – Hebrews 12

Read Hebrews 12:1-11

One of the marks of a good earthly father is his ability to exercise appropriate discipline. If you, as a son or daughter, experienced that in your relationship with your father, you can be grateful. If you as a father demonstrate(d) that in your relationship with your children, you are not only training your kids but also modelling the response of your Heavenly Father.

But what is discipline? The word has many meanings. Among other things, it can refer to a field of study, a form of punishment, a corrective effort, or imposed limitations or directives.  But, no matter how the word is used, “discipline” has a largely negative overtone. We cringe at the idea.

The author of Hebrews, however, is encouraging us to see discipline differently. Indirectly, he paints a picture of what a father’s discipline should look like. More directly, he allows us to gain perspective on the discipline we experience at the hands of our loving Heavenly Father.

Here are two importance principles about discipline:

  1. Discipline is painful (v. 11) but beneficial (v. 10). I still remember the tears or sometimes even anger of disappointment when I would discipline our kids. When any earthly father says “No,” it hurts. When he uses corporal punishment, takes away the cell phone, or gives a time out, it isn’t pleasant. But he has good intentions. He desires to teach an important lesson. In like manner, the hardships of life that your Heavenly Father brings/allows are not always enjoyable, but He does so for our benefit, “in order that we may share in his holiness.” (v. 10)
  2. Discipline is an expression of a loving relationship (vv. 6-8). When our kids were growing up and playing with children from the neighborhood, I did not consider myself responsible for disciplining the other kids. An earthly father should take responsibility for disciplining his own kids. His discipline is an indication of his love for his own. If you experience the discipline of the Lord, you can be assured that it is an expression of the love He has for you as a son or daughter.

Dads, through discipline, we bear the weighty responsibility of lovingly guiding our children towards Christ-likeness.

For all of us, we are instructed to demonstrate respect (v. 9) and endurance (vv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7) in the face of discipline. Respect your earthly father and your Heavenly Father because their discipline is grounded in their vision for a better version of you. Demonstrate endurance in the throes of discipline because short cutting it also reduces the harvest of righteousness and peace (v. 11).

Steve Kern

June 21 – Father’s Day 2020 – Transcendent Qualities Of A Good Father

Read 1 John 3:1, Proverbs 20:7 and Deuteronomy 6:4-5

For all of the fathers out there, a hearty “Happy Father’s Day” from everyone here at EverydaywithGod and Grace Church! This is a day that we celebrate fathers and the gift that they are to all of us! Here at Grace Church in Wooster, Pastor Nick along with Billy and Bob will talk this morning about the qualities of a good father. Now, there is a truth that not all of us are fathers and not all of us have had great relationships with our earthly fathers. Regardless of that fact, there is a truth that we know of a Heavenly Father who is good all of the time and part of what makes Him good are the qualities that we can apply to our own lives. You will hear today, or later this week, about how we need to love no matter what, lead by example and live for what lasts. Just like these are the qualities of a good father, these are qualities that, if we all apply them to our own lives, can change the world.

Do you believe it?

This week, you will hear from a couple of us about some passages in Scripture that talk about fatherhood but more geared towards our Heavenly Father. So, if you aren’t a father or have a complicated relationship with yours, my challenge to you is to read these next 6 devotionals and reflect on your relationship with your Heavenly Father. If you are a father, allow these devotionals to be a challenge to you!

Father’s Day is usually a day that we all take time to express, the best that we know how, just how thankful we are for them for the influence they’ve had on our lives. How thankful would you say you are for your relationship with your Heavenly Father and all that He has done for you? Do you truly recognize all that He did for you by sending His only Son to die for your sins so you could be spared from eternal torment because of your sin?

Spend a few minutes in prayer. Thank God for loving you no matter what, leading by example and living for what truly lasts…our soul.

Jake Lawson