Dear Church Family:

This weekend is a time of year when we
remember and celebrate our fathers, and
when men reflect on their influence as
fathers and men in the world. I am grateful
for my father and for each the three children
God gave me to be a father to. And this
Sabbath, there is another Father that I want
to remember, reflect upon, and be grateful
for: our Heavenly Father.

Quoting God’s words through Moses in Leviticus 19: 2 and
speaking of the Father, Peter wrote: “Be ye holy, for I am
holy” (1 Peter 1: 16, 17). Jesus concluded His Sermon on
the Mount’s opening words putting it this way: “Be ye perfect
as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” (Matthew 5: 48)
And he brought the thought to sharpest focus by saying:
“Be ye merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful.”
(Luke 6: 36).

Mercy is the tenor of the 13 attributes of God, the
“Thirteen Attributes of Mercy,” in Exodus 34: 6-7:
1. I am God before people sin,
2. I am God after people sin if they repent,
3. I am all-powerful,
4. Compassionate,
5. Gracious,
6. Slow to anger,
7. Abounding in lovingkindness,
8. And in truth,
9. Maintaining lovingkindness for 1,000 generations,
10. Forgiving premeditated sins,
11. Sins committed in rebellion,
12. Sins made by mistake,
13. And acquitting the penitent.

So, we can be grateful for the mercy of our Father in
Heaven, and we can be challenged to live by it.
Micah 6: 8 has one of the best, shortest, and most practical
instructions on this:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the
Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to
walk humbly with your God?
These three things: good actions, from a good heart, and
under a good God—these three things express the divine
perfection alluded to through the sevenfold repetition of the
word “good” in the story of Creation (Genesis 1: 31). They
are challenging, and Micah presents them as a requirement:
sure enough, God’s law is the expression of His character.
But the good thing is that it is not only a requirement.
Through the gift of His Spirit, it also is a gift from the Father:
“Like father, like sons (or children).” “…How much more will
your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask
Him!” (Luke 11: 13)

Thank you, Father in Heaven, for your gift of kindness and
mercy, and through our shortcomings, please make us your
sons and daughters ever more like you. Happy Father’s Day!

With love,
Pastor Sam

PS: Next Sabbath is Communion Sabbath