The greatest job I’ve ever had and the most difficult job I’ve ever had is being a dad. I’ve enjoyed every minute of being a dad. From crawling, talking and walking to baseballs, baby dolls and basketballs, I’ve loved every bit of being a dad. Being a dad has rewarded me with so many unforgettable memories and taught me so many things. I’ve learned all about unconditional love. There is nothing my kids could ever do that would cause me to stop loving them. I’ve learned about forgiveness, as I’ve had to ask for it and to give it at times.
As a dad I’ve learned so much about prayer, probably because I’ve spent so much time praying since becoming a dad. I pray every day for my kid’s spiritual walk, their friends and their future spouses. I pray every day for me as a dad. Being a dad is hard and I desperately need my Heavenly Father’s wisdom and help. I’ve prayed for years and still do, that God would help me to lead my kids to Him. If I fail at everything I do in life, I don’t want to fail in helping my kids get to heaven. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, may we learn that our greatest responsibility as dads is to make sure our kids know Jesus.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”(Eph.6:4).
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”(Col.3:17). I don’t think it’s a secret that we all do things on a daily basis that we don’t enjoy. From paying bills, doing laundry and yard work to various tasks at your job that aren’t your favorite. Reality is doing things we don’t like doing is just a part of life. One thing that I believe can make a difference in everything we do is our attitude. The attitude we have toward the task affects how well we do it. A bad attitude about the chore you’re doing can reflect negatively on the finished product.
So, how do you and I make sure that we always have the right attitude toward the job to be done? Paul answers that question for us in the above cited verse. The key is, no matter the task, do it as if you were doing it for the Lord. I think if we’d face the worst of our chores as if we’re doing them for the Lord, that will change our attitude and possibly our performance. When I think about doing something for the Lord, I want to work my hardest and give my very best. Whatever task you are faced with from now on, do it as if you are doing it for the Lord.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”(Col.3:23).
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”(Col.3:1-2). Paul is encouraging Christians to focus on the things that can’t be seen. In other words, focus on the spiritual things. When you’re at work you have to maintain your focus on the task so that you can do your job effectively. The student must focus on the teacher’s instructions to be prepared for the assignment. As Christians we too must have the right focus if we expect to be pleasing and faithful to God.
We live in such a fast paced world with so many distractions and temptations that challenge our focus at times. The ways of this world today can make it a real challenge to be a Christian because there are so many things contrary to God’s will that are accepted. We don’t have to be like this world but we do have to live in this world, at least for a while. So your focus as a Christian can either make you or break you. When your heart and mind are focused on the unseen spiritual things, you will do what leads to spiritual growth. But, when you focus on the things of this world your spirituality will take a hit and you’ll practice things that will ultimately hurt your relationship with God. The Christian’s focus matters and the right focus helps us in our walk with God.
There are times in life when we need an extra measure of strength to make it. When tragedy strikes and we’re forced to endure the seemingly unendurable, we need strength from the Lord to get through it. We all go through difficult times in this life and I’m sure that most of us have prayed that familiar prayer, “Lord, give me the strength to make it.” We should pray that prayer, because God is able to strengthen us to endure what comes our way. David was no different as he found himself in need of strength from the Lord to endure a difficult situation.
“David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters”(I Sam.30:5-6). The Amalekites “had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great”(I Sam.30:1-2). Can you imagine how David must have felt? This was a husband and father’s worst nightmare and David was overcome with grief. “Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept unitl they had no more strength to weep”(I Sam.30:4).
What would you do? How would you handle such a tragic situation? David grieved which is natural, but he handled the situation the best way possible. “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God”(I Sam.30:6b). Whatever prayer he prayed or Scripture he read, we know for sure that David looked to God for strength to handle the situation. David trusted God and relied on Him to give him the strength he needed. There’s no doubt that difficult times will come, so let us all be like David and look to God for strength to endure.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”(I Samuel 16:7) These words were spoken by the Lord to Samuel before David was anointed King. I don’t think truer words have been spoken. We men and women do look at the outward appearance of others. We tend to notice physical looks, flaws and imperfections. How amazing it is that God overlooks the physical appearance to focus in on the heart.
What if you and I looked at the heart of an individual instead of their appearance? If we looked at the heart it would change many views and attitudes. Our world is sending the message that you have to look a certain way and be a certain size. It’s no wonder so many today struggle with low self-esteem. They are made to feel inferior because of their appearance. God is far more interested in the heart of a person than their looks, clothes, neighborhood and car. My prayer is that we can all look through spiritual eyes straight to the heart of others and past the temporary external appearance that this world holds so dear.