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Seeing God as Father - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2020 2:00 am

Seeing God as Father - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 11, 2020 2:00 am

God is presented in Scripture through a variety of images. But with the title Father, the invisible God becomes the intimate God. In the message "Seeing God as Father," Skip shares how this relationship helps you tap into God's power.

This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.




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Why is it important that when we talk to Him we recognize He's our Father in heaven?

Here's why. Because too often when we pray we become weak and overwhelmed and we carry our limitations over onto God. We impose our earthly, physical, humanly limitations over onto God as if God is weak, as if God is overwhelmed. He is not weak.

He is not overwhelmed. God is limitless in His power, but too often we put our own limitations on Him. Today on Connect with Skip Hudson, Skip shares how you can break free from that trap in order to tap into more of God's power for your everyday life. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will help you experience the joys and rewards of a steadfast prayer life. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said it is possible to move men through God by prayer alone. Ian Bounds, who authored nine books on prayer, said God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be. And Billy Graham said to get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.

Here's Skip Heitzig. You know, the Bible says that we will experience God's peace when we pray, and it tells us to pray about everything. We want to help you know how and what to pray and what to expect. That's why we're offering Lord Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days by Kay Arthur. When you give to support this ministry, prayer is meant to up the game of peace and joy in our hearts. Lord Teach Me to Pray is our thanks when you give $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, connecting you and others to God's word.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at slash offer. Now we're in Luke chapter 11 as Skip Heitzig gets into today's message. Abba is what might be called baby talk. It's what young kids learn to call their mom and dad. In fact, the Jewish Talmud says as soon as a child is weaned, the child says Abba, Daddy, Ima, Mommy. You still hear it in Israel today when you walk around. You hear little Hebrew kids.

Hebrew and Aramaic are the same in that word. Abba, Daddy, Ima, Mommy. So it is a very intimate term and we are called to do that. Galatians 4 verse 6, we have received the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God sent the spirit of his son into your hearts crying Abba, Father. God is our Father and Jesus gives you permission to call him that. Before Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection, he met Mary Magdalene and he said go tell my disciples I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

So beautiful. So all of that to say this, when we talk to God we're not talking to the force. We're not talking to the first uncaused cause, the first universal principle. We're talking to our Father in heaven. I got a question for you. What's your relationship with God like? To you, God might be ineffable, amazing, sovereign, transcendent, majestic, good.

But I hope that's not all. Sometimes people talk about the good Lord or the big guy. I'll meet people in the community that recognize me and go, yeah I've been talking to the big guy or I've been talking to the good Lord. It's like it's a dead giveaway that you don't have any kind of close intimate relationship with the Father if he's just the big guy.

J.I. Packer in his great book, Knowing God, writes, if you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child. And having God as his Father, if this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means he does not understand Christianity, Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new and better than the old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the fatherhood of God. Father, he writes, is the Christian name for God.

So good. So, first attribute of God as Father in this prayer, his relatability. Father. Second, is his rule.

His rule. Because God as Father implies we are his, what? Children. And children not only have a relationship with God as Father, but they also have a relationship with God as Father.

Because we are his, what? Children. And children not only have a relationship with their parents of intimacy, but it implies respect of their parents. Their parents are over them.

Their parents superintend their upbringing. We are told in the Ten Commandments, what are we told to do with our mother and father? Honor them. Honor our father. Honor our mother. Ephesians chapter 5, be followers of God as dear children. That implies obedience. So if we are honor our earthly parents, certainly we are to honor much more our heavenly parent, which means we should never reduce our relationship to God to a sloppy sentimentality. It should mean that we elevate it to a reverence, intimate reverence.

We can be intimate with God and close to God and childlike before the Lord and trusting like a child of a father, but also at the same time respectful, reverent. Keep in mind the New Testament had a context culturally, and that was the Roman context, and the Romans had a law called patria potestas. Patria potestas means the rule of the father, or simply put, dad is in charge.

I mean in a legal way. Dad had absolute control of his family, including his children, even when they got into adulthood if the father was still alive. Patria potestas, the rule of the father. So this speaks of God's relatability, but also his rule, as father we his children, because keep following the prayer down. Our father in heaven hallowed be your name.

That's a term of respect, worship. Your kingdom come. That acknowledges that our father is a ruler of a kingdom. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God the father's children should be concerned about doing God the father's will. You see, lordship is tied to relationship.

There's two kinds of people. Those who say thy will be done, those who say my will be done. Now there are some people who say thy will be done, but live my will be done. The key is to come to a place where he is your intimate, loving, convivial, sweet, heavenly father, and also you respect and reverence and obey him as the sovereign ruler of your life. The third attribute is his reach, because notice that Jesus does not say, and when you pray say my father, but when you pray, when you pray say our father. And what that reminds us is that God has other children besides you. There is not a single personal pronoun in the entire prayer. If some of us were to write this prayer, it would read my father who art in heaven, give me this day my daily bread.

