PROMISE OF THE FATHER
Here we are into another month with a new theme and set of topics. As last month’s theme covered; we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a set apart, stand out, special people to show forth the praises of God, who brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
As Esther and Maghan brought out in their February topics, these 1 Peter 2:9 characteristics are part of our identity - particularly our TEAM identity!
There are many views on how our identity is determined, and yes, in part we as human beings have some scope to choose our identity, however thinking that the identity we choose is all up to us is a recipe for disaster. As we’ve said many times, the best decisions are informed ones and the best informed decisions are Biblically Informed Decisions.
When it comes to identity, the scriptures have much to say. In short, there are two main categories;
- Entirety of Humanity - where every individual throughout the entirety of history from every race is a child of God in the sense that they are designed and uniquely crafted by God our creator.
- New Creation Family of God - All the humans from every kindred, tribe and tongue who repent of their sin and become born again children of our Father in heaven as part of His family and team, the Church.
From a theological point of view, there’s much that can be discussed, written about and debated, however for the purposes of this briefing, we are focussing on these two categories because Biblically speaking whatever theological position anyone may take, we believe God is primarily relational and that His awesome book, the Bible, makes it absolutely clear that He is a Father and as the awesome Father that He is, our identity and our identity choices are best determined in the light of who He is, what His word has to show us, and all the He reveals to us by His Holy Spirit.
Today we're going to focus on the awesome Father that God is, the fact that He makes promises, the promises He makes He always keeps and that there is a particular special promise He makes that applies to us as His new creation children.
We first need to make sure we’ve got the right view of who God is. As we work through these scriptures, God has designed his word so that it will do things, it will work, it is not just information.
It will renew our mind, bring better understanding of who He is, feed us and so much more.
Interestingly, in terms of the range of factors the scriptures deal with in regard to Fathers, we find an intriguing statement from Jesus himself in Luke 16:19-31;
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’
But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”
As we listen to the sharing of this briefing, of God’s word today, let’s be mindful and get our hearts in a place where we’re engaging with the scriptures for what they truly are - the Word of God. Looking to apply them, not just listen.
So, what is our perception of Fatherhood? What is that perception based on?
Well, here’s what the Bible says!
GOD IS A FATHER.
Deut 32:6 "Do you thus deal with the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?
Psalm 68:5 "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You."
Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand."
Malachi 2:10 "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?"
Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Mark 1:11 "Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”"
Luke 3:22 "And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”"
1 Corinthians 8:6 "yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."
2 Corinthians 1:3 " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort"
God is not just a father Himself, but He places significant emphasis on successful Fathering in leadership criteria;
1 Timothy 3:1-13 "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Titus 1:5-9 " For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict."
GOD IS AN AWESOME FATHER
This list is no where near exhaustive as to how awesome God is in general and as a Father, but even making the effort to read these scriptures and notes should and will (if read with faith) seriously expand your perception of God.
GOD DEFINES AND MODELS ALL THAT IS GOOD
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning"
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
GOD IS RELATIONAL
John 14:1-21 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
He is our Daddy God! We're on first name terms!
Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”"
His heart is for: Team, greatness, glory, increase, giving, delegation, gathering, faith, hope, love and so much more
GOD IS GENEROUS:
Ephesians 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
Matt 7:9-11 "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
GOD OF THE GOODY GOOD AND THE PRODIGAL
Luke 15:11-32 " Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
To the Prodigal: Merciful & Forgiving
To the older brother: Generational, sharing great inheritance and delegating
GOD OF ABUNDANCE OF LIFE
John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
GOD OF INTENSE DISCIPLINE
Hebrews 12:5-6 "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives"
GOD IS A MAN OF WAR
Exodus 15:3 "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name."
He deals with reality
He is not afraid of standing for righteousness
He hates evil
He is prepared to lay down His life
GOD IS SUPERNATURAL
Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22
It’s pretty freaking obvious if you read it
GOD IS A FATHER OF GREAT PROMISE
Throughout the scripture we see examples of God making covenants with leaders, nations and the Church
- Noah: Genesis 9
- Abraham: Genesis 15 & Genesis 17, see also Gen 26:3 and 28:13-15
- Moses: Exodus 19-34
- David: 2 Samuel 7
- Psalm 33:12 "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance."
- Revelation 21:24-26 "The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it"
GOD RAISES UP CHAMPIONS
Romans 8:37 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
2 Corinthians 2:14 "Now thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ and who maketh manifest through us the savor of His knowledge in every place."
He also raises up Glorious and victorious brides (Including his Church)
Ephesians 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish"
GOD IS A FATHER WHO MAKES PROMISES
Lamentations 3:23 "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Adam and Eve’s mandate: Genesis 1-3
Letters to the 7 Churches: Revelation 2-3
AND HE KEEPS THEM
Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
Romans 3:4 "Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”"
GOD'S SPECIAL PROMISE TO THE CHURCH
Gifted us with His Holy Spirit and empowered us to function supernaturally through operating the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Luke 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
John 16:5-7 "But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
Acts 2:16-31 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
(This is referencing Joel 2:25-32)
Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.""
Romans 12:3-8 "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
Ephesians 4:11 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers"