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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, July 06 2020

Luke 3:22 As He came up out of the water, the voice of God spoke audibly from heaven saying, "You are My beloved Son, I am well pleased with You" Luke 4:1  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan (His baptisim) and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

Most of us, given a choice, would actually resist going into a barren, empty, romote wilderness, yet  that is exactly what God chose for His Son.

Often, new levels of Spiritual growth and insight are followed bybeing ushered into a wilderness experiences…. This will be true as we enter each new level of blessing in this year ahead. God goes beyond “show and tell” and moves us into the realms of “reveal and experience”….

Jesus embraced this barren setting as a positive process in His ministry, rather than a negative experience to be dreaded.

The question we are asked in all of this is….  ”will we allow God to use our time spent in the wilderness as a means of empowering us in a greater measure”?

We are continually faced by great opportunities that are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems….

Jesus Continually Returned To The Wilderness to prepare Himself and draw strength and wisdom from the Father…

Luke 5:15–16 “But so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed”  

The greater the demands on His life, the more Jesus headed for the treasures only found while in the wilderness.

The Bible, gives us many examples that illustrate what God can accomplish in our lives through the wilderness experiences.
When Israel was held captive in Egypt, God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say, ‘Let my people go three days’ journey into the wilderness’” (Exodus 3:18).

Little did they know that it would become a place of incredible times in God’s presence and His miraculous provision for them. Here they would experience God’s glory and His might as He fought for them and gave them one great deliverance after another.

To avoid the wilderness, is to avoid experiencing the supernatural…

Exodus 14:3 “Gather together the chariots and the weapons because we are going after them. They are entangled in the land, the wilderness has shut them in (trapped them)”                                                                                That’s what the Devil always wants us to believe and wrongly interpret what God is doing through the wilderness…what Pharaoh thought would destroy them, only strengthened and equipped them!

GOD REVEALS THAT HE IS JEHOVAH JIRAH, OUR PROVIDER, IN THE WILDERNESS

Exodus 16:15 “And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna (we’ve never seen anything like this)  for they didn’t know what it was……..” We must trust God in the wilderness, because we usually don’t know how to interpret what He is doing in our lives…

Jesus fed the multitudes in the wilderness…. It is a place of weaning us from other dependencies that are not of Him. In the wilderness, He wants us to once again, rely upon Him as our main source… The greatest hindrance to faith is self reliance…The wilderness strips you of self reliance and demands that you lean on the everlasting arms…. 

The wilderness IS A PLACE OF TRAINING FOR BATTLE.                                                                                             God is teaching you to bring down your giants that want to separate you from the blessing, and steal your promise through the wilderness training….

1 Samuel 17:37 The same LORD who delivered me from the Paw of the lion and the bear (in the wilderness) will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" Deal with your monkeys and God will give you a gorilla!

God Establishes Us In The Wilderness

David was hiding for his life, in the wilderness, at Ziklag, it says….

1 Samuel 30:6  David was greatly troubled. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. Another version says “iron entered into his soul’

It was in the wilderness that the Apostle Paul was established in the Christian faith, and was equipped and anointed by God…

Listen to Paul… Galatians 1:17 (After my conversion) I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into the wilderness of Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with                            him fifteen days.

GOD USES THE WILDERNESS TO BREAK STRONGHOLDSfrom off of our lives…

The nation of Israel cried out for release from Egypt’s bondage, and their deliverance came to them, walking out of the wilderness, In the form of Moses…who was shaped and prepared by the wilderness for such a time…

Psalm 74:14, tells us that the spoils of victory (the crushing of the head of Leviathan) will be given to the people of the wilderness.

GOD WILL BRING HIS WORD TO YOU IN THE WILDERNESS

You can coast along on the Logos word, but you begin to dig down for the Rehma word (the specific God breathed, word for your specific situation) when you begin your walk in the wilderness…When Moses went up to the mountain of God, he was needing a Rehma, God breathed word, and he received a word etched in fire, by God’s own finger!