It would be for some of us all about us. Jesus said, I don't want you to pray that way, I don't want you to think that way. Say our father.

The words I, me, my, and mine never occur in this prayer for a good reason. Jesus came to take those words out of our hearts. He came to take those words out of our lives, out of our vocabularies, out of our thinking, to replace them with our, ours, us, we. We are part of a family, and I don't just mean this church. We're part of the church.

All who are under his rule, all who are in relationship with him. I remember the first time I was raised a personal relationship with Christ. I remember the first time I heard it. It struck me. I'd never, I was never raised with that. So somebody said, Skip, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?

And I honestly said no, because I didn't. Didn't know that was possible. Didn't know that was expected. But I liked it. I liked the concept of it.

I loved the thought of it. When somebody talks about a personal relationship with God, as I do now, I do believe the Bible does talk about a personal relationship with God. I believe the Bible expresses you need not just a formal acknowledgement, but a personal connection and commitment to God the Father and Jesus Christ your Lord.

I believe that. I believe that's a New Testament concept. However, I also believe that I also believe that we American evangelicals have emphasized to the point of imbalance the idea of a personal relationship with Christ or with God. As if we mean a personal private relationship with God.

With absolutely no responsibility to others, no accountability to others. Look, it's me and God, man. Bug off. It's not just you and God.

Bug off. It's our. It's us. It's we.

Psalm 68. God sets the solitary into families. I am not a family. Personally, you are not a family individually.

We are a family. I am not the body of Christ. You are not the body of Christ individually. We together are the body of Christ. So in this prayer there is an elimination of self and a recognition of others. Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be your name. Give us this day our daily bread.

The prayer is filled with that. There's a phrase in the New Testament that crops up 87 times. It's the term one another. You've heard me talk about this on a few occasions. One another. Here's a sampling of those 87 times.

Just a sampling. Love one another. Giving preference to one another. Be kindly affectionate to one another. Be of the same mind toward one another. Edify one another. Receive one another. Admonish one another.

Bearing with one another in love. You stack up all those directives and you come to the conclusion there's no place in God's family for isolationism. There's no place in God's family for radical individualism. This idea of I don't need anybody else.

Just me and God is wrong. You do need other people. And even though we have been isolated and we have managed through the isolation and we hopefully are doing it responsibly.

That's an aberration. We're not meant to live isolated lives but integrated lives. I remember when somebody asked me a question many years ago. He said can I be a Christian without going to church. Now I knew what he was talking about because he was looking for an excuse not to belong to a church. And I get it. Christians can be weird.

We can be weird people to hang out with. Can I be a Christian without going to church? And I remember answering immediately absolutely yes you can be. I mean technically you don't you're not saved by going to church.

You're saved by believing in Jesus Christ period. Having said that however though you can be a Christian without going to church you're not going to be a very good or effective or wholesome or balanced Christian without going to church. It's sort of like saying can I be a soldier without having an army.

Can I just do it alone? Well you know you'll miss the whole strategy of having one another's back and different kind of deployments that exist. You won't be effective at it.

It's sort of like saying can I be a football player without having a football team that I'm on. Well yeah I mean what are you gonna do throw the ball up and down? Wow that was fun. Do it again.

Cool. Okay that'll last about three throws and then you are absolutely bored. So you won't be a good football player. Or how about this being a tuba player without an orchestra. You need an orchestra to make that baby sound good.

You need all the other notes firing off. So you need the people of God to do it right. So the term father calls us upward to God. The term our calls us outward to others. So we have three attributes.

His relatability, his rule, his reach. There's a fourth attribute that is built into this little phrase our father in heaven and that is his residence. He is our father, not our father on earth, not our father next door, but our father in heaven. I'm not going to do a whole thing on heaven and where it is and what it's like etc.

That's for another time and I've done that. But think of it this way. Think of this as God's base of operations. Think of this as the place from which he exercises all power, all authority, all provision that is necessary. Because he is in heaven, he has all of heaven's resources. Because he is the father in heaven, whatever you need on earth, he's more than able to take care of. In fact, if you look at it from purely a scriptural point of view, God in heaven is the only true God.

Now follow my thinking here. The old testament differentiates between all of the gods and goddesses that people believed in and prayed to and worshipped. All of them versus the only true God in heaven. So listen to Psalm 115 written by David. He said, their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths but they cannot speak. Eyes they have but they cannot see. They have ears but they can't hear. Noses they have but they cannot smell. They have hands but they cannot handle.

Feet they have but they cannot walk. Then he says this, but our God is in heaven. He does whatever he pleases. You see, to be the God in heaven is to be the ultimate God. The God of power, the God of authority, the God of sovereignty, the God who can give you what you need to live on earth. Why is that important to us? Why is it important that when we talk to him we recognize he's our father in heaven?

