Everlasting Father
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Everlasting Father

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Our God is passionately paternal. He provides and protects. He is our good good father. A message from Denny Foreman.

... when I realized it was father's Day, great, I'm not a dad, this will be fun. And then I thought, Oh, and, by the way, our series is life hacks. What does that have to do with Father's Day? And then I discovered something. There is a connection. Huh knows, I said connect. There you go. Yeah, not that funny. The it's only twenty seven weeks until Christmas, so let me be the first to wish you a merry Christmas and then, doing so, introducing you to this connect that I found in Isaiah nine six. For unto us a child is born, undo us, a son is given, then the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called wonderful counselor mighty God, everlasting father, Prince of piece. Words so rich, so grand, they beg to be read from the King James Bible with a voice kind of sounding like Darth vaders. Let's face it, these familiar words are usually reserved for Christmas, not father's Day. We could do a yearlong series at least, just based on that particular passage of scripture. So what can I say? What can I add about Messiah Jesus and how he invites us to know the father's heart. Well, while I can't seem to come up with a message grand enough for that passage, I can introduce you to my dad...

...and the foreman family. Yep, that's the foreman gang, taken the year I graduated from High School. I would be the goodlooking one in the back with all the hair, standing next to my thank you, standing standing next to my mom, Joyce. That's my brother Jerry and my sister's Lynn, Patti and beverly. We're still not sure what's going on with beverly's hair and she's already threatened to kill me if I show this, but she's on her way to the shore this morning, so she won't see it until much, much, much later. BECKY's the baby. She's been with youth with a mission ever since she graduated from High School, and holding her that's my dad, Earl. Someone once wrote there are few words that promote more visceral, varied response then the word father. So some people feel love, honor gratitude, while others are consumed with bitterness, perhaps Shane, even hatred. Inwardly, we all long for a healthy and intimate relationship with somebody we call father and we're either delighted or distressed by what we have, because father hunger is universal. Many of you have heard me share bits and pieces of my journey and my dad factors heavily in my story. Early in my life I probably blamed him for everything that I thought was wrong in life. It wasn't, it's just that I didn't really know him. He had become a father in his late teens and he recognized the responsibility of providing for his even younger wife.

From the time I was born until long after I left for College, Dad worked two or more jobs, driving a delivery truck, working part time in a garage, working for his grandfather on the farm, mowing neighbor lawns. You get the picture. Did My dad provide? Absolutely the form and kids were fed nicely dressed and the time he built a house for his growing family. But did I have a relationship with my dad? No, and he would have been the first to agree with that. I found out much later in my life that the night my parents dropped me off at college in South Carolina, when they got back to the Motel Room, dad sat on the bed sobbing and said, I lost my son and I don't even knowing now. I'm far from the only person who ever grew up in the with the absence of a father, but what I did have was a dad who, with limited time and resources, recognized his own need to know Jesus. We could always count on finding dad reading his Bible and praying at the kitchen every Sunday morning. We rarely saw him during school days, but there was one morning that we could absolutely count on dad being there, and that would be a tradition that he had on Christmas morning, when we were all just like chompet at the bit to get under the tree and rip open the past packages that were there, dad had this tradition of making breakfast for us. I'm talking a real breakfast, toast, eggs, coffee, cake, hot chocolate, the list goes on and on. The presence just had to wait. And then, when we thought all was finished and we'd even gobbled up...

...every bit of food that was on the table, that another tradition. We had to gather with him while he read the entire Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, because dad wanted to remind us that Jesus was in fact our greatest gift. He wasn't as president as I would have liked, but in his own simple way he understood something. He understood that his role as our dad was to model Jesus and point us towards his savior. The forming kids knew from an early age that going to Sunday school in Church was not an option. More importantly, each of the forming kids were presented the Gospel and in time, accepted Jesus as our savior. My Dad provided in many ways to our wellbeing, but his most effective provision was pointing us to our everlasting father. Jesus taught his disciples, taught us to pray our father in heaven. He was definitely not politically correct. At that time in history, God's name wasn't spoken out loud, not even by the religious leaders of the day. Yet in his teaching, Jesus had the audacity to claim a father son relationship with eternal God. In John's Gospel alone, Jesus uses the term father one hundred and fifty six times. Indeed, he refers to God as Abba Pater, Daddy, father to the religious hierarchy, those words, that expression of intimacy, was shockingly offensive. Just as my dad provided for his family.

Our Everlasting Father Provides Matthew seventy eleven reads. So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him? And he reminds us, Jesus reminds us of our everlasting father's provision in Matthew Six and twenty five and twenty six. What he reminds his followers. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life, whether you have enough food and drink, are enough clothes to wear? Is it life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plan our hardest or store food and Barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. Aren't you, aren't we, more valuable than they are? Sigmund Freud, there's a name you don't often find in servants. Freud once said that one of the strongest needs of children is a sense of a father's protection and security. While our heavenly father promises and provides for his family, he also promises both protection and security. Our heavenly, everlasting father protects. Deuteronomy Thirty Three Twenty seven tells us that eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. He's our refuge for protection, and when we fail, is everlasting arms catch us and will never let us go. Jesus reiterates this idea, this theme...

...and a familiar passage. John Twenty seven to thirty and reads my sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my father has given them to me and he's more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the father's hand. He doesn't stop there. He goes on to say, Jesus continues. I and the father are one now. If you trusted Jesus as your savior, you're provided for, you're protected and you are secure. Now, as much as my dad may have wanted to, he couldn't hang on to his son. The S had ushered in a whole New Era sex, rock and roll, drugs, and I dove in headlong. I accepted. I'm being careful what I say here, because what I'm about to say is definitely not politically correct. I accepted being part of the gay lifestyle and my choices were growing deadly. By the early s. Many of my closest friends were dying of AIDS at the time. As I look back, I knew my dad, my parents, both of them their hearts ape for their wayward son, and as I grown older, I've come to understand that my heavenly father that I had known as a child, I've been looking out for me all along. For some reason, my everlasting father was protecting me. While my earthly father could love...

...and pray for me from a distance, while he could model the love of Jesus, only my everlasting father could reach down and help me. Because, you see, everlasting father had a purpose and a plan for my life, just as he has for each of yours. Our everlasting father has a purpose and a plan for our lives. Now, I was a bit of a surprise for my parents, who were teenagers when I was born, but I was never a surprise to my heavenly father. In fact, psawm one thirty sixteen informs us that he knew us when we were still on our mother's wombs. It reads Psalm One and sixteen. You saw me before I was born. Every single day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Dad's parents have dreams and hopes for their children. My heavenly father had a plan for me, and he has one for you. There was a time when I thought that that meant some kind of a specific plan, for instance, go to the mission field, be a banker, be a lawyer, be a shock clerk, whatever. Well, folks, God does have a plan and a purpose for...

...us, and if this, he invites us to be still and know him. My everlasting father doesn't want me to just know about him. He wants us to know him. In other words, he wants to have a relationship with us. His plan from the very beginning has always been to be intimate with his sons and daughters. There's a familiar passage in proverbs that tells me that I need to trust in the Lord with all my heart and not trust my own thoughts. I need to acknowledge him and he'll direct my path, and that pathway has always meant to lead us back to him. Isaiah, forty six four, for God promises his children. I will be your God throughout your lifetime, until your hair is white or, in my case, gone until your hair is white with age. I made you, I will care for you, I will carry you along and save you. Well, while I didn't have much of a relationship with my earthly father as I was growing up, I'm continuing to learn the importance, make that the priority, of having a relationship with my everlasting father, and it's definitely not about religion. It's all about intimacy and a commitment to a relationship with him. I'm learning that seeking God's plan for my life isn't just say okay, God, here's what I'd like to do. If you don't mind, just rubber stay up my playoffs. There's a pretty good chance the heavenly father isn't going to be very quick in revealing his plans for our lives when he knows that we're likely not going to follow them. I'm covering a lot of ground quickly,...

