GOD IS OUR FATHER Ephesians 3:14-21

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1 Introduction: GOD IS OUR FATHER Ephesians 3: ! One day a year is set aside to celebrate Father s Day in our nation.! a.! It is good to honor fathers who fulfill their God-given role.! b.! One of the greatest social problems of our times is that many!! children are growing up in homes without fathers. 2.! Father s Day provides a good opportunity for us to think about! the role God intended for fathers in rearing their children. 3.! What better example of a model father could we look to than that of! God Himself? 4.! I found only a few references to God as a Father to His people in the! Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:9; Hosea 11:1; Malachi 1:6; 2:10). 5.! Jesus revealed God as a Father to His people in the New Testament.! a.! 90% of the times father occurs in the Gospels, it refers to God.! b.! Jesus boldly proclaimed God as His Father.! c.! He also taught that God is the Father of all who do His will. 6.! Let us see some characteristics of a good father and how God fulfills! them in regard to His children. Discussion: I.! A GOOD FATHER LOVES HIS CHILDREN: GOD LOVES US!! A.! God loves us with a love that is beyond our comprehension.!! For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor!! principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come!! nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able!! to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our!! Lord (Romans 8:38,39). (1)

2 ! B.! God s love caused Him to send His Son to die for our sins.!! In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has!! sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live!! through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He!! loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins!! (1 John 4:9,10). II.! A GOOD FATHER PROVIDES FOR HIS CHILDREN: GOD PROVIDES! FOR US!! A.! There are many deadbeat dads today who refuse to support!! their own children (1 Timothy 5:8).! B.! God will abundantly provide for us if we will trust in Him.!! 1.! David said: I have been young, and now am old; yet I!!! have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his!!! descendants begging bread!(psalm 37:25).!! 2.! Jesus taught that just as God feeds the birds of the air!!! and clothes the lilies of the field, He will feed and clothe!!! us for we are of greater value than they (Matthew 6:25-34).! C.! A good father is concerned about his children s spiritual needs!! (Ephesians 6:4).!! 1.! God provided His Son to die for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21).!! 2.! God provides every spiritual blessing in Christ for us!!! (Ephesians 1:3). III.! A GOOD FATHER IS AVAILABLE TO HIS CHILDREN: GOD IS ALWAYS! AVAILABLE TO US!! A.! A study several years ago revealed that the average American!! father spent less than thirty minutes a day with his children.! B.! God is never far away from His children (Acts 17:27).!! 1.! How wonderful to know that God is only a prayer away! (2)

3 !! 2.! Only Christians have the assurance that God will hear!!! their prayers:!!! For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His!!! ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is!!! against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12).! C.! If an earthly father answers his child s request, how much more!! will God grant ours!!! Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for!! bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he!! give him a serpent? 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!! (Matthew 7:9-11)? IV.! A GOOD FATHER DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN: GOD DISCIPLINES! US!! A.! Discipline is not as universally done today as it once was.!! 1.! Everything in the home today is operated by a switch!!! except the children.!! 2.! There is a big difference between spanking and child!!! abuse.!!! He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves!!! him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).! B.! God chastens (punishes, disciplines) us for our good.!! 1.! Those to whom the book of Hebrews was first written!!! were discouraged (Hebrews 12:3-11).!! 2.! They were being persecuted for their faith in Christ by!!! their fellow Jews who had not accepted the Gospel.!! 3.! The difficulties they faced were meant to strengthen them.!! 4.! The inspired writer pointed them to the example of Jesus. (3)

4 !!! For consider Him Who endured such hostility from!!! sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and!!! discouraged in your souls.!! 5.! He pointed out that they have not yet resisted to!!! bloodshed; i.e. none had yet been killed for his faith.!! 6.! He reminded them they had forgotten Proverbs 3:11,12:!!! 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.!! 7.! The inspired writer then points out that if one is not!!! disciplined, it is a sign he is not a child of God.!!! If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with!!! sons; for what son is there whom a father does not!!! chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all!!! have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not!!! sons.!! 8.! Finally he explains that the chastening (suffering,!!! persecution, difficulties of life) are for our own good.!!! For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed!!! best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be!!! partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be!!! joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward!!! it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who!!! been trained by it. Conclusion: 1.! When growing up, one of our favorite radio and television programs! was Father Knows Best. 2.! As Christians we have a loving, Heavenly Father who knows what is! best for us, and will do what is best, if we will only submit to Him. 3.! Is God your Father? If not, you can become His child today. (4)

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