Here's why. Because too often when we pray we come weak and overwhelmed and we carry our limitations over onto God. We impose our earthly, physical, humanly limitations over onto God. As if God is weak, as if God is weak, as if God is overwhelmed. He is not weak.

He is not overwhelmed. And so whatever issue you face, whatever issue we face, God's got this. I've often said God rules the universe with his feet up.

It's not like he's fretting or biting his nails or wiping sweat from his brow because it's just getting out of hand. There's a virus on earth. God's got this. God's got this. And that's why we can rest.

I know I can. In Isaiah chapter 6, the prophet Isaiah was feeling overwhelmed by what was happening on earth. He said it was the year King Uzziah died. King Uzziah was a good king.

He had reigned for 52 years. The fact that this good godly king was dead was a problem because Israel was starting to backslide spiritually away from God. The prophet took this to heart and thought, so the people are already going downhill and now a good leader is gone.

We're in trouble. And so it says, in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up, sitting on his throne. The train of his temple, the train of his robe filled the temple and these angels are bouncing back and forth. Holy, holy, holy. The whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah needed to see that vision at a time when all he could see was desperation and lack of leadership. The king is not on the throne, but God is on his throne. Things are bad on earth, but God is in heaven. See, we often forget this. We have a tendency to forget where God is. He's on the top row, man. He has the best seat in the house.

He sees it all. And this phrase brings balance to the first phrase. First phrase, our Father. Second phrase, in heaven. First phrase, our Father. Second phrase, in heaven. Our Father emphasizes intimacy. In heaven emphasizes sovereignty.

A.W. Pink, Arthur W. Pink writes, these two things should ever occupy our minds and engage our hearts. The first without the second tends toward unholy familiarity. The second without the first produces coldness and dread.

But by combining them together, we are preserved from both evils. Our Father in heaven. So that's God as our Father, briefly put. Now, the fact that it's Father's Day and we're talking about God's fatherhood, and I let us all off the hook, dads, because we'll never be like that, but it does raise the bar a bit. When we talk about celebrating fatherhood, but this is the day we're studying the fatherhood of God, it raises the bar. And for this reason, we never want our display of fatherhood to damage our kids' ideas of God as Father. Because our kids are growing up with a father figure, present or absent, good or bad, loving or stern.

And that's the term they will know as they get old. And if they have a relationship later on that's intimate with God, the Father, it could be very difficult getting past the idea of Father in a good sense. So we want to do everything we can to promote God as Father by modeling fatherhood aright.

I want to close with this thought, and I am closing. Jesus told a story, one of his most famous stories ever, the parable of the prodigal son. You know the story. The kid who had a lot of money, took his part of the inheritance, spent it on riotous living, partied hardy, and was working with pigs, and woke up one day and goes, man, I got to change my life, right? He goes back home to the father. It's significant that the first words that fall out of the lips of the prodigal son when he returns are these words, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. Do you remember the father's response? Did the father fold his arms like this, wag his finger, shake his head, furrow his fuzzy brow?

No, he embraced his son, put a ring on his finger, a robe on him, kill the fatted calf, let's have a big party, man. My son, who was dead, is alive. He's come back home. He was lost, but now he's found. He was lost, but now he's found. Know this, if you have wandered from God as your father, if you have wandered from the care of God, if you've gone your own way, if you've never come to God as father, you've never let him manage your life, know this, when you come like that, you'll have the exact same response. That's what Jesus was teaching. You'll have a heavenly father who will, as it were, embrace you, put the best robe on you, ring on your finger, and go, welcome home.

I would encourage you to do that, to come home to him. I'm going to close in a simple prayer that I'm going to lead some of you in. If you're here today and you've never said yes to Jesus as savior as Lord, I'm going to give you an opportunity to do that right now.

If you're watching on television, or if you're listening by radio, or you're watching on live streaming, you can do the same. Somebody will be there for you to respond to you. Say something like this, just something simple like, Lord, I know I'm a sinner. I've sinned. I've blown it. Forgive me.

I'm sorry. I believe in Jesus. I believe that he came from heaven to earth. I believe he died on a cross, that he shed his blood for me. I believe that. And I believe he rose again from the dead.

I believe he's alive right now, and I turn from my sin, and I turn to Jesus as savior and as Lord. Welcome me, Father, into your family, and me as your child. For I ask it in Jesus' name.

Amen. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from his series, 2020. If you prayed that prayer, we'd love to talk with you. Just give us a call, 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888.

That's 800-922-1888. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong, connecting more people like you to the Bible. Well, it's vital to remember that God is our Father in heaven. It reminds us that we have a sovereign and personal God who works in our lives.

We love sharing these biblical messages because we love connecting you with your heavenly Father. But we need your help to keep these teachings coming to you and to others around the world. You can help do that by giving a gift today. Here's how. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross. Sing, cast your burdens on His word. Make a connection. A connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-16 07:23:29 / 2024-01-16 07:32:24 / 9

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