Our Father’s Heart

Father's Heart

Sunday 06/23/19

Series: Walking the Talk

Message – Our Father’s Heart

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Our Father’s Heart

Last week was Father’s Day and we took time to explore the attributes of our heavenly father. As we uncovered specific attributes of God we saw also how the scriptures reveal that we are to share with God in those attributes as his children. We began with this passage which says, 

“By this your Father is Glorified that you bear much fruit – so you will be My disciples indeed.”

So today we are going to continue to look at some of the attributes of God. 

The ones we have already covered are :

  • He is full of love and mercy
  • He is not boastful
  • He is a treasure
  • He is worthy of trust

God’s true children have this attribute – They listen to (Shema) His words,

Jesus said it like this, 

Matt. 5:13-16, NKJV “(13) You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men….(16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

John 8:39-47, HCSB “(39) Our father is Abraham!” they replied. “If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. (40) But now you are trying to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this! (41) You’re doing what your father does.” “We weren’t born of sexual immorality,” they said. “We have one Father–God.” (42) Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on My own, but He sent Me. (43) Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word. (44) You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars. (45) Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (46) Who among you can convict Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don’t you believe Me? (47) The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.”

As His children we have His heart: 1Cor. 2:16, AMP “(16) For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. [Isa. 40:13.]”

Review of the Father’s Heart & attributes:

Love

1Jn. 4 – God is love

Matt. 5:43-48, HCSB “(43) You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. (44) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

The same passage as read in Luke adds mercy to God’s attributes… 

Luke 6:27-36, HCSB “(36) Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”

Not boastful or Vain Glorious

Matt. 6:1-34, Weymouth  “But beware of doing your good actions in the sight of men, in order to attract their gaze;” 

True treasure is found in God… In our hearts reconciled to Him

“(24)  “No man can be the bondservant of two masters; for either he will dislike one and like the other, or he will attach himself to one and think slightingly of the other. You cannot be the bondservants both of God and of gold.”  

Your Father is worthy of trust!

Matt. 6:25 & 33, “(25)  For this reason I charge you not to be over-anxious about your lives, inquiring what you are to eat or what you are to drink, nor yet about your bodies, inquiring what clothes you are to put on. … (33)  But make His Kingdom and righteousness your chief aim, and then these things shall all be given you in addition. ”

Luke 12:28-34, HCSB “(28) If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you–you of little faith? ….

The two we are covering today are :

  • You are valuable to Him
  • He is stronger than all

Know that you are valuable

Matt. 10:26-33, Weymouth  “(26) Fear them not, however; there is nothing veiled which will not be uncovered, nor secret which will not become known.  (27) What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what is whispered into your ear, proclaim upon the roofs of the houses.  (28) “And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.  (29) Do not two sparrows sell for a halfpenny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave. (30) But as for you, the very hairs on your heads are all numbered.  (31) Away then with fear; you are more precious than a multitude of sparrows.  (32)  “Every man who acknowledges me before men I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in Heaven.  (33) But whoever disowns me before men I also will disown before my Father who is in Heaven.”

Loves those who have wasted part of their lives in self focused and wasteful living:

Luke 15:11-32, HCSB “(11) He also said: “A man had two sons. (12) The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. (13) Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. (14) After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. (15) Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. (16) He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any. (17) When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! (18) I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. (19) I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ (20) So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. (21) The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. (23) Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, (24) because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. (25) “Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he summoned one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (27) ‘Your brother is here,’ he told him, ‘and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ (28) “Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. (29) But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. (30) But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ (31) “‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. (32) But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”

Therefore do not run from or avoid Him!

Psalm 73:1-28, HCSB A psalm of Asaph. “(1) God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart. (2) But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray. (3) For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (4) They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well-fed. (5) They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people. (6) Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. (7) Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. (8) They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. (9) They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. (10) Therefore His people turn to them and drink in their overflowing waters. (11) They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?” (12) Look at them–the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth. (13) Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? (14) For I am afflicted all day long, and punished every morning. (15) If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed Your people. (16) When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless (17) until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. (18) Indeed You put them in slippery places; You make them fall into ruin. (19) How suddenly they become a desolation! They come to an end, swept away by terrors. (20) Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, You will despise their image. (21) When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, (22) I was a fool and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward You. (23) Yet I am always with You; You hold my right hand. (24) You guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards You will take me up in glory. (25) Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. (26) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. (27) Those far from You will certainly perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. (28) But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, so I can tell about all You do.”

Read Psalm 32:1-11, HCSB Davidic. A Maskil. “(1) How happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! (2) How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! (3) When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. (4) For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah (5) Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You took away the guilt of my sin. Selah (6) Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. (7) You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah (8) I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. (9) Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle, or else it will not come near you. (10) Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the LORD will have faithful love surrounding him. (11) Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”

He is Stronger than all

John 10:25-30, HCSB “(25) I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. (26) But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. (27) My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (30) The Father and I are one.”

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued critic.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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As I said, as of 2009 I’ve been a Pastor for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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