Sunday Service (M881) | Mount Zion Church | 1 September 2019 | Good Father & Good Gifts | Fathers Day Special Service | Luke 11:9-13
The best thing to have in father and kid’s relationship is we can feel free to open our mouth to ask something! Regardless how we may experience about the father figure in our life, God still wants to use this relationship to explain His eternal love! This world may ruin the picture of a father, but we must back to the Bible and learn what God wants from this special relationship. King David had an experience how his father and his mother forsake him, but he had the heavenly Father who take care of him Ps.27:10, so that he could learn how to be a good father, not only for his family but also for his nation! God always like to introduce Himself as the heavenly Father and we are called as His children! The Bible told us: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God Jn.1:12-13.” He wants to be our Father because He wants to come closer to us, as close as the relationship between a father and his children, so that we can feel free to pour out our heart, we can feel free to let Him know what is inside our heart, also what is our need. Jesus said that whatsoever we ask the Father in Jesus’ name, He will give us. Even Jesus encouraged us to ask and we will receive, that our joy may be full Jn.16:23-24. As a good Father, He wants to give the good gifts for us. Let’s come to His presence as beloved children so that we may experience the love of our heavenly Father deeper and deeper!
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13 NKJV
ASK, SEEK, KNOCK
We have a promise that everyone who asks will receives, he who seeks will finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. These are very powerful yet important promises for all believers! God wants us to have faith in these promises and it will be possible if we have a very good relationship with God as our heavenly Father. We only could ask something with confidence and strong faith if first we have a very close relationship with that person. That’s why when someone receives Jesus as his only Saviour in his life, Holy Spirit will work out something that very important in the life of believers: connecting the relationship of Father God and us so that we could call Him as our Father!
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:15-17 NKJV
First of all, Holy Spirit came to our life as the Spirit of adoption, so we can call God as our Father. Not only having that calling in our mouth, but more than that, we can have a full faith and confidence to call Him as our Father! This calling is not only a title, but it is a new and very deep relation between us and our Creator. Back to the Old Testament, we just can only find few Bible verses where God introduced Himself as Father. But in the New Testament, we can find tons of verses that teach and encourage us to always call Him as our Father, specially in Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of John! Jesus taught His disciples to call God as Father in their prayer Mat.6:9. This is the new dimension of relationship between God and His people, and Holy Spirit works it out for us! He wants us to call Him as our Father. He invites us to come closer to Him, to know Him deeper, to know what He has, to understand what He will give us. Because God is our Father, we are able to come boldly to the throne of grace, approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need Heb.4:16. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth Jn.16:13, which is the Word of God Jn.17:17, so that we may understand what we can ask and what we can not ask!
The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. Jesus said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask! To sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father Mat.20:20-23.” We may have the same mistake with this mother. Maybe we ask for something and then God reply to us: You do not know what you ask! That’s why it is very important for us to always walk in the Spirit so that we may ask the correct things, not to fulfil the lust of the flesh, but we ask something that according to the will of God. Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us, so we are able to ask for the right thing, seek for the right one, and knock the right door.
BREAD, FISH, EGG
Jesus continued His teaching with 3 important examples what to ask and our request will never be rejected. The first thing is the bread! If a son come to his dad and asks for a bread, the father will definitely give bread to him and will not swap it with stone! All dad in those days will always have bread. Asking for a bread to daddy is something that definitely answered. God teaches us not to hold anything back from our neighbour who need it while we have it with us Pr.3:28. It means that God Himself will definitely do the same thing for us! He had so many breads to be given to His children. We must ask for bread! The bread represents the word of God. When Jesus entered Capernaum, there was a man who had a big faith. He needed Jesus to come and heal his servants and he asked that bread from Jesus. “Lord do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed Lk.7:6-7.” Psalmist wrote: “He sent His word and healed them Ps.107:20!” The word of God is absolutely a powerful bread for our need. We do not need the miracle, we just need the Words. The miracle is just the result of the Words, when we have that Words we will get what we need! DO NOT ask for the stone, ask for bread and He will give it to you. Stone is just a dead thing, but the bread will bring live! If we only ask for the blessing, it will easily become stone. The more important thing is asking for the bread! The world was framed by the Word of God, all things which are seen were made of things which are invisible: The Words Heb.11:3. Whatever problem we may have in our path of life, let’s ask for powerful bread, asking for His words. Let’s open our ears more, open our eyes more to the Word of God. He will definitely speak to us and give His bread to those who ask for it! The Word of God will strengthen us, will provide what we need. The Word of God will make us free Jn.8:32. There is power in the Word of God. Heaven and earth will pass away but His words will never pass away Lk.21:33.
