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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sermon: Where is My Father

I was asked to preach today tomorrow Sunday evening. When I asked if there was a theme and was told of the emphasis on fathers I said "oh I have a sermon Where is my father', I'll just use that. Right away the elder said to me "That's interesting "Where is my Father." Don't be surprised if I ask you to speak on sabbath instead.

Sure enough I received a call in the week inviting me to speak on Sabbath (today).

Usually I would just copy the sermon to the blog, but since it's from my sermon bank I will have to do a summary here.

Where is My Father?

Luke 15:11-32

Songs 92 This is My Father's world
100 Great is Thy Faithfulness

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
but make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
or being hated, don't give way to hating,
and yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master,
if you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same;
if you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
and lose, and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss;
if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
if all men count with you, but none too much,
if you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

I. Our Father in heaven is almighty.
Daniel 6:26. Living God.
Hebrews 13:8. Eternal.
1 Chron 29:12. Rev 19:6. Omnipotent.
Job 34:21. Omniscient.

II. Our Father in Heaven is the Creator.
Isa 40:26-28. God is Creator.

III. Our Father in Heaven is a God of Order.
He made laws for order.
Gen 1:11.
Gen 2:17
Psa 1:1-3.
Rev 22:14.

IV. Our Father in Heaven is the Holy One.
Whatever He dwells in becomes holy, including the human heart. He prepares us for heaven with
Holy law
Holy place
Holy day
Holy calling
Holy Spirit

V. Our Father in Heaven is a Loving Father.

1 John 4:8. God is love.
1 Cor 13:1-7.
John 3:16
Jesus Christ the loving revelation of the Father.

*The problem of the African diaspora in Caribbean. Where is my father?

Sunday Gleaner

The Schoolboy's Dilemma - Where is my father?
published: Sunday | October 16, 2005

Christene McDonald, Contributor

We must remember that for the most part, a child arrives at school with his character already formed. Too many Jamaicans are still not convinced of the importance of two things: One, the home; and two, the father, in the awesome task of rearing a child.

A survey conducted in the St. Catherine District Prison in the mid-1990s revealed that 98 per cent of the men on death row either did not know their fathers or did not know where he was.

Where are the fathers?


Head of household.

Combine affection with authority.

Heavenly father yearns in Jeremiah 3:19 How gladly would I treat you like sons...I thought you would call me Father.

God created a special day when sits and waits for us.

Most of what heavenly Father does we wont know until we get to heaven.

B. the holy righteous heavenly father is loving and merciful according to parable of Loving father in Luke 15.

v. 11-12 Sin causes presumptuous.

v.13 Sin sends us far from God.

v. 14-16 away from Father the madness of sin.

v.17-19 do not resist the spirit. You are going to come to yourself.

I will arise and go to my Father.

v.20 God is nearer than you think.

Calling families to covenant for a brand new life. Big wonderful father in heaven who cares.

He can melt the heart of mean fathers.

He can convert abusive fathers.

He can lift up the head of struggling fathers.

He can refresh the limbs of tired fathers.

And through the grace of Christ He promises rest and reward at the end of life's journey. Until then let us covenant to live in the image of the heavenly Father.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sabbath School Lesson 10: The Bible and Happiness

It is so providential that the theme I want to use for sabbath school tomorrow is 'The eye of the Storm'. For Jesus inspires peace and inner joy in the heart of believers.

"For the Christian, happiness has to be based on something deeper than the fleeting and uncertain joys of this life" writes the lesson author in Thursday's study. Here is the link for lesson 10:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sabbath School Lesson 9: The Bible and Health

Hello friends. Are you living a fast-paced, hectic, lifestyle. I invite you to slow down and discover how the Lord wants to take care your entire being. The world church is focusing on the topic of health this week and I've copied the lesson here:

*May 26 - June 1
The Bible and Health

Read for This Week's Study:
Matt. 4:23; Luke 4:16-21; Rom. 6:4, 9-11; Phil. 4:4-9; Col. 1:20, 21; 3:8-10.
Memory Text:

" 'I am the Lord, who heals you' " (Exodus 15:26, NIV).
Key Thought:

The Word of God gives us good reasons to take care of our health.
The Bible endorses the value of the physical body; after all, it was created by God. The believer should, therefore, seek to understand and intentionally put into practice measures that enhance health. Care for one's health is a moral matter, evidence of loyalty and responsible service to God. At the practical level the condition of one's health largely determines whether a person can carry out effective service for the Lord or for anyone they feel called to serve.
Although the foundational goals and values of health from a biblical perspective are conveyed through God's Word, the exact means of achieving these goals has come largely from medical science, which often validates many of the principles of health found in the Bible.
It is incumbent on all Christians to do what they can to take care of their health. Health-building activities, including exercise, wholesome diet, proper systematic rest, practical satisfying work, avoidance of damaging substances or practices, good habits of cleanliness, cultivated efforts to live in peace with and help others, and a profound trust in God make the best possible use of the life God has given us. Our bodies are sacred gifts to us from God; we have the responsibility to take care of them the best we know how.
This week let's take a look at what the Bible says about health and the principles found in its pages.
*Study this week's lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 2.
May 27
To Be in Health
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John 2).
We tend to think of the Bible as dealing only with the spiritual side, yet, that's not the case. Scripture shows that God cares also about our physical being and that our spiritual side is linked with the physical. We can find in the Bible good reasons for taking care of our health.
Look up the following texts and write out what reasons you can find in them that would call us to take care of our health:
Rom. 12:1
Rom. 14:7
1 Cor. 3:16, 17
1 Cor. 6:19, 20
Eph. 5:29
3 John 1:2
Scripture makes it clear that God does care about health, our physical well-being. That makes sense, of course. After all, what loving parent doesn't care about the health, mental and physical, of their child? How much more so would the Lord care about ours?
It's been said that we never care about our health until we lose it. If healthy, do you take your health for granted? Talk to someone struggling with health problems. More than likely, you'll better understand why our health should be carefully guarded.

May 28
Health and Restoration
In the beginning God, our Creator, created us healthy, without sickness and disease. The plan of salvation is God's divine way to bringing us back to what we originally lost. He wants to restore us to what we once had.
Read Romans 6:4, 9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:20, 21; 3:8-10; 1 John 3:2. What essential message is given to us from these texts? What hope do they offer?
Healing and restoration are often talked about in the Bible. God's promises to restore Israel spill forth in language filled with healing and curative terms (Jer. 30:12-17, 33:6, Ezek. 47:12, Mal. 4:2). So clear is the affinity in the New Testament that one of its principal words for healing (soteria) may be translated as either "healing" or "salvation." Salvation, then, may include not only rescue from sin and its consequences but also restoration, healing of the whole person.
All biblical teachings are predicated on the basis that, in the end, what was lost when sin entered will be restored when the One who created becomes the One who restores His creation. Having healed our wounds and borne our transgressions at Calvary, He appears at last in the book of Revelation as Christus Victor, in triumph over Satan and the forces of evil (Rev. 20:14, 21:8). Those who love and serve God will be restored to the perfect condition that once was; all that is evil, meanwhile, will be destroyed, never to rise again. In both Old Testament and New Testament prophecies this new earth is foreseen as free from sickness, pain, and death (Isa. 33:24, Rev. 21:4). The apostle Paul rejoices in Christ's resurrection as proof that He is victor over all evil forces. Christ's victory has become ours (1 Thess. 4:14-17).
As Adventists we have been given precious light on health and health principles, all designed to give us a lifestyle that will prevent disease. How seriously do you follow these principles? How well do you even know them? Why wait until you get sick to start following principles that could help prevent sickness to begin with?

May 29
Jesus, the Great Healer
We often hear of Jesus as the Great Physician. And no wonder. Roughly calculated, approximately 20 percent of the Gospels is dedicated to His restoring sick people to health. Although in some cases duplication occurs, the four Gospels report 35 specific instances, alongside the general reports.
How central was healing to Jesus' earthly ministry? (Matt. 4:23, Luke 6:7-19, 9:11).
Through the miraculous healings Jesus gave great evidence regarding His role as the Savior. But He did so much more, as well. As humans, we have been damaged spiritually, emotionally, and physically by sin. The whole plan of salvation centers on restoring to us what we had once lost. In the beginning there was no sickness and no death; in the end there won't be either (see Rev. 21:4). By healing, Jesus was showing the world the power of God to bring about restoration, to bring about what was lost by sin. The healings weren't an end in themselves; they were all to point to something greater: salvation in Jesus.
Read Luke 4:16-21. What do these verses reveal to us about the purpose and ministry of Jesus?
Jesus' primary task was to proclaim that God is receiving His sinful, suffering creatures in a sweeping act of grace and love. His actions were evidence of final deliverance from a world of sin. He had come to deliver, to seek and to save, to forgive, to proclaim the day of God's mercy, to confer life everlasting, and to be the restorer of all that was lost. He was first of all the Savior, and physical healings were evidences of His authority.
Whatever our illness, whatever our sicknesses, we have wonderful promises in the Bible of healing and restoration; that is, complete healing and complete restoration. Dwell on this, our greatest hope. Pray for more faith to believe in those promises. If you know someone struggling with sickness, point that person to this hope.

