As I continue this journey of blogging about and for dads through daily devotionals I have been able to find, connect with the publishers, and get approval to share my thoughts and insights from reading them, I have found this dad devotional called The Daring Dad. The image that goes along with it is so telling as it shows the title as The DARE-ING Dad. I am excited to see what dares come out of this devotional that can help us be the dads God needs us to be. The introduction to the blog that captured my attention and drew me to reach out to the publisher was:
Being a dad is difficult. You have so much responsibility. So much to do. Many of us put being a dad on the back burner – until we find ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. I dare you to be a great dad.The Daring Dad from Plans on Bible.com
Today’s devotional is connected to the verses from God’s Word found in:
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”Luke 5:18-20
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.Luke 19:1-6
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.John 9:1-7
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear himPsalm 103:13
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.Psalm 127:3-5
What I love about God’s Word is that it never returns void and is alive. I have noticed how alive I have seen God’s Word be when I pick a devotional and am not even aware of what scripture will be included and yet it is able to speak to me day by day, moment by moment, right where I am at. At the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, God’s Word continues to speak life, truth, wisdom, discernment, and direction. God’s Word as shared in 2 Timothy 3:16 is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. God’s Word as shared in 2 Timothy 3:17 explains the power of God’s Word to prepare us and equip us for every good work. So let’s reflect on what today’s devotional brings us from God’s Word.
There are times when we can’t do it in our own strength. There are times when we can’t make it happen ourselves. There are times when we need help. We need strength and support from others. We need the faith and conviction of others to help us get where we need to be. We see how this man who had palsy had faith-filled friends who were ready, willing, and able to do whatever it was going to take to get their friend to Jesus, believing that He would and could heal their friend. Their faith was so evident that Jesus calls it in the scripture when it says that He saw their faith and then said to the man on the mat with palsy, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”. As we read on we see how the religious leaders were getting upset that He would say someone’s sins were forgiven and so Jesus puts them on the spot and asks what would be easier to say “your sins are forgiven” or “take up your mat and walk”? Let’s grab a hold of that part of the scripture before moving on:
‘The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” ‘Luke 5:21-26
Wow, God is so incredible and nothing is impossible with God! Have you had an encounter with God? Have you ever gone somewhere and tried to hide so nobody would notice you and yet wanted to get to hear what was going to be said? Sat in the back of a church sneaking in late so that nobody would notice you? Tried to enter with a crowd so you could blend in and try to disappear in the crowd in order to get in and hear what God was doing and going to say? Imagine being someone rejected like a tax collector but being short and so needing to climb up a tree to be out of the crowd and yet be able to catch what Jesus was going to do and say. God’s Word speaks to just such a situation today. Jesus look up at him in the tree and said “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” How about you? Are you ready or have you had an encounter with Jesus? How about you? What was your response on that day? Were you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life and follow after Him? We see that Zacchaeus’ response was to come down at once and welcome him gladly. So today’s let’s leave our perch and come down and be with Jesus, spending time with him and gladly welcoming Him into our lives.
God’s Word is clear that we shouldn’t be judging others.
‘ “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ‘Matthew 7:1-5
Don’t judge someone based on what they are wearing. Don’t judge someone based on what they are going through. Don’t judge someone based on what they look like. Don’t judge someone based on what struggles or challenges they are going through. Lift it up to God! Consider how it can or will get used to glorify God! We see how this can get us going or thinking in the wrong direction in today’s verse with the blind man who was born blind and so the disciples were asking whose fault was it, maybe we shouldn’t be looking to find blame but instead, be looking for ways to glorify God. In today’s verse, Jesus makes it clear and then moves to glorify God by bringing sight to the blind man when we read:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.John 9:1-7
So let’s not be looking to point or find blame in a situation we don’t know and don’t understand. Let’s be turning to God and asking Him for wisdom and direction that we can step up and step out in faith, daring to see our Heavenly Father work in the lives of others.
The next verse speaks to the importance of being compassionate as a key element to being the dad God created us to be. In Psalm 103:13 we see how God is compassionate with those who revere or fear Him. We can see this compassion of God when we read about how patient He is, He isn’t slow, He is showing compassion on us. We see how Jesus even shows compassion through scripture. So if it is important to God and Jesus did it, then let’s choose to live our lives being compassionate too.
‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. ‘2 Peter 3:8-9
‘When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. ‘Matthew 14:14-21
Today’s verses close with one more piece of advice for us to grab hold of as we choose to be the dads He created us to be. He points to our children and how children are our heritage and are gifts from God. He points to our children as a reward. Let’s be the dads who live up to the calling of being a dad. When we have children let’s choose to be strong and empower them to be godly in the way they choose to live their lives so that when they go out they will be like arrows for the glory of God. Let’s remember how “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Let’s be the dads who raise up our kids in a way where our wives are called blessed and so are we. Let’s be the dads who raise up our kids in a way where we praise our wives for the great things they do in taking care and raising them. Let’s choose to be the dads who are joyful for the kids we have. Let’s choose to be the dads who are happy to have the kids we have. Let’s choose to be the dads they need us to be.
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)
Let’s be the dads that embrace the associated responsibilities!
- Do you ever consider the responsibilities that come with being the dad?
- Leader of your family
- Provider for your household
- Get done the items on the honey do list
- Coaching your kids sports
- Cheerleader for your kids
- Work all day and then come home to your wife and kids
- Trying to disengage from work and engage with your fmaily
- Being mister fix it
- Being maintenance man
- Weekend chores
- Weekend trips or visits
- Attending or serving at church
- Attending or leading a small group
- Let’s be the dads who engage with our kids!
- they desperately want and need you to engage with them
- when they were little do you remember walking thru the door and them clinging to you?
- when they were little do you remember the greeting at the door “daddy, daddy, daddy”
- when we are home we hear them crying out for attention “daddy, daddy, daddy”
- let’s not shrug that off or dismiss them
- Imagine being Jesus and how all those people were wanting Him to engage with them
- Remember how He had compassion on them?
- Remember how He saw them right where they were at and engaged with them?
- Remember how He saw their need and then filled it?
- Remember the woman at the well in John 4 and how He engaged with her, even after a busy day?
- Remember Zacchaeus wanting to see Jesus so much he climbed the tree and how Jesus stopped and engaged with him to the point of going to his place to meet and eat with him?
- Remember how in the midst of his busy day, He saw the 5000, had compassion on them and engaged with them and even fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
- Remember that busy day, heading to heal a synagogue leader’s daughter and how Jesus engaged the lady who reached out to touch the hem of His garmen believing she could be healed?
- Remember that busy day, He engaged with the blind man who was born blind from today’s reading?
- Remember …
- Today’s devotional closes with a DARE, are you ready to be the dad and take up this dare?