The second thing that we may freely ask to the heavenly Father is the fish! Fish may be something that quite expensive in our country, but not in Israel. The Bible wrote how people in Israel like to eat bread and fish Mat.14:19, 15:36, Jn.21:9. Fish is also something that all dads in Israel will easily find it and then give it to their children. We must ask for the fish and not the snake! The fish represents the people around us. Jesus invited Peter and his friends to become fishers of men instead of being the fishermen Mrk.1:17! Once again, we can see how God always interesting in the living things, even the eternal one. Jesus gave the great commandment for us to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that Jesus have commanded us Mat.28:19-20. We must learn and understand how God see people around us. He wants us to bring them to become His disciple. We must always pray and ask so that people may come and know Jesus. Our enemy is not the people that we can see with our physical eyes. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places Eph.6:12. When we may have a conflict with other people, let’s pray to our heavenly Father and ask for a fish, ask God so we are able to become the fishers of men and bring them to Jesus! We may copy the prayer of Paul in the presence of King Agrippa: “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains Ac.26:29.” Paul exhorted us, first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence 1Tim.2:1-2. Let’s pray and ask so that all fish around us may know Jesus and receive the salvation.
The third thing that we can ask is the egg. We must ask for the egg and not the scorpion! The egg will definitely bring the new life. The egg represents the new life, the new character, the character of Christ, that need to be developed and nurtured within us. The Bible tells us so many times about growing up in the new life. Anyone in Christ is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new 2Cor.5:17. Anything we ask the Father which bring growth to our spiritual man will absolutely please His heart. This is the desire of our heavenly Father that our inward man is being renewed day by day 2Cor.4:16. This is definitely good thing to ask everyday that Holy Spirit will always renew our life Tit.3:5 so that our life will bring lots of fruit for the glory of God. We must always aware that we have the new seed from heaven when we was born again, the ultimate seed that can be grown fully until we come to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ Eph.4:13. Paul always like to pray so that he may know Jesus more and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death Phil.3:10. We need to pray so that we can put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created us Col.3:9-10. When we pray and ask for egg, Father will definitely give it to us. DO NOT ask for the scorpion! Serpents and scorpions both are the symbol of Satan, our enemy Lk.10:19. The devil will always try to deceive us so that we only bother our life with fool and silly request, which is the content of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life 1Jn.2:16. We need not to be worry with all physical things that we need during our short life in this world since we have a promise that God will add other things to us when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness Mat.6:33. Let’s keep asking for the egg and keep setting our mind on things above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God Col.3:1-3.
THE BEST GIFT
To conclude His teaching about prayer and good father, Jesus encouraged us to ask for the Holy Spirit! Jesus said: How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Our heavenly Father is always more than happy if His children ask for something that definitely bring us closer to Him. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit continuously, ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit in our life, so we can always walk in the Spirit. The Bible promised that God will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him Ps.145:19. Holy Spirit will definitely teach us to fear Him, to walk in holiness and righteousness, so that promise will be fulfilled in our life. Living in the fear of the Lord will open the windows of heaven and bring down heavenly blessings upon our life. The early church was walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, so they were multiplied.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
How wonderful is that when we are allowed to call God, the Creator of everything, as our heavenly Father! Holy Spirit works as the spirit of adoption, so we can truly call Him as our Father, having that special relationship, understanding Him more and deeper, and we can have a strong confident to ask something in Jesus’ name. Jesus taught us to ask something that our heavenly Father will definitely give us: bread, fish, and egg (in spiritual meaning). Let’s ask for those things and set our mind and heart on things above.
Insights and impressions:
Heavenly Father wants to see our joy be full. Let’s align our prayer to His heart and we will see how God will answer our prayer!
Let’s examine our prayer! Are we asking for a stone or a bread? Are we asking for a serpent or a fish? Are we asking for a scorpion or an egg? Do we really know what we are asking? Let’s ask Holy Spirit to always lead our life, even our prayer, so that we can experience the greatest love of our heavenly Father. AMEN.