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Posts Tagged ‘fathers day’

WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRSTgreat families

The heart of Dick Hoyt was to do something so amazing for his son. The key thought that motivated this dad was that his son felt that when he was in the race with his dad, he felt like he had no disability. To do this for his son was to do something hard that cost him a lot but what it gave him back was the joy of doing something amazing for his son. This is the Heart of the father. Dick Hoyt has inspired millions of people around the world with his feat of super human endurance motivated by love. (Now over 91 marathons or triathlons)

1 John 3:1 (AMP)  See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

This morning I am inviting you on a journey to discover the heart of the Father. What is God’s heart like? Our God is a Father, how He loves and How He treats us is a revelation every person needs. Secondly, as a Father I hope that with His help I can become like Him.

Jesus came to reveal the Father, in the Old Testament God is only referred to as Father one time, by King David, a man ahead of his time in terms of relationship with God. God was always referred to as Elohim (God) or Yawey (Covenant God)

When Jesus came he revealed God as Father.

Romans 8:15 (AMP)

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “[a]Abba! Father!”

Footnotes:

Romans 8:15 An Aramaic word used by young children when addressing their fathers, but not used by Jews in prayer because it implies a sense of familiarity. Jesus’ use of the word emphasized his Father-Son relationship with God.

Jesus referred to God as “Your Father” 31 times in the gospels, giving His disciples a new revelation that God was their Father not just His.

But what is the heart of the Father?

Three pictures.

  1. He desired to have children.

Genesis 1:26 (AMP)

Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.”

Abraham longed for a son, someone to whom he could leave everything. He was passionate about having a son, yet he was well advanced in years. He called on God to provide a son, and in so doing set up a picture of the Son of God being sacrificed by the Father.

When we decided to have children as a young couple I can remember thinking, Jesus will be coming back soon, is it responsible to have children? Another reason for hesitancy was the fact that my father and grandfather had died young and I wondered if the same fate awaited me. Would I leave these children without a father?  What if I die? Can I provide financially for them? In the end we choose to have children because we longed to have children of our own.

Some fathers gave a wrong message to their kids, I never wanted you. I wish you had never been born! You were a mistake! NO – You’re not a mistake, God knew you before you were born. God planned for you to come to Him and know Him and be restored. Let the love of the father restore you today.

  1. He desires the best for His children.

Luke 12:32 AMP  Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Ezekiel 39:25-29 (MSG)

25-29 “But now I will return Jacob back from exile, I’ll be compassionate with all the people of Israel, and I’ll be zealous for my holy name. Eventually the memory will fade, the memory of their shame over their betrayals of me when they lived securely in their own land, safe and unafraid. Once I’ve brought them back from foreign parts, gathered them in from enemy territories, I’ll use them to demonstrate my holiness with all the nations watching. Then they’ll realize for sure that I am their God, for even though I sent them off into exile, I will gather them back to their own land, leaving not one soul behind. After I’ve poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I’ll no longer turn away. I’ll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master.”

Cheering them on from the sidelines. The basketball story.

Sometimes our fathers have failed us, perhaps as a father I have failed my kids. God restores. He restores the hearts of the fathers to the children and hearts of the children to the fathers. Mal 4:6 In God there is healing and forgiveness.

  1. He loves and forgives and restores.

Matthew 23:37 (AMP)

“[a]O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who murders the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I wanted to gather your children together [around Me], as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

The picture of the prodigal son is a beautiful picture of God forgiving and restoring a son.

Over the years there have been broken relationships with people who have served under my leadership. Sometimes it deeply hurts when people walk away. But we hold an open door policy. Restoration is always possible. Humility love and forgiveness on both sides makes restoration possible.

Have you walked away from God? Have you walked away from a father? Come back to God today. If your father is still alive call him today, restore relationship.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. When you picture the heavenly Father, what pictures come to mind?
  2. What pictures of the Father does Jesus give us in the gospels?
  3. Does your perception of the heavenly Father need to change at all?
  4. Has your own father created pain in your life?
  5. Can you allow your heavenly Father to restore and heal you?

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Heroes of Faith Middle

The theme this month is Heroes of the Faith. We all need heroes. People, both men and women, who inspire us and show us the way so we can be great for God. This world needs you to be a hero to others. Your life is already inspiring and there is room for more. This month we want to inspire you with stories from God’s word and also from contemporary leaders who have overcome obstacles and achieved greatness with their lives so that you can feel that strength on the inside of your heart to rise up and overcome and do great things using your faith. Today being Father’s Day we want to inspire our fathers and celebrate heroes among us.

