As we continue this year the next plan I have selected to go through is “Finding Dad” which is a 7-day devotional from the Bible.com site by Luke Cunningham and published by The Ark Church. It caught my attention as I was looking for my next dad related devotional because it says in the introductory paragraph
Jesus didn’t come to replace the role of dad, He came to redeem it! In Finding Dad we discover how to forgive, heal, and reconcile the father wound while finding trust, protection, and identity in our heavenly Father.Finding Dad on Bible.com
‘ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ‘Matthew 6:14
‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”’Matthew 18:21-35
‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’Ephesians 4:32
Today’s verses hit home for me as forgiveness is one of the things I have learned is the key over the years. Be it through Cleansing Stream where I forgave my grandmother and it transformed my response to people touching or hitting my face. Be it through work where I forgave my managers and it allowed me to heal and move forward into what God had next. Forgiveness is the key. It is something I have even had the honor and blessing of getting to share as part of a Story Slam event where I could tell the story of where I was at, what happened, and how it changed me. It’s not a one-time thing unfortunately because we have to deal with people and hurting people hurt people which means we are going to get to practice forgiveness throughout our lives. So let’s dig into what today’s verses have to say. Our first verse happens to be the 2nd verse God spoke to me after I had forgiven the people who had hurt me. It helped me to realize that throughout the time while I was rejecting God’s prompt to forgive them I was hurting His heart and as the words “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” were spoken to me I started to apologize to God for not having listened and forgiven so many months earlier which He knew I should have done and prompted me daily to do so that I wouldn’t have had to deal with the downward spiral that comes with allowing bitterness, anger, and frustration to take root in our hearts. I have learned since then that my first response to being hurt, mistreated, abused, etc. is to forgive and then start to try and heal and move forward. Our second scripture is a powerful one as it reinforces the need to continuously forgive, not just once or twice, but enough times that you lose track and continue to forgive. The second verse was part of my story too as it was the song 7×70 that triggered the healing and forgiving process on that day. Sometimes we can forgive once and move on but other times we need to continue to be with or work with that person and they may not be good at how they act because of their own pain and hurt and as such they hurt those around them. As we forgive and stop taking the poison of bitterness, anger, and frustration, we can look into them to see what is hurting them and causing them to act that way too. Jesus came and paid the debt so we could be reconciled to God our Heavenly Father through forgiveness and so now it is our turn to forgive too. We don’t want to be like that other person in scripture today that gets called a “wicked servant” and have to deal with the penalty of unforgiveness. Our list verse for today points to forgiveness through being kind and compassionate. We don’t know what is going on in their lives to trigger or cause them to act this way. We need to be kind and compassionate to others as Jesus is and has been training us to be. We need to forgive them! Forgiving them takes the control out of their hands. Forgiving them stops the anger, bitterness, and pain that gets stirred up by unforgiveness. And Jesus paid the ultimate price for get us forgiveness, so let’s pass it along to those other people in our lives.
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me: (check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
- Do you realize the importance of being present as a dad?
- Do you realize the impact on others when you can’t or won’t or aren’t there?
- Are you prioritizing the role of dad high in relations to the other roles you play in life?
- Consider how your child feels when they don’t go to a Father/Son or Father/Daughter event with you.
- Consider how your child feels when they go with someone else because you can’t or won’t or aren’t there.
- Nothing replaces or can replace dad being at such events.
- What is keeping you from being present?
- What can you do to be present?
- What can you do to show your love and honor for your child during these special times?
- Can you be there virtually cheering them on?
- Can you make adjustments to your schedule or life to be able to be there with them or for them?
- Can you make a way to remove or reduce the awkwardness for your child?
- Can you be the dad?
- Are you ready and willing to work through the process of healing?
- Are you ready and willing to work through the process of reconciliation?
- Anger, bitterness, frustration, and more are like a poison to you and become self-destructive.
- I remember the downward spiral that came out of it and forgiveness is the key to stopping the ingestion of the poison and starting to bring healing to the relationship and situation.
- Let’s be the dad that our kids need.
- Let’s be the dads who will work through and work on the reconciliation process and ask for forgiveness.
- Let’s be the dads who will humble themselves enough and admit to the wrongdoing.
- Let’s be the dads who do our parts so that our kids won’t repeat our mistakes and hurts.
- Let’s be the dads who do our parts to help our kids have a healthy and whole life.
- Let’s not allow sin to fill the hole that was left by a missing, abscent, or disfunctional dad.
- Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to fill and heal that hole.
- Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to bring hope that fills the void caused by a dad that wasn’t there.
- Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to turn the anger into amazement.
- Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to turn the vulnerability feeling to valued and valuable.
- Let’s invite Jesus in as the child and allow Him to help us to love our dad more.
- Let’s invite Jesus in as the dad and allow Him to help us to love our child and being a dad more.
- Let’s be the dads God created and purposed for us to be.
- Let’s be the dads by finding ways to heal and reconnect with our kids.
- Let’s be the dads by finding ways to heal and reconnect with our kids mom.
- Let’s allow Jesus to fill the gap, fill the hole so that we are satisfied.
- our longings are satisfied
- our hurts are satisfied
- our fears are satisfied
- our resentment is gone
- we go from blaming to embracing
- Let’s allow Jesus to work in us to bring healing and forgiveness.
- Let’s love Jesus and allow Him to bring reconciliation between father and child. Let’s be the dads!
- Jesus is our Heavenly Father!
- He changes our heart!
- He enables us to be able to change our hearts towards our earthly fathers.
- Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life!
- To be the dads, we need Jesus!
- To be reconciled to our dads, we need Jesus!
- Through Jesus we have forgiveness, grace, and sonship to God!
- When we accept and receive this, we don’t need to holding our earthly father accountable for it.
- We can forgive!
- Will you break the chains by forgiving today?
- Will you let go of the hurt by forgiving today?
- Will you receive the hope by forgiving today?
- Are you ready to start with Jesus and allow Him to bring restoration and reconciliation into your life?
Let’s be the Dads our kids need! Let’s forgive our dads so that we can move forward in and through Jesus!