Father’s Day Devotional

father laying on the floor with 3 daughters - Father's Day devotional
As we approach Father’s Day here in the US, we have another opportunity to dig into God’s word and learn how to be more Christ-like followers of Jesus in our roles as fathers and children.

In Luke 10:25-37, we read the well-known Parable of the Good Samaritan. In it, a teacher of the law seeks out Jesus to inquire how he can inherit eternal life. Jesus and the expert go back and forth a bit but generally agree that to gain eternal life, a person must love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. Jesus’ telling of the parable, though, is prompted by the expert’s seemingly tricky follow-up question, “And who is my neighbor?”

To this, Jesus tells the story of a man who is robbed on a well-known road and left for dead. A Priest comes by but doesn’t help. Then, a Levite comes by but doesn’t help. Finally, a Samaritan who has no moral obligation to help comes by, and he DOES help. The expert in the law ultimately concludes that the one who had mercy on the injured man was the neighbor, to which Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

It may seem like an odd starting point for a Father’s Day devotional, but I believe the same logic is essential to understanding biblical fatherhood.

The first time I set out to find examples of great fathers in Scripture, I found myself very disappointed. Despite clear instruction sprinkled throughout Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and the Psalms, I found very few Old Testament heroes who actually followed the instructions and trained their children to be godly people. When I did find a noteworthy father-figure, I found they were not the biological fathers at all.

In Exodus 18, we learn how Jethro supported and challenged his son-in-law Moses when he was called to organize Israel after their escape from Egypt.

Throughout Exodus, we find Moses taking Joshua under his wing to help him learn to lead God’s people.

Beginning in 1 Kings 19, we read about how Elijah trained Elisha to speak God’s truth.

The book of Esther recounts Mordecai taking in his cousin Esther and guiding her through a very complex political and religious situation.

Then in the New Testament books of 1 & 2 Timothy, Paul disciples his “true son in the faith” Timothy and shows him how to lead the early Church.

As we prepare to celebrate our fathers, I believe we should consider how Jesus would have answered the question, “And who is my father?”

Based on the Scriptures, I believe we would be led to celebrate those who have been fathers to us, by blood or in discipleship. We certainly take the instruction to “honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12) first literally, but we should also apply it in principle to those who have invested in us spiritually.

And as we consider who we can be fathers to, we should not sell the role short by considering only where we’ve had genetic impact, but where we can have spiritual impact as well.

Just as Jesus stated that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” (Matthew 9:37) we find ourselves in a world in desperate need of fathers, and it is for the glory of God that we can extend discipleship to those hungry to learn.

To those of you helping to raise up a new generation of financial disciples inside and outside your home, thank you, and Happy Father’s Day!

In Christ,

Brian Holtz

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