THE LORD’S BRIDE (the believers in Christ) WILL BE FOUND, COMING OUT OF THE WILDERNESS, To be gathered unto Him…

Psalms 84:5  Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. V.6  As they pass through the Valley of Baca, (dry, barren wilderness place) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. V.7  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

I want to share the testimony of a young man in the bible.  A fine, vibrant, young man who has kept himself unspotted from the world. He was a young prophet with a promising career!  He dedicated himself to serving the Lord….. Hosea had reached the time in his life that the Lord had carefully prepared him for marriage.  And the Lord said unto him, "All right Hosea, (his name means deliverance), I have a wife for you!"  Hosea says, "OOOOh boy, which one Lord?"  "Is it that pretty thing over there?" “No” "Mary?"  "Sally?"  "No?" “is it sweet Caroline” “No”… it’s      " Bertha the stripper”?  "....say that again, Lord…  "You want me to go where?"  "Lord, that's the red-light district!"  "That's the worst neighborhood in the city!"  "What is my wife doing there?"  "OK, OK, OK, Lord, I'll go, I'll go, Lord!"  "But, this better be good!" 

Hosea 1:2  The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hascommitted great whoredoms, departing from the LORD.(something is happening that is bigger than Hosea, or Gomer, or the circumstances they find themselves in)  

Hosea 2:14-16 Therefore, behold, I will draw her with that which she cannot resist, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards in the wilderness, and the valley of Achor (the place of trouble) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, says the LORD, that you shall no more call me Baali, but you shall  know me as Ishi. 

You know, when we live clean, and try to be separate, and keep ourselves for God’s purposes and plan, we think that God will take the thorns off of all the roses in our lives…..  So, Hosea says "Which one Lord?"  "Her?"  "Why, she's a... a... uh...(choke, cough)...a loose woman, a harlot, a tramp, you don't want me to marry her….(is there anyone else up there I can hear from)?"  "What are all the other prophets going to say?"  "I'm going to be disfellowshipped, what about my reputation, Lord?!"……..

Hosea, is about God taking you out where you would never have chosen to be, if you were doing the choosing! This is about God revealing himself to Hosea and how he feels about compromising Christians….

And the real miracle is not that he married her.  He did marry her, but that’s not the miracle!  That was obedience, that was submission and subjection!  That was saying yes to God!  But the miracle was when HE SAW HER HE LOVED HER!  "Oh God, I never thought I could feel this way!"  "If you would have told me that I could have feelings for somebody like her I would have said “get thee behind me devil........"  When’s the last time you went to bed weeping for sinners, and groaning out of love for souls?         

"I'm thinking about her all the time, she's on my mind!"  "Everybody says I'm crazy, they don't want me to marry her, and they say she won't be a good wife for me!  "She’s messed up, but I love her!"  "Gomer......Gomer......  your name means complete, but you have never really been complete!"    "My name, Hosea, means deliverer, and I have come to make you complete!"  "Take my ring and come on over to the house of deliverance!

He loved her. Love will make you put up with things that you never thought you would put up with!  

God was trying to get somebody to understand what It’s like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, to love what He loves, and to weep over sinners, and those who may even hate you!  He was trying to get us to understand what He had gone through to reach out to the unwanted and unloved, and He used Hosea as an illustrated sermon to make us to know the height, depth, and the breadth, and the length of the love of God!

Have you ever been in a place where your promise was also your problem? Nobody could know it, because you put on the face, and you look like you should look!  Gomer here, represents God’s people who are not truly committed to the Lord….and there’s a conflict going on in her spirit!  She is restless, Hosea has been good to her, she feels guilty, she's trying to stay in the house, where she knows she belongs, but she is restless!  She even had several children while she’s with him, but she was restless! 

*…She started disappearing for long periods and coming back with weak explanations!  She kept staying away longer and longer, and he was taking care of the kids and doing the things that she should have been doing. Then Hosea began to notice that the kids didn't even look like him!  Later the test will tell us that they were children born of her wanderings, her meanderings, her affairs!  The first was named, “He’s probably mine”, the second was named “I think he’s mine”, and the third was named “I know he’s not mine”! And yet he still took care of them like they were his own!

