There is so much fatherless in the world, introduced by the devil, who denied his Creator and forsake His Fatherhood. But healing can happen. He forgives and races to receive us back to His House. We can come to Him and enjoy His nature of joy and life. (Luke 15; Romans 8:1)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 5/3/2020
P. Schaller –
Morning. Not just to the folks here in the parking lot but on the internet. Greetings from Baltimore,
Maryland to the folks in India and Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world. We love you.
This morning we’re going to speak on how God is our Father. Fathers. Great word. Big word.
Fathers. Soon it’s Mother’s Day. That will be great. Next week. I wasn’t thinking of that.
Congratulations to the moms. In the universe, we know that God is the Creator. We also know
that he is our Father. When he created the universe, the first thing he made were angels. There
were levels of angels that God made. We know this because they are called angels, seraphim,
and cherubim. One of them went to rebellion against God.
And his name was Lucifer. We know this because Is. 14 teaches us, Ezekiel 28 and John. 8. Jesus said to the Jewish people that you are of your father the devil. So God as father lost an angel who became Satan and was cast to this earth. He became fatherless. Not that God wasn’t his father, but it was that he chose and
became evil for evil was found in him. In his rebellion, he established another order and
became fatherless. Of course this raises the question about the nature of God. When people go
and rebel against God, does God forsake them or is he a father that you can really trust and
know? There is a parable in Luke 15 on this subject that we can turn to. As we do, I just sense in
my heart that God wants to say something to us. (prayer). Fathers. Jesus said to the disciples,
pray this way: Our Father who art in heaven.
Fathers are important. Chuck Swindoll writes this story: “I remember stealing six softballs when I was working as a stock boy in a five and dime store my early years in high school. I remember trying to find a place to hide them when I got home. I don’t know what in the world I planned to do with six softballs. To this day it baffles
me, but I stuck them in the back of my drawer where my mother found them. My father
presented himself to me and told me we were going to make a trip back to the store where I
was going to talk to the owner and confess. I will never forget his instruction on the way. I
mean I was sitting there just dying thinking about it. It was like passing raiser blades to think
about standing in front of my employer.
Well, I stood there and told him what I had done. My dad was waiting in the car. He didn’t go in with me and I heard my boss say, you’re fired. I stumbled back out to the car and sat down. I was as low as I can remember ever being. On the way, I remember my dad beginning to rebuild my emotions. I had done wrong. I had learned an
incredible lesson. He didn’t overdo it, but he drilled it into me, when you steal, you get fired,
and if you don’t get fired at the moment, you lose something that can’t be bought at any price
and that’s your self-respect. I remember too we got on the subject of what in the world was I
going to do with those six softballs. But there was something about the ornament of grace that
came around my neck from my father who before we went into the house, took the time to put
his arms around me and to understand.
This teenage kid was most concerned about my father not telling my friends. As far as I know, he took that story to his grave and never told on me.” You know some of you have not had the privilege of having a good dad, but though you haven’t had a good dad, you can imagine a good dad. A dad like that. A dad that cares about you. A dad
that talks to you. A dad that listens to you. A dad that will be there. A dad that cares for you.
And a dad that cares about your character, your development, and your growth. Some of you
have not had a dad. There have been men through history like that. I have a book here called Faith of the Fatherless. It’s written by a psychologist and he makes the argument and it explains
that many atheists have a father wound.
Atheists and their fathers. There were dead fathers: Nietzsche, Hume, Russell, Sartre, Camus, Schopenhauer. These are atheists. Weak fathers. Abusive fathers: Hobbs, Voltaire,…Freud, H. G. Wells. There were also political atheists that had bad fathers, abusive fathers, or absent fathers: Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mau Zedong.
That’s an amazing story and theory and presentation. The devil became fatherless and he came
to this world and he wants people to be fatherless like he is. He wants us to be hurt and
wounded, misunderstood abused and taken advantage of, ignored, thrown away. God is the
opposite. God reaches out. God touches us. God speaks the truth to us. God cares about us. He
is a good Father. Really the only really good one, one that never makes a mistake, the one that
does everything perfectly.
And he sent his Son, Jesus Christ and Christ said to Philip at the Last
Supper, if you see me you’ve seen the Father. The Father and I are one. If we could be with
Jesus at the Last Supper, we would feel his fatherhood. He’s telling us he’s going away but don’t
be worried. I will send another. Also you will see me again. This is our church in the parking lot.
It’s a weird seating arrangement but that’s a detail compared to the content of our lives. If we
sit in the front seat of our car or we sit in a chair in the church, it’s a detail. It’s the content of
our lives that matters. We are here. We rejoice in it. We are assembling. We are hearing a
word. We are being encouraged and we are understanding each other and caring as much as
possible by human beings that are called.
