LIVING CHRIST MISSION INC

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power... Rev 4:11

Fathers’ Day / June Pastors’ Conference Service 29th June 2014

Preamble

Foundation is very important. For example, if you build a house and the foundation is not strong, that house would crash/fall. Marrying/marriage is a foundation (or, marrying/marriage is laying a foundation). If you marry a bad wife, you have laid a shallow foundation and consequently, your house will fall and your family will become scattered. As this Fathers’ Day service touches, concerns and celebrates fathers, they are enjoined to help tell their children and children’s children that foundation and laying a good foundation is very important.

Point 1: Any sin that you keep committing will definitely find you out

Ref Numbers 32 v22 and Galatians 6

Here God informed the Israelis that if they do not keep His laws, their sins will find them out. If you refuse to do what God asks you to do, you will reap whatever you sow. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption and if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life and peace. 

Likewise fathers, when you listen to and do the Word of God, it is your household that you bless. But if you live life as you please, leading a worldly life, the Bible says that your sins will find you out. No matter where you hide yourself.

Ahab, for example laid a very shallow foundation. How? He married a very evil wife –Jezebel- and, as she came into his house she carried an idol with her. But Ahab had learnt how to worship idols from his father, Omri. Omri had served idols a lot and had also killed a lot of people. Ahab learnt evil things from his father. Thus, the curses that follow the generation of those who hate and despise God even to the fourth generation therefore, followed the generation of Ahab from one to another.  

Now, when Ahab had killed many prophets of God and nothing happened to him, he went on to kill many children of God. Nothing also happened to him. But it was when he killed Naboth that the wrath of God was kindled against him. God vowed to visit with/punish him regarding the death of His prophets/children. This goes to show that it is not when a person does something bad that he reaps the seed.

Ahab thought that God could be deceived.  How? When he went to war against Ramoth-Gilead, he disguised himself. He also took King Jehoshaphat with him and made him/asked him to dress in his royal regalia to the war while he himself disguised himself.  Jehoshaphat was nearly crushed in that war.

Jehoshaphat thought that Ahab loved him. He had a clean heart towards Ahab. This goes to show that at times you may have a clean heart towards another but unknown to you is that the person hates you deeply and busies him/herself digging a pit for your life.  Meanwhile you share laughs with this same person. It is imperative that we – as children of God – pray not to fall into the hands of an evil person. Pray to God to make you know those who love you and those who hate you.  

Jehoshaphat loved Ahab genuinely – this Ahab knew. However, Ahab hated Jehoshaphat and took him with into war.

Note here that Jehoshaphat claimed to be born again yet he hung out /associated himself with one (Ahab) who killed/kills God’s prophets and children, forgetting that light and darkness has no fellowship or anything in common[1]. The killings by King Jehu, the death of Jehoram (son of Jehoshaphat) and Ahaziah (Jehoshaphat’s grandson) all go to show that light has no fellowship with darkness.

When Jehoshaphat narrowly escaped death in the war, it was not by his cries and screams but by God’s help (see 2nd Chronicles 18 v 31-32). Irrespective of his love for Ahab, he did not want to die in his stead. Note – if it where Christ Jesus, He will die for you and I.

When God helped Jehoshaphat, the Syrian soldier drew his arrow at a venture, and because God had already decreed that a person’s sins would find him out, the arrow went about, found Ahab and struck him down. He died from that wound. His sins found him out.

See 1 Kings 22 v 30-34

Before Ahab went into that war, he sent abroad his 70 sons and placed them under the care of the great men of the city who were bringing them up. They were their guardians while Jezebel went live in another city. All these he did to disguise and deceive people. He thought he could deceive the Living God too.

Note, a person may steal and/or defraud another and then open a bank account under a false name to disguise and deceive the government, you cannot deceive God Almighty. No matter where you hide away something, the Living God knows. Therefore, the best way to serve God is by working hard at and keeping your hands clean. It is the only way to get the heart of God.

Ahab hid away his sons but when the wrath of God caught up with them by the hand of Jehu. They were all slain by Jehu. Their sins found them out.  See 2 Kings 10 v 1, 5-7.  Strive diligently to keep your hands clean or else your sins will find you out.

Reference to Jeroboam’s wife who also disguised herself and came before a prophet of God. Jeroboam was a devout idol worshiper but when one of his sons was on a death bed he remembered that there was a prophet of God in his country. He asked his wife to disguise herself and go inquire from the prophet whether the son would live[2]. The prophet made her out for who she was.

But, why is it that bad people/evil men always love hypocrisy? Note that no matter how you pretend, or how you pretend to love God, your sins will surely find you out. Ref Proverbs 26 – no matter how smooth your tongue and words, when you are done talking, your sins will find you out. Why? He who digs a pit must surely fall into it.  We, as Christians, carry around the Bible; when we come to church/before God, we sit as if righteous but beware – your sins will definitely find you out. In as much as there are sins one does unknowingly but, there are sins that are done mindfully.

