Who's Your Daddy?
By Mickey Keith on November 30, 20070 CommentsGod revealed Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and has called us to think strategically for at least three generations in everything that we do.
A common mistake in leadership is to build as though God is just the God of Abraham by planning concentrically around only our present lifetime. Our highest purpose and potential must not be reached only while we are alive, but must be realized in the next generations.
The scripture teaches that those who follow our footsteps should do greater works than us -John 14:12; Psalm 145:4
Fathering is never doing anything to hurt your children. Your true children know that you will not only die for them, but you will also `live’ for them! In other words, you come running when they are in trouble.
Do you remember when your children were little, and wandered near the street? The moment you saw them in trouble, you did whatever was necessary to keep them from danger.
This is what a true spiritual shepherd does when he sees a member of his flock getting too close to the edge- when impending doom or disaster is evident, the shepherd intervenes- He uses his rod and his staff to protect the sheep. David wrote in the 23rd Psalm- “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Many times sheep don’t know how much danger they are in, and will resent the shepherd’s intervention. But the shepherd knows best…He must give an account for their soul. That’s why he sometimes preaches a hard word, or gives a rebuke in love. Leaders have a command from scripture to “speak the truth in love.” He will attempt to rescue them from falling into danger, which the sheep is sometimes unable to even see.
Our responsibility as church leaders is not to just develop faithful members of local churches, but sons and daughters in the faith. A church or ministry will only be effective to the extent it has developed the army of God out of the family of God!
Developing laborers without a spirit of son ship will produce a house of slaves or servants. Sons are more loyal than servants because sons are assured of their father’s love, their placement and role in the house, and their share of the inheritance. Servants receive wages, but sons receive an inheritance.
Galatians 4:1-8 “ Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” NLT
Ephesians 1:3-6 “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.” MESSAGE
Romans 8:14-19 “ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” NLT
So we have established that those who we are being led by God’s Spirit are sons of God! We have not received a spirit which makes us fearful slaves, but rather the Spirit of God, which through adoption, makes us Sons of God!
Real love from a father corrects you when you stray, and welcomes you when you come back! Consider the story of the prodigal son and his father in Luke 15:11-31 NLT
“Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[b]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
This incredible story of a father's love is intended to speak to us of God's love- Love that corrects us when we stray and welcomes us back when we return.
Who is your Father? We all have an earthly, biological father…But God wants to be your Heavenly Father. In addition, He has provided for us all a spiritual father to guide and guard us.
Who loves you enough to correct you when you stray and welcome you when come back?
We all need a father..Discover who your spiritual parents are, and don’t go through life fatherless...Be a son or daughter.
It is the son’s responsibility to seek out his spiritual father, and ask for the blessing…Seek His wisdom…Ask for direction and counsel…
The father’s job is to:
1. Identify who his children are-
2. To be bold and initiate fatherhood-
3. Encourage them to succeed-
4. Impart what God has given you-
5. Realize they are hungry because of rejection and pain.
6. Minister out of a pure heart- Fathers, don’t manipulate, but motivate.
Notice the spiritual mentoring in this story of Elijah and Elisha-
1 Kings 19:19- 21 “So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you."
"Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.” NIV
• Elijah threw his mantle over Elisha, and Elisha recognized him as his spiritual father….
2 Kings 2:6-14 “ Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.
7 Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.
10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not."
11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.
13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. “ NIV
• Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit…not because he was greedy for earthly gain, but the double portion was reserved for the first born son. He was saying, “I acknowledge you are my father, and I want to be in relationship with you as a son with his father.”
• When it was time for the mantle to be transferred, the fifty sons of the prophets stayed on the other side of the Jordan River, but Elisha refused to be denied of his `father’s’ blessing!
• Notice, when Elisha saw the chariot of fire which separated he and Elijah, and the whirlwind which carried his mentor away, he cried, “My Father, My Father”.
The evidence of spiritual fathering in the Apostle Paul's life is found in this passage-
1 Cor. 4:14-16 “I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me.”
May the Lord help you to identify both your spiritual parents and children to which He has called you.
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