Summary: Adoption, family love, connection
OUR GOD AND FATHER
1 Thess 3: 11-13 (p 836) Nov. 4, 2012
How do you get to the place where you genuinely consider someone who is not your Biological Mom or Dad…your mother or father..? I know there are cliché’s and quotes…like “Any Man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad”
Well, the first step is probably you have a Man or a Woman who makes the decision to adopt you as their son or daughter…A couple who decides that they will, become parents to a child that is biologically not theirs…some because they could not have children, and others because they want to love and reassure a child, or a million different reasons..
We’ve had many couples associated with Fern Creek Christian Church, who have done this or desire to do this… (You heard from Brian and Jennifer Clark at our communion meditation) David & Suzanne Kiser, Fred and Delores Woosley, Jeff and Jessica Hale, Steve and LuAnn Johnson…Mike & Jill Hook. All will tell you that one of the finest most important and special days of their lives were when the adoption papers for their children were signed. Some were already parents, some became parents for the very first time…Regardless, this day was life changing for both their child and the parents..
One of the instructions we received before my trip to Haiti the first time was…”Be very cautious about holding or touching the children! Where we were on the streets of Port An Prince it seems like thousands surrounded us…we were “Blanka” White…If your white and you’re in Haiti…Port An Prince…Uhhh…you are easy to Find…in a city of 6 million…the children come from the garbage dumps and the slums…and many wanted candy, but all of them wanted love…and if you were there and didn’t hold them and love them because you were afraid…If you were putting on purell after only contact...you shouldn’t be there representing God…
David Platt says in Radical “We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces…It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms…But once you do…everything changes!”
In our text the apostle Paul says, “May Our God and Father clear a way for us to come to you”
Paul constantly reminds the Thessalonians, who are undergoing severe persecutions and trails…God is our Father…Our Father sees the work you produced of faith…Paul even refers to himself as someone who loves them like a parent…”We were gently among you like a Mother caring for her little child”…”We dealt with you as a Father deals with his own children…encouraging you….comforting you…urging you to live godly lives!!!”
When Paul could not get back to the Thessalonians he sent Timothy…his son in the faith to encourage them to stay strong in the midst of persecution…
You see once you’ve learned someone’s name, once you seen their faces…their smiles, their tears once you’ve held them in your arms…everything changes…it did for Paul, and it will for us…because
I OUR FATHER WILL MAKE A WAY
That’s what Paul earnestly believed…
He says, we were torn away from you too quickly…We made every effort we could to see you again…We wanted to come back…we even sent Timothy when we ourselves couldn’t return…Satan stopped us! ( 1 Thess 2:17, 18)
But God our Father and Jesus our Lord will clear a way for us to come to you!”
Paul never forgot his purpose…Make disciples! Help them understand what Jesus taught…the Apostles understood they’re commission…”As you are going make disciples of all nations.”
Our purpose now…our commission as disciples of Jesus hasn’t changed…Paul wanted to get back to these new Christians in Thessalonians because they needed more discipling…and as they share with their family and friends new converts were made…All in the midst of being severely persecuted by the Jewish leaders who wanted to keep the door shut…from gentiles being saved.
Why didn’t God open a way when Paul tired to return again and again? When Satan stopped them, why didn’t God unstop Satan?
I don’t know…”His ways are higher than our ways…His knowledge is perfect…mine is shadowy and minute in comparison.
Sometimes God says “No” and sometimes He says “Wait”…and sometimes he says “Go”…or he sends someone else who may be better fitted for the situation and timing…
Paul believed that….I believe that….
It’s a view of God as our Father…the giver of all good gifts…and the one who knows what I need above what I want.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says this about of Father….in
Matt 7: 7 – 11 (p 685)
I’m a sinner…I live in a body that wants its own way…I’m sold as a slave to its desires…but even so…if Ricky, Tyler, Cyndi, or Karissa ask me for something they need….I long to provide it…I want to give them good gifts…I know what a good gift is!