Our Father’s Heart
20 JUNE 2021 | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Ps Clement Ong
Scripture Passage: Psalm 103:11-14 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | This Psalm is an appropriate meditation for Father’s Day as author King David reflects and acknowledges God’s love and compassion towards him. Earthly fathers try to follow God’s example but sometimes fail to connect well with their children due to distractions or misplaced priorities.
Psalm 103 contains generally three responses from David as He gives thanks to the Lord.
- v1-5 David’s blessings unto the Lord
- v6-14 David’s affirmation of what the Lord has done
- v15-11 David’s humility in man’s limited existence, and acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty.
These verses suggest that David may perceive God’s love in the light of his own relationship with his father Jesse, and yet the Bible seems to indicate that David may not have enjoyed close family relationships.
In 1 Samuel 16, Jesse did not initially present David to Prophet Samuel along with his other seven sons. In Psalm 69:8 David writes “I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children”.
Children need good parental influence in their lives. And yet not everyone has had the benefit of a loving stable family. If we are parenting today, we must recognise that we are our children’s closest and greatest influence. Do we help shape their view of God in our role as their parent?
Despite our upbringing we, like David, can experience the perfect father’s love from our Heavenly Father.
We are called to live in a way that makes it possible for our children to see and experience this love. So what qualities should we exhibit?
v13 – Compassion or Racham (the Hebrew word for it) is love that expresses deep concern for the suffering of others. The highest expression of God’s compassion is the love of Jesus Christ who died for us while we were yet sinners.
Compassion can be exhibited in two ways as we look closely at Psalm 103.
- v3 – Compassion seen in forgiveness is a powerful act of God which reconciles us to each other and God. We are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation because we received God’s grace in what Jesus has done for us.
- v4 – Compassion seen in acceptance is viewed in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We never give up on our children no matter what they have done even as God never gives up on us.
Every time we choose to give up over compassion, we lose an opportunity to bring our children close to God. May we heed the warning given by St Paul in Ephesians 6:4 not to frustrate them. If we hope to see our children draw close to God, we must demonstrate His love by taking these first steps of forgiveness and acceptance to show compassion as our heavenly father has.
(Sermon Notes by Frances Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Psalm 103 portrays images of our heavenly father’s love for us. Are there any images that testify of God’s love for you personally?
2. The Psalmist King David used the illustration of the compassion of an earthly father for his children to describe God’s love and compassion. Have earthly fathers help shape or hurt your view of God as our heavenly father?
3. Have you given thanks to the Lord publicly in your family or in your faith communities? If not, consider why it has been difficult to do so.
4. When was the last time you showed forgiveness, acceptance and affirmation freely to your children, or to your loved ones?