How to Honour Our Heavenly Father
Today we celebrate Father’s day.
I want to make an observation that I believe to be true. I believe that there’s a reason that our God is likened unto ‘Our Father’ throughout Scripture. This I believe is because that for a male, the Father is the most important role found in our society.
If the most important role for a man was that of CEO, then God would have referred to Himself as CEO.
If it were ‘athlete’ then God would have referred to Himself as athlete
Had it been 'President’, then the Lord’s Prayer would begin ‘Our President, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name...’
Had it been Governor, then He would have called Himself Governor
Had it been pastor, then pastor - and so on & so forth.
God is referred to as ‘Father’ because as God is absolutely vital to us, and the earthly Father is absolutely vital to society. As we have seen and as statistics bear out, this is a truth that cannot be ignored.
(Ill.) Reference Statistics
Now the Bible tells us in Ex. 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” In fact Paul said in Eph. 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
For today’s message we’re going to examine a few different dynamics: That of the relationship:
Between God the Father & God the Son (Jesus)
Between God the Father & His adoptive Children (you and I)
And to a lesser extent - Earthly Fathers and their relationship unto their children
And we’re going to focus on this: How we Honor our Heavenly Father. We are going to attempt to define and put in words how that is achieved practically in our lives.
In our passage of Scripture, Jesus is speaking to the Jews extensively about His relationship unto His Father. In fact, the word ‘Father’ is used 15x in this passage of Scripture.
Strongs (def) to Prize; i.e. fix valuation upon; to revere; (Hebrew) ‘Make weighty’
MW1828 (def) The esteem due or paid to worth; any expression of respect or of high estimation by words or actions.
This is all well & good - but how does that look in our lives?
I have 3 things to give to you that I believe can help in showing us how we Honor our Heavenly Father
The first being that we Honor our Heavenly Father by Regarding the Words of Christ
I. By Regarding the Words of Christ
I. By Regarding the Words of Christ
Jesus said in our text: Joh. 5:22-23 “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
So in other words, we cannot Honour our Heavenly Father without Honoring Christ Himself.
I want to take just a few of the things that Jesus commended to the Jews in this passage that we must honor if we’re to demonstrate honor unto our Heavenly Father.
By Receiving and Believing (v24)
This is a two-fold response mentioned by Christ
The first is to ‘heareth’ - that’s the receiving.
One thing that was mentioned by one of the preachers this week is a long known truth - and that is that you can listen to something without ever hearing it. There’s many people that have sat under preaching and they’ve listened to the words coming forth, but they never really gave ear to hear it. (I’m sure that we’ve all been there at some time or another - just hopefully not right now).
Sadly this happens all too often. You see, the Gospel is something that is of great importance to everyone.
(Ill.) If I told most any soul around that there was a way they could receive 20 million dollars, I’d bet that their ears would perk right up! But every Sunday all over the world preachers preach the Gospel of Christ - which is worth far more than that - and you have people falling asleep in the pews.
To Regard the Words of Christ you must first Receive them.
The second is to ‘believe’ - place your faith in the message He preaches!
Here Jesus says to ‘believe on Him that sent me’ - which is another way of giving the Gospel in a manner in which you would expect from Jesus in this context - as Jesus was always looking to exalt and honor His Father. But understand this: You can’t place faith in the Father without placing it in His Salvation plan found in Jesus!
Church, you cannot Honor God without Honoring Jesus.
The Jews then and those in Judaism today don’t honor God because they reject Jesus
The Muslims don’t honor God because they don’t honor Jesus in the manner they should
The Mormons don’t honor God for the Jesus in the book of Mormon is not the Jesus of the Bible
The Seventh Day Adventists don’t honor God because they dishonor the Sacrifice of Christ by claiming it’s insufficient for Salvation alone. (As do many denominations I might add…)
The Gospel of Christ is the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus for the sins of mankind. BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH.