...so let me remind you. Our everlasting father provides for his children, our everlasting father protects his children, our everlasting father has a plan for his chill them, and our everlasting father is passionately paternal. Growing up, some of you might be of the generation where you might have heard your mother say just wait till your father gets home. Anybody here that anyway? Yeah, few hands would up. Yep, they struck fear into our hearts. Sometimes our heavenly father has to step in to correct us, because he is passionately paternal. I'm pretty sure, if I took a pole this morning, that proverbs three eleven to twelve isn't a passage that you have memorized, because it reads like this. Yeah, you don't have this. It reads like this. My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father, the son he delights in. The writer of Hebrews repeats the exact same passage in Hebrews twelve, three. You don't have this either. Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses as you as a father addresses his son? It says, my son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves...

...and chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Now chasten. That's a word that's probably not in many of our vocabularies. It means to bring or allowed discipline, even suffering to bring about some moral improvement. Doesn't sound like a good time and it's not. Trust me, I know my parents prayers and I supposed suspect many other people's prayers were answered. When I renewed my faith in Christ, I was about thirty years old and found myself in ministry. Unfortunately, there's a backstory. I was still hiding my addictive life choice secret anonymous sex and pornography. Try Juggling that with a desire to serve the heavenly father. I tried. I needed godly discipline. Most of the times we think a discipline as punishment. Reality is the genesis of the word. Discipline is tied with reaching a desired goal or a positive direction, and my everlasting father, who sees and knows the secrets of all of our hearts, provided just that. I learned the meeting of the Hebrews passage on December nine one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, when my secret life exploded publicly and I lost everything. Don't try picking up an undercover cop. Some saw this as punishment for my sins. I've come to understand that this was my everlasting father stepping in with loving discipline. He was moving me towards the goals and plans...

...that he's always had for my life. While that chasting began on that Friday night in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, my everlasting father continues to lead me lovingly, tenderly, guiding me to even greater freedom. In Him. God's grace is good. You See, my everlasting father is passionately paternal. Romans eight thirty five to thirty nine is fat, is familiar and explicit. I'm not going to read the entire passage because I suspect many of you know it by heart, and it goes something like this. Can anything ever separate us from God's Love? Does it mean hunger? Does he mean he no longer loves US IF WE HAVE TROUBLE or calamity or are persecuted, if we're destitute, are in danger, even threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us, and I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Say That with me, church. I'm convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's life. Here we go. I am convinced that can ever separate us from God's love. And Paul goes on. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons. Neither are fears for today, are worries about tomorrow. Not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or the earth below. Nothing, nothing, nothing in...

...all creation will ever be able separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ. Jesus, Our Lord, can I hear an amen? Jesus is speaking to a group of people in Luke Fifteen. It's actually two very different groups. There's a group of zealous pious, the religious elite. The other group sinners. Some translations, I love this, call them notorious sinners. I like that because I was one. Jesus tell them. Tells them three stories, familiar stories that you probably knew if you grew up in any kind of church situation at all. Three stories. First one is about a shepherd who loses his sheep and finds it. The second is about a poor woman who loses as a coin and she finds it. The third story, father has two sons. We often refer to this tale as the prodigal son. It's so well known we frequently overlooking. We overlook some key aspects of the story. For instance, the Younger Son Asks His dad for an inheritance. Well, you don't get an inheritance unless somebody dies. According to Tim Keller's book, the Prodigal Son, by asking for his inheritance, it shows total disrespect, total disregard for the father in question, and in order to fulfill the son's request, the father would have had to sell off all his possessions. In fact, the loop passage indicates that the father divided, divided. We often think of him giving the money to his son, but he divided his estate and gave wealth to both sons. The elder son,...

