Precious Memories with My Father
As a proud veteran of the United States Marines Corps, my father loves to reminisce about his time in service. It was only fitting that our morning runs together were led with cadence calls. As a teen, I would rise and grab my shoes in eager anticipation of our runs. You see, our running times were something special—time exclusively reserved for him and me as we trod across the country roads. It was a daddy’s-girl dream. While I learned physical discipline, this developed over time into a spiritual discipline. I learned perseverance.
The lesson from our morning runs is one of many biblical lessons that my father has deposited into my heart. As I reflect on my dad this Father’s Day, I recall the many lessons I have learned through him. And whether he realizes it or not, he has shown me a glimpse of what my heavenly Father is like.
In my early years, I learned about the heart of God for orphans and the less fortunate as my dad cared for the children who lived next door to us and whose home was filled with drugs and chaos. Whether it was to the church, the playground, or the music store, he shepherded them alongside me as if they were his own.
On other occasions, I learned that God is to be prioritized first as my dad would honk our car horn and tell us to come outside for church. If we could be on time for work, school, or a hair salon appointment, we could surely be on time for God.
On still other occasions, I learned that God has given us life to glorify Him and enjoy it together as my dad would wake the entire family up on a Saturday morning to go play tennis. I could go on and on.
Fathers play a fundamental role in the lives of their children. They are to protect, provide, nurture and admonish, and point us to the ultimate source of life, our heavenly Father. While not perfect, they are to be an earthly representation of who God is. If our earthly fathers have such an impact on our lives, compare this to the bursting, unconditional love that our heavenly Father has for us:
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11 (NLT)
Consider the many gifts God has given us. He has given us breath for our bodies. He has given us His creation: the beautiful sunset, the pleasure of delicious foods, the warmth of community, and fellowship. Most wonderfully, God has given us His Son:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
God does not stop there. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we not only have eternal life but have a rich, personal relationship with Him as Abba Father (Romans 8:15). With all the blessings our heavenly Father has given us, day by day our praises should echo what great love the Father has lavished on us! 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
This Father’s Day, let’s take time to recognize those who have taken on the role of fatherhood in our lives, whether a biological father, church father, etc. Lastly, let’s give thanks to our heavenly Father.
Streams in the Desert – June 19
- 202219 Jun
Grain is crushed, though one certainly does not thresh it forever. The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it, but his horses do not crush it. (Isa 28:28)
Many of us cannot be used to become food for the world’s hunger until we are broken in Christ’s hands. “Bread corn is bruised.” Christ’s blessing ofttimes means sorrow, but even sorrow is not too great a price to pay for the privilege of touching other lives with benediction. The sweetest things in this world today have come to us through tears and pain.
—J. R. Miller
God has made me bread for His elect, and if it be needful that the bread must be ground in the teeth of the lion to feed His children, blessed be the name of the Lord.
“We must burn out before we can give out. We cease to bless when we cease to bleed.”
“Poverty, hardship and misfortune have pressed many a life to moral heroism and spiritual greatness. Difficulty challenges energy and perseverance. It calls into activity the strongest qualities of the soul. It was the weights on father’s old clock that kept it going. Many a head wind has been utilized to make port. God has appointed opposition as an incentive to faith and holy activity.
“The most illustrious characters of the Bible were bruised and threshed and ground into bread for the hungry. Abraham’s diploma styles him as ’the father of the faithful.’ That was because he stood at the head of his class in affliction and obedience.
“Jacob suffered severe threshings and grindings. Joseph was bruised and beaten and had to go through Potiphar’s kitchen and Egypt’s prison to get to his throne.
“David, hunted like a partridge on the mountain, bruised, weary and footsore, was ground into bread for a kingdom. Paul never could have been bread for Caesar’s household if he had not endured the bruising, whippings and stonings. He was ground into fine flour for the royal family.”
“Like combat, like victory. If for you He has appointed special trials, be assured that in His heart He has kept for you a special place. A soul sorely bruised is a soul elect.”
Sunday Reflection: The Promise of Giving
From: InTouch, ministeries.
Just like the God in whose image we’re made, we are to be generous givers.
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.
In Acts 20:1-38, Paul met with the Ephesian church elders one last time. They all believed their next reunion would be in eternity, so the gathering closed with heartfelt prayer, tears, embraces, and Paul’s final encouragement: “You must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
You may have heard this promise before, but have you ever put it to the test? Offering others our time, money, resources, and energy may feel risky, but Jesus Himself assured us it is not. In fact, He connected the idea of giving with blessing. What’s more, one reason we are blessed with ample supply is so that we can bless others (2 Corinthians 9:8-11).
Giving was always part of God’s divine purpose for us—which means we already have what we need in order to begin sharing with others. By doing so, we’re actually following Jesus’ example: We receive His generosity and His life and then let it flow through us like a river.
Think about it
Bible in One Year: Psalm 44-49
SCRIPTURE READING — 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Imagine that you want to impress a friend with a special party. You put all your energy and attention into getting the details just right. But you get so stressed out in the process that you ignore your friend. Your friend might say, “I don’t want a fancy party; I just want to spend time with you!” In your efforts to make something beautiful, you end up missing the point. Your friend doesn’t require a lot of fanfare and expense; your friend just wants the beauty of your personal time and attention.
Some of the Christians in the city of Corinth had the special gifts of speaking in tongues and prophesying. They thought these gifts were impressive, and the whole community tended to focus on these displays of faith. As a result, though, they ended up missing the point of Christian community, which is to love one another. The apostle Paul wrote them a letter (1 Corinthians) to encourage them to get back to the basics. And in chapter 13 he describes the self-sacrificial kind of love (agape) that follows the pattern of Jesus himself.
Jesus has shown us the most beautiful way, the way of love. Following his example, we can let go of worrying about being impressive. Instead, we can focus on what’s truly beautiful—and that is self-sacrificial love.
God, sometimes we get distracted and forget about the most beautiful thing of all. Restore us again to the beauty of your love in Jesus. Amen.