Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Amish boys in cart with trailer
These Amish boys are headed to a frozen pond for some ice hockey!

"A Father To The Fatherless"

Message summary:
Today we want to encourage those of you who have had a difficult relationship with your father and pray that you might experience the loving care of your heavenly Father.
Listen to this message on your audio player.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:5,6).

Ross MorrisonTim is a longtime friend we know through our chaplaincy work. Sunday we visited with his father, Ross Morrison, who is 98 year old and still attends our church. He gave up driving two or three years ago and relies on his much younger 94 year old wife to transport them. I called Tim yesterday to tell him that Brooksyne and I had the opportunity to visit with his dad at church. We talked about the tremendous heritage Tim, his four brothers and one sister have with a godly father who takes his duties seriously in being faithful to God, to his wife and to his children. And God has rewarded this faithful father with all six of his children being involved in fruitful ministry.

But far too many have not had this kind of experience.

Tom Rees Tom Rees is a fellow minister here in Pennsylvania who grew up in Philadelphia. He shares an interesting perspective from a portion of his testimony about his experience with fathers.

"I remember in school how they would have you draw your family tree. Mine was a family shrub. I have had three dads in my life.

Dad #1 disappeared from my life when my mom and he divorced when I was a preschooler. It wasn’t until nearly two decades later that I was reunited with him.

Dad #2 was a helicopter pilot and was killed in action when I was in elementary school.

Dad #3 was an attorney for an oil company. As a high schooler, I looked up to him as a mentor until we found out the truth about his secret life. He had multiple affairs.

Mom was devastated and reached out to my uncle to confront him in front of his weekend family. As we drove through the neighborhood, Dad #3 was in the driveway and with a look of panic, directed us to meet him down the road.

When we arrived in a nearby parking lot, he came running towards us. I warned my uncle that he knew karate. That is when my uncle opened up the trunk and grabbed the tire iron.

Mom saw this was heading in the wrong direction and pleaded with my uncle to let him go. As Dad #3 ran away, we were left in that parking lot with feelings of anger, betrayal, and loss.

But we were in the parking lot of a church…. My mom went inside and through a brief conversation she was encouraged to give it all to Jesus. Her life was changed that day. Six months later I became a Christian."

Tim and Tom have had different experiences regarding their earthly fathers but now both serve the same heavenly Father.

Tom's story calls to mind a characteristic concerning God in today's verse: "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:5,6).

Compelling TruthThe Compelling Truth Bible teaching website has an interesting teaching on this in an article titled "How is God a Father to the fatherless?" (link below)

God chooses to relate to us in terms we all understand—terms of the family. Family is God's design for the foundation of society. God embodies the characteristics of both a father and a mother (Isaiah 66:12–13), yet presents Himself as heavenly Father. When we put our faith in Jesus, we become children of God (John 1:12–13) and He is our Father. Jesus Himself taught us to call on God as Father in the Lord's Prayer.

Whether we've had a good earthly father or not, we know what a good father should be and what a good father should do. God gave us an innate understanding of and a universal need for a good father—the need to be protected, loved, guided, valued, even disciplined. And God will fulfill that role in our lives if we let Him. No one must be truly fatherless, because God is the perfect Father and He made provision for everyone to become a child of His.

The Bible repeatedly singles out orphans (those without father or mother) and widows as especially in need of His attention, and the attention and care of His church. God will care for those who have no earthly families. He does this directly, but also many times uses the body of believers, our spiritual family, to provide care.

Father to the fatherlessGod offers Himself as the ideal Father not only to those without earthly fathers, but to all who will come to Him. God gave His Son so that we might become His children. When we belong to Him, God expects us to call on Him, trusting His goodness. He wants us to give our worries over to Him to carry and simply have confidence in Him as we desire to have confidence in our earthly father. God is the best Father there is—He will be a Father to the fatherless and He alone is capable of filling every void left by our imperfect earthly fathers. In truth, God is the only perfect Father and the One we all most need.

Today we want to encourage those of you who have had a difficult relationship with your father and pray that you might experience the loving care of your heavenly Father.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we count our family as the most sacred relationship established on earth. You placed us in family units so we can be nurtured in love and increase in stature and wisdom, while learning responsibility in small and big ways. We give thanks to You for Your expressed love shown to us through our parents. For those whose mother or father were absent physically and/or emotionally we're so blessed and reassured to know that You are a loving Father to the fatherless and motherless, that Your love is all-sufficient to meet our deepest longing and to mend our broken hearts. Thank You for Your sufficient, unending love. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Good Good Father"  Video   Housefires

"Father to the Fatherless"   Video  We Are Anthem

"Father of the Fatherless"  Video  Jason Upton

How is God a Father to the fatherless? (article cited in our message from the Compelling Truth teaching website)

Sunday from NigeriaSunday is a faithful reader from Nigeria and we were blessed by his feedback to yesterday's message, "Who's Next?":

"In personally answering the "who's next" question, there is no fear because we have put our faith in Jesus, and have Him as our Saviour, and we trust Him to hold us up through our walk in, and with Him on this earth."

Hopefully, our readers know that many believers in Nigeria are facing brutal persecution. Just last week many were killed for their faith. Sunday's confession of assurance is so touching in light of this. As we were praying this morning we lifted up a 19 year old girl who was beaten with a machete and has been recovering in a hospital for many weeks. We also considered that those who choose to follow Jesus in persecuted lands do not have the same story as Tim who came from a "snuggly" Christian family where each member pursues Christ and encourages other family members to do as well. We are privileged and we should never take it for granted, but we should instead uplift those who are not so privileged and yet are willing to lay down their lives for the gospel, even when it means being forsaken by their own family members.

Regarding my makeshift mailbox repair: Duke, a thoughtful reader from Delaware, gave me a link to a "Heavy Duty Fence Post Anchor Ground Spike" to repair my mailbox that was knocked over in a snow storm earlier this month. I told him that it's very cold here now and I will probably wait for a warmup to work on it. In the meantime I sort of like the redneck repair look!

Tim and Liz Morrison
In the message we mentioned Ross Morrison and his son, Tim, who looks and sounds so much like his dad. Nine years ago Tim and Liz joined us for a cookout at our home. We visit Tim in the course of our chaplaincy at White Oak Display and will see him today. Tim has ministry training and background and is active in his home church. It's interesting when you know someone only in the context of their daily work how much more there is to their personality and giftings when you see them apart from the workplace!

Amish girls in cart
After passing the boys on the way to play ice hockey seen in our lead photo we caught up with the girls.

Amish girls in cart
It's one cold day, so the coats, scarves, gloves and blankets are especially appreciated on this open air drive.

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