We Honor Christ By Receiving & Believing
By Raising to New Life (v25)
We not only ‘live’ by experiencing Salvation, but we live by walking in newness of life.
Rom. 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
When we consider Jesus, consider this: Jesus wasn’t living the life of the Steven Furtick’s, Joel Osteen’s or Kenneth Copeland’s - preaching in $1k nike’s or flying on private jets & eating caviar… Jesus had nowhere to lay His head. He paid His tribute by having Peter get money from a fish’s mouth. He lived humble, He died a cruel death on the Cross for our sins, He was buried and Rose to New Life 3 days later! When He arose He wasn’t recognized! He had a glorified body!
Too many people make a profession of faith and they look, act, talk and such just like the old dead man!
We honor Christ by walking as He did in Newness of Life
By Reading the Scriptures (v39)
We honor Christ by Reading the Scriptures.
The Bible tells us: Joh. 1:1-4 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Joh. 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The Bible by definition is Christ.
It’s not animate, but it’s alive
It has a front & back, but no end to it’s depth
It is Supernatural
It is Perfect
It is Life Transforming
It is Rejected by most, but Received by Some
If you desire to Honour God the Father, then you better be Honouring His Word.
(Ill.) If I said I loved you but I ignored you - am I honoring you? Am I holding you in high esteem? Am I demonstrating that you are of high worth in my life? No - and you dishonor your Heavenly Father if you do not Honor His Word.
We honor Christ by Reading the Scriptures
we Honor our Heavenly Father by Regarding the Words of Christ & next: Recognizing the Work of Our Father
II. By Recognizing the Work of the Father
II. By Recognizing the Work of the Father
In Setting a Godly Example (v19)
In the text, Jesus is crediting His Father with setting an example for Him to follow.
Now I want to speak for a minute on the relationship between an earthly father and their children. LISTEN TO ME DADDYS: IF YOU WANT TO HONOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER, YOU WILL SET A GODLY EXAMPLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN AS JESUS DID FOR HIS SON.
You cannot expect for your children to live a Godly life if you’re not. There are entirely too many influences fighting for the attention of your children. You have the most power to have the greatest impact upon your child. It’s literally a birth-right and an obligation! And make no mistake - you ARE setting an example - the question is WHAT KIND of example!
The Father set an Example for His Son
In Sacrifice Toward His Children (v20b)
This is eluding to the Death & Resurrection of Christ that was to come (v21)
I worded this point very carefully, as there are two different distinctions concerning Sacrifice that I want to address.
The first is the Sacrifice of Jesus for the Sake of Jesus.
In order for Christ to be glorified and fulfil His purpose, the Father had to bring temporal pain upon Him for eternal blessings.
In like manner - Earthly fathers, for the good of their children must sometimes bring temporal pain for eternal blessings unto their children as well. Now I’m not talking about Sacrificing them, but I am talking about bringing the rod down upon them.
The Bible tells us: Pro. 23:13-14 “Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
The Father brought temporal punishment upon His Son, in the end, the Son was blessed & honored by it. In like manner, we must bring the rod of correction upon our children so that in the end it will bring them honor and blessings as well.
The second is the Sacrifice of Jesus for His Adoptive Children.
The Bible says: Rom. 8:14-15 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
In order for God the Father to become OUR Father, He had to Sacrifice for us. This Sacrifice was very dear unto Him, as this sacrifice was of course Jesus. But because He was willing to Sacrifice, He was able to SAVE YOU AND I and adopt us into His family.
(Ill.) I read a story years ago about some coal miners in Ireland. (The Bus Driver Illustration) They were on a bus bringing them back home from the mines. It was a cold day and snow had fallen and covered the ground. As the bus driver was coming down the winding hill, he was obviously very nervous as the roads very slick and narrow - with one side of the road hillside and the other a drop off. The bus is going along and as he rounds a bend he sees a terrifying sight - there was a boy sitting in the middle of the road playing in the snow. The bus driver had a decision to make - either run the bus over the hill and kill a bunch of those miners, or hit the boy, as there was no time to stop. Well after a few moments the bus grind to a halt, the bus driver flung the doors open and ran back to the boy. Several miners followed suit and as they reached them they removed their hats as the bus driver sat in the snow cradling the body of his son.
I believe this story serves as a good illustration as to what a great sacrifice the Father gave for you and I. I don’t think we rightly understand how great this Sacrifice was for us!
We Honour our Heavenly Father by Recognizing His Sacrifice Toward His Children - AND in showing great Restraint For His Children.
In Showing Restraint for His Children (v21)
Our Heavenly Father showed great Restraint for you and I.
As Jesus endured what would be the most horrific day in a human’s life - physically, emotionally, Spiritually, psychologically - in just about any way you could describe it - the Father allowed it to continue.
He allowed them to beat Jesus
He allowed them to mock Jesus
He allowed them to crucify Jesus
He heard the cry of Jesus when He said ‘My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?’
And all the while He did nothing to stop it.
Can you imagine the pressure you would feel had that been you?
But we must remember - He restrained Himself both for Jesus and for you and I.
Daddy’s - if we’re to honor our Heavenly father we should recognize that He showed restraint - and not only that, but mold ourselves in that image as well. We need to learn to restrain our desires and emotions and put them into subjection for the good of our children.
We honor our Heavenly Father by Recognizing His Restraint
we Honor our Heavenly Father by Regarding the Words of Christ, by Recognizing the Work of Our Father & lastly by Replicating the Will of them Both
III. By Replicating the Will of them Both
III. By Replicating the Will of them Both
Promote Faith in Christ
Jesus said: Joh. 3:14-18 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Upon the Mount of Transfiguration we see this: Mat. 17:5 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”
If we desire to Honor our Heavenly Father, then we should promote Faith in Christ. We should be actively telling people about Jesus! Act. 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
If you’re not Promoting Faith in Christ, you’re NOT honoring God. Jesus said His purpose was: Luk. 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” And if we’re not concerned about that, we cannot Honour God.
Promote Faith in Christ
Preach Fearless of Consequence
In Act. 6-7 the Bible introduces us to a man by the name of Stephen, of whom it was said: Act. 6:5 “...a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost...” Ch. 6 & 7 tell us that He preached Jesus and was arrested by the Jews and brought him before the council. He preached Jesus and told them they were guilty of killing Him and ultimately, they took him out to stone him and we see this: Act. 7:54-56 “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
Steven honored the Father and the Son - insomuch that as Stephen was about to go be with the LORD, He saw Jesus standing on the Right Hand of God. God the Father revealed at least a portion of Himself unto Stephen just prior to death - which was a rare occourance to say the least.
Honor them by Preaching Fearless of Consequence
Provide Fervently for Others
The Father provided:
A covering for Adam & Eve
A Mark for Cain
An Ark for Noah
A Promise for Abraham
Redemption from Egypt for the COI
A Whale for Jonah
A Prophet for the Ninevites
A Still Small Voice for Elijah
Protection from the Fire for Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego
Protection from the lions for Daniel
Food for a multitude
Sight for the blind
Hearing for the deaf
Cleansing for the Leper
Wisdom for the foolish
Redemption for the Sinner
Blood to wash us Clean
Hope for the Hopeless
Help for the Helpless
A Home up in Heaven
This is just a list off the top of my head! How God - the Father and the Son provided ferverently for OTHERS.
If we’re to honor God, we need to stop focusing on ourselves and get a vision for others.
The question is: Are you Honoring your Heavenly Father today. You say ‘I do, I just do it in my own way’ - Listen, if you’re not doing these things, I don’t think it’s possible to do so.
Have you ‘Received the Word and Believed’?
If not you’re on your way to Hell - rejecting the only Salvation God has made available.
What will you do with the Message today?