...being the eldest, would have been inherited two thirds of the family fortune. So young boy goes wandering off to the city, kind of like I did, squanders the entire lot while breaking every rule possible, while back home the older brother is taking care of what is now essentially his property. At the end of his rope, the younger boy returns home to seek a job as a servant. Well, older boy, older bro not happy. The culture of Jesus time was very much that of a patriarchal society. Fathers were important. Make that important in capital letters. In a case like this, the younger boy, having disgraced and dishonored his family, could have been cut off from the entire community forever. The town would have gathered and perform something called cat sezza. It would have they take a play bowl, put grains and nuts in it, burn them and then break the ball, indicating that the son was no longer a member of the community or his family. He was outcast, he was shunned. The religious leaders listening to the stray WOA CASS yes, get rid of that that bad boy. And that was certainly the ending that the older brother would have preferred. But I wasn't the end of the story. The gracious father, Bill a runs, runs to his son, something completely unexpected. By running wearing the garments of the day, he would have been exposing his legs, something no respected father would have ever considered doing. But in so doing the father takes the attention from his child. The father becomes the disgraced one. The Dad becomes the focus of attention and...

...less of a year after telling this story, Jesus, Wonderful Counselor Mighty God everlasting father does something totally unexpected. He would take on himself the sins of all human kind. He would be the one hanging, naked and disgraced on a Roman cross so that we, his sons and daughters, could receive an inheritance eternal life. Tim Keller reminds minds us that they that as we celebrate the story and the redemption of the young son, we forget that there are three joined parables. The lost sheep was found, the lost coin was found. The notorious listeners in the crowd, the sinners, they likely got the message. There was redemption for them. The story stops and there isn't a resolution for the older brother, who had been relying on being good his entire life. The stories left hanging. Would he would a selfrighteous, rigial religious elite in the crowd? Would they respond to the file there's goodness and not rely on their own? Would we? I had squandered much of my life. I had dishonored my family, my father's name and out of my church family. Some folks near and far performed their own versions of Catstza, writing...

...me off as a failure, a loser because of my failure. Now let's call it what it was. Because of my sins, which were many, my dad's name and my everlasting father's name were dragged in the mud. What did my dad do? Wasn't a reprimand. He saw I was broken, so I was destroyed. He saw I was hurting and he continued loving me. And he could do that because throughout his entire life he had been modeling the love and forgiveness and his relationship with our everlasting father, Jesus, Messiah, Wonderful Counselor Mighty God, King of Kings, would of Lords, Prince of peace, ever lasting father. This same Jesus calls us in Matthew One thousand nine hundred and fourteen, to come as little children. Several years ago my nephew Scott and his family were visiting from utahd Christmas time. Scott's little boy, Andrew, who was at the most maybe two years old at the time, climbed up on this high stool and with without any warning at all, Andrew Scream daddy and jumped. There wasn't any question about for him. The Little Guy just knew that his daddy would catch him. As I said earlier, there was a deep relationship with my dad as I was growing up. I've been fortunate, as I as my life changed, as God continued working in my life and allowed me to return to ministry after many, many...

...years as a minister, I was able to sit with my dad, holding his hand, reading the Bible and praying with him as his health faded. One of the great privileges of my life was to officiate at that Godly Man's funeral. My Dad's my hero and now that I'm older much I've seen, seeing more and more the everlasting love of my everlasting father, who wants me. He wants you to be like little Andrew and jump trustingly into his arms. He wants a relationship with us. He was a relationship with you. He's desired to provide, protect. It's all part of his grand plan for his kids. He loves passionately. Unto Us, a child is born, until us, a son is given wonderful counselor mighty God, everlasting father who provides, protects and has a plan for your life and is so, so passionately in love with us. It's father's Day. Do you know the father? Perhaps you wondered away. No matter what you've done, no matter where you are, the everlasting father's waiting to welcome you home because, as the worship team let us in singing, he is indeed a good, good father.

I should mention this because I talked earlier about my personal sins. There is a group of men that is currently meeting every other Thursday night. We meet for prayer, confession and worship and it's all about purity. If any of you would be interested, any of you men would be interested in knowing more about that, please feel free to talk to me after the service. We do have a good, good father and everlasting father. Happy Father's Day,.

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