Everyone of us have a calling and that’s to have God as our Father. With that in mind, I’ll read the verse from Luke 15:11. The story is important because not every father is able to touch his son. I have two sons and two daughters and am very thankful. But I also know as we grow up as people, distance happens. I found that
happened with my family also the distance that can happen. You sit down and have a bowl of
cheerios at breakfast, look across the table and realize that you really don’t know that person
that well and that person may not know your heart very well. This man had two sons and it
looks like in the story neither son really knew the father. That happens in families as I said. Even
if we make great effort. Here’s the good news.
God who made us has reached out to us and he has touched us, and we’ve gotten saved. Now he is our Father and we are able to know him. Just like a newborn baby knows his mother when he comes home. Just like in the world of
science and natural science and so on we know in the animal world and plant world and every
part of this world we find those mysterious connections. Proverbs 30 talks about four wonders that
I cannot comprehend: the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the sea, the way of
an eagle in the air and the way of man with a maid. Mystery. I don’t now how romance works,
but it works. I don’t know how a father knows his son, but I know it works; a daughter knows
her mother or father, but I know that it works. When Jesus came into the world, there was a
distance between him and others, but when they found him and he found them, they knew and
so do you.
You start to cry out by the Holy Spirit, Abba, Father. In Rom. 8, it says the spirit of
adoption whereby we cry out, Abba, Father. God is your Father. But be careful. The world that
we are in it is fatherless. It is without God. So we are presenting Christ and there are two
thieves, neither thief on both sides of Jesus knew who he was. They were both saying terms of
unbelief. They were doubting and cursing and suffering. It’s only understandable. But one of them changed. He said to the other thief, he has done nothing wrong. We are paying for our
sin, but he has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you enter
into your kingdom. He was born again and today you will be with me in Paradise. I know we
understand this estrangement that happens between people, in families and with God.
It is unbelievable that this world made by God would live in darkness and not know God. But God so
loved the world that he gave his Son so we could know his nature and his character. And when
he is dying on the cross, we see his humility and his amazing suffering and his love for
righteousness. He is saying you cannot steal six softballs and get away with it. You are wrong.
You have to face the music. But as you face the music, I am your father. I will put my arms
around you. I will counsel you. I will forget it. It’s over. It’s gone. I am your father. You need me.
I am the one in the whole universe that you need more than anybody. You need me. I am your
father. In the story, a man had two sons, and neither really knew him.
I will make this short. Vs. 12-13. He basically said I’m out of here! I’m gone. Ever had that spirit? I have. I’m out of here. I’m gone. I don’t need you. Thank you very much. You’ve done a lot for me, but I’m out of here.
I’m gone. I can live without you. I can live a life without you. I don’t need you. Thanks for the
stuff. I got it covered. I got it. It’s mine. I’m out of here. They say, the Bible scholars say in the
story in the Jewish culture it’s like good riddance to you dad. I got my stuff. I’m out of here. It
was very shameful for before the father would die to ask for the inheritance. Basically you’re
dead. I’m gone. Give me my stuff. And it was an exception. Vs. 14. It happens to us. When we
say no to God in our nature and we are born that way.
We are not thinking about him. We do sometimes. We don’t really care about him. We’re not loving him. We are not recognizing his value, his presence. It’s very easy to go away and do our own thing. Then we come to the end,
we hope and say something wrong. God is saying I made you so you can know me and not be
independent of me. I want you to know me. Trust me. I can’t see you. I know but there are
many things you cannot see but you believe. There are many things you cannot handle that are
in this universe, but you believe in them. There are many laws and rules. There are many things
that you are not seeing, and can you believe in me that you cannot see? It says in the story vs.
15, so he turned to a native and got a job feeding swine. Vs. 16-17. There it is. Have you ever
had that? You came to your end.
You came to yourself. Not the group, but you came to yourself. Not what everyone is saying on the TV or movies or your friends or school or university, not what popular culture is saying or doing but yourself. You somehow said I need to go back home. My father might hire me. I might get a job with my dad. I’ll prepare a speech,
and he did. We read it here in the parable. He prepared a speech, what he would say to his
father. And probably when he was going back to his father, he was rehearsing it because this is
the context of guilt. This is the context of failure. This is I stole six softballs. I slept with my
girlfriend. I lied to my teacher. I am an empty person. I haven’t found what I am really looking
for. I don’t know where it is, but I can tell you how lousy I feel.
As he’s going back, his father sees him afar off. It’s amazing because they say in the Jewish culture that men, middle age men and older they don’t run. They don’t run in public. They are not running. This is extraordinary.
The father saw him coming. He ran. Wow! He ran. What happened to the speech? It was never
said. The father overwhelmed his son. He overwhelmed him. Sometimes we read the stories of estranged families and it hurts. They can’t meet. There’s too much wound, too much said, too
much has happened. They can’t get over it. Years pass. My son was working in a hospital
drawing blood and sometimes meeting older men like my age and he would talk with them a
little bit. The man would be heartbroken. I have two sons and they don’t talk to me. I don’t
know where they are. I never see them.
There is so much fatherlessness in this world. Where is the father? Where is the father? Where is the son? Is he coming? Is he coming? Then where is the love? The father picked up the garment between his legs, the long tunic, and he ran and kissed him and embraced him and didn’t want to hear any speech. He just said, you are home.