May 30
Moderation in All Things
Read Philippians 4:4-9. What practical principles can you find in these verses that can have a positive impact on our physical well-being?
Read 1 Corinthians 9:25, Galatians 5:23, and Titus 1:8, 2:2. What practical admonitions are found in these verses that can have a definite bearing on our physical health?
The Greek word used in many of these verses for "temperate" comes from a word often used in the context of athletic training, of an athlete who, in preparation for an event such as a race, takes special care to abstain from that which can hurt his or her body. How much more so should this principle apply to us as Christians in the race that we are running (1 Cor. 9:24-27, Heb. 12:1)?
We all know about health problems that can come from the use of liquor, illegal drugs, and so forth. Those are the obvious ones. Yet, so often bad health comes by over-indulging in the gifts that God has given us to enjoy. Contrary to popular caricatures of biblical religion, it's not sinful to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. God made us to enjoy these things, but only in their proper sphere, and in moderation and with temperance, as so clearly shown in the Bible.
"True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful, and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers."—Ellen G. White, Child Guidance, p. 398. How much sense Ellen White's words make! Examine yourself. How moderate and temperate are you, even with that which is good? What changes might you need to make?

May 31
Healthy Relationships
Again and again the Bible speaks about the need of loving one another. Jesus said that it is the greatest of all commandments (Matt. 22:37-40). When Paul speaks about Christian virtues, such as faith, hope, and love, he says that the greatest is love (1 Cor. 13:13, NIV). No wonder Jesus said that one significant characteristic of His followers is that they love one another (John 13:35).
How do the following texts characterize Christian love? 1 Cor. 13:4-7
1 John 4:7
1 John 4:18
Study after study shows how family love—a close loving relationship between parents and children—can stem a tide of evils in young people, evils that can bear terrible fruit in adulthood.
As God's people we need to love one another (1 Thess. 3:2), serve one another (Gal. 5:13), bear with one another (Eph. 4:2), be kind to one another (Eph. 4:32), admonish one another (Rom. 15:14), be tenderhearted and forgiving to one another (Eph. 4:32), comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18), show compassion to one another (1 Pet. 3:8), be hospitable to one another (1 Pet. 4:9) and pray for one another (James 5:16). These commands, so clearly outlined in the Word, will help us to be connected with one another as God's people and will strengthen family relationships, which ultimately protect our youth from high-risk behavior. Through forming close bonds and thus giving and receiving love and care and concern, we can have such a positive moral, spiritual, and physical influence on one another. The Scriptures are so right in showing how important good relationships are for us, not just spiritually but physically, as well.
Review some of your most basic relationships. From your end, what motivates these relationships: self-serving or self-giving, greed or love, a desire for personal gain or a desire to be a blessing? Think about the good you have done for others. Were the principles elucidated in today's lesson the motivating force behind your relationships?

June 1
Further Study:

Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, "The Use of Remedies," pp. 234-240, "Diet and Health," pp. 295-310; Selected Messages, book 3, "The Health Reform," pp. 271-296.
"The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death. . . .
"Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul."—Ellen G. White, Counsels on Health, p. 344.
"Many of those who came to Christ for help had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them. And when virtue from Him entered into these souls, they were convicted of sin, and many were healed of their spiritual disease as well as of their physical maladies."—Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 73.
Discussion Questions:

Jesus' healing ministry formed a crucial component of His work of leading people to salvation. How can your local church better use the light we have on health and healing as part of its outreach to the world?
As a class, talk about what the Bible says about such things as diet, use of alcohol, rest, and so forth. What health principles on these topics do you find in the Bible? To the best of your knowledge, how has modern science validated these principles? How have members personally benefited from following what the Bible has to say on these things?
As a class, take time to visit any members who are sick or hurting. Bring Bible promises to share with them. At the same time, in what practical ways can you minister to them and help relieve their sufferings?