Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you merely telling me where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God that all over the globe, the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God. Thank you.
Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.
APOSTOLIC MINISTRY: FAMILY CONSIDERATIONS, FATHERS & SONS
Objective: To share some scriptural insights with regard to the apostolic ministry. Two main areas are covered:
1. Making adequate provision for any family members who are left at home when we are travelling both nationally and internationally.
2. To provide insight into the area of Fathers and Sons in the ministry.
TRAVELLING FOR THE GOSPEL?
PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY BEFORE YOU TRAVEL !!
It is a matter of great concern that men of God often travel away from their homes on missionary or apostolic trips both within their own countries and overseas, spending large sums of money on travel costs, whilst leaving their wives and children at home without food to eat and other basic necessities of life.
Men of God in both the developed and undeveloped world are often guilty of this. Through our ministry organisation here in Cape Town we often have preachers from other countries visiting our local churches. Time and again we have become aware of men who have left their homes without making adequate provision for the well-being of their families. The Bible views a man’s responsibility towards his wife and children in a very serious light:
1) ’HE MUST MANAGE HIS OWN FAMILY WELL’(1 Timothy 3:1-5)
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. …… 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
vs. 4,5 Don’t go to the nations and leave your family without food and other basic necessities.
2) HE MUST PROVIDE FOR HIS FAMILY (1 Timothy 5:8)
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
If you don’t provide for your family, you have “denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”.
3) HE MUST PROVIDE HIS FAMILY WITH THEIR BASIC NEEDS (Exodus 21:10)
If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.
It is the husband’s responsibility in the Lord to provide the family with their basic needs.
4) LOVE YOUR WIVES AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH (Ephesians 5: 25)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Am I giving myself up/sacrificing my life for my wife if I havent provided for her?
5) LOVE YOUR WIVES AS YOUR OWN BODY (Ephesians 5: 28-29)
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.
Love yourself by taking care of your wife!
TOWARDS A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF SPIRITUAL FATHERS & SONS
Note: The terms ‘fathers’ and ‘sons’ are in most cases used as generic terms to include both male and female.
A. A FATHER HAS COMPASSION AND LOVE FOR HIS CHILDREN
I believe that when there is a correct understanding of spiritual fathers and sons in our churches and where men and women walk in obedience to Father God in this area of their lives, we will have less fights amongst leaders, less church splits and greater harmony in the body of Christ.
A true father is compassionate towards his son and loves him.
1) HAVE COMPASSION (Luke 15:20)
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
A true father remains compassionate towards his children even if at times they let him down.
2) BE TEMPERATE (1 Timothy 3:2-3)
2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
Do not choose a hot-headed, quarrelsome, fighter type-of-person as a leader over God’s people. He will not have compassion on God’s flock; he will not be a father to the saints. He will destroy God’s family.
3) DO NOT EXASPERATE YOUR CHILDREN (Ephesians 6:4)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of theLord.
Spiritual fathers are not to provoke their children to anger. Just as in a biological family, spiritual fathers are not in competition with their children, rather they have compassion and love for their sons and daughters and seek only their good by nurturing, training and developing them in Jesus.
Favouritism: Spiritual dads/mentors should not favour one son over another. In the account of Isaac passing on his blessing to Jacob instead of to Esau (Genesis 27:1-45), it is the favouritism shown by Rebekah, Jacob’s wife, which provoked Esau to anger against his brother, thereby dividing the family.
Does Father God have “favourites”? I believe his “favourites” (so to speak) are all those who do his will. When told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you” (Matt 12:47), Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and my brothers?” … “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (It is those who are faithful in doing the will of God whom we must “favour” by entrusting to them the things of God [see 2 Tim 2:2] and raise them up as sons to whom we can pass on the baton).
4) ’MY TRUE SON’ (1 Timothy 1:2)
To Timothy my true son in the faith:
How wonderful when we can call those whom God has placed in our care as leaders, “my true son”, “my true daughter” – spiritual sons and daughters who understand having to walk in obedience to spiritual oversight and being prepared to serve those who are over them in the Lord.
5) ’MY DEAR SON’ (2 Timothy 1:1-6)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Vs 2 The son is “dear” to the father.
Vs 3 The father thanks God for his son.
Vs 3 The father prays for the son.
Vs 4 The father longs to see the son that he may be filled with joy.
Vs 5 The sons “sincere faith” is an encouragement to the father (not a threat).
Vs 6 The father encourages the son to be active in ministry (“fan into flame the gift of God”).
B. THE SERVANT-SON
Sons are to serve and honour their fathers.
1. HONOUR YOUR FATHER (Malachi 1:6)
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master”.
Spiritual sons in the house of God are to honour and serve their fathers (leaders).
2. HEARTS TURNED TOWARDS EACH OTHER (Malachi 4:6)
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
When the hearts of fathers and children are at peace with one another, there will be blessing in the land (Body of Christ).
3. HONOUR YOUR PARENTS (Ephesians 6:1-3)
‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”’
As in a biological family, spiritual sons and daughters are to honour those whom God has placed over them in the Body of Christ.
1 Thess 5:12.13 “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other”.
4. THE SERVANT-SON (Luke 15) - Prodigal son
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.”
Note, it is only when the son had come to his senses (vs 17), had a change of mind and attitude and decided to take on the role of a servant in his father’s house (vs 19), that he was restored to his rightful place in the family:
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
‘That robe stands for honour; the ring stands for authority, for if a man gave to another his signet ring it was the same as giving him the power of attorney; the shoes stand for a son as opposed to a slave, for children of the family were shod and slaves were not. The slave’s dream in the negro spiritual is of the time when “all God’s chillun got shoes,” for shoes were the sign of freedom. And a feast was made that all might rejoice at the wanderer’s return’. (William Barclay, The Daily Bible Study, The Gospel of Luke).
Sons in the house of God must be taught to serve the ‘man of God’ (Senior Pastor / Set man) and honour him. In this way it will go well with them (Ephesians 6:3 / Exodus 20:12).
C. FATHERS MUST TRAIN UP THEIR CHILDREN
Entrust unto and equip faithful men
1. TRAIN THEM (Proverbs 22:6)
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Parents have the responsibility to train their children. Christian leaders must train and develop God’s people who have been entrusted to their care (see 2 and 3 below). Leaders must help identify the gifts in each of their people and develop the saints of God in the specific ‘way’ that he or she should go.
“The Hebrew word for train (h\aµnak_) means to dedicate…. H\aµnak_ seems to include the idea of setting aside, narrowing, or hedging in. The word is sometimes used in the sense of “start.” Child-training involves “narrowing” a child’s conduct away from evil and toward godliness and starting him in the right direction.
Gleason L. Archer points out that this Hebrew verb is similar to the Egyptian h\-n-k, which means “to give to the gods” or “to set up something for divine service.” He suggests that in verse 6 this gives “the following range of possible meanings: ‘Dedicate the child to God, ’ ‘Prepare the child for his future responsibilities, ’ ‘Exercise or train the child for adulthood’” (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, p. 252).
(Bible Knowledge Commentary)
2. ENTRUST TO RELIABLE/FAITHFUL MEN (2 Tim 2:1-2)
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Paul had passed on the baton to Timothy his son (vs 1), so too Fathers in God’s house must pass on the baton through teaching, training and developing ‘reliable (or “faithful”) men’ who will also become as qualified as they are.
As leaders we fail hopelessly if we do not do this.
3. PREPARE THEM FOR WORKS OF SERVICE(Ephesians 4:11-16)
11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Sons and daughters must be prepared for works of service!! They must be trained (discipled) and sent out to the nations (Matthew 28:19-20)..