Everyone has a father, but not everyone has a hero. A hero is someone, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. My Dad was only around for the first seven years of my life. He passed away very young as a result of a heart condition. In terms of being a hero, what I love about my dad is that he was a home handyman type of guy and he had a workshop. When he died it became my workshop! I became a home handyman kind of guy too. My greatest achievement was building our own home in 1989 in Brisbane. Watch this Hero Dad video with me for a moment.

I hope your dad was your hero; but if he wasn’t, I hope you had a hero who inspired you to be great. Today I want to inspire every male in the place to be a hero for their kids and also for someone else’s kids. My youngest son encouraged me recently. He is the assistant pastor at the Liberty INC church in Epping. The church was showing a men’s ministry video called Wild at Heart and lots of men shared about their lives and the things they had to overcome, often because of a father who was absent or violent or abusive. My son said, “I felt I couldn’t relate to these stories because all through my childhood I can’t remember one time of being abused, neglected or being unloved. Thanks for being a good dad to me.” One day someone is going to come to you and say thanks for being my hero. Are you ready to make the changes so that will happen?

You’re a hero when you choose to follow Jesus Christ.

In a day when it’s not cool or popular to follow Jesus (was it ever?) for a man to stand up for Christ and be counted in the face of ridicule, persecution or violence; if you make a stand for Jesus and cheerfully and boldly proclaim your faith, you are an inspiration to many young people. It’s not easy to follow Jesus and seeing you do it with joy and showing how you accept the consequences with courage and expect God to bless you for it is heroic. Talk about the time you had to make your stand and how you felt. Share the story because they will be there too if they haven’t already. There’s a lot to be said for sitting at the dinner table and telling those stories as father or grandfather.

You’re a hero when you love your wife unconditionally.

When you love your wife, you’re showing a great example of love for your kids and for others. It’s seeing the example that teaches the best. In this world there are a lot of messed up people. So often the cause is absent or bad behaving dads. When a messed up person becomes a father themselves, they haven’t got a role model to go by. They don’t know how to love unconditionally or how to parent with courage, and so the cycle begins again and this time it’s compounded. When a man decides to break the mould and act out the values that they didn’t experience – they are a hero. When I marry people as a wedding celebrant, I see the sparkle in their eyes. That passion of love and devotion that makes that day so special. Later it’s tested and the culture of this world says, “It didn’t work, move on, find someone else.” God calls us husbands to love our wives as Christ loved the church. That’s a self-sacrificing love. When you decide you’re not living for yourself but for others and it starts with your wife and kids then you’re showing Christ-like love and kids will the better for it. For every man there are temptations to live for yourself. There’s temptations to be unfaithful, temptations to avoid responsibility, temptations to live selfish. But every time there is someone watching. Someone will be impacted when we behave badly.

You’re a hero when you banish violence from your life.

A real man never commits, condones or remains silent about violence against women. There is so much aggression in our society and some men feel that you’re not a man if you don’t use your fists to make your point.  But real men have self-control, they don’t act out the violence they see in video games and movies, they figured out that world is different from their world. You’re a hero if you show your kids and others that your frustrations and troubles have non violent solutions. If you’re all worked up and have to let off steam – do a hundred push-ups, or go for a run. Take the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.  Never fall for the new age, pop culture, neo-psychology statement that smacking kids is violence. If you love your kids, then as they are growing up a smack is delivering your child from a future that has a lot more pain than the small smack just delivered. Make sure you never discipline in anger.

You’re a hero when you live and teach servanthood.

The me generation failed. The decade of greed delivered pain. Even the ungodly world system now champions volunteerism, crowd funding and making a difference for others. You’re a hero when you volunteer at church, serve your community, mow your neighbour’s lawn, give generously to others. There’s so many in need in this world and we can live with the attitude that we can life better for others no matter how much we have or what we have been through. The courage that faith adds is powerful. Luke 6:35-36 (MSG) “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

Guys we need you to stand up, be a hero for your kids and for other kids. We need you to live this big life of loving and serving others. It’s not easy, but if you follow Jesus wholeheartedly you can do it with strength and courage. It’s not a weight to say that someone is counting on you – it’s a privilege. Leadership begins with the everyday man like you and me as we make great decisions in each day to follow Jesus; to live without fear. 1 Corinthians 11:1(NLT)  And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Maybe your father was not your hero, but is there something you can thank him for?
  2. If you find it hard to relate to your natural father, does that make it hard to relate to your heavenly father?
  3. If you hold any resentment against your natural father can you make a decision to forgive him?
  4. Do you think of yourself as a hero for others to learn from?
  5. How does your life/behaviour affect others?

