Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY: "The Prophecy of the Messiah" Week # 6

Prayer:

Father God, we are honor to be your children. Thank You for adopting us into Your family. You have the greatest family of all time. You are Father that care, and continue to reassure us to cast all our cares upon You, because You really love and care for us. Our Father which are in Heaven, Hollowed be Thine Name, we honor and praise Your Name, Your Kingdom come in our hearts and lives daily. Please, Father, let Your will be done in us today, and every day.  Your will be done in us as it is in Heaven, Father. Thank You, Lord, for providing our every need. We cast all our cares upon You, because we know in our hearts that You are for us. Thank You, Lord. Glory to God! We praise You, Lord. Father God, forgive us for any sin we have committed against You, and others in our lives. Create in us a clean heart, and renew the right Spirit within us this day. Father, God cast us not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from us. Deliver us from all evil. Restore unto us the joy of Your salvation. Bless every Prayer Warrior in this community. We praise and honor Your Holy Name, we give You all the glory, honor, and praises forever and ever, AMEN.

God is with us:            Immanuel:      Matthew 1:23

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Printed Text:   (Isaiah 9:6)

 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father. . . . ."

 Subject:           The Everlasting Father:

 

Let's talk about our Father……..

One of the most unique relationships in life is that of a Father with his children. Dads tend to be tough on the outside but are almost always tender on the inside when it comes to their kids. Dads ache when their children ache, they feel a sense of pride when their children excel and will do anything in their power to help their kids accomplish what they want to accomplish.

 

I realize that some Fathers are not this way. Some fathers see their children as an inconvenience.  Some are more harsh than soft. I know some people feel they have worked hard all their life but cannot do anything to please their dads.  I know those people exist, but they really are the exception rather than the rule.

 

I draw your attention to the relationship that a Father has with his children because the next title of Jesus that we examine is the title, "Everlasting Father".  The first title, "Wonderful Counselor" was a title that reminded us of the Savior's incredible wisdom and competency. The second title, "Mighty God" reminded us of our Savior's power and His ability to fulfill His promises and meet our needs.  And in this title we see the compassion and love of our Savior.

 

It is easy to get sidetracked when we talk about Jesus as the "everlasting father". How can the Son be the Father? As soon as you ask that question you step into the minefield that we like to call the doctrine of the Trinity. Scripture affirms that there is one God who is manifest in three distinct and separate "persons" or personalities: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father. But they are all one God! 

 

Jesus is not called Everlasting Father because there is confusion about the nature of God the Father and God the Son. Jesus is called the everlasting Father because of His father-like qualities. He is still God the Son, but His love and grace is like that of a Father with his children.  Charles Spurgeon writes,

How complex is the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! Almost in the same breath the prophet calls him a "child," and a "counsellor," a "son," and "the everlasting Father." This is no contradiction, and to us scarcely a paradox, but it is a mighty marvel that he who was an infant should at the same time be infinite, he who was the Man of Sorrows should also be God over all, blessed forever; and that he who is in the Divine Trinity always called the Son, should nevertheless be correctly called "the everlasting Father." How forcibly this should remind us of the necessity of carefully studying and rightly understanding the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! We must not suppose that we shall understand him at a glance. A look will save the soul, but patient meditation alone can fill the mind with the knowledge of the Savior. Glorious mysteries are hidden in his person. He speaks to us in plainest language, and he manifests himself openly in our midst, but yet in his person itself there is a height and depth which human intellect fails to measure. Notice four things from this title.

 

HE HAS GIVEN US LIFE

Our biological father is the one who united with our mother and gave us physical life. I know, that you may consider your "dad" (or the one who nurtured and supported you) as someone different from your biological father. But, generally speaking, a Father gives us life.

 

Jesus is our Everlasting Father in the sense that He is the one who brings us to spiritual life. In John 14:6 Jesus told us that "no man comes to the Father, except through Him".  We are new creatures in and because of Christ.  It is because of Jesus that we have the opportunity to know eternal life.  It is because of Jesus that we can know a new and life-giving relationship with the Father.

 

Paul wrote to Titus,

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declared us not guilty because of his great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.

Charles Swindoll relates a story that draws us an appropriate picture of what Christ has done,

 

Eight-year-old Monica broke her leg as she fell into a pit. An older woman, Mama Njeri, happened along and climbed into the pit to help get Monica out. In the process, a dangerous black Mamba snake bit both Mama Njeri and Monica. Monica was taken to Kejave Medical Center and admitted. Mama Njeri went home, but never awoke from her sleep. The next day a perceptive missionary nurse explained Mama Njeri's death to Monica, telling her that the snake had bitten both of them, but all of the snake's poison was expended on Mama Njeri; none was given to Monica. The nurse then explained that Jesus had taken the poison of Monica's sin so that she could have new life. It was an easy choice for Monica. She then received Jesus as Savior and Lord on the spot.

