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Summary: Not everybody has a positive view of the word "Father" in this message we look at what Jesus meant when he said "Father"

In an effort to be environmentally aware, this Father’s Day I’ve decided to embrace the ethos of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Most of you know that my Dad passed away a couple of weeks ago, and many of you are aware that I conducted Dad’s funeral and preached at it.

As I was working on my message I thought “this would be a great message for Father’s Day”, because that’s the way preachers think.

This is week four of “Pinkie Swear-The Promises of Jesus” series here at Cornerstone. And over the past three weeks, we looked at some of the promises that Jesus made to his followers in the gospels.

So, in week one there was the promise of rest, not a rest from our daily work, but a spiritual rest and emotional rest. By the way, that promise is not an excuse for not serving in the local church.

Week two we looked at The Promise of a Helper. And it was here we saw Jesus preparing for his death and resurrection, which wouldn’t signify the end of the story simply the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new chapter. And with that new chapter came the promise of the Holy Spirit, along with his presence and power.

Last week we spent some time with Jesus’ elusive promise of peace and how it comes when we know there is a God and we know how much God cares for us.

Today we are taking a look at a promise of a promise. In the scripture that was read for us earlier, Jesus is teaching those who chose to follow him to trust him in regard to the needs of their lives.

It’s here we read that great promise that Jesus made in Luke 12:31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

Which is not a promise of having everything we want but everything we need. And that happens when our priorities are in line with God’s priorities. But that isn’t the promise I want to look at today, instead, we are looking at the next verse.

Listen carefully to the next words of Jesus, Luke 12:32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” It gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

Which seems like a great verse for Father’s Day.

The problem is that in order for this to work we need to have a decent view of our father. If your concept of a father is someone who is abusive or distant then this isn’t the best illustrative device. Dads don’t always get the greatest press, and for obvious reasons, you only have to watch the news or read the paper to realize that some fathers aren’t the nicest people around.

When we were in Australia we met a Christian singer by the name of Peter Shirley and he sang a song called “WOULD YOU REALLY MIND”:

“When I was just a child, I didn’t understand

Why my father left my mother with the waving of a hand.

He told me it was best this way, but I couldn’t figure why.

The solution to the problem made my mother cry.

Lord I find it hard to call you father,

My memories aren’t real fond of the father that I had,

LORD I find it hard to call you father, but would you really mind,

Would you really mind if I just called you friend.

I know this may be selfish, I know this may be wrong.

But I’m not sure my father loves me, I haven’t seen him for so long.

Lord you’re so much more to me than the father that I knew,

I know that you won’t leave me; your love will see me through.

Lord help me to understand, and ease this pain inside.

And help me to forgive, my father’s human side.

Unite us with your spirit, though in flesh we’re torn apart.

And take away this bitterness that’s wrapped around my heart.”

Over and over again Jesus refers to God as his “Father” and tells us that God is our “Father”. And we need to understand that what Jesus meant when he referred to father isn’t necessarily the same association that some people make now when they think of their father. He’s saying light you’re thinking dark, he’s thinking protective you’re thinking abusive.

You see, when you’ve been physically or sexually abused by your father when he drank the family’s food away, or constantly berated you and told you that you were no good. When the memory of your father, makes you angry or brings tears to your eyes then it’s going to be really difficult for you to feel good about a God who is called father.

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