 

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HONOUR – FATHERS DAY 2013FATHERS DAY

Anybody want to live a long life?

Well there’s a promise God has made to you that if you do one thing, you will live a long life. Here it is:

Eph 6:2  Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–[Exod. 20:12.]

Exo_20:12  Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.

When you honour your Father and Mother you open up God’s authority to bless you.

The principle of Honour in the bible is very important. In each place where honour was missing there is a corresponding lack of God’s favour and provision.

For example, When Jesus visited His own home town we read.

Mar 6:1  JESUS WENT away from there and came to His [own] country and hometown [Nazareth], and His disciples followed [with] Him.

Mar 6:2  And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who listened to Him were utterly astonished, saying, Where did this Man acquire all this? What is the wisdom [the broad and full intelligence which has been] given to Him? What mighty works and exhibitions of power are wrought by His hands!

Mar 6:3  Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offense at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall.

Mar 6:4  But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.

Mar 6:5  And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.

Mar 6:6  And He marvelled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching. (amp)

Familiarity is the first step away from honour. Then comes contempt, then judgement then dishonour. Where there is no honour there is no divinely established authority for blessing and favour. God says a lot about Honour in the word.

Exo_20:12  Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.

Psa 105:15  Saying, Touch not My anointed, and do My prophets no harm. [I Chron. 16:8-22.]

Rom 13:7  Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due. (AMP)

The Lord extends the principle of honor found in the Ten Commandments to other God-created relationships. In the name of the Lord, we are commanded to honor the king (I Peter 2:17), employers (I Timothy 6:1), shepherds (I Timothy 5:17), the elderly (Leviticus 19:32), and widows (I Timothy 5:3). In fact, our mouths are to be filled with honor and praise all the day (Psalm 71:8).

What does Honour do?

Honour recognises God at work. Honour recognises the rightful place of God’s authority and His flow of command. The picture that God conveys of honour and authority in the family is clear:

1Co 11:3  But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

In God’s house the principle of Honour is also clear: Heb 13:17  Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].

The man of God must walk in humility, so he may never ask for Honour, for it is not demanded but given by obedience to revelation. Where there is dishonour the purpose blessing and favour of God is blocked.

When Ham did not honour his father Noah his punishment fell upon his son Caanan.

In 2 Kings 1 when King Ahaziah of Israel dishonoured the prophet Elijah 100 of his best soldiers died in a rain of fire.

When Absalom, David’s son dishonoured his father he was killed by David’s captain while hanging by his beautiful hair in a tree.

The first call to honour for all of us is to honour our father and mother. It may seem to be hard to honour your father if you believe he has not acted honourably. What are we to do about this? Honour is defined in the New Testament as: to value, to prize, to revere, glory, to esteem in the highest degree, to hold in the highest regard, to show respect. This is not respect for what our father does or did, but respect for who they are. When God commanded us to honour our fathers, surely you must believe that He was aware that many fathers would live far from perfect lives.

When we give honour to our fathers it empowers them. When we honour our fathers we give place to God’s ordained path of blessing and authority. Lack of honour for fathers and for leaders is very disempowering. Very few men are strong enough to stand in the face of contempt, judgement and dishonour for long periods.

What would happen if you honoured your father and other God appointed leaders in your life? You would be saying to God, I accept your leadership of me through these godly appointed leaders. David honoured King Saul even when Saul was backslidden, far from God, consulting witches and physically threatening David’s life. David’s mindset was, “Saul is King, God made him King and if anything is going to change, God will be the one to do it, not me. For me, I will not touch the Lord’s anointed.” In other words, God is in control no matter what it looks like on the outside. That is giving God control and access and leadership.