 

Jesus makes the spiritual life possible.  He gives us an appetite for the things of Heaven. It is Christ and Christ alone who makes it possible for, a rebel to be brought to faith a criminal to be turned in a new direction a professed atheist to become a believer an adherent of a false religion to be persuaded of the truthfulness of the gospel a person who seems to have everything see that they have nothing apart from Christ a religious person to stop trusting their own goodness and start trusting His.  Jesus is the one who gives us new life.

 

HE PROVIDES FOR US

One of the synonyms for a good Father is a "provider".  We certainly live in a day and age when the family income is often divided equally between a mother and father but still the emphasis seems to be on dad's ability to provide for the home. Every good father wants to provide for his family.  He wants to provide a good home, good food, adequate clothing, and as many opportunities for growth as possible.

 

As a Good Father, our Lord provides for us too.  The apostle Paul wrote, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19) Last week I argued that the name "Mighty God" showed that our Lord was able to fulfill His promises and to meet our needs. Knowing that Jesus is the everlasting Father, shows us that he is not only ABLE to meet these needs . . . He is also WILLING to meet them. He provides what we need for eternal life.  But He also provides for us in many other ways.

He provides the words for tough situations

He provides the guidance we need for tough decisions

He provides the comfort we need in times of heartbreak

He provides the clothing, food, and support we need

He provides opportunities for us to make a real difference in life

He provides people who will stand alongside us and teach us

He answers our prayers and provides healing for all diseases

He opens our minds to spiritual truth

He gives us strength when we feel we can't go on

 

Our everlasting Father provides for our every need.

 

HE CARES ABOUT US

A Father shows his care surprisingly by the discipline He dispenses.  An uncaring parent provides no boundaries.  They don't know where their children are, or care what their children are doing. Often a parent is seen as mean or unfeeling because they refuse to give a child everything they want, or because they will not erase the consequences of a child's foolish behavior (like making them pay for the broken window, or refusing to bail them out of jail until the next morning).  But in truth, it is only the loving parents who WILL take these kinds of stands.  It is much easier to just give in . . . it is harder to see the big picture.

 

A good parent will set limits and will help a child learn to budget their time and their resources and will also help them to manage their desires. A good parent will seek to teach a child about decisions and consequences while those decisions and consequences are small. A good parent will teach a child about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

 

It is the same way with our Lord.  The Bible reminds us that those the Lord loves, He disciplines. (See Hebrews 12:5-11). Discipline is too often seen as synonymous with punishment.  However it is better to see discipline as synonymous with involvement and love. God cares enough about us to get involved in leading and directing our lives.  He takes an interest in developing our character.   

We may see God's delays as indifference but God may be simply waiting for the right time.

We may see the trials of life as proof that everything happens by chance but in reality those trials may be God's attempt to teach us to stand by faith.

We may see the struggles of our lives as a sign that God doesn't love us, when it is more likely that God is weaning our hearts from the things of the world so that we can enjoy His love more fully. 

 

A Father also shows His care by the prayers He prays.  There is nothing that drives a person to pray more than having children. It's not that children drive their parents crazy (most of the time) it's that a parent realizes that they cannot be with and protect their children all the time. They turn to the one who can protect them and walk with them always.

 

The Bible tells us that Jesus is constantly interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25).  This is a nice picture but I must admit that I find it a bit confusing. Jesus is God.  He is in Heaven with the Father.  Why would He have to "pray"?  I think this is one of those times when the Bible draws us a picture that reveals God's character. I think we are supposed to see that our Lord has that same kind of intense concern for our lives that a parent shows in their prayers.  

 

The Lord is committed to our growth and our protection.  He is committed to us. He is in Heaven, but He has not forgotten us.  He has made a sacrifice for our sin but He is not content to leave things at that.  Our Lord is deeply invested in our lives.  I think that is what we are supposed to get from the phrase, "He is always living to make intercession for us."

 

AND THESE THINGS WILL BE TRUE FOREVER

A parent will always love their child.  No matter what a child does a parent loves them. I believe that even in cases when a parent and child seem to lose their relationship, I believe deep down what that parent wants more than anything else is a restored relationship with their child. Our relationship with our children changes over the years but our love does not waver. It is no easier to see your adult child suffer than it is to see an infant suffer.

Jesus is called the Everlasting Father because His love will never end.  In Romans 8:35-39 we are asked the question

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Bible tells us that the Savior loved us before the creation of the earth.  In fact, it was His love for us that brought Him to earth and led Him to the cross.  He loved us in spite of what we had done. His commitment to us is sure.

A loving parent may not like everything their child does. In fact, it is certain that a loving parent will not like all the decisions and choices their child makes.  But they continue to love their child. In the same way there are things that believers do that do not please the Father. In these times He does not condone our actions. He will take action against our sin and rebellion . . . .but He does not stop loving those who belong to Him. 

