A Better Father

16_better_father

Hebrews 12:4-13 (KJV) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

The “Best Selling” Sermons today are those sermons that focus on “God is Love”. And “God is Love”. But we today misunderstand what “Love” is.

Love is more than a feeling.
Love is an action.
Love does good even if it hurts.

Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV) You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your ENEMIES and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Love is not a puddle that we fall into and crawl out of.
Love is an action, a righteous action, regardless of feeling.

You may in your heart despise a person – have an enemy – and yet as a child of God you are to do good and right to that enemy no matter how you feel. This past week God sent the blessing of rain on the just and the unjust. There were people out there that enjoyed the blessing of rain on their yards who were living in lifestyles that God condemns as sinful. There were people out there getting the blessing of rain who use the name of “Jesus Christ” as a curse, and who mock God and His Bible. How do you think that God feels about their behavior? And yet in love He still blesses them.

We love our enemy by doing good to them
regardless as to how we feel
because our Heavenly Father said so!

God expects His Children to obey. Always. God disciplines His Children when they do not obey, and God spanks His Children when they do not heed His discipline. When you were born again by faith in Christ, entered into the Family of God by the Holy Spirit of God, you became what is known as a Child of God. We who believe are Children together in His Family. Children obey the Father. And God Treats Every One Of His Children The Same Way – Like A Good Parent. We read:

Hebrews 12:5 (KJV) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, ..

Some translations like the New International Version mistranslate the first part of this text as “have you forgotten”. That’s wrong. The text says “you have forgotten”.

In the midst of trials and of pain we often forget what
God has told us about trials and of pain.

Trials and pain do not come on us because God doesn’t love us. Trials and pain come on us because God does love us. When Job was suffering on this earth (and Job suffered as few mortals ever suffer) his friend Eliphaz came to him and truthfully said:

Job 5:17-18 (KJV) Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

The wisest man who ever lived was Solomon, and Solomon quoted Eliphaz then added to his statement, writing:

Proverbs 3:11-12 (KJV) My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

The writer of Hebrews quotes this same truth for the third time.

Hebrews 12:5-6 (KJV) … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he RECEIVETH.

If you are born again into the Family of God then God is your Father. Like a good Father the Almighty does two things to every one of His Children.

God CHASTENS His Children Because He Loves Us
God SCOURGES His Children Because We Are His

The word translated “Chasten” is the Greek παιδεύω paideuō which means “to train, correct, or discipline a child”. The word translated “Scourges” is the Greek μαστιγόω mastigoō which means “to flog or paddle, to practice corporeal or bodily punishment”.

God does two things with every one of His Children. He establishes a standard, then holds them to that standard. This is called discipline. When the child of God rejects the standard that God has set then God paddles that child. THIS IS GOOD PARENTING. Parents are to establish standards for their children, then paddle the children when the standard is not met. God does the same for every child.

1 God Disciplines Or Disciples His Children. I remember the day I went into the United States Air Force. I raised my hand with 50 other men at the Induction Center and swore my allegiance to our Country. Then we got on a bus. When it stopped at Lackland Air Force Base the meanest man I ever saw got on the bus. He proceeded to tell us that he was now our momma, our daddy, our boss, and even our God. I won’t you everything he said, but suffice it to say it was a little flowery. When we got off the bus we stood at attention, standing inside of footprints painted on the asphalt. We then marched (out of step at this point) down to the Barber for our heads to be shaved. We were given uniforms, footlockers, shown how to fold and stow our clothing, and over the next 8 weeks we were DISCIPLINED until we became fit to be in the United States Air Force. We got up at three in the morning, cleaned our barracks, and did everything TOGETHER. We were forced by DISCIPLINE to do what this Drill Instructor told us to do.

DISCIPLINE is a necessity for any organization. DISCIPLINE is necessary for a family. Many Preachers today preach a Gospel far removed from the Gospel that Christ and the Apostles taught. Salvation is certainly a gift of God, freely given, and it cannot be earned by your own works. How is a person saved? The Bible is quite clear:

Romans 10:9-13 (ESV) …. if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.

Salvation begins when you CONFESS with your mouth JESUS IS LORD. You confess and you believe. If He is LORD then you surrender to Him. You cannot be saved if YOU ARE LORD. You can only be saved if HE IS LORD TO YOU.

This is very important, and clears up much confusion in the Family of God. HE IS LORD. You can’t be saved if He is not LORD to you. And once He is LORD to you, your actions will show it.

Several years ago I was preaching in West Tennessee and a gentleman came forward to be saved. When he came forward I asked him what I ask everyone:

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

His reply was “Yes I have”. Then I asked:

Will you allow me to Baptize you in water?”

His reply was “No, I don’t want to be baptized”. I told him “Jesus commands you to be baptized”. His response was “I don’t want to be baptized”.

This man was not saved! The Child Of God Obeys The One Who Saved Him

Now listen, Beloved. We are saved by Grace, not by keeping the Law. But once saved by Grace we enter into the Family of God. We obey God, the One Who saved us. You are not saved by being baptized, but if you are saved you will obey the Head of the Family.

