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Summary: When God brings us into His kingdom through faith in Christ we become His son or daughter. Because He loves us so much and wants the best for our lives He sometimes brings discipline to us. The fact that we are corrected by our Father is proof

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(ME)

Good morning Odessa First – IT’S A GREAT DAY TO SERVE OUR RISEN KING: JESUS CHRIST!

If you are with us for the first time this morning let me introduce myself. I am Danny Davis and I am the Senior Pastor here at this great assembly.

Here at Odessa First we believe in the Bible and so it is our custom to study the Scriptures verse by verse. We believe God’s word to us can bring about miraculous transformation in the lives of individuals and communities.

So, this morning we are continuing in a study of Hebrews 12 where we are learning about the characteristics of the UNSHAKEABLE Kingdom of the one we call our Savior – Jesus Christ.

KINGDOM = rule / reign – not necessarily a location. To expand Christ’s Kingdom is both personal and global. We make His kingdom bigger as we personally obey Him as LORD. And we expand His kingdom as we tell others about the freedom found in surrendering our hearts and lives to the leadership of Christ.

(YOU)

Have you ever been witness to permissive or neglectful parenting? You know the kind of parenting where anything goes for the kids. Where you here phrases like, “Boys will be boys” or “I don’t want to stifle their creativity!” Or parents who just pay no attention to their kids at all. The kids are a bother and a nuisance to be endured not precious gifts to be nurtured.

Or possibly you have been witness to very authoritarian parenting. You know the kind. Discipline! Discipline! Discipline! Love is never a part of that discipline but the list of “musts” is as long as the parent’s arm. You know the kind of parent I am talking about. They drive their kids crazy to be something they themselves could never have been.

Every one of these parenting styles has negative side effects.

• Permissive – though lots of love is given there are no boundaries and these children grow up with low self-esteem and feeling inferior. In an effort to be their child’s friend they end up becoming enemies.

• Neglectful – these children tend to grow up with unbelievable deep emotional scars and struggle to be able to connect with others socially

• Authoritarian – these kids are often good until they are old enough to fight back. Then rebellion sits in and communication between child and parent usually takes the form of argument. These kinds of kids can’t wait for college or to turn 18 so they can get out of the house and away from the control and manipulation of the authoritarian parent.

Every single parent in this room has been a little of all of these before. I know I have! And, 9 times out of 10 we do what we do at the time because we want what is best for our children. Some go to the extreme while most of us bounce back and forth.

Now the one parenting style most sociologists and psychologists say works best is AUTHORATIVE (not authoritarian). This type of parenting seeks to find the balance between LOVE & DISCIPLINE. They are FIRM but also COMPASSIONATE. They set CLEAR BOUNDARIES but help their children see the LOVE reason for creating them.

(TRANSITION) None of us are perfect parents but all of us have an example of what it means to unconditionally love our children. We have a Father in heaven who demonstrates His UNCONDITIONAL LOVE not by neglect or permissiveness or by authoritarianism BUT THROUGH LOVE & DISCIPLINE THAT SEEKS THE BEST FOR HIS CHILDREN IN EVERY SITUATION.

(GOD)

Let’s read Hebrews 12:4-12

Now I want you to remember the context of this chapter and of the book of Hebrews.

The author is writing to a group of Jewish Christians who, because of intense persecution, have begun moving away from Christ and back to the LAW and legalism.

However, these verses point to the reality that some of the persecution they are facing is because God has seen the need to bring some discipline to them. We are not told the exact reason for God’s corrective measures. But we are given insight into how they are reacting to God’s loving actions – that are not seen as so loving.

They are asking themselves if being a Christian worth all the persecution and hardship they are facing. And, like a defiant child, they are questioning whether or not God’s use of others to bring discipline into their lives is right or wrong.

Let’s look at the author’s message closely…

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood…

• This passage points back to verse 3 where the author tells them to consider the persecution that Jesus went through AS THE SON OF GOD and remember they have not had to shed blood in their persecution.

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