Ahab killed a lot of prophets and people; he forcefully took away people’s land and properties. But, when he had his own children, he hid them away to safety so that it would seem that he didn’t bear any children. Well, he hid them/it from the world but not from God.

Although some fathers are already married, they are enjoined to be careful of the kind of wife they encourage their children to marry as foundation is very important. What led Ahab to destruction was the wife he married – Jezebel.

Point 2 Marriage

Genesis 24 v 2-4

A good father thinks positively towards his family as well as towards those who dwell in house – his household. Therefore a good parent would not bewitch their child or use his or her child as a cult offering to renew his or her life. Any parent that does this does so inadvertently.

Abraham knew he was going to pass on (die) one day, and prepared ahead for his son (Isaac). He married him a wife when Isaac was aged 40 years – 4 years after the death of his mother, Sarah, who died aged 127 years – Abraham himself being 140 years of age. Abraham made his servant swear not marry a bad wife for his son. This goes to show that a father does not lay a stumbling block in the path of his prosperous child. He does not shed his child’s blood or use his child for cult offering.  In as much as at times, some children’s misbehaviour are the cause of their parents losing their temper and cursing them in anger, a good father thinks positively and kindly upon his children and his household.

Abraham thought positively towards his family; he was led by the Holy Spirit and thus did not hit Sarah when she was upset about the maltreatment she received from their house-help/female servant – Hagar. Presently, some fathers will allow their wives compete or struggle over them with their female house-help. Abraham did no such thing; rather he took sides with his wife.

His wife Sarah was a respectful woman too; she gave Abraham his due respect and, God in turn blessed the family. Abraham had already married her before God asked him to leave his father’s house and land. Sarah followed him wherever he sojourned. This goes to show that it is good to marry a God fearing wife. That way peace will reign in the family and whether or not you have enough to eat or, whether or not you are rich or poor, your neighbours would not hear about it. This was how Abraham, David and Jacob did as good fathers.

A good father does curse easily or lay a curse that will cause a person to die untimely on the road, upon his household. He does not join secret society. Abraham did no such thing. He placed a ‘release clause’ in the oath he made his servant swear provided that the servant does not take his son to an evil land in the situation that the woman he was to marry refused to come with him – he (the servant) will be free of the oath if that case arises.  Isaac, on the other hand, after his mother’s death, took his father as both his father and mother. This was why they lived together for 4 years after her death before he raised the discussion of marriage.

On the question from church members regarding whether there was an age which a man must attain before getting married and God will bless him; that is must he attain 40 years of age? The answer is no.  Rather you are to marry when

  • a)you are sure you are prepared to;
  • when you are sure you can cater for and look after the woman well;
  • when you are sure that there will be no keeping malice.

See Genesis 11 v 10 - 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24-29 – destiny is different for people. Some here married at 29, 30, 32, 34, 35 and even 70 years of age. Terah the father of Abraham was 70 years before he married! This goes to show that destiny is different for everyone. Getting married is when you prepare – provided that when you marry, you are prepared for it.

But, note that for some unknown reason, those who married early died early in this passage. This is because as times goes by the days/life span of man shortens. During the time of Adam, it reached up to 900 years; during the time of Moses, 120 years; while during the time of David, it came down to 70 years. Even nowadays a 30-year-old person looks older than his years. Sin is one of the factors that reduces a person’s life span – Proverbs 10. It brings about sudden death. Too much hardship, also, brings about sudden death. At times you would see a 9-year-old child of this generation already drinking beer, smoking hard drugs, and drinking things he should not be drinking – why then should he reach old age?

Furthermore, we like doing the things God asks us not to do, thinking God to be over strict. But you will find that if you follow what God bids you do, you will never be put to shame.

Another point to pick from this passage (Genesis 11) is about not murmuring or losing heart in the face of bad times/temptation. In verses 24 – 26, you will see that Abraham lost one of his brothers (Haran, father of Lot), and also, his wife was barren for years. But despite all these, Abraham did not speak against God or murmur.  Even later on as he sojourned with his father and family, another brother died. Let us as Christians follow his footsteps here. Why? At times God may allow something to happen to us irrespective of our fervent prayers. It is not as a result of our sins, rather, only Him knows the reason why.  Even if the temptation comes to a person around you who is a devout Christian, do not ask the person why or question God.

A father should know how to pray. He should lead in family prayers. If he is not born again, then he ought to be born again. He should raise his children in the fear of God.

Genesis 25 v 19 -21, 26

In as much Abraham being Isaac’s father was a great bonus but, here, the main reason God granted Isaac’s request was because he prayed. Isaac exercised patience with God for 20 years, praying all the while.