The Head of the Family has rules that He expects us as His Children to follow.
This has ALWAYS been the case.
He IS Lord In Your Heart, Or You Are NOT Saved.

A Christ Follower is called “Disciple”. Read these verses:

Matthew 5:1 (KJV) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his DISCIPLES came unto him:

Matthew 8:23 (KJV) And when {Jesus} was entered into a ship, his DISCIPLES followed him.

Matthew 9:10 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his DISCIPLES.

Matthew 9:11 (KJV) And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his DISCIPLES, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matthew 9:19 (KJV) And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his DISCIPLES.

Matthew 9:37 (KJV) Then saith {Jesus} unto his DISCIPLES, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Matthew 10:1 (KJV) And when {Jesus} had called unto him his twelve DISCIPLES, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

All of these texts are taken out of Matthew. Did you know that the word DISCIPLE (μαθητής mathētēs) is found 243 times in the New Testament, each time related to a follower of Christ? I have heard preachers say that “You are saved by Grace, but once saved CHOOSE to be a Disciple”. This is hogwash! Every one of God’s Children are under His Discipline, Disciples of God. He is Lord, and He is Head of His Family.

Isaiah 64:8 (ESV) But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

The Fatherhood of God is tied to the great truth that He is the Potter, we are the clay. Think about that analogy for a moment. The Potter takes clay from out of the world. He presses the clay into a ball, then puts it in the middle of a spinning wheel. With His hands He forces the clay, until it becomes the vessel that it should be. This is the discipline of God.

The Apostles were DISCIPLES before they ever were Apostles. Children of God follow God. God disciplines His Children as a good Father disciplines His Family. He establishes standards, then with His hand insures we meet those standards.

Salvation is a free giftEphesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Once saved, God disciplines usEphesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2 God Chastises Or Spanks (μαστιγόω mastigoō) His Children When We Are Disobedient.

Hebrews 12:6 (KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and SCOURGETH (μαστιγόω mastigoō) every SON whom he RECEIVETH.

Those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior are God’s Children. The Bible says:

John 1:12-13 (KJV)  But as many as received {Jesus}, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  [13]  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Galatians 3:26 (KJV)  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

God chastens or paddles His Children in a variety of ways. I believe God starts with the conscience. He pushes against our conscience, making us feel out of sorts when we do that which does not honor and glorify Him. God the Holy Spirit – the Indweller of every Son of God – begins to speak to our conscience.

John 16:13 (ESV) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

God begins just as a good Parent begins by speaking to our conscience, telling us what is right and wrong, and then confirming what He has said by His Bible, the Word of God. What the Spirit says will never depart from the witness of the Scripture.

God is patient with us, calling, guiding. But at a certain point God will go beyond the warning voice. The King James say He scourges His children. This is not pleasant. God told the Corinthian Christians who had wandered far from Him and into a cesspool of sin and selfishness:

1 Corinthians 11:27-32 (KJV)  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  [28]  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  [29]  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  [30]  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  [31]  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  [32]  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians “for THIS CAUSE many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”. Sickness and disease are often ways that God addresses the disobedient child.

When Israel left Egypt, God drowned the unbelieving Egyptian army in the Red Sea.
When Israel left God, God caused them to wander 40 years until the disobedient died.

Now don’t get me wrong – not every sickness is a paddling from God, but every trial is used by God to make us more His Children. The Bible says:

1 Peter 1:3-7 (KJV)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

James 1:2-3 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Not all trials are paddlings from God, but all trials do shape us

  • If we belong to Jesus trials cause us to look upward to Jesus when suffer.

  • Trials prove our faith as to whether it is genuine or counterfeit.

  • Trials show where our love lies. Job said in the midst of terrible trial, (Job 13:15 NASB) “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…”

  • Trials show us that salvation is more than just receiving Heaven. God saves us to bring Heaven to us, not just to bring us to Heaven.

Hebrews 12:9-10 (KJV) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Trials bring the holiness of God to us. If we are His children, we are to be holy as He is holy. The Lord says:

1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of {living}; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God demands that His Children be His Children. So trials come to paddle us if necessary. But God uses every trial so that we will learn that we are to be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live. Our Heavenly Father chastens us that we might be partakers or partners in His holiness.

3 God Does Not Chastise Those Who Are NOT His Children.

Hebrews 12:6-8 (KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Like a loving Father the Lord disciplines His Children. But those who are not His He does not discipline. No person whips another person’s children. Trials fall on everyone, whether good or evil. But trials that come to the lost are not the correction of the Father. Trials may lead the unbeliever to look up. I remember the case of the Philippian Jailer who thought all his prisoners had escaped in Acts 16. He started to kill himself when the Apostle Paul cried out:

Do yourself no harm – we are all here

This frightened man ran in to Paul and Silas and cried out “What must I do to be saved?” Trials can lead the lost to Christ. If you are tried, hear the word of Christ:

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

If you are a Child of God, rest in Him in the midst of trials. Search your hearts. Insure that you are not in sin. If you are, CONFESS that sin before Him. Repent. Turn. If you’re running from God, Jonah, turn before the whale swallows you. And if you are not His … come to Him. Receive Christ as your Lord and Savior today, right now! May God work in your hearts

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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