Zoe Christian Fellowship
There’s a Father in You—Let Him Grow
Archived – June 21, 2020

There’s a Father in You—Let Him Grow

June 21, 2020

  • Father’s Day is an interesting event.
  • It strikes a on several levels.
  • No matter who our father was or is, what he’s done or hasn’t done, he strikes a chord at a level.
  • This is a powerful reality.
  • Today we pause to think about its and to give thanks for what God has done in fatherhood.
  • The great thing about this is that our reflection and gratitude about fatherhood does not hinge on whether or not our individual fathers have our expectations.
  • And yes, while we are taking time today to appreciate our fathers, fatherhood itself is bigger than our experiences with fathers or children.
  • Fatherhood is an of God Himself.
  • We call God .

  • There is value in showing gratitude that God extends this particular aspect of His nature to us in .
  • For some people a heart of is easy, as their appreciation is a natural reaction to a father who exhibited God’s fatherly nature.
  • For others, the heart of for fatherhood is hard to come by, as they saw little to no evidence of their heavenly father’s heart in their earthly fathers’ actions.
  • Some might ask why fatherhood has been assigned to males at all.
  • Why would something so important be given to someone who could be so irresponsible with it?
  • For this reason, some have given up on fatherhood—along with other institutions, such as marriage and the church, that have left us disappointed.
  • The problem is that when you give up on fatherhood, you give up on something to which God is still .
  • Fatherhood, Motherhood, , the Church. These are all institutions that have some people have abandoned.
  • This is especially true in moments like we’re in now in which things we’ve the most have hurt us the most.
  • However, what some people fail to see is that parenthood, marriage and church are not human institutions, but ones.

  • We’re in a cancel culture, but you can’t cancel .
  • God is still a father and you should be one too.
  • One reason for this is that there’s in fatherhood.
  • I might be able to clarify by way of analogy:
  • All humans carry with them the image of God.
  • Dr. A.R. Bernard describes this image as “a assigned to you that gives you worth, value and dignity” (Genesis 9:5-6)
  • A person’s arrests us; it makes us pause; it calls us to something higher, compelling us to give respect to that person’s very being.
  • Similarly, the mark of fatherhood arrests us. It calls us to something by its very .

  • Fatherhood is a capacity assigned to males and marked by their .
  • As soon as you see a man, you see someone who has the to be a father.
  • This is a cause for hope because it marks God’s fatherly nature being to us through men.
  • It is also a cause for because fatherhood responds to a deeply felt need in each of us.
  • There is a in our lives that we inherently know is in the shape of a father.
  • And when we put our lives together, we go to look for that piece to complete our .
  • The need to fill that space is so great that we’ll take the tattered piece of the most despicable man and a father out of our imagination.
  • However, when you see the for fatherhood without the delivery of the goods, the promise of a father without the payoff, it leaves a scar.
  • But for those of you whose fathers have disappointed you, those fathers are hurting as as you are.
  • Some of them hurt because they are the of bad fathering.
  • For others, their personal choices or stunted growth and left them in a rut and they just did not know how to get out.
  • When you’re stuck, you revert back to what’s , go-to moves that serve the moment, but that do not produce long-term healing.
  • They band aid for, but keep you sick for tomorrow.

  • It’s often easier to stick with what you know than to muster the to grow.
  • But I’m here to tell you that there’s more to this story.
  • The father wound hurts because fathers mean so much.
  • They mean so much because God designed you to from His fatherly care—and if you’re a man, God designed you to be an expression of His fatherly care.
  • And because God is the of fatherhood, his fatherly ministry to you or through you is not abandoned because of what you or your biological father did or did not do.
  • As we will see today, God’s fatherly ministry is than both you and your Dad—and because of that, He can still father you—and if you’re a man, He can still use you to father others (I Corinthians 4:15)
  • To the men who have been less than the fathers they’ve wanted to be, today is a of you.
  • Yes, because whoever you are, wherever you are, there’s a godly father in you. You just have to let him .
  • Whether you like it or not, you were born with the capacity to God’s fatherly attributes.
  • What you’ve done or been in the past does not cancel it.

  • Regardless of your history, the world is starving for fatherhood and you’ve got the .
  • This morning, we’re going to help you deliver them.
  • We don’t need to go any further than John 3:16:
    • Lover
    • Giver
    • Provider (See before)
    • Protector
    • Teacher
  • I John 3:1
  • I John 4:7-8
  • Once we submit our lives to Christ, abiding in Him, having a living, loving, growing relationship with Jesus, we develop the capacity to change—to literally put on a self.
    • Ephesians 4:22-24

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.—(Harry Hart, supporting character from the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, quoting Ernest Hemingway)

  • The power to do this comes from the Holy Spirit.
  • I Samuel 10:6
  • I John 4:4
  • Because the man we are in Christ is always greater than the man we are at any moment, there is always room for us to grow, even if we are an father.

  • The prospect of growth is always before us; moment by moment, it is perpetually available.
  • Whatever changes you make to become a better father, even if is only mental, will have an immediate effect on your world and the people in your sphere of .
  • Fatherhood is so powerful that a little bit does a lot; it’s like dishwashing liquid; it’s concentrated; you just need the faith of a seed (Matthew 17:20)
  • that new man on the inside of you. He’s hungry.
  • The more you feed him, the more he’ll grow.
  • Starve the old nature; feed the new nature.
  • When you see your father, speak to the man, not the old.
  • When God is to us, He’s talking to that new man.
  • And how do you that new man? We cultivate a living, loving, growing relationship with Jesus.

 

© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020

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