How many things have you birthed that God didn't have anything to do with?  But He still took care of them because they were yours!  How many choices and decisions have you made that God didn't tell you to make and yet he blessed you even though it did not look like Him?  

Then, One day, Gomer went out and she didn't come back!  Mrs.Complete, Mrs. “all that”, went out and left Mr. Deliverance in the house!  What makes the prodigal son end up in the hog pen, the backslider slip, slide back into bondage, and what makes us lose our peace, joy and our fervency, and turn into ordinary,complacent, church folk when we used to be praisers and worshippers and people who had passionate love for God?

"Gomer......Gomer.....you should have been back by now!"                             Maybe there is somebody you know today, that should have been back by now.  They've been gone too long.  I know theysay they have many reasons, but they’ve been gone too long!  They’ve been making those same excuses for a long time….

Down by the market place he heard Sounds like one of those human auctions. No need to look over there.  Just a bunch of pottery and junk and a few sex slaves to be sold.

Jesus said, "You worship what you do not know, but the hour cometh and now is, that they that worship Him must worship in the spirit and in the truth, for the FATHER SEEKETH such to worship him"  

The search is on, God is looking for somebody!  The Bible saysthat, "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth looking for someone.........."

He is looking for Gomer, her name means complete, and she hasn’t lived up to her namesake yet!

Judas, the one who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, had a name that meant “God be praised”. And Jesus never gave up on him, but he refused to live up to his name, and with all the effort of heaven, he spurned it all… The Father God was so committed to find the wayward children, that He came wrapped up in Mary's womb of flesh, searching for His love!  Looking!  And searching!  "O Jerusalem.............how often would I have gathered you as a mother hen gathers her chicks, but you would not..."   “I am come seeking to save that which is lost!  

Hosea couldn’t believe his eyes after all he had done for her… "Oh God, she's up on the slave table!"  "What happened to her?"  "There's mud all over her clothes, her hair is matted, her clothes are torn!"  "That can't be the dress that I bought her!"  "She looks a mess!"  "What is she doing on that slave table?"  "That's my wife!"  "I know she looks bad, I know she's dirty and muddy, outside and inside, but you don't want her anyway, you don't think she's worth anything, you wouldn't give anything of value for her, but I will!  How much does she cost?"  "What does it take?"….  "I'll give it everything I have just to hold heronce again!"  

I would give anything to hear her say “I love you”, once again!

Hosea was willing to buy something that was already his, and pay more than the asking price, but that's what redemption means, you know!" To re-deem, to buy back, to buy out of the slave market place, to get her again!  God is declaring in this story, I want them back! I’m the redeemer.  

That's what He did for you and me, and that's what salvation is!  When I couldn't get to Him, He came to me!  When I couldn't find him, He found me!  When I was locked up and tied up in my sins and in my bondage, and I didn't know how to get out, I tried to be somebody else that I couldn't be, but when I blew it He said, "Just be still, I'm coming to get you!"  

He said, "I'm going to raise you up."  You’ve been down low, but I'm going to raise you up!  I know all about you, and nothing is hidden from me but I'm going to bless you anyway!  I know you been unfaithful, but I love you!  I saw it all, but I still love you!I'm going to raise you up!  

That's what makes a real worshipper, into a worshipper!  When you understand that God knows all about you, and He loves you anyway, and He says He is going to wipe your tears away from your eyes!  He’s going to lift you back up again!  He’s going to clean you up, He’s going to raise you up!  He’s going to be your deliverer and set you free!  

Well Hosea, paid more than she was worth, and came up close beside her and he lifted her off of the auction block and he took her away from those who did not see her potential and her possibilities!  

"There have been times when You couldn't find your way out of this, but He has said, I’m going to take you by the hand, and pull you out...."  

God will pull you out!  When you’re down, He will pull you out!  When nobody will help you or make an effort, He will!  Your identity is not your circumstances, you are not a slave, you are more than your habit, you are more than your childhood, more than your pain or problems, and God has sent a deliverer!  The deliverer is going to make you complete!  When you were what you were…and you were less than…. He called you complete, when you felt like a nothing and a reject, before you saw any change, the deliverer came to make you complete!  He pulled usout!  

Hosea said, "Is this how you feel about me, God?"  "You mean you’ve been loving me like this?"  "When I was wrong, andmessed up?"  "Lord, I never knew how much you loved me!"  "I'm sorry I hurt you!"

Hosea pulled Gomer out of the mess she got herself in….. Just like you and I, did not get out on our own, He pulled us out!                                               Touch someone and say, "He pulled me out!"  

When he got her out he said, "I am going to give you the valley of Achor  for an inheritance, I am going to restore everything that the devil took away from you!" Achor means calamity transformed to blessing. Trouble turned into joy, and despair into hope. 

He told her, " When you were still a mess, I washed you and I cleaned you up, I justified and sanctified you, now I am going to glorify you!"  

She looks at him and says, "Alright, you own me, you bought me, I'm yours fair and square, whatever you want me to do, I'm your love slave, I'll do it Baali!"  (Baali means; My master)  That’sabout obligations, duties and requirements….. So, he says to her, "I didn't buy you to enslave you, so you would just change masters…..I bought you to set you free!"  "Woman, thou art loosed!"  He said, “you are used to people doggin' you and abusing you!"  "I don't want to be your Baali, don't call me Baali, you shall call me Ishi!"  (Ishi means; My husband, One I am intimate with)  "I am not your master, I am your husband, I am a covenant keeping God!"  " I am going to be everything to you!"  "Whenever you need me, call me Ishi, for I am your husband, I have intimate knowledge of you!"  

When people want to know how you were blessed, tell them Ishi did it! Single ladies, and single again ladies…

You’re not looking for Baali, let me tell you, Ishi is your man!                                God wants to be known by the ones He created for fellowship… He wants us to know His intensity, His passion, His intimacy, and His power.  

Oh the price He paid for us…..He's going to be smitten as a sacrifice for sin and for transgressions.  He's going to be wounded, and bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement shall be upon Him, and by his stripes mankind will receive healing.  

Some of you have been invited!  And you can't figure out what is going on in your life!  You have been invited into the miracle of the wilderness!  There's some things that you can't get out of a book, a tape, Greek or Hebrew, you just have to go through it.  The further you went into it, the more you understood some things about God you would not have understood any other way!  

You have become part of His wilderness miracle!  

He wanted you to know patience, so He exposed you to problems!  

He wanted you to know power, so He exposed you to pain!  The only way He could teach you what He needed to teach you was to take you through those things! 

This Corona wilderness is a time of amazing opportunities everywhere you look. The things which are happening now, are the greatest creators of open doors so you can present the eternal message of hope and faith. Be vigilant in all of this and seize the day. Every believer has the answers to the questions the world is asking. Start by listening and ask the key question, "Can I pray with you"......

This wilderness you’re in is about moving you from Baali, to Ishi.From “Master” to “My beloved”…. the one who knows you like no one else does and is completely committed to you, and is with you all the way through.

Let me paraphrase some of the 23rd Psalm as I close…

“Yea, though I walk through the wilderness of shadows, You arewith me. You anoint me with your wilderness anointing. You set a banquet table before me with all I will need. You cause my cup to run over. Surely goodness and mercy shall be the angels you set before me, and Your presence will go with me all the way”!

The apostle Paul tells us… “Having done all stand therefore, and see the glory of God!"

Posted by: AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 06 2020

Surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of happiness in life is   the family. The same surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of frustration and disappointment in people’s lives is dealing with family problems. 

God has designed the family as the basic building block of society. As the family goes, so goes our communities. As our communities go, so goes our states. As our states go, so goes our nations. As our nations  go, so goes entire civilizations.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers and you are God’s builders. v10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds. v11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, in Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on that foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, or stubble v13 each man’s work will become evident, for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. v14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward”. 

Just as books need two book ends to hold them upright so that they don’t fall over, likewise, every child needs a matching set of Mom and Dad book ends to steady them and keep them upright in life!.                                  The titles “Mom” and “Dad” are powerful titles that declare that you are authorized and anointed by God to speak into and influence the lives of your children, no matter what their age, or where they live…The same is true of the title, “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. Let us understand and appreciate the power of these titles which are titles of permission and jurisdiction, used by your children and grandchildren, to release and activate your God-given authority in their behalf....There is powerful leverage in those titles….That bring heaven to earth!!   

Olympic gold medalist Darrel Pace was to give an archery exhibition in New York City's Central Park, and the event received coverage by all the news stations. Darrel was shooting steel- tipped hunting arrows, and punctured the bull's-eye from many angles even behind his back with a mirror, without a miss.                                                                                         Then he called for a volunteer. "All you have to do, Is hold this apple in your hand, in front of the bulls eye." A bold volunteer took a step forward and stood there with a small apple in his hand, trying not to shake. Pace took aim from 30 yards away as everyone held their breath. Then suddenly the apple exploded the apple before striking the target. Everybody applauded and the volunteer is still trembling—and the cameraman approached and said, "I'm sorry, my camera was messing up and I didn’t get the shot. Could you do it again?" Aren’t you glad God gives second chances….to get it right! (even if it means you have to end up holding that apple again)                                          

Over the years, there have been numerous studies on how to build strong, healthy families. What does a healthy family look like? (I’m glad you asked that question), because it so happens that it is exactly what I want to talk about ….building healthy families…                                                   And   if you don’t know what a healthy family looks like, it probably won’t happen, and if it does, you won’t know what you did to get there…

What your kids see you do as they grow up is what you’ll likely see them do, when they’ve grown up. What do your children see modeled before them in your character? Do they see truth, honesty, and integrity in action? Do they have healthy examples of resolving conflict? Do you model and encourage healthy ways of handling pressure and expressing emotions? 

The greatest gift you can give your child is who you are. The lifestyle  our children see us model daily is much more powerful than what we can ever tell them. Both are important. But there must be solid connections between the talk and the walk.Someone said, “teach   them and use words if absolutely necessary!! 

In the Hebrew culture, a Rabbi was a life coach and every boy was assigned to a life coach who would be a father figure to them. The word Rabbi is actually based upon the Hebrew word “Ab” or “Abba” which means daddy.

Jesus was the Rabbi or “Abba” Father, who the disciples accepted to mentor them as their life coach. The Rabbi chose those he would mentor, just as Jesus chose the disciples and us, to follow Him. We are chosen by “Abba” and He is our life coach!

One father wrote this in a letter to “Abba” God…                                                                  “He calls me Dad and I call him Dude, With his faded old pillow and a bear named Pooh. He snuggles up close and says, "I want to be like you" I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight, Trippin' over the toys as I turn out the light, and I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see, He's got a father in God, 'cause he's seen Jesus in me. Lord, I want to be just like You, 'Cause he wants to be just like me. I want to be a holy example, For his innocent eyes to see. Help me be Your living word, Lord, That my little boy can read. I want to be like You, 'Cause he wants to be like me.

Someone has said that the best thing you can do for your children, is to love God, love their mother and love them, totally and completely!

How do you spell love…..

Most children spell love with a *…..T, an *…..I, an *……M and an *……E. That’s right. TIME is how most children spell love. Healthy parents don’t find time, they make time.

One of the greatest choices we will make in life is to follow and be like our “Abba” life coach, Jesus He always has time for us…..

Don’t miss the importance of what it is that you’re building. Input equals outcome…. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder…..                            In the early days of the building of the United States Capital, when they were still preparing the site. A superintendent asked one of the workmen, what he was doing. He said, “I’m digging a ditch”.. The next worker he asked said “I’m gathering stones to build a wall”… But the third workman he asked, who was mixing mortar, said, “Sir, I am mixing this mortar, because we’re raising up a beacon that will shine to all the nations of the world” 

Since this is Father’s day, I would say to Dads, and to everyone, we’re not called to build junk, but we are raising up beacons through the lives of men, women and children which God has placed in our care…

Craig spent many years as a Royal Ranger commander, working with boys. Those boys are now Fathers, and look back fondly on the training they received under Craig. 

Allan and Craig both worked with and trained new recruits and cadets in the fire department. And those recruits have been better men and women because of it. Thank you both for your service…. 

It takes time to build something great….We’re all busy with demands and pressures, and children don’t have the same sense of time that we do. All they know is now!!! I want it and I want it now!!!                                                                                               I remember when Karen was little and I would be working on a sermon and she wanted my attention…. She would say, Dad…Dad…Dad….Hey Chuck! And that would always get my attention. But things worth building take time….

I still recall to this day, at 21/2 years of age, in Spray NC. I had an uncle named John, who was old and grey haired and slow, but several times a week, he would take me for walks and answer all my questions (which were many). He was never in a hurry, and I have kodak moments in my soul, of Old John, holding my hand and answering all my questions in a slow, unhurried way. He gave me the gift of time….

When the angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist, he realized that this was not just another ordinary Jewish child which he was called upon to raise, but a special gift that God was placing in his care…right up front John’s dad was told that he was building a life that would touch the world. What are you building….    

Luke1:16  “And he (John) will turn the hearts of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. v17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

There is a saying that children don’t come with instruction manuals, but the truth is that they come with the best instructions ever assembled in the history of the world, it is complete and all encompassing and it is the Word of God! 

How foolish to ignore the manual which the creator of every human life, has written to give us guidance as husbands andparents.                                                             4 bachelors came up with a list of what to look for in a companion..                                                   1st.  It is important to find a woman who is good at house hold chores, is a good cook and can take care of the kids.                                                                                                                     2nd.  It is important to find a woman that you can show off for social functions.

3rd.  It is important that she shares the same life goal and common vision as you.

4th.  It is important to find a woman who is romantic and loves intimacy with you.

5th It is very important that these 4 women never meet one another.                                                  

Hey, If your marriage is in trouble, improve your relationship with the Lord.

Trouble with the children, improve your relationship with the lord. 

Trouble on the job, improve your relationship with the Lord.

If nothing seems to work, improve your relationship with the Lord!!!                     

God doesn’t expect perfection, just a teachable spirit! No man is going to be the TOTAL man or FATHER, but we have the total father in Father God, who will give us wisdom and Holy Spirit counselling as we need it and are open to it!           

Chuck Swindoll said, "A family is the place where principles are hammered out and shaped on the anvil of everyday living."                                                                                                                              One young woman was talking to her counsellor and describing her dream husband… She said, “he has to be handsome, in great shape, funny, entertaining, smart, keeps me interested, romantic, doesn’t interrupt, let’s me be myself, doesn’t expect me to do all the house work, and never insults or belittles me”….. The counselor pauses for a moment and says, “My dear girl, you’re not shopping for a husband, what you’re actually shopping for a 70 inch flat screen TV”!!!

The old saying is that love is blind… God says, “Oh, No… love needs clear vision.” Our love needs discernment or else we will end up loving things we ought not to love—and entering into relationships that are not good for us. While love is our quest, it is never enough without wisdom and discernment. Not every relationship is a good relationship. Not every choice is a good choice, not every man or woman is the one of your dreams, they might be the one of your nightmares. 

By the way, I came across the words women need to hear the most.. from men…

I love you, I Do.. I understand, I’m sorry, You’re right, & you’re hired

Jesus came to show us what a father’s heart looked like…

He shared three stories that reveal the Father’s heart. The story of the lost sheep, shows us the length He will go to for just one person who has gone out and become lost and disoriented. (leaving the 99 in search of the one, doesn’t really make sense until you are that one!) 

The story of the lost coin, reveals how much the Father cares about any area of lack or lost opportunity we may suffer. And He will be diligent until it is recovered.

