Sunday, June 15, 2014

Jesus Honors His Heavenly Father


Across the world today, millions are celebrating Father's Day - honoring their fathers just as they honored their mothers on Mother's Day in May.

Created in 1909 by the daughter of an American Civil War veteran to honor her father (just as Mother's Day already honored mothers) it wasn't recognized officially in the US until 1966, and only became truly "official" by presidential proclamation in 1972.

We are told in scripture that God sent Moses His "official proclamation" to honor fathers (along with mothers) in the form of a commandment, telling us that we are to "honor your father."

As in all things, we can look to Jesus for perfect examples of how we should faithfully honor our Father - in his case God, his Heavenly Father, Whom the Scriptures say adopted him as His special Son, to be sent into the world to call us all to honor this One God.

Jesus' relationship with our Heavenly Father is the model by which we, also, should obey and love this eternal Father, our Creator.

Jesus always remembered to speak of this Father, Who is also ours, with honor and respect.

"The Father is greater than I am," he says (John 14:28.) Without his Father, he could "do nothing." (John 5:19.) And Jesus prayed to his Heavenly Father, and instructed us to do the same (Matt. 6:9.)

He said he was "one" with the Father (John 10:30) and said that we, too, must be one with Him (John 17:21.)

Some things were withheld from Jesus by his Father. The day of Retribution on Israel, for example: "Now concerning that day or hour no one knows... nor the Son - only the Father." (Mark 13:32); "To sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give," he tells the mother of John and James Zebedee (Matt. 20:23)

Jesus sets for us a pattern of obedience to our fathers. Jesus tells us that he does nothing except what the Father tells him to do, and that WE, TOO, must obey God.

Doing God's will - by active, forceful and deliberate WORKS - is at the core of everything Jesus preached and taught.

Jesus humbly says that he fully obeys God, and that he can only do what he sees his Father doing, "because whatever the Father does the son also does" (John 5:19.) This is the pattern of obedience for which Jesus was chosen by God to be His spokesman to mankind, and to what he calls US to do as well.

Jesus cautions us that we must not just give lip service to God, our Father, but we must obey God if we expect to see His face and win eternal life from Him.

It's not the one who shouts praises at Jesus who will gain eternal life, he says (Matt 7:21) but it's “the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

Even food is less important than doing God's will. When his followers fretted about not having brought food for him to eat on a journey, Jesus told them not to fret, because "My 'food' is to do the will of the Father" (John 4:34.)

We are called to emulate Jesus in all things, and indeed, we become Jesus' brothers and sisters when we do the will of our Heavenly Father - children of the same God, as obedient to Him as we would be to our own fathers.

With Jesus as our example, let us honor our Father in Heaven in humility and with love and service.

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