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    THE H1N1 FLU

The Love That Will Not Let You Go

The images that the word father evokes vary widely. There are many memories that many either have or wish they had of their father during their childhood. These range from Dad teaching how to catch a ball or ride a bike, helping with homework, disciplining due to a breach of a house rule, driving to Grandma’s, cooking a special meal or fixing an appliance for Mom.

Some picture their father sitting at the dinner table commanding respect, others would describe the same dinner table with lots of laughter, chatter, and instilling of family values (unbeknownst to the children) and still others would depict the family dreading the return of their father to the home, much less the table. While paternal roles in lives have varied, there is an ultimate father role model that is available to all.

Our understanding of His unfathomable love is like one piece of sand on the seashore.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. What a value this places upon man! Through transgression the sons of man become subjects of Satan. Through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ the sons of Adam may become the sons of God. By assuming human nature, Christ elevates humanity. Fallen men are placed where, through connection with Christ, they may indeed become worthy of the name “sons of God.” {SC 15.1}

Such love is without a parallel. Children of the heavenly King! Precious promise! Theme for the most profound meditation! The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! The thought has a subduing power upon the soul and brings the mind into captivity to the will of God. The more we study the divine character in the light of the cross, the more we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice, and the more clearly we discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite and a tender pity surpassing a mother’s yearning sympathy for her wayward child. {SC 15.2}The declaration in His intercessory prayer, that the Father’s love is as great toward us as toward Himself, the only-begotten Son, and that we shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father, is a marvel to the heavenly host, and it is their great joy. {TM 18.2}

This love is relentless, hating to let a wayword child go…knowing where the wide path leads, but unable to make the child return.

Wondrous love that God, the infinite God, has made it our privilege to approach Him by the name of Father! No earthly parent could plead more earnestly with an erring child than He who made us pleads with the transgressor. No human, loving interest has ever followed the impenitent with such tender invitations. . . . {TMK 262.3}

The love of God still yearns over the one who has chosen to separate from Him, and He sets in operation influences to bring him back to the Father’s house. {COL 202.1}

Fortunately, at times, the child does “come to his senses” and returns home.


While the son was at a distance from his home, his father saw the wanderer, and his first thought was of that rebellious son who had left him years before to follow a course of unrestrained sin. The paternal feeling was stirred. Notwithstanding all the marks of his degradation the father discerned his own image. He did not wait for his son to come all the distance to him, but hastened to meet him. He did not reproach his son, but with the tenderest pity and compassion, that, in consequence of his course of sin, he had brought upon himself so much suffering, the father hastened to give him proofs of his love and tokens of his forgiveness. {3T 101.4}

Although his son was emaciated and his countenance plainly indicated the dissolute life he had passed, although he was clothed with beggar's rags and his naked feet were soiled with the dust of travel, the father's tenderest pity was excited as the son fell prostrate in humility before him. He did not stand back upon his dignity; he was not exacting. He did not array before his son his past course of wrong and sin, to make him feel how low he had sunk. He lifted him up and kissed him. He took the rebellious son to his breast and wrapped his own rich robe about the nearly naked form. He took him to his heart with such warmth, and evinced such pity, that if the son had ever doubted the goodness and love of his father, he could do so no longer. If he had a sense of his sin when he decided to return to his father's house, he had a much deeper sense of his ungrateful course when he was thus received. His heart, before subdued, was now broken because he had grieved that father's love. {3T 102.1}

This parable was given by Christ to represent the manner in which our heavenly Father receives the erring and repenting. The father is the one sinned against; yet he, in the compassion of his soul, full of pity and forgiveness, meets the prodigal and shows his great joy that his son, whom he believed to be dead to all filial affection, has become sensible of his great sin and neglect, and has come back to his father, appreciating his love and acknowledging his claims. He knows that the son who has pursued a course of sin and now repents needs his pity and his love. This son has suffered; he has felt his need, and he comes to his father as the only one who can supply this great need. {3T 103.4}

What a privilege, what an opportunity, what a challenge to reveal God’s love.

*********************************************************************************** The challenge for father’s of children still in the home:

The father is to sustain so close a relation to God that he realizes his duty to make provision for the members of his family to receive an education and training that will fit them for the future, immortal life. His children are to be taught the principles of heaven. He is the priest of the household, accountable to God for the influence that he exerts over every member of his family. He is to place his family under the most favorable circumstances possible, so that they shall not be tempted to conform to the habits and customs, the evil practices and lax principles, that they would find in the world. . . . {3SM 209.2}

The father's duty to his children should be one of his first interests. It should not be set aside for the sake of acquiring a fortune, or of gaining a high position in the world. In fact, those very conditions of affluence and honor frequently separate a man from his family, and cut off his influence from them more than anything else. If the father would have his children develop harmonious characters, and be an honor to him and a blessing to the world, he has a special work to do.--Ibid., Dec. 20, 1877. {RC 174.6}

The average father wastes many golden opportunities to attract and bind his children to him. Upon returning home from his business, he should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with his children. {AH 220.1}

Fathers should unbend from their false dignity, deny themselves some slight self-gratification in time and leisure, in order to mingle with the children, sympathizing with them in their little troubles, binding them to their hearts by the strong bonds of love, and establishing such an influence over their expanding minds that their counsel will be regarded as sacred. {AH 220.2}

Upon returning home from his business he should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with his children. He may take them into the garden, and show them the opening buds, and the varied tints of the blooming flowers. Through such mediums he may give them the most important lessons concerning the Creator, by opening before them the great book of nature, where the love of God is expressed in every tree, and flower, and blade of grass. He may impress upon their minds the fact that if God cares so much for the trees and flowers, He will care much more for the creatures formed in His image. He may lead them early to understand that God wants children to be lovely, not with artificial adornment, but with beauty of character, the charms of kindness and affection, which will make their hearts bound with joy and happiness. {RC 174.4}

Parents may do much to connect their children with God by encouraging them to love the things of nature which He has given them, and to recognize the hand of the Giver in all they receive. The soil of the heart may thus early be prepared for casting in the precious seeds of truth, which in due time will spring up and bear a rich harvest. Fathers, the golden hours which you might spend in getting a thorough knowledge of the temperament and character of your children, and the best methods of dealing with their young minds, are . . . precious.--Signs of the Times, Dec. 6, 1877. {RC 174.5}

Fathers, only by contemplating and observing the heavenly Father’s love, can you demonstrate it. Remember, younger eyes are always watching you.

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