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
‘“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.” All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him. ‘Genesis 49:22-28
‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ‘Genesis 50:20
‘Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”’Matthew 3:13-17
‘For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.’Ephesians 3:14-21
Let’s consider how God’s plans are better than our plans. Let’s consider how God’s ways are better than our ways. Let’s grab hold of what God’s Word speaks to us today through these verses. We get two peaks into God’s plan for Joseph in the midst of all He ended up going through and what all the various attackers and accusers tried to do to Him. Through it all God blessed Joseph, from being thrown in the pit that had no water, to being sold into slavery, to being thrown in jail, and in each case God blessed Joseph and when he was humble and came out of prison to face Pharoah, God was able to work in and through Joseph, not only to save the people of Egypt but also his father’s family too. What others had planned for evil, God was able to turn around and repurpose for good. They had purposed to end life but God’s purpose was to use Joseph to save lives by putting him in the right place at the right time with the right interpretation and favor to those in leadership.
As I reflect on how Jesus came and stepped into this world from the humility of being a baby, from the humility that although He was without sin, He had John baptize Him, and finally the humility to give up His life once for all on the cross so that the ultimate price to save lives would be paid and open the door for us to be able to be reconciled back to God. He was living His life and this humility was honored as He came out of the water when the voice of God from Heaven said
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”So let’s choose to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Let’s choose to accept Jesus’s example for how to live out our lives. Let’s grab hold of the pray for the Ephesians for ourselves so as to be able to receive and respond to God as He deserves and grab onto His blessings and plans and purposes for our lives. Let’s receive the strength from God as we are weak. Let’s receive the Holy Spirit through accepting Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior. Let’s live out our lives in alignment with the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Let’s allow love to be our foundation, what we live our lives rooted in. Let’s never forget how great and how wide and how high and how deep and how long God’s love is for us. Let’s lean in because God’s love for us in Christ surpasses all knowledge and by accepting and receiving it we can be filled with the fullness of God. God is able to answer our needs and prayers, immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us, so let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory forever and ever!
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)
- What does a good dad look like to you? Do you have a role model to be able to use as a measure?
- Are you using Jesus as your measuring stick and target to help you be the dad God created you to be?
- Are you using Jesus as your measuring stick and hopes of what your dad could be?
- Are you ready to let Jesus be your north star so that you can be the dad He needs you to be? No matter where you are today?
- Are you ready to turn to Jesus to be the Father you need in the midst or abscence of where your dad actually is?
- Are you ready to lead with love?
- Are you ready to the difficult conversations that can help you understand why?
- Are you ready to bless your children and be the dad?
- How will you bless them? Will it be telling them you love them?
- How will you bless them? Will it be telling them how proud you are of who they are?
- How will you bless them? Will you be there for their events?
- How will you bless them? Will you ask for forgiveness and look to be reconciled?
- How will you bless them? Will you make time for them?
- Let’s choose to be the dads we are called to be and the dads who bless our children.
- Let’s support and encourage our kids as they grow up by providing them with a blessing.
- Just like the fathers of old blessed their kids, let’s be the dads and bless our kids like Abraham passed the blessing onto Isaac and Isaac passed the blessing on to Jacob, and so on.
- Let’s open the door to our kids futures by being the dads who bless our kids.
- Let’s not allow our bad decisions or our past keep us from passing on God’s blessing to our kids.
- Let’s be the dads God needs us to be for this world, this generation, and the generations to come.
- Don’t be the dad who doesn’t pass on a blessing and as such leaves their kids out there wandering aimlessly because the don’t have their father’s blessing.
- What the devil means for evil, God can turn around for good as we read about Joseph.
- So don’t let your past, your mistakes, your situation keep you from being the dad your kid(s) need you to be and so pass on a blessing to them because of God’s love and your love for them!
- Let’s accept God’s blessing, through Jesus as our Heavenly Father, no matter what we do or don’t receive from our earthly father.
- Our future depends on what Jesus has already done!
- Jesus came that we can have life and life more abundantly!
- Jesus came that we can have a hope and a future!
- Jesus has come that we may receive God’s blessing upon us!
- So today, let’s receive the blessing of our Heavenly Father!