The Glory of God as Seen in our Fathers

The Glory of God
As seen in our Fathers
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
June 19th, 2016
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Listen to full sermon here.

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Our Fathers
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, he began the prayer with two words, “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9)

I’ve often wondered if we call God, God the father because He exhibits qualities of a father… But in reality, I don’t think that is it at all…

I don’t think it is God that exhibits qualities and traits of a father, but instead, I think it is father’s that exhibit qualities of God the Father.  

To understand what I mean, we must learn to look at the world from a spiritual view not a human view.  A spiritual view gives us the bigger picture.  A long time ago, man looked at the solar system from one point of view and came to the conclusion that the sun revolved around the earth.  But when man stepped back a little and looked at the earth from a different point of view what he realized is that the earth is not the center of the solar system, the sun is.

And what we will realize if we look at life from a spiritual point of view is that life does not revolve around us, but instead it revolves around God.  God is the center of life. And just as it is not the sun that exhibits qualities of earth, it is the earth that reflects the light of the sun; it is not God that reflects qualities of fathers, but rather fathers that reflect the glory of our God.

Let us look at some of the qualities of God the father that are reflected in our earthly fathers.

1. Provider

Luke 12: 22-24
Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds?

God of course is our provider.  
Now again, we need to look at this from a spiritual point of view because if we look at this from a physical point of view we may not recognize God as our provider and instead, what we see is that we worked really hard to earn that money, to buy that food.  What we will see, is through our own efforts or through the efforts of each other, we have gotten everything we have.

However, if we look at our life from a spiritual point of view, what we will realize is that God has been providing from the start.  He is in control of the situation.  He is the reason we have the abilities that we have, He is the reason we can do the work we do, He is the reason (He lined everything up) we have the job that we have.

And when we see our fathers providing for us…providing us homes, making sure the bills are paid, giving us a helping hand when need him most…then in these times, we can see qualities of God being reflected in them.  

2. Protector

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.

In this scripture we learn that we do not need to fear or be afraid because God is with us.  He will protect us from many things.  Whether He is protecting us from a spiritual attack that is too much for us to handle or whether it is to protect us from tragedy that He does not want us to bear.  We can know that God protects us.

Our fathers do the same.  Do you ever remember a time when you felt safe because your dad was there? And as children, no doubt our fathers, saved us from many a tragedy.  Whether it was catching us before we fell, or killing a snake in the back yard.  The strong arms of our fathers provided much protection.

3. Correction and Rebuke

Hebrews 12:6
 "for the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives."

Our God does in fact correct, rebuke and punish us.  And He does this out of love.  Many people say they cannot imagine a god who doesn’t love them enough to let them be themselves…but the truth is, I can’t imagine a God who doesn’t love us enough to prevent us from being ourselves.

We are sinful in nature, and sin leads to death.  Any god who doesn’t promote change would just be sitting there watching you take the drug of sin until it killed you.  Our God, loves us…and cannot bear to watch us sin (to kill ourselves) …so Yes, He does correct and rebuke us.  He teaches us ways of righteousness, so that we may live.

And hopefully, as you grew up, you father did the same for you.  Have you ever known a parent that tries to be friend instead of a parent?  I have a known a few, and let me tell you this does not end well.  A Godly father, will correct, and will punish.  And he will do it because he loves us. He will do it in order to teach us right from wrong and to instill behavior that is healthy for us not destructive…and when our fathers do this, they are reflecting the Glory of God because our God does it for the same reasons.

So there are three qualities that we often see in our fathers…that we also see in God the father: Provider, Protector and One who provides correction. When we witness these qualities we are getting a small glimpse of the Glory of God.

So what do we do with this…How do we take this message and apply it to our own lives?

First of all, knowing these things can give us a better a better understanding of God, His character and our relationship with Him. Part of the way we can experience God in a real and tangible way, is to connect with His glory as we experience it in our own lives through our fathers.

The second thing we can do is to look at our heavenly father and gain a better understanding of who we were created to be.  We can look to His example of how we should live our lives.  How we should interact with one another and it can help us change our lives, and be more like Christ.

What qualities of God do you see in people?  
What qualities should people see in you?


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