Today I want to inspire you to honour your father. Whether he has done right or not. Whether he is inspiring or not.  To honour is to refuse to criticise, to speak with respect, to obey them when the command does not cause you to disobey scripture. To honour is to recognise that God has appointed them to lead you. That God is ultimately in control when you go with His plan.

  1. If your father has passed on, and you believe you dishonoured him in any way – it’s time now to repent and ask God to forgive you. Now speak well of your father for whatever good was in his life.
  2. If your father is alive, speak to him respectfully; ask forgiveness if you have shown dishonour over time.
  3. If your father has deeply hurt you, seek God for the strength to forgive and refuse to speak evil of him any longer. If you are able, speak respectfully to him and seek God to bring healing of this relationship.

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A FATHERS DAY MESSAGE

For us guys we are called upon to be the leader in many situations.

We are called to be courageous and to be the answer in many different ways.

Sometimes we fail and believe we could have done a better job.

But one of the most courageous things a man can do is ask for help!

Some say, “I’m rough and I’m tough and I don’t need no help from no body!!”

EXAMPLE – MY ROLE AS A POLICE CHAPLAIN

Superintendent Geoff O’Laughlin – “We all think we are bullet proof, but we’re not and we need some one to talk to.”

Some times the hardest thing in the world is to ask for help.

It takes real courage to say, “I don’t have all the answers.”

STORY

Mat 14:22  Right away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away.

Mat 14:23  Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there.

Mat 14:24  By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves.

Mat 14:25  A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples.

Mat 14:26  When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

Mat 14:27  At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.”

Mat 14:28  Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

Mat 14:29  “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

Mat 14:30  But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Mat 14:31  Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

Mat 14:32  When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down.

Mat 14:33  The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Peter had enough courage to ask Jesus “If its really you tell me to come.”

The other disciples just sat back frozen with fear.

Look at The Sons of Thunder…. Not a peep!

What about Matthew, used to asking for tax money… not a peep!

Thomas …. Not a peep!

ONLY ONE MAN STOOD UP AND ASKED FOR AN INVITATION.

When do men think about needing help?

When they are playing footy

When they are pouring concrete

When they are carrying a load too heavy for two other normal sized guys

What about when they are having trouble finding directions? – not a hope!

What about when they are told they should go to the doctor?

What about when they are struggling with their marriage?

What about when they are struggling with sin?

What about when they are trying to win back the hearts of their teenagers that have gone astray?

For so many of us guys, we find it so hard to ask for help if it means being vulnerable. Any sign of weakness or feeling inadequate we equate with being less of a man.

BUT THE TRUTH IS IT TAKES REAL COURAGE TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.

The final outcome is more important than how I feel or how I think others will see me.

EXAMPLE

In Church if we have an altar call to respond to God for His power and answers – we will get a whole group of women out the front. Usually no guys!

EXAMPLE

When I’m at Conference and its altar call time – will I respond to the preacher and come forward to receive from God?

It’s hard… sometimes I feel like I don’t want to go … to appear liKe I haven’t got it all together. But mostly I go, because I want to open to God.

A few years back I went to see a Christian Counsellor because I was struggling  with depression. He concluded that I was fine but I needed to work through some things. I could have said I can push through… I’ll be all right…. But I wanted to be the best I can be for God. I wanted to be totally whole and strong so I can be the most use to God. So I overcame my reluctance and fear and went to see someone for help.

Peter got out of the boat – he risked failure! He did fail in a way. But really he was an amazing success!

The other disciples must have felt regret by not having a go.

WHAT HELD THEM BACK? – FEAR.

What holds you back? Does fear stop you from reaching out when you need help?

Will you sit in the boat all your life? Or will you take courage and ask for help to be a better man for God, a better man for your family, a better man for your kids.

VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OEqYwz2qhw

Will you get out of the boat? Will you be courageous enough to ask for help when you need it?

Preview of tonight

Chuck Norris is the toughest man that ever lived (in Hollywood anyway) – and he’s a real Christian too!! In today’s world God needs some very tough men to live wholeheartedly for Him. Men will you do it? Or will you wimp out?

What will you do when they come and arrest me for not marrying a gay couple?

Will you jump up and take my place? Will you join me in Prison when the next gay couple comes along? Will endure persecution? Will you turn away from sin? Will you lead your family to the cross and determine to change the world?

A father has the biggest opportunity to change the world in one generation.

Never underestimate your power dad to change the world.

Leo Tolstoy once said:  Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

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