Faithlife Sermons

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Do you long for the Father's "well done"? Does the longing affect you priorities? Do you "I press toward the mark for the prize " ... God's "well done!"

The Father’s “WELL DONE!” Devotion, to me at least, seems difficult to discuss at greater depths without some personal references. It cannot be a topic that is discussed "at arm’s length." Therefore I would ask that you, please excuse the personal references. Although now over 66 years old, to set the emotional stage requires going back to my childhood. I was the youngest of nine children, and to make ends meet, my father spent a good portion of his time at work. I, therefore, didn't have that much time with him. He worked hard, was focused on his work, and by his nature, although not without his moments, was not overly free with compliments. Getting back to me, I would have been probably between 5 & 10 years old at the time of this event. We lived in a small town in Ontario called Southampton, in a small house on the edge of town. The front veranda required painting, and I don't recall if it was my idea or my parents, but I was assisting in the project. Funny how an emotion can lodge so deep in the soul that even after many years, it can be brought to the surface with such clarity, and force. A perfect reproduction of the event played out on our emotions again at will, or sometimes against our will! Only three people are in my memory as I look back on the event; my two parents and myself. The conversation was casual, and all but a few words have long since been forgotten. With our focus being on the job at hand, my father was speaking (mostly to my mother) of the skill of a local painter, and added at the close of his comment something like "and his son is becoming a really good painter too." I have no idea the quality of the job I was doing before that statement, but I remember being arrested by it, and hearing something from deep within begin to ask quietly, then louder, then louder, "How about me dad? Am I doing well dad? Am I a good painter dad? Any former carelessness slipped away. I became intent on doing the best job I could. My ears were tuned to my father’s voice... and I waited. I don't remember finishing the job, or even any farther conversation, but I remember the disappointment of not hearing my father’s "well done." The years have passed, and I have become a Christian. I now think back to that moment, that emotion, and opening my Bible, I hear my Heavenly Father speak. He speaks of Abraham: And again Could He say any of this about me? Does he have that confidence ... could he call me his friend? He speaks of Daniel: He speaks of David: Am I too late? Has He found His man? Or is there room in every generation for many who share in the bent of the divine heart? God enters the "Faith Hall Of Fame" (Hebrews 11), and like a tour guide, brings before the mind, one after another... Heroes of Faith, and then in summary He says: Imagine! to be counted among those of whom it could be said "Of who the world was not worthy" Some day I enter the faith hall of fame.Certainly not a full statue, or even a bust... perhaps just a small plate on the wall bearing my name... and well done! from my Heavenly Fathers hand! But my Heavenly Father is not the only source from whence encouragement could come. How Timothy would enjoy reading, and re-reading, the words of his "father in the faith": F Or Demetrius ... wouldn't the day to day battle seem more bearable after he read John's words?   Or Onesiphorus ... wouldn't the effort seem even more worth-while after hearing: . Or Barnabas and Joseph... of whom Dr. Luke could say (with God allowing it to stand in His Word!): What excellent company I'll be in, if ever it could be said of me "he is a good man” But sadly many do not know a good man man when they see one... even our Lord!   Life, as described by many, reminds me of that first hill of a roller-coaster. It moves ever faster, and how soon we'll stand before our Lord that CANNOT LIE. Will he TRUTHFULLY be able to say of me ... of you? But what of the females among us, what would you like to hear? I searched in vain to find a scripture referring to "a good woman", but wait ... while God Describes a GREAT woman: This woman perceived, persuaded, and prepared. - Perceived he was a man of God - persuaded him to eat once, and welcomed him thereafter, then persuaded her husband to help her provide for his needs. But let us look at the things she thought he would require: a chamber (protection & separation) a bed (rest) a table, stool, & candlestick (study) How many "good men" owe much to a "great woman" (often behind the scenes?) Or to have God record of you as he did of Dorcas: And I'm sure you saw this one coming from Proverbs: As I serve, as a master or servant, could I be called "faithful and beloved"? Could "worthy" ever be associated with me as in Revelation? It has been said "If you reach for the stars, you may not reach them, but you’re not likely to wind up with a mouthful of sand". And so for an ultimate goal consider: Devotion in the heart will cause goals to be set, and goals will cause behaviour to be altered. The result, seen in the actions will be a moving toward the goal. Though it be slow, though it be a great way to go, the movement will begin. Is not Paul's devotion seen here? " ... not ... already attained ... I press toward the mark for the prize":
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