Summary: 10th message in a series exploring the wonder of God as our loving Father. This message continues the discussion of how God is and affirming, encouraging and acknowledging Father.
“Affirmation, Encouragement, Acknowledgment”
(The Fatherhood of God Pt 10)
I. The Likeness Factor – Dad’s impeccable genes
II. The Unconditional love & acceptance factor–Dad’s incomprehensible love
III. The Protection and security Factor – Dad’s impervious protection
IV. The Presence Factor – Dad’s intimate presence
V. The Wisdom Factor – Dad’s infallible counsel
VI. The Provision Factor – Dad’s inexhaustible provision
We live in a hostile world.
It has been hostile every since the fall.
It didn’t take long for the jealousy and anger of Adam and Eve’s firstborn son Cain to escalate into the murder of his only brother Abel.
Generation after generation since has proliferated soul damage at a horrific rate.
How do we navigate such turbulent waters in such tiny boats?
We all desperately need three things to maintain emotional wellbeing in such a brutal world.
• Affirmation. We someone to affirm our value apart from external looks or behavior.
• Encouragement. We need someone to encourage us to persevere, venture out, maintain the course, and follow our dreams.
• Acknowledgment. We need to know someone notices our efforts.
We all need people around us to affirm, encourage and acknowledge us.
Not all of us grew up with such encouragement.
Not all of us had fathers who encouraged us.
Some had fathers who damaged them emotionally and physically.
Both negative interaction and absence of interaction with fathers adversely affects our ability to relate to God.
We find it difficult to feel God’s incomprehensible love, sense His impervious protection, appreciate His intimate presence, value His infallible counsel or seek His inexhaustible provision.
We see Him as tyrant, judge, absent, unreasonable, demanding, cruel, harsh.
I am here to assure you, by the authority of His own word, concerning our heavenly father’s affirmation concerning who we are, encouragement to persevere and acknowledgment of our commitment and faithful service.
VII. The Affirmation and encouragement Factor – Dad’s inspiring affirmation, encouragement and acknowledgment
We all appreciate being recognized for who we are as a person.
The Father affirmed Jesus even before He entered ministry or accomplished anything.
The Father delights to affirm His children.
He demonstrated his love while we were his enemies by sending his son.
We are His workmanship (poem) Eph 2:10
God delights in us.
We are his precious children.
We are His beautiful bride.
We are His cherished creatures.
He values us above anything else in the universe.
The Holy Spirit affirms our worth in the very core of our being.
We must come to understand the worth that already exists by reason of Christ's work in us, not our work for him.
Listen to the father's affirmation.
Reject the devil’s condemnation.
For there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
We live in a fallen world full of struggle, pain, confusion, discouragement, fear and frustration.
Jesus warned we would have tribulation in this world but he assured his disciples that He himself had the power to overcome the world with all of its evil influences and powers.
It takes courage to live godly in such a harsh world.
It takes courage to face the struggles of life with an eternal perspective and faith in God.
It takes courage to select the right thing when everyone else embraces the wrong.
It is easy to lose perspective.
At times discouragement can overtake our resolve to go on.
In order to keep swimming against the flow of this world, we need continual encouragement.
The Greek word translated “encourage” comes from two words – “to call” and “beside or near”.
It is translated encourage, comfort, exhort, urge, plead.
It is the same word used to explain the primary ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament believer.
Jesus told His disciples He would send another “comforter, exhorter, encourager” just like Him.
All the things Jesus did for His disciples, the Holy Spirit would continue to do after He left.
Even the English word provides insight into the meaning of this word.
“en” & “courage”
To put courage into someone.
To inspire courage.
Encouragement is a particular use of words that restores courage to the hearer.
Encouragement involves speaking truth that inspires the heart to live by that truth.
Encouragement involves speaking words that restore an eternal perspective in the midst of life’s struggles and periodic cloud bursts and dark nights.
To “discourage” is to remove courage by words that bring shame, degrade, instill fear and doubt and diminish hope.
We all hoped for a father that would not only affirm our basic person, but who would give us courage to face a harsh and hostile world through words of encouragement.
We looked for a father along the sidelines cheering us to keep going.
We wanted dad to build us up, point the way and inspire courage.