You may feel that you deserve for God to cast you away. You may be so ashamed of what you have done that you wonder if He could ever love you again. He can.  He has never stopped loving you. Turn from your sin and like the Prodigal son . . .return to the One who has been waiting with open arms. 

CONCLUSIONS

To wrap things up let me draw three conclusions. First, it is important to remember that He is the Everlasting Father only to those who are part of His family in Christ.  The notion of the universal fatherhood of God and the universal Brotherhood of man sounds nice but it is not Biblical.  The Bible tells us quite clearly that those who will not trust God are enemies of God.  They are called children of the Devil and not children of the Everlasting Father. 

Consequently, it is essential that we ask ourselves the important question: "What family do I belong to?" If you have not placed all of your confidence for salvation in what Christ has done for you, if you have not entrusted the Lord with your life, then you are part of the Devil's family.  But you don't have to stay there! The Lord is willing to adopt you into His family . . . just like He has done for so many of us here. It takes a simple act of true belief.  If you will stop running away and instead turn toward Him, then you will be saved. Please do that today.

Second, we need to remember that the fact that He is the everlasting Father means that we must never think of our Lord in the past tense.  We must not think of Him as the one who "once lived".  He still lives!  He is the "everlasting father". Other religions have a faith built on a past relationship . . . we build our faith on a present relationship with Christ. He is not just our Savior in the past but He is also the one who guides us and cares for us in the present.

Do you see how easily this happens at Christmas.  We tell the stories of history and talk about the time centuries ago when Jesus lived on earth. The times were different and it is easy to conclude that these things are great facts . . . but that is all they are, just old dusty facts.  These accounts are indeed past events. At Christmas we do talk about history.  But we are not JUST talking about history.  Our focus is on what those historical events mean to our present spiritual reality. Because of what happened in Bethlehem, on Calvary, and at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea we now have a present relationship with God. Christmas is worth celebrating because it changed the way we live TODAY. 

Finally, when we find ourselves questioning the events in our lives we need to remember that He is the everlasting Father.  He may allow us to struggle because He knows it is for our good.  He may stand back on occasion to see how we will handle certain situations.  But He will never abandon us. He will never allow us to be destroyed.  He is our shield, He is our Rock, and He loves us like only a Father can.  

 

The following is a compilation of ten favorite verses about our Father in Heaven.  All but two of them are spoken directly by Jesus Himself.  May you experience His love as you read the truth about your Abba, (Father).

10.  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  –Matthew 6:26 

9.  "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.  –Matthew 18:12-14 

8.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  –Luke 6:35-36 

7.  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom".  –Luke 12:32 

6.  "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."  –John 14:1-2 

5.  "No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  — John 16:27 

4.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  — Romans 8:15-16 

3.  "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"  — Matthew 7:9-11 

2.  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

And what is the message all of these verses are hammering into our hearts?

You have a daddy who loves you.

He is strong enough to protect you.

He is engaged enough to teach you.

He is tender enough to hug you.

He is alive enough to play with you.

And the Number One verse regarding the love of the Father is this amazing truth–  no matter how far you have wondered, you can still come home!  Regarding the prodigal son, Jesus tells us:

1.  "When he came to his senses, he said… "I will set out and go back to my father" –Luke 15:17

 

Background Scripture:                        Matthew 7:11 

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

 

Scriptures References:                        Psalm 68:5, Isaiah 63:16; 64:8, Matthew 6:9; 7:11, John 1:12, Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 4:5; 6,  I Peter 1:17

 

Questions:

1).        What is a natural father?

2).        How many titles for Jesus is in Isaiah 9:6?

3).        What does the title Wonderful Counselor remind us of?

4).        What does the title Mighty God remind us of?

5).        What does the title Everlasting Father remind us of?

6).        Explain the doctrine of the Trinity.

7).        Why is Jesus called the Everlasting Father?

8).        What are the four things from this title (Everlasting Father).

9).        Explain why Jesus gave us life.

10).      As a Good Father, our Lord provides for us in what ways?

11).      Name some of these provisions.

12).      Read I Peter 5:7, then give references.          

13).      Explain an uncaring parent.

14).      Explain a good parent.

15).      Explain Hebrews 12:5-11

16).      What are we supposed to see in Hebrews 7:25?

17).      Who or what shall separate us from the love of Christ?

18).      Why are some called the children of the devil?

19).      Because of the Christmas story, how should we build our lives?

 

Application Question:  Explain your relationship with the Everlasting Father.

 

Who Prophesied this?  Week # 6         

". . . He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken."(Psalm 34:20)

 

Please share a short Review:

 

Reading Assignment:              Week # 6          Isaiah 42-49    Monday through Sunday

Sharing:          Christmas Songs          Week # 6          O Holy Night  

O holy night The stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till he appeared and the soul felt it's worth

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices For yonder brinks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night, O night divine

O Holy Night The stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error-pining Till he appeared and the soul felt it's worth

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices For yonder brinks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night, O night divine

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace