Delivered 6/19/2016 - Father's day
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We are all familiar with this verse, simply of course at one point, God sent a very special messenger to you and I, and told us about Gods love. This verse is commonly used as an encouraging verse for one to be saved, be forgiven of sin. God loves you, believe in His Son, and you shall live forever. All true, all very powerful, and most of all...proven to be true. Because of Gods perfect love, He sent His only Son as a sacrifice for you and I.
Let us focus more on Gods love, some have insisted that God sent His Son, Jesus to die in order to make salvation possible for everyone without exception. However, Jesus makes clear that the salvation of those whom the Father gives Him, Jesus...is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty. All of those whom God has chosen will come to Christ, who has laid down His life only for His sheep and not for those who have not been chosen from the foundation of the world.
The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time, or place, or people, ( meaning just for the Jews ) but applies for the elect from all over the world no matter the era in which they live or ethnicity.
Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes in Christ will not die. Will not be separated from Gods love. Will live in Gods presence forever.
Today, as we celebrate fathers day, this verse is a perfect example of a Fathers Love. . This passage really reveals what the perfect father looks like, because it’s focus is the perfect Father. If you’re a father, this verse will give you an idea of what it means to be a good dad. It will teach us ways our Heavenly Father relates to you and I.
“For God so loved the world”. The moment our children were born, we love them. In fact, we love them even in the womb! I used to talk to my boys through my wife’s belly, Dr’s said, that they can hear that. Did you guys do that? I’m sure most... if not all the dads here has done that! We say silly loving words to them. We touch our wives belly as if we are actually touching them from the outside. We act goofy, because we are already in love with them... we loved them before they were born. The point is this, they haven’t done anything to earn our love, but we love them anyway. Why? Because they’re ours. And we’ll continue to love them, no matter what. Our children might disappoint us at times, but none the less, the love for them never changes.
They make us angry at times and at times, we may want to disown them, to the point where we blame ourselves, “where did we go wrong”. especially when they are going against Gods will, even our children will have their own personal walk with the Lord. But we will always love them. I don’t think I’ve ever met a father who’s said, "I don’t love my children." Even mean fathers love their children, they just raise them the wrong way, they raise them to be mean. Here’s the problem...We don’t always express it. It must be some kind of a guy thing that stops men from saying "I love you." Really! Have you ever noticed that? I’ve heard men say, "My wife knows I love her. I told her once when we got married." And we do that same thing with our children, at some point as they get older, saying i love you begins to fade away. The older they get, the less they hear it. It’s like we assume that our children know we love them because we let them hang around the house and eat up our food and all that good stuff.
Even in the beginning, Our heavenly Father expresses his love to us time and time again. Even in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned, God took care of them...He made clothes for them and covered their nakedness. Throughout scripture God affirms his love for us. We know He loves because He says so. God tells us He loves us, and He shows his love for us. His ultimate act of love was sending His son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins.
Listen, dads...you and I can never compete with that kind of love. But we can learn from, and grasp the Fathers love. See...God holds fathers accountable, we have a very big role in Gods kingdom. God did not give us a family just for the sake of giving gifts. Our family is a gift from God, and we are called to take care of them, love them, and raise them with the same love that we have received from above.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
The emphasis in the passage “ love your wives”, is not the husbands authority to govern over the wife, meaning...being a dictator, but his responsibility is to love his wife. Regardless of flaws or differences, whether we approve of certain actions or not. The command is to love. Keep in mind that, two thousand years ago, God showed His love by sending His only Son to the cross for you and I. We were not even born yet, we have not committed any offense against God, and yet God... because of love, sent His Son as a sacrifice for you and I. Like i said earlier, we cannot compete with that kind of love. But we can certainly learn from that sacrificial love. What i mean by sacrifice is...swallowing your pride, giving your time, having patience, and so on...we don’t belong to ourselves anymore. We belong to God...and Gods... commands, made us one with our wives. We are to love our wives, just as “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for her”.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
As you can see, the last part of the verse is addressed to the fathers. Society has made the women the homemakers and the dads the bread winners of the household. But we are not, and will never be under societies grips. We are under Gods, and that is His commands. Dads, that’s including me...don’t get mad at the wives if our children are doing something that we do not approve. Our wives have their own part given by the Lord, and this is ours... “ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. In another translation.. ( discipline and instruction of the Lord )
What kind of instruction? Moral and spiritual instruction? A better way to say this is to teach them the absolute truth. Right from wrong. Good and evil. Heaven and hell. Morality & Immorailty. Does this include the birds and the bees talk? Of course...even more so...our children should be prepared. Don’t let the world shape our kids views on that topic. Let God’s word do that. Arm them by knowing Gods truth. If not, the world will teach them, its ok to live in together without marriage. It’s ok to have pre-marital you know what before marriage. That is what the world will teach our children. Again, like i said earlier, our kids, once they get older and move out to start their own lives. They will have their own walk with the Lord, if any? But its better for them to know the Truth, than to leave, and live their lives in a lie.
As we have briefly looked at these responsibilities, do you see why it is so crucial that Dads be the kind of dads they were meant to be? We have a generation of children who don’t know there right from their left because they had no fatherly influence in their lives who loved them, treated them fairly and taught them right from wrong. Nobody to teach them Gods truth. We have so many young people who have a very distorted view of God because their relationship with their earthly father was so messed up. It is hard for them to see that God is loving and patient and merciful. Because they missed out on seeing that growing up. The fathers did not reflect,Gods perfect love!
Do you know that God loves you and I, with the same love that He has for His One and only Son? Here let me show you through scripture...
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
This statement brings to light the love of God the Father has for the redeemed, sometimes overlooked because of the emphasis on the love of Christ for them. Although, the Fathers love is the frequent theme in the New testament. Here are some more examples of Gods perfect love...
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That’s how much God loves you and I. As much as he loves his Son Jesus. That means every way he deals with us he deals with us out of love. Even through discipline, its done out of love...Gods Perfect Love!
Being a godly father requires sacrifice on our part. There are some things in life we have to do without because we have a greater obligation, to provide for our children. As a father, there are sacrifices we’ll have to make. In fact, we’ve probably made lots of sacrifices already. They are part of the job description, and part of the joy of being a father. Our children may never fully understand how much we sacrifice for them. Personally, I think that’s the way it should be. We shouldn’t be bragging to them the things that we are suppose to do for them. It’s a God given command to take care of them. Just as what we have read earlier. They should be able to see Gods love in everything that we do for them. So, that when they get older and start their own family, ( hopefully rapture comes before that ) they would do the same exact thing. They would give their family that Godly love that we have given them.
It is not always about being a provider. What if you’re really good at that and miss out on this very important task...called time! We need to be available for them. Not just a good morning when they wake up, goodnight when they go to bed. If spending time with our children isn’t an option, here’s something to keep in mind. Our heavenly father is always available. We can call on him anytime, day or night. We can talk to him about our troubles, our fears, our dreams, and we know that He will listen. He is always available. Easier said than done, i know...its hard. But not impossible. Again, we cannot let society take hold of how we take care of our family. They are much too valuable to ignore. You see, you may not notice, with society keeping you and I busy, its become a trap from the enemy to keep you and I away from our family. Guess what happens next??? Family broken, we failed, enemy rejoices!
A godly father has a responsibility to set the standard for his children.
we must say, "This is the way we live, and nothing less is acceptable."
And of course, it is the father’s responsibility to lead by example. Not a dictator, but by example. A father’s attitude must be "Do as I do", not merely "do as I say." Joshua set the example for all fathers when he said...
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
A father expects his children to act like they belong to him. That they belong to house owned by God. A family who loves God. He doesn’t demand more than they can give, a father doesn’t base his love on his child’s behavior but he does expect the child to do his, or her part in the household.Just like our heavenly Father expects that we do our part: we must believe in his Son, and abide to His will.
A godly father Prepares His Child for the Future.
Jesus said, "...that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God has created a great future for you and me. He is offering us eternal life. He doesn’t want us to spend eternity without him. He wants us to live in His presence forever, and He provided a way to make that happen. He did this by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die on the cross for our sins. When we put our faith in Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and God gives us eternal life. The very same reason that while we are still here in this world, God has provided godly parents, to raise a godly home, which shall not perish, or should not perish, but be a fruitful household that serves God.
“choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.
Christianity isn’t about man finding his own way to God. It’s about God reaching out to us through his Son. God has a vision for our future.
It’s a future spent in heaven with him forever and He provided a way for you and i, to get there. In the same way, earthly fathers need to do what we can to direct the future of our children in a way that will most benefit the child. Teach them scripture, show them how live, according to Gods standards.
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Our heavenly father has prepared a future for us in heaven. Earthly fathers must help their children prepare for their future here on earth. God gives us a blueprint for fatherhood, because he is the perfect Father. He loves us, he gives to us, He expects us to follow Him, and He prepares a future for us. These are things we can do for our children. Not as a tyrant, but as a gentle, loving, caring father. He loves you, and he will help you experience fulfillment in this life and for all eternity, if you will put your faith in Him.
Gods Perfect Love
I want you to remember this verse when you leave this church tonight...
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Pastor Richard Santos
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