A Father’s

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

A Father’s Love

AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY HYMNS, THE CHURCH’S
PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED OVER TO THE PUPLIT AND, BEFORE HE
GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE SERVICE HE BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST
MINISTER WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE CONGREGATION THAT
THE GUEST MINISTER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND
THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CHURCH
AND SHARE WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE.
WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN
TO SPEAK. “A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON WERE SAILING OFF
THE PACIFIC COAST,” HE BEGAN, “WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM
BLOCKED ANY ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE. THE WAVES WERE SO
HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE
COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO
THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.”

THE OLD MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT
WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE
SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY, “GRABBING A
RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING
DECISION OF HIS LIFE: TO WHICH BOY HE WOULD THROW THE OTHER
END OF THE LIFE LINE. HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION.
THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE ALSO KNEW
THAT HIS SON’S FRIEND WAS NOT.

THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE
TORRENT OF WAVES. “AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, ‘I LOVE YOU, SON!’
HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON’S FRIEND. BY THE TIME THE
FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS
SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK
OF NIGHT. HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.”

BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP STRAIGHT
IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT
OF THE OLD MINISTER’S MOUTH. “THE FATHER,” HE CONTINUED, “KNEW
HIS SON WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT
BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON’S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY
WITHOUT JESUS. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE
SON’S FRIEND.

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD DO THE
SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN
SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED. I URGE YOU TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO
RESCUE YOU AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT
TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE.”

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS
CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL. WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN’S SIDE.

“THAT WAS A NICE STORY,” POLITELY STATED ONE OF THE BOYS,
“BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP
HIS ONLY SON’S LIFE IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME
A CHRISTIAN.”

“WELL, YOU’VE GOT A POINT THERE,” THE OLD MAN REPLIED,
GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS
NARROW FACE, HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS AND SAID, “IT
SURE ISN’T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT? BUT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY TO
TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE
BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME.

YOU SEE — I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON’S FRIEND.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have life everlasting.”

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