"Honor Your Heavenly Father"
It's Father's Day. Let's take a look at some of the passages in the New Testament that show us the relationship Jesus had while on earth with God, the Father. Since we are children of God, let Jesus show us how to live in his family.
Honor Your Heavenly Father
A. Someone has noticed that the word “father” appears in the dictionary just before the word “fatigued” & just after the word “fathead.” So to all you fatigued, fathead fathers, Happy Father’s Day! We’re really glad that you’re here.
B. Many times on Mothers’ Day I preach about how great godly moms are and the place they hold in the family, but on some Fathers’ Day I find myself smacking us dads around and calling us to be better spiritual leaders. I don’t want to unload on us dads today; instead I want to pick on all of us as children to our Father in heaven.
C. What better place to see a father/child relationship that between God the Father and the human manifestation through God the Son. If we can have a clear understanding of how Jesus, in the flesh, related to God, then we as fleshly people can see how we ought to relate to God.
D. The idea that Jesus is God and Jesus is the Son of God is difficult for people to grasp. At least it is for me. But when we come to our text, what we see is that Jesus, as God, gave up that aspect in order to bring us into relationship with God. With that idea, I want to look at the relationship Jesus portrayed while in the flesh.
I. Jesus and the Father
A. Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus teaching people about prayer. In Matthew 6 and Luke 11, Jesus starts by using the word “Father.” When Jesus was in the greatest of human emotional struggles, he prays and says “Abba, Father.” What Jesus understood in the flesh was the great need to be in relationship with his spiritual father. The idea of being in relationship is not always easy. Many people have not had that modeled well in their lives. Instead of seeing their heavenly father as Jesus did, they see their heavenly father as some human male with an ego problem or some other deranged action. To simply tell you that you need to be in relationship with your heavenly father may not be enough, because you simply don’t understand what that is like. So what we have in Jesus is a way for you to see that in someone else.
B. When Paul begins this section of his letter, he says that if we have gotten anything at all about what it means to live as Christ, with Christ and in Christ; if you have any comfort from the idea of love, if you have any participation with the Holy Spirit in your personal life, and if you have felt affection and sympathy, THEN be of the same mind. The oneness of the body of Christ, the unity of this congregation is seen when we learn to love each other, not provoke one another. It is seen when we learn what Jesus can teach us about how to have a relationship with God the Father.
C. I want that relationship. I want to be so much in a relationship God that what I see between the fleshly Jesus and the Father is what I can see between me and the Father. The only way that is going to happen is when I start with having the mind of Christ. That is an achievement I may not fully make, but one in which I can spend my life trying. So what is it about the relationship between Jesus and the Father that I need to put into my life.
A. The first place for me to get started is to realize that I am not God. I know that sounds easy, but it’s not. Look at verses 5-7. The first place I need to get started is by understanding the relation between me and my heavenly father. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” You can’t even hear the opening of that teaching by Jesus without seeing that we are not God and need to be in a humble relationship with God.
B. In this flesh I struggle with humility. Humility is me willingly giving up something I could choose to keep in order to lift up someone else. Jesus never gave up being God, what he gave up was all that was his in the spiritual realm by willingly becoming flesh. Humility was not a problem for Jesus, because he understood who he was. Therefore, he could take on the role of a servant and show us humans want a relationship with the Father looks like.
C. I need to know and grasp who I am. I am a child of God. Listen to 1 John 3:1-3. Because Jesus knew who he was he could pick up a towel and a bowl of water and wash the feet of the disciples as a servant. The proof my humility before God is how I am with others. Rom. 12:9-8. Let this be your check list. Is your love genuine? Outdo one another in showing honor. Never be haughty.
A. Not only did Jesus teach us that a relationship between us and our Heavenly Father starts with us learning to be humble, but Jesus also taught us that our relationship is based upon obedience. Listen our text (Phil 2:8).
B. John 5:19 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” Jesus understood that being in human form was to live a life of obedience. I want to honor my heavenly father. I want to be in relationship with my heavenly father. I want to be obedient to my heavenly father. That is not easy. This is closely related to humility. Obedience is based upon faith or trust. I so trust God with my life, that even if I don’t understand, I am willing to do what he asks of me. That is difficult. Jesus he did nothing apart from what he saw in the Father. I can’t claim the level of obedience, but I can see the standard that set and seek to keep that standard before me. Seeking forgiveness when I fail, and in godly sorrow, seeking to do God’s will not mine.
C. The highest form of obedience we see in Jesus was a willingness to be sacrificed for the sins of all mankind. I can’t die to forgive you of your sins. I can’t die to forgive myself of my own sin. What I can do is become a living sacrifice in honor of the mercies shown to me. I can live a life striving to be obedient no matter what the physical consequence because I honor my father in heaven.
A. I want to end by looking for a moment at the flip side. John 3:16-19; Rom. 5:6-9. Here is what I have such a hard time understanding. How does God the father sacrifice his son in the flesh for people who don’t care enough to follow him? I don’t know. What I know is this, God the Father has adopted me to be his son at a cost I cannot comprehend. He loves me that much.
B. God the Father loves you. There is nothing about you that will keep him from loving you. The question is, will you love him back? Will your love be shown in your humility and obedience to him? That is the only question this Father’s Day.
C. If you need to respond to the Father’s love, come as we stand and sing.