“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
June 17, 2018
– Call To Worship –
“On Bended Knee”
“We Fall Down”
Prayers of Intercession
Sermon CD –
“Think A Whole New Way”
Closing song: “He Is Able”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Grace Communion International – We are an international Christian fellowship, on mission with the Father, Son and Spirit, living and sharing the gospel in ways that birth all kinds of churches, for all kinds of people, in all kinds of places. As an international Christian fellowship, we have about 50,000 members formed into 900 churches spread across 100 countries.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY
Psalm 68:5-6 – “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is our God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
By Joseph Tkach – GCI President
Though I was told that I was my paternal granddad’s favorite grandchild, it didn’t always seem that way to me—he was a strict disciplinarian. Because he died when I was young, I didn’t know him well, though I did know he was something special by the way my parents, aunts and uncles honored him—especially on his wedding anniversary and on Father’s Day.
Father’s Day is celebrated in the U.S. and 69 other countries on the third Sunday in June (some other countries celebrate it in September). Last year in Australia there was quite a furor over the notion of changing the name to “Special Person’s Day.” Some reasoned the change would ensure that children without dads would not feel excluded from the celebration. While it behooves us to include children who don’t have at-home dads, I don’t think a name change would help much—we’d also have to change the name of Mother’s Day and a several other holidays to avoid exclusion or offense. My only complaint about Father’s Day is that, because it falls on Sunday, we fathers don’t get a day off work!
Father’s Day and Mother’s Day celebrations give us opportunity to obey the commands given in the Bible to honor our parents. However, those commands present a problem for people who have had abusive parents. What are they supposed to do?
While there are no easy answers, it’s important to remember three things:
First, that God fully understands what those who were hurt by their parents endured—he sees and cares. Second, that giving honor does not mean condoning or continuing to endure abuse. Third, that the ability to honor those who have abused us does not come from within—it’s a gift from God that involves sharing in the mind of Jesus who willingly died for undeserving sinners (Romans 5:8). With Jesus, by the Spirit, we can give honor to those who don’t deserve it. We do so by looking beyond the pain they’ve caused, and instead of seeking revenge, seeing them as a child created by God.
“Picture of Faith” by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with permission)
Don’t get me wrong, God does not love the pain they have caused, but he does love the child he created.
Though we may not know all the factors that led a parent to be abusive, we know God did not create them that way and does not want them to remain that way. We also know that our Lord says, “love your enemies,” “pray for those who persecute you,” and “turn the other cheek.” Jesus also says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32). The apostle Paul adds in 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 that we should regard no one (parents included) from a merely human point of view—instead, we should see them in relationship to Jesus, who intends that they become new creations in him, by the Spirit. When we ask God to help us see an abusive parent in that way, our hearts begin to change. We find ourselves less focused on their bad behavior and more focused on the person God created them to be.
Let me emphasize that we are not called to honor our parents on our own power. Instead, enabled by the Holy Spirit, we see them in the light of Christ—the light of what our Lord intends for them. In that light, we are able to honor our parents because we know that Jesus, as Mediator, stands between us and them—he is Lord and Savior of that relationship.
We also know and trust that Jesus’ purposes for us cannot be thwarted by bad parenting. Through him and by him we have a heavenly Father who graciously rules over all earthly fathers (and mothers).
Giving honor to a parent is not mere emotion—it’s an attitude that comes from faith, hope and love in God through Christ and by the Spirit. Also, giving honor does not require a positive relationship (in some cases, a face-to-face relationship with a badly abusive parent is not possible). Nevertheless, Jesus calls upon us to rise above the bad relationship to extend honor, even if from afar. We do so by focusing on our relationship with Jesus, who enables us to grow into his maturity, including his ability to love the unlovely. We do so remembering how Jesus showed incredible honor toward us when we were completely dishonorable.
One last thought: When children see parents honoring their parents, they will likely imitate that behavior. Despite the challenges, honoring others is a healthy activity for others as well as for ourselves.
Happy Father’s Day,
Joseph Tkach, GCI President
The Value of Fathers — President Reagan
On Father’s Day, 1988, Ronald Reagan said: “Children, vulnerable and dependent, desperately need security, and it has ever been a duty and a joy of fatherhood to offer it. Being a father requires strength…and more than a little courage…to persevere, to fight discouragement, and to keep working for the family.”
Reagan continued: “With God’s grace, fathers find the patience to teach, the fortitude to provide, the compassion to comfort, and the mercy to forgive. All of this is to say that they find the strength to love their wives and children selflessly.”
President Reagan ended: “Let us…express our thanks and affection to our fathers, whether we can do so in person or in prayer.” (From the American Minute by William Federer)
We Have A Great FATHER In HEAVEN
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
What Jesus Did! ‘Lifted Up to Save Us’ — John 8:25-28
“Who are you?” they demanded. Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.”
— John 8:25-28 NLT
John uses a simple vocabulary to tell the story of Jesus in such a magnificent way. The term “lifted up” can mean to physically lift something up or it can mean to exalt. The latter use is more prominent in the New Testament and in common usage. For John, however, the two meanings converge. Jesus is exalted when he is lifted up on the cross. Even though a cross was normally a place of shame, in Jesus’ case it was God’s way of reaching the hearts of people. Jesus does what he does because it is the Father’s way of reaching people. Unfortunately, so many miss the wonders of this sacrificial love. Yet for those of us who have been touched by this display of grace, it is God’s power to cleanse and transform us.
For your wondrous love, O God, I praise and thank you. For your incredible sacrifice, Lord Jesus, I praise you for your obedience and your love. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 3:13-17
- John 12:23-33
- Matthew 27:54
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Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers & Sisters Around The World
Local Prayer Requests
Mary Coffey, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement.
Tommy Robinson – (English Citizen Reporter) imprisoned in England for reporting on a trial of Muslim pedophiles. He is held in prison with 71% inmates are Muslim and vowing to kill him.
Connie Whitlock – (Laf) Praise! She does not have recurrence of cancer
Lucy (Anita Franz’s sister) Stage 4 kidney disease,
GCI Indianapolis – Prayers for Pastor Al Talison and the GCIndy church.
Deben Sam (GCI affiliate in Nepal) Prayers as it appears that some very drastic and restrictive anti-conversion (to Christianity) laws will come into effect in Nepal in August. It does seem that evangelistic activities will become illegal.
Hector & Paulina Barrero (GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator for Columbia & South America) For blessings, protection and inspiration as they minister to others.
Eugene & Lulu Guzon (GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator for Philippines) Prayers for wisdom, inspiration and safety as he travels, serving the Philippines
Kalengule Kaoma (lives in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa) Prayers for wisdom & protection as he oversees Africa as GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator.
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School
Joe & Tammy Tkach & Greg & Susan Williams
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love