I am very sorry for the poor audio feed on our Father’s Day video presentation. Please listen closely though. The content of this message is vital. The notes follow below.
Our Restart Father’s Day Focus is to address two central motivations of all men. Ladies young and old – now get this – did you hear that? Two central motivations of all men; and no – surprisingly – it’s not money and that other thing… Men – above all things – want to be understood. The hard headedness, the bluster and outburst are all sourced in the frustration of not being comprehended – of not being heard. The second is a corollary Men want to be remembered. Remember what Homer wrote in The Iliad. (no, not Homer Simpson) The hero (and at once, the antihero) of his work is Achilles. The central motivation of this character is seen throughout the work -above all he wanted to be remembered – and remembered for courage. He wanted a legacy of honor and bravery. So today I ask Men two questions:
- What meaning are we giving to our names?
- How will we be remembered?
So today our instruction is on three attributes which – if fostered and grown – will assure that Men will be remembered as Godly, potent and good.
Remember Me for my Kindness
Our Friends at Wikipedia inform that kindness is philanthropy, is being warm hearted, sympathetic and generous. But what are the attributes of kindness seen in the Bible?
Kindness seeks to restore, to make whole again. Men, we cannot be kind if we attend only to ourselves and our own needs
- Don’t be afraid, David said to him, since I intend to show you kindness because of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table – 2 Samuel 9:7 HCSB
Kindness only thrives in tenderness and forgiveness. Men, we cannot be kind if our hearts are hard – or we hold things against people. We need to be tenderhearted and and forgiving.
- Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you – Ephesians 4:22
Kindness comes out of nowhere. Now the verse below is loaded with meaning but l want to emphasize the word “appeared.” What can this mean except it was not visible before – and then it was. Men – to me this means to be kind we must be create opportunities for the unexpected. We must use our ingenuity to surprise and bless people
- For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men – Titus 2:11 KJV
Two learnings from Kindness
To squeeze the most out of the meaning and application of kindness we must do two things. First to consider the fruit of God’s kindness to us. And secondly to consider the fruit of our kindness to others.
One fruit of God’s kindness to me is that it makes me attentive to my shortalls. If I truly stop long enough to consider God’s kindness – I am going to try to behave better. I am going to watch out for the devil and his crowd. When I stop to consider God’s kindness toward me – it makes me very aware of the deficits His kindness address. It makes me want to be alert to sin!
- Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour – 1 Peter 5:8
One fruit grown from my kindness towards others is that I grow into a true sower of the witness and Word of Christ. Men – for us to be remembered for our Kindness we must take on the nature of one who is practiced at spreading the light. We must become one who sows the seed – who waters – and who praises God for causing Growth in others through us. To become someone who helps others, who is available and ready to be kind.
- Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart – Psalm 97:11
Remember Me for my Mercy
Mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve. What are three attributes of kindness seen in the Bible?
Mercy is placed above the Law. The Mercy Seat was placed on the Ark of the Covenant above the testimony – above the law. Men – we must not be so hard in our laying the law down – of being such a hard case at home and with others. We must show mercy through the sacrifice of our personal preferences and personal approaches. Never sacrifice Godly principles but Pastor Jim at Redeemer Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado taught there are two things. Principles and preferences. Men we must show more mercy on our preferences.
- And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee – Exodus 25:21 KJV
Mercy is available to all people. God makes no distinctions. You don’t have to belong to a specific church clubhouse. There is no background or past history too ugly for Him to shower His mercy upon
us. His mercy is available to all people. Men – its time to show love to everyone – to stop calling people idiots because they swerve in front of you or hold different political views than you.
- The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works – Psalm 145:9
Mercy is a sharing of pains. As seen in the verse below, God’s mercy is really a sharing of pain – and that’s the standard for us here men. We must show mercy by carrying the burdens of others
Take service to your church for example. It’s never convenient to drop what you’d rather do in order to due what you ought.
- In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old – Isaiah 63:9
Two learnings from Mercy
To squeeze the most out of the meaning and application of mercy we must do two things. First to consider the fruit of God’s mercy to us. And secondly to consider the fruit of our mercy to others.
One fruit of God’s mercy to me is that it develops a grateful heart within me – and THAT is a great thing to be remembered by. When we stop long enough to consider His mercy towards us – it will transform our heart. It will make us thankful for His attentions – and indebted towards Him. Men let’s, like David pray that our hearts might be made new!
- Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me! – Psalm 51:10
One fruit grown from my mercy towards others is it releases me into freedom. When i show Godly mercy to others who need it, no longer am I a prisoner to anger and rage – to bitterness and vengefulness. I am free, because I do not punish as the sins of others deserve.
Remember Me for my Grace
It’s been said that grace is everything for nothing to those who don’t deserve anything. Let’s look at three aspects of grace that can transform us!
Grace is abounding. Isn’t that a cool thing to consider? This Grace – this underserved everything for nothing never runs out! It is abounding – its full, pressed down and running over. Men let’s not run out of grace – get too tired, or too focused to slow down and notice the needs around us.
- And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all – Acts 4:33
Grace is Many-sided, it comes in many forms. Grace is not just a one trick pony. Various gifts means various ways His grace is dispensed to others. Men, your giftedness is different than the person sitting next to you and so God’s Grace varies. It is applied it consistent with the temperament and personality of each one of us. Men we need to get out of our ruts and take several approaches to show grace to others. God’s Grace has many sides – it comes in many forms. Let’s you and I do more to cipher new ways to reflect grace to those about us.
- Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God – 1 Peter 4:10 HCSB
And my last point is that grace is enough to meet all needs. All needs. Think about the number of people you know – the vast greater number of people you don’t know.. All those needs – all met by grace. Grace it will do, under any circumstance. You and i struggle in our weaknesses. But Men, that’s no time to give in – when the place of weakness is the very place grace is present and working.
Don’t give up – you have a sufficiency!
- And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Two learnings from Mercy
To squeeze the most out of the meaning and application of grace we must do two things. First to consider the fruit of God’s grace to us. And secondly to consider the fruit of our grace to others.
One fruit of God’s grace to me is that it instills a growing humility. A common complaint against men is that they are brash and prideful. But when you and I consider how God has showered His blessings of Grace upon us. Are we going to be prideful, boastful and arrogant? No way Jose.
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up – James 4:10
One fruit grown from my grace towards others is that people will be drawn to Christ. Men if you and want to shape our name so that it will be remembered, then you must show grace to others. This thought is so counter-culture that it will be a magnet for Jesus. We need to become practiced at giving everything, for nothing, to those who don’t deserve anything. We need to let our light shine so that Christ receives glory.
- Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven – Matthew 5:16
This then is the Restart Church Father’s day message. Men, we can be remembered, we can be better understood if we practice giving kindness, mercy and grace. We can grip the meaning of these three Godly attributes by stopping long enough to consider the fruit which comes from God giving them to us – and the fruit which comes from us giving them freely to others.