Revive Our Hearts Podcast

From a Daughter's Heart

Leslie Basham: What do you appreciate about your father?

Testimonies:

He always took time out of his day to just give me a hug whenever I needed it.

My father was a godly man in that he took time to pray with our family.

I appreciate that my dad took me out on father-daughter dates.

Whenever I'm feeling down, he's always there to cheer me up.

I appreciate my dad's knowledge of automobiles 'cause he was always there to help me get mine fixed when I was a teenager.

My father was always a very strong Christian leader in the family, but he was also very affectionate.

I'm able to go to my father, and he's willing to help me in any way that he possibly can.

He operated on the gentleman's agreement, so if he said something to you, you could count on it. A handshake was just as good as a written contract with him.

Leslie Basham: It's Thursday, June 12th, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. What do you appreciate about your dad? Nancy is going to tell us some things that she remembers.

We get so much out of her teaching every weekday on Revive Our Hearts. And today, we're going to hear about one of the greatest influences in her life. Arthur DeMoss invested in his daughter, and we're all benefiting from it today. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: One of the things I especially love about the Lord is His Father's heart. And as we come up on this Father's Day weekend, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my own dad, who in many ways reflected to me the heart of our Father God.

I'm so thankful for the blessing of having had a dad who walked with the Lord from the time that he came to know the Lord himself as a young man, and who, as he raised our family, demonstrated to us so many aspects of the Father heart of God.

My dad has been with the Lord since 1979. In fact, he had a heart attack and died instantly on the weekend of my 21st birthday. Some of you have heard me share about this before; but at the time, my mother was 40 years old and I was the oldest of seven children, ages 7 to 21.

Needless to say, at that point, we had a great need of God's mercy and grace in our lives. And it's been a beautiful thing over these years to see how God really does fulfill His promise to be a Father to the fatherless.

But it is also such a blessing to remember the name and the heritage and the life of a godly father, a man who walked with God; not perfectly. He would have been the first to tell you that, and certainly we knew in our family that we didn't have a perfect dad. But we all looked back, and we thanked the Lord for a dad who really did show us so much of God's heart.

I think, for example, of that verse in Psalm 103 that says, "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him."

I can still remember that time when I was just out of college, and I had just broken off a relationship with a young man that I had been dating and although we both agreed that this was God's will, it was still a pretty emotional time for me. And I remember calling my dad, who was in a different state, and telling him what had just happened. And I'll never forget him saying, "Honey, do you want me to come down there and be with you?"

I sensed at that point what I had through all of my growing up years and that is the compassionate, caring, tender heart of a father. And in experiencing that love from my dad, I came to know something more of the compassionate, tender, loving heart of God, who cares for His children even more than an earthly father possibly could.

Then I think about other qualities in the life of my dad. I think of his faithfulness to my mother, and his commitment to the permanence of marriage. It's not that they didn't have their issues and their differences at times and their struggles in their marriage as every married couple does. But we always knew that our parents were committed to each other.

My dad so often stressed that marriage is a vow of permanence, and he reflected, in that way, the covenant-keeping heart of God.

Then I think of him as a hard worker and a good provider. And I think of my dad as not wasting time. It's for that reason that we didn't take a newspaper in our family, and we didn't have a television--believe it or not. In those days, that was very unusual; but he was so concerned that we would maximize the short time that God had given us here on earth to do the will of God.

So he worked hard and tried to use the time God gave him to the best possible advantage. In fact, he was a man who was always living and thinking in light of eternity, thinking about what it would be like when he faced the Lord, and what he would have to offer the Lord when he stood before Him at the Judgment Seat.

And so his values were eternal. He loved to give financially to the Lord's work. In fact, he believed you just couldn't out-give God. And so in every area of life, his financial practices, his use of time, his business practices, he's a man who took God seriously.

I'm so thankful that Art DeMoss was actively involved in providing spiritual leadership for our family. I think of that verse in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2 where the apostle Paul says to the Thessalonians, "You know that we dealt with each of you, as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory."

What a picture that is of a godly father. Paul says that a father deals with his own children by encouraging them, by comforting them and by urging them to live lives worthy of God.

I can think of so many times when, either one-on-one or corporately as a family, my dad would gather us together and read the Scripture to us, talk to us about the ways of God, talk to us about how to apply God's truth to everyday real life circumstances and situations.

Now, I don't want to leave the impression that life in the DeMoss' household was one, 24-hour-a-day, round-the-clock devotional time or church service. That certainly wasn't true.

We were a very active family, and all of us are--well, let me just say we're a big Greek family--and we all like to talk and debate and often would interrupt each other. And there were times, around meal times in particular--I can think of this--when there was a lot of chaos in our home. But my dad knew how to cut through the noise, cut through the chaos and call our hearts and our attention back to the Word and the ways of God.

He wanted us to follow Christ with all our hearts, to love Him, to serve Him, to obey Him and to take Him seriously in our own lives, to live our lives in the light of eternity, as he was seeking to do himself.

Now, he also knew that part of a dad's role is discipline. My dad was committed to correct us, to instruct us when we would get off the path. And there again, I think of a passage in Hebrews, chapter 12, where the writer says, "We have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they, that is our earthly fathers, disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them. But God disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness."

In my father's commitment, and my mom's as well, to make sure that we were living lives that were under the authority of Scripture and disciplining and correcting us when that was not the case, they were really teaching us about the ways of our Heavenly Father who disciplines us when we need it for our own good, so that we can be partakers, as the Scripture says, of God's holiness.

You know, something else about my dad that had an incredible impact on my life was watching him walk through seasons of stress and difficulty in our family and in his business life with a heart that never stopped trusting that was God was in control, and God knew what He was doing.

Whether it was health issues in our family or financial loss--actually financial disaster at some points, I can remember (during my high school years) seeing my dad under intense pressure and, at times, intense opposition in the workplace and watching him still have a peace and a joy and confidence in the Lord that surpassed whatever was going on around him.

I have to say that in watching my dad's response to pressure and trials that I learned more about the sovereignty of God than I've ever learned from a book or a classroom because I saw it lived out in his life.

And to this day, there are so many aspects of my dad's example that go with me. In fact, just this morning, as I was getting ready to come in to the studio and record, and I was working through e-mail and had a lot of projects and things demanding my attention, and I had not taken time first to get into the Word and to seek the Lord, the thought came to my mind of my dad, who started every single day, no matter how busy he was, no matter how much he had to do, he started every day by giving to God the first hour of every day in the Word and in prayer.

I always knew that my dad would be on his knees, praying for his family, seeking God's wisdom, seeking God's direction, before he did anything else in his day. And even today, that has been a great example in the life of this daughter.

So as we approach this Father's Day, I just want to say, from a daughter's heart, how very thankful I am for the example, the legacy, the life of a dad who walked with God and who led his family to walk with God.

Could I encourage any dads who may be listening to us today, regardless of how well or how poorly you feel that you have parented your children, today is a fresh day. There is fresh grace. And as you seek the Lord, by God's grace, your children will one day be able to rise up and thank the Lord for the legacy and the heritage that you left to them.

Leslie Basham: If you're a parent, I hope you've been inspired to leave a legacy to the next generation. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been remembering her dad's godly legacy as we near Father's Day weekend.

What do you remember about your dad? What do you appreciate? We hope you'll take some time to tell him over the next couple of days, and we hope you'll spend some time thinking about the love of our Heavenly Father.

If you've never thought much about God as your father or if your father, on this earth, wasn't a great example of love, we hope you'll call us and order a tape series featuring Mary Kassian. It's called, "Embracing God as Father." And it will help you to appreciate the love, protection and guidance that He provides. You'll also hear Nancy's comments on the Father heart of God, as she introduces segments of Mary's talk.

The series comes on one cassette or on one CD. To order, just give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. You can also get more information by visiting our Web site www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

If you haven't been to our Web site lately, you might want to visit and discover all the resources we have for you to grow in your faith and learn about Revive Our Hearts.

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As we close today, let's give a chance for some more people to show appreciation for their dads.

Testimonies:

One of the main things I appreciate about my dad is that he was always fair and just, and people that I would come in contact with would admire him for those attributes.

Dad has always taken the time to sit down and talk, he always had a way of introducing the Lord into whatever we were conversing about.

When my father said "for better or for worse," he meant it. My mother became mentally ill after he married her. She abused him. She abused all of us as children. He has stayed with her for 52 years now; and I have seen marriages break up over much, much less. I greatly admire him. He is a man of honor and a man of his word.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

 

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