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Experiencing God - side track - Father's Day 99

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Reading: Genesis 1:26-31

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

I.   God is like a father who Disciplines (Heb.12:4-13)

     A.  A Good father disciplines

           1.  Discipline means teach — help to grow up

                 a.  Fathers & Mothers have this task

                 b.  Only parents who don’t care don’t teach

           2.  Discipline sometimes needs discomfort

                 a.  A small temporary pain may prevent a larger, long-term pain later.

                 b.  Discipline is almost always uncomfortable in some way.

           3.  Discipline teaches right living/healthy relationships

                 a.  Not a response to getting angry

                 b.  A response to breaking a rule or doing something destructive.

     B.  God disciplines us for our Good

           1.  Fathers & Mothers make mistakes

                 a.  We loose our temper

                 b.  We emphasize the wrong things, forget the big things.

                 c.  We over-react and under-react

           2.  God doesn’t make mistakes

                 a.  He knows what we need to learn

                 b.  He knows how to teach it to us

           3.  God disciplines not for his comfort but our good

                 a.  God’s grace is big enough to include this

                 b.  God’s discipline produces real fruit

     C.  Submit to your Father’s discipline

           1.  Endure hardship as discipline (v.7)

                 a.  Not punishment but discipline

                 b.  Not because you sinned but because you have room for improvement.

           2.  Hardship produces growth

                 a.  Weight-lifting needs resistance to failure

                 b.  Not a test of strength but a strengthening process

           3.  Don’t give up when things are hard

                 a.  Strengthen yourself — arms and knees (v.12)

                 b.  Don’t just watch out for pot-holes, fill them in (v.13)

II.  God is like a father who loves his Children (Luke 15:11-31)

     A.  God loves His Lost children

           1.  Even his most rebellious ones

                 a.  This son treated his father terribly!

                 b.  Yet the father stood on tip-toes waiting and hoping for his return every day

           2.  The father sees the son returning (v.20)

                 a.  The moment the son turns toward his father in the story, the father rushes toward his son.

                 b.  The father celebrates his sons return

                 c.  There is no “long talk” first! He is quick and eager to forgive

     B.  God loves his children at Home

           1.  Even the ones who don’t get along with the brothers!

                 a.  This one treated his brother terribly

                 b.  Yet the father goes out to him too (v.28)

           2.  The father shares all he has with his children

                 a.  Do we not have because we don’t ask?

                 b.  The father invites the obstinate brother to the celebration: “Your brother is back! Share my joy!”

III. God is like a father who Provides (Luke 11:9-13)

     A.  God Only gives good things

           1.  Fathers worthy of the designation give good things

                 a.  We don’t give dangerous or harmful things to our children (at least not on purpose!)

                 b.  When we give to our children it is for their needs, their health or their happiness

           2.  God is a father worthy of the designation

                 a.  He only gives what we need, provides for our true health and true happiness

                 b.  Seek first the kingdom of God and he promises to take care of all our needs.

     B.  God provides Enough (Luke 12:27-31)

           1.  Don’t worry about it

                 a.  God loves you too much to forget your daily needs!

                 b.  In seeking his kingdom—following God’s leadership, God promises us everything we need to do that.

           2.  Your Father knows your needs

                 a.  It’s not just up to you. God won’t fail you.

                 b.  God loves you and knows your needs and promises to take care of you.

           3.  Even in hardship we can look forward to the fruits of God’s discipline.

                 a.  As we said before — remembering that discipline isn’t punishment but teaching

     C.  God gives the Holy Spirit

           1.  The best gift of all!

                 a.  You cannot out-give God!

                 b.  God gives not only good things, he gives himself!

           2.  Ephesians 1:13-14 — 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

                 a.  The inheritance is the promise of an eternity of fellowship with God

                 b.  The Holy Spirit is the down payment on that.

           3.  God gives his Holy Spirit to those who ask

                 a.  If you are uncertain, ask.

                 b.  As Eph 1:13-14 says, we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe

                 c.  God our Father gives us Himself.

The Bottom Line:

Trust our loving Father to help you Grow and to provide all you need for Following Him.


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