Faithlife Sermons

06-21-2020 Father's Day

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Warped Perspective (Picture I drew of my dad…)
Our memories of our Father's can be very skewed over time… (The show "This is us" - Jack was the best thing ever… but we find out - over time - he was flawed, alcoholic, had an abusive father, a broken relationship with his brother…
Many of us have a very SKEWED view of the heavenly Father…
Authoritarian fathers:
Authoritarian fathers can inadvertently influence their children to rebel against God.
Abusive fathers:
Inflict emotional, physical, or sexual pain.Destroy a child’s sense of worth and trust.Skew the daughter’s view of intimacy.
Abusive fathers can inadvertently influence their children to have difficulties trusting, being vulnerable and emotionally relating to God.
Absent fathers are:
Unavailable due to work, divorce, death, remarriage or abandonment.
Distant or Passive fathers:
Show little to no affection.Rarely demonstrate emotion.Interact little with their children.Display no interest in the child or their activities.
Distant or passive fathers can inadvertently influence their children to view God as uninvolved and disinterested in their lives.
Absent fathers can inadvertently influence their children to believe that God is inaccessible or nonexistent.
I had come to view God as distant, silent, and uninterested with the ache I carried in my soul. However, after much introspection, and counseling I began to distinguish the lies that laid the foundation for my perspective of God. In changing my mindset, I debunked the lies I previously believed were truth. (Kia Stephens)

Some See the Heavenly Father as a Doddering Old Man - Incapable of Action and Easily Manipulated

1 Kings 18:36–39 NLT
36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

Some See the Heavenly Father as Bi-Polar - Swinging Wildly from Extreme Tantrums to Acts of Compassionate Love

God HATES Sin and those who Count Him as Enemies (Psalm 5:5; Psalm 139:21-22)
God PUNISHES Sin and Sinners (Psalm 145:20 Romans 6:23)
But, On the Other hand...
God LOVES [sinful] mankind (John 3:16)
God Loves us so Much He GAVE His Own Son to Save Us
1 John 4:13–19 ESV
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

Some See the Heavenly Father as Evil - one who Uses then discards mankind for His Own Self-Glory and Amusement

The Greeks stories of the creation of creatures, mankind, of Prometheus, Epimethus, Zeus and the “Day of Fire” all point to petty gods who created and manipulated mankind for their own simple amusement…
Clayton King shares about the different lens through which we look at God the Father… His dad was his mentor, spiritual advisor and friend… He shares, however, the difference with his wife Sharie. Clayton writes:
Sharie’s concept of a father was different than mine. She had only experienced pain and hurt from the men in her life. She never had real, meaningful conversations with her stepfathers. They never seemed interested in her as a little girl. She remembers feeling ignored, as if she didn’t exist, because they seemed so distant and detached. She grew up thinking something was wrong with her. In her young mind, she assumed she was the problem. She never knew a father’s unconditional love.
I remember the first time I bought Sharie a gift when we were dating. I was so excited, and I waited until we were eating lunch one day at a Mexican restaurant to surprise her with it. But when I handed her the gift, the look on her face was not one of joy. Instead, she looked tormented, like she was in physical pain.
She seemed almost angry! When I asked her what was wrong, her response floored me.
 “Why would you give me something like this?” she asked me. “What do you want from me?”
I was dumbfounded. I stared at her for a second, my mouth gaping in disbelief. 
“What do you mean? I don’t want anything from you,” I told her when I could finally find my voice. “I love you and I want to give you something nice just because you’re special to me. No expectations. No strings attached.”
No kidding, right there in El Acapulco, Sharie broke down crying. These were not tears of joy. They were tears of confusion, of emotional torment, of a girl trying so hard to believe something good but only feeling something bad. That moment gave me a glimpse into the heart of the woman I was going to marry and spend my life with. She’d felt hurt, dismissed, and ignored by people who should have loved and protected her.
Finally, Sharie composed herself enough to speak. 
“I’m sorry, I just have a hard time receiving anything good from anyone, because all my life, if anyone gave me anything, I always knew it was a trick to try and get something from me. Be patient with me, and I will do my best to believe that you really love me and are not mad at me or using me somehow.” (Clayton King about His Wife Sharie)
They Think God Needs Us (Rather than He WANTS us)
They Think God is Amused by Us (Rather than He LOVES us)
They Think that God is Gas-lighting Us (Rather then TELLING THE TRUTH to us)
They Think that God is Confusing us (Rather than CLARIFYING/PURIFYING us)
See the CONTRAST of Two Possible “Fathers...”
John 8:43–44 ESV
43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
1 John 3:1–2 NLT
1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
In these Days of Wickedness, Injustice and Rebellion - Be Men Who are NOT MANIPULATED by The World or the Devil or your own Sinfulness - Be Men of ACTION - Pursuing Holiness and Godliness
In These Days of Mixed Messages and wishy-washy People - Stand on the Firm Foundation of Jesus Christ and show PROPER hatred of sin and POWERFUL Love to your wife, your children, your church and to the lost and undone!
In These Days of Self-Centered, Glory-seeking, Deeply-Depraved Humanity - Be Men who are Humble, Seek the Glory of God and Shine the Light of the Gospel into the Depths of this lost and broken World
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