You are home. Maybe you will know me. Maybe you will know me. Kill the fatted calf. Get the
shoes and the ring and the clothes and have a party in my house for my son was dead and now
he’s alive. The whole meaning of the church is not a group of perfect people. It’s a group of
people that call God “Father.” That Father does not condemn us. Romans 8:1, he corrects but he
loves. There are two sides to the blade of truth.
One is sharp and it will slice through like a samurai sword. It will slice through like a razor blade. And the other side of the sword is healing. The truth and I love you. Don’t do it again. If you do it again, the truth and I love you. My love is an everlasting love. I want you to know me. The devil does not know me. The fallen nature of
man doesn’t know me, but you know me. When Jesus was on the cross, his faith was tested to
the maximum. He said Father, and then there is one sentence where he didn’t say Father. He
said, my God, my God ,why have you forsaken me? He didn’t say, Father you have forsaken me.
He said my God, my God, the more generic term because he was at the very bottom of paying
for our sin and paying the price for everything we have done.
Yes, everything we have done. All of our sins. Everything we have done recently. Everything we have done every day. Everything we have done so that now God says there is no condemnation, Romans 8:1. No condemnation in
Christ Jesus. It would be double jeopardy if he had to pay for our sin and we had to pay for our
sin. That cannot happen in the court of law and in God’s mind. He paid so you are free. He paid
so I love you with an everlasting love. He paid so that now we are connected. That’s the
purpose of life. This connection. The other son in the story, in closing, the other son is angry
about it because he doesn’t know the father. He’s standing outside with his arms crossed and
hearing the party in the house.
A servant comes and the man says to the servant, what’s going on in the house? Why are they partying in the house? Your brother came home. Your brother came home, and he stays outside. He didn’t come in. He didn’t jump into the party. He didn’t come in with a spirit of praise and thanksgiving to God because he doesn’t know the nature of God. The nature of God is party time. It’s party time when God is here. It’s joy. It’s truth. We’re
going to have a Convention, Lord willing. We’re all praying together I know. I need help in that. I
know we are praying around the world and asking for our Convention and for God to guide our
governor, Governor Hogan in Maryland and the whole country and our President and governors
and we are making a way together in this thing.
We are all together in our hearts in prayer and in faith and in love. We have a tradition every year. We gather for our Convention and people come from around the world. I would hope that some will come and that somehow we will
have our Convention. It’s in the hand of God and let’s see what he does. We go week by week
and see how it goes. But be careful because there is a spirit that is outside the house. Why is there this party? Why are they rejoicing? Why is it party time? Why are they doing this? Why
are they doing that? Why are they going into all the world to bring the gospel? Why are they
sharing the heart of the Father? Why are they bringing the Word of God into parts of Africa
where the Bible schools are kind of growing and moving?
Why are men of God and women of God raised up with the Father’s heart, and the Father’s love, and the Father’s mission? Why are there orphanages in Africa and India that are made by our churches that have started these
orphanages because orphans need to be cared for because they don’t have a father. Psalm 68, I will
set the solitary in families. There are spiritual orphans all around us. Do you know the Father?
Do you know the Father? We are not anyone’s judge and we are encouraging people with him.
You can live a unique life, a blessed life with God as your Father. He will never forsake you.
With God as your loving Father, he will run to you and serve you with God as your loving Father.
The other son outside looks self-righteous and judging and then the servant goes in and says to
the father, your other son is out in the garden. The father goes, what? Yeah, he’s out in the
garden. He’s not coming in. So the father goes out and I’m sure he walked like this. Oh, no. I got
to try to explain to him. When he saw the other son, he ran to give grace. With this one, he
walks out to try to explain what he doesn’t understand. That’s hard to explain ourselves all the
time. It’s beyond words. It’s beyond explanation. It’s God is loving us. It’s beyond things we can
package. It’s a mystery of fellowship. It’s beyond ourselves. It’s beyond our culture, our age, our
personality, our color, our accent, our language.
Since the kingdom of God is on the earth, you can leave this parking lot knowing today that God is your Father and you can pray to him and walk with him and know him. If you are a single mom, you have a challenge with your children, but God can help you. God can give you somebody in the extended family or the youth group or
the church. God can send someone from some where to be a mentor for your children or your
teenagers or to help you raise your family. It is a challenge, I know. But we have fathers. 1 Corinthians
4 Paul said to Timothy you have many teachers, but you don’t have many fathers. You have ten
thousand teachers, but you have one – he said, I’m sorry, to the Corinthians, to the Corinthian
church you have one father.
I had begotten you when I went as a missionary to Corinth, and I labored in Corinth and God gave an assembly. I am your spiritual father. Paul is saying he is not leaving. He’s going to be engaged. He cares about them and that they are his children in the world. This is also in the city of Baltimore where there is a great need for fathers. Because my voice is out here in the air it is a privilege to say to anybody that can hear my voice, the primary
thing that is needed in every person’s life is to have God as your Father. God is your Father.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.