He had his first child at 60 years and, had only two children in his lifetime; Abraham had only Isaac by Sarah, and that at the age of 100 years – he had patience with God too. The point is, it is not about having a full-house of children rather, you should pray that even if it is one child that you bear, that that child should be a blessed child.  Some fathers of nowadays might have only one son by their wife, and then they start fidgeting to marry another. Well, you may marry another wife and have 10 sons, but note that if God does not build a house, in vain do the builders build.  What is important is to be on good terms with God so that any gift He gives you would be permanent.

With Isaac, not just a year, two or three passed, but 20 years yet, he did not shake. He did not pick fights with his father, Abraham, for any reason. Neither did he question the servant of Abraham who married Rebekah for him. He was patient with God. But why did God make it so that Abraham had just that one child of promise and from that one child he blessed the whole earth? Jacob the son of Isaac went on to have 12 sons and one daughter. Out of the 12, God choose Judah but used Joseph to protect Judah. Therefore, learn to have patience with God and desist from being in a hurry.

Daddy Hezekiah also advised men to marry women they are older than when they (the men) desire to marry. From what is written in the Bible, you will see that Abraham was older than Sarah (by 9 years), Isaac was older than Rebekah and Jacob was older than Rachel.  It is not a must that a man must marry a younger woman but it is Biblical for him to do so. Why? A woman ages quicker than a man though she may live long/for several years on earth.  Also, a man may be able to bear children at old age but a woman has limitations in that biologically, there is a period in time she will attain to and will no longer be able to give birth.

Note also that when God told Abraham that he would have a son, Abraham was not concerned about himself rather he was worried about Sarah. Also, with Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, her husband, Zachariah was concerned about her not himself. Therefore, if you are to marry, strive to marry a woman who fears God and who is younger than you. This is Biblical. However, if you see a vision and God reveals to you to marry someone older than you, there is nothing wrong. Why? Because He is God. He decreed to His prophets not to marry a non-virgin female if they desired to marry because if they do, they have defiled themselves. Nonetheless, He permitted Hosea to marry a harlot. He is the Almighty, therefore if He so permits you, you are free to do so. But if He does not, due to the way He created man and woman, the best thing is to follow what is in the Bible – marry a woman younger than you.

Point 3: how to escape temptation, trials etc.

Trials and temptations, people joining unclean covenants and secret societies, as well as things that lead to destruction are all are on the increase as the days go by. But, how can you defeat these temptations? How can you escape these evils? How do you survive this dangerous world?

See Ephesians chapter 6. We wrestle, not against flesh and blood or things seen but against principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. So, we can defeat perilous times by putting on the whole armour of God as follows:

  1.       Helmet of salvation – this is why soldiers wear metal helmets so that bullets would not penetrate.
  2.       Sword = Word of God
  3.       Shield = faith (for protection of your heart)
  4.       Breastplate of righteousness (also protects your heart)
  5.       Belt of truth
  6.       Protection of your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

If you have all these, inadvertently, if someone strikes your head with a sharp blade, the Helmet of Salvation will protect you. If you have salvation and are well equipped, bad dreams/nightmares, witchcraft etc. cannot touch or harm you. But if you do not have salvation, you are vulnerable and exposed to danger. How? Your head and heart are uncovered/unprotected – no righteousness. You also have no shield in your hand neither do you have the word of God (sword) in your hands. Your waist does not have a belt (truth) round it – imagine wearing a trouser without belt, the trousers will fall off your waist! The Bible instructs us to hold our waist in place by aid of a belt of truth so that no matter what forces that comes against us, they will not prevail because the helmet of salvation has covered us.  

Point 4: It is not those who hear the Word of God that are counted righteous but those who hear the Word and do it.

Let’s take the Good Samaritan for an example. He was not a pastor or a prophet but he saw and helped a man beaten and left for dead by the road side. Prophets saw the man but walked on without touching him let alone help him. The Levite – a descendant of Aaron – also passed him by without helping him. So did priests and men of God. But a Samaritan – a man from a defiled, unworthy, outcast Samaria saw him and took him to hospital. You see, it is not those who hear the Word that are counted righteous but the Samaritan who hears the Word and also puts it into practice.  

You may not be familiar with the Bible but God has already written His laws on the tablets of your heart. Your attitude and love towards God will save you, over a person who claims to read the Bible all the time or have even read the whole of the Bible yet does not keep a single commandment. Such a person only deceives himself.

Remember in the Book of Luke where Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us about a man how had 2 servants. The man requested of them to get a task done before he returns. One said he would do it and the other said he wouldn’t.  Upon his return, the one that said he would do the task did not, while the one who said he wouldn’t did the task. So Our Lord Jesus Christ asked in the passage, who out of the two did the master’s will? This goes to show that there are people you may never catch with a Bible in their hands but their attitude/behaviour proves that the hear the Word of God

 

The end



[1] See 2 Corinthians 6 v 14-18 especially v 15

[2] 1 Kings 14 v 1-20

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