The story of the lost son, clearly reveals how the Father’s heart is so connected with every child who is struggling and disillusioned, and will faithfully draw them back to the Father’s heart.

It reveals a God that is approachable, and is not out to condemn us but to continually draw us to Himself. 

The bottom line is that it tells us that lost things can be found, they can be recovered and joyfully celebrated!

The old hymn says it so well…. “Just as I am, without one plea, but as Thy blood was shed for me, and as Thou bid’st me come to Thee, oh lamb of God I come, I come”…                                                                               With all that we’re building, we need to build within our families a deep sense that no matter where we are, in Christ we’re always home. “In the Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also”. As we grew up, I chose to take the path of faith in God, my foster brother chose the ungodly path of my atheist foster dad… the last time we were together, I asked him to promise me he would make peace with God and if I went before Him, I would be looking for him in heaven. If He went before me, I would be expecting to see him when I got there. He died a short time later in his sleep, but he kept his promise…..

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will fellowship with him, and he with Me. v21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to rule with Me on My throne (place of authority), as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. v22 He who has an ear (that is able to hear), let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The God of all creation, wants to take time to be involved in what we’re building. If He’s willing to give us His time, and He is, are we willing to give Him time to listen, to get His instructions, to allow Him to speak into our plans, our relationships, our marriage, our family, and our journey….

A tightrope was attached from the Canadian side to the American side over the Niagara Falls. The drum roll started and the tight rope walker, began walking over the treacherous part of the falls pushing a wheelbarrow-- blindfolded!! And he makes it across easily. The crowds go wild, and he comes to a spectator and says, " Do you believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it." "No, I mean do you really believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do, you just did it." "No, no, no," said the Tightrope walker, "do you really, really, really believe I can do it again?" "Yes," said the spectator "I really believe you can do it." "Good," said the Tightropewalker, "then you get in the wheel barrow and let’s go."

The word believe, in Greek means "to live by what you acknowledge as truth"

In the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses reduced all of God’s law to its essential basics in a statement that is known as the “Shema”.

In verse 4&5 it says It says “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, is one God! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”                                                          This is the passage that Jesus quoted in Matthew 22:35-40 when he was asked by a lawyer,which was the great commandment of the Law. After quoting it, Jesus added that the second was like it,                                           “You shall love your neighbor (or others) as yourself,” and that the whole “Shema” and the Prophets depended on these two commandments.

This tells us three things for this to happen….

1. The parent or care giver must love the Lord

2. The parent or care giver must teach his children the love of the Lord

3. The parent or care giver must teach by example, what the love of the Lord looks like to his children

So many of those I grew up with basically want nothing to do with the church now. For many of them, a large part of the reason is that either one or both of their parents or many of the other adults in the church failed to actually live out what they claimed to believe. These children came to the conclusion that it was all just a farse, a big sham, and they developed their own moral code of conduct, away from Christ and the church. 

How privileged are those children who are raised by parents who have the Word of God in their hearts and who live out every day, what they say they believe. That’s the “Shema”

To love the Lord your God. To teach our children to love the Lord our God, and to live out the love of the Lord our God before them….

When is the best time to do this…. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us…

A. When you sit in your house. B. When you walk by the way. 

C. When you lie down. D. When you rise up.

Well, come on, that pretty much covers anytime, all the time!

So I ask us all what I asked at the beginning, Fathers, Mothers, sons, and daughters, do we understand what we’re building?When you understand what you want to build, you get the right tools and you use them with all the skill you can muster, and partner with the one who knows how to do it best and He tells us…

1 Corinthians 13:4  (Would you stand and read it with me) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. v5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. v6 Love does not delight in but rejoices with the truth. v7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. v8 Love never fails”. 

(sounds like a pretty good description of a Godly Husband and Father)….I will ask the men to come forward and let’s gather around them a bless them and petition heaven that they may be equipped for this lofty and High calling of God on their lives….Fatherhood…..

Posted by: AT 12:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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