KNOWING HOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFTS – a Father’s Day message

Posted on June 20, 2010

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Christians march to the tune of Christ. Where He sends, we will go. This was a lesson learned and executed by the paralytic whom Christ healed in Matthew 9.6,7: …he then said to the paralytic–“rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home.

In our periodic missionary fervour, we often think of the great tasks Christ is sending us to in the far loftier contexts of overseas mission and big vocational assignments. On this Father’s Day, we may do far better to heed Christ’s commission to just “go home”. Yes “home” in the domestic sense of grandparents, parents, children, siblings, nephews and nieces, aunties and uncles, and close friends. Yes, “go home” to our neglected families which increasingly have been playing second fiddle to our work, our hobbies, our churches, our computers, our television, our games, our books, our dreams and ambitions. When was the last time we have been really home giving full attention and being good company to our families?

In Luke 11.11-13, Jesus used the context of home life to teach a most important message: “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” He concludes: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

I thought this Father’s Day we will do well to learn from our heavenly Father to know how to give good gifts within our family life. Good gifts which money cannot buy.

We parents, fathers have the duty to give good gifts to our children. Good gifts such as
bringing our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord but not provoking our children to anger (Ephesians 6. 4) “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3.21).

The line between a good and bad gift is thin. We fathers are required to give instruction and discipline to our children but if we go overboard on this, we end up provoking them and leave them discouraged and disheartened.

As children we need to learn how to give good gifts to our parents too: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6.1-3)

For the greatest lesson for Father’s Day, we need not look further than Jesus’ Parable of the Prodical Son. Things can happen in the family. Mistakes can be made at home which in turn can lead to many other things. Good things can go bad. But bad things can become good too in the grace of the Lord. We know the story of the prodical son. How he left home and got himself into real trouble. But also, and far more importantly, how he returned home to his father in these immortal words in Luke 15.17-22: “But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.”

What is the best decision you can make this Father’s Day? What is the best Father’s Day gift you can give to your parents? The answer is GO HOME. Stay home. Let God help you make peace and heal the wounds.

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Posted in: Parables