|Messages By Ovid Need|
6/16/91 AM (Father's Day)
I know that some of you wondered where we were WN. There was, might have been a spirit of rejoicing as some might have thought we were candidating for a Church. Rejoicing not only here, but all around the county. Well, don't get your hopes up.
Kind of a strange thing happened a week ago. Remember, I mentioned about Mack Ford from Arcadia LA being in this area two weeks ago? We had planned on going over a couple of Monday nights ago to hear him, but we were unable to make it because we had just moved.
Last Saturday, Bro. Dilley called and reminded me that we had told him that we would come over to the meeting, putting me on a guilt trip. So, feeling a guilty conscience, we went over last Saturday night.
Jessica was like your kids would have probably been, "Do I have to Go?" Well, yes she did.
After the meeting Saturday night, Bro. Ford talked with her. He asked her to go back to La with him and the girls (he had 16 with him). There was one preacher's daughter with them who also asked her to go back with them. She thought about it all day Sunday, and Sunday night after church, she called them and told them she would go. So we met them at BT and they left for LA after the service.
Usually the minimum stay there is 1 year, but Bro. Ford said that he makes exceptions for preacher's kids, so Jessica is only planing on staying the summer.
They have a family camp July 1-5 (two weeks from tomorrow), which he wanted us to come down for. We told Jessica that she could come back with us then if she wanted, but she is planning on staying until the middle of Aug. Then we have to go get her.
This summer will be difficult to say the least. Not only is the one who keeps us on our toes gone (Jessica), but we are looking at two trips to LA, a minimum of 16 hrs each way. But, we are confident that it will be well worth the cost.
Bro. Ford is suppose to be back up here in Oct, and, Lord willing, we will have him and the girls over for a Sunday morning service. It is the only thoroughly Christian girl's home left in the US. The state finally succeeded in destroying the Roloff Homes. This home, New Bethany Home, is similar to the Roloff homes other than the incorporation. Bro. Roloff was Incorporated, which allowed the state jurisdiction over the homes.
We met Bro. Ford about 15 or 16 years ago the first year we went to LA. We went to court with him when the state tried to shut him down for not having a license. He had been run out of three other states before he went to LA, and they just celebrated their 20th anniversary there in Arcadia. He has been raided 3 times there by the state because he wouldn't take a license.
It is strange how the state would rather have these young people on the streets doing every ungodly thing you can imagine and some that you can't, than have them in a Christian atmosphere. It is obvious, regardless of what they are saying about the problem of runaways and homeless kids, they could care less about them or they would leave homes like the Roloff Homes alone. These Christian Homes have proved over the years that they work in redirecting these young people toward godliness. But, the state has no intention of solving the problem, they only want to increase their control.
The main thing that the Home does is cut off the kids from absolutely all outside influence. They emphasize proper relationship to the Lord, to authority, especially parental authority, and the danger of the wrong crowd. This allows the Spirit of God to work in their heart. Bro. Ford currently has 150 girls there from all walks of life. He is getting ready to open a new dormitory which will house another 400 girls.
I suppose Bro. Ford is in his early 60 s. He is an unusual man with a tremendous ability WITH KIDS. Late one night after a service in Indianapolis, he took the girls down to Monument Circle. He got out and ask a police person if they could sing. The Police person said that everything else has been done on the Monument, so they didn't see anything wrong with singing.
Well, the police did not know what they were getting into, but as soon as the girls started singing, the police who were patrolling the Circle left. As the police left, obviously because of the singing, the teenagers started gathering. Bro. Ford preached and the girls talked to the kids about the Lord and passed out tracts.
His love for these kinds just runs out all over him, and they all can recognize it. It is a genuine love, a love that desires to see them right with God, and he is willing to pay the price to see this accomplished in their lives.
As I look at men like Brother Ford, I see men who attract people to them like bees to honey. (My dad's wife used to raise bees, but had to quit because my dad is allergic to bee stings. When they had some kind of mess to clean up, they would just put it out where the bees could get to it. They came by the swarms. Bro. Ford is like that with kids, girls especially. They raised 7 of their own.)
When I see men like this, I see men who make tremendous pastors and workers with people. They can be as harsh as can be, yet love is in every word and the people will eat it up.
When I see men like this, I wonder why in the world the Lord placed me as a pastor. The gift which He gave me to work with is almost opposite of what men like Bro. Ford have. People will come hear him preach and be moved to a great extent, and maybe he will not even open his Bible. (At the home it is quite a different story.)
I do not understand this, but it is not mine to understand. My responsibility is to do the very best I can with what God has given me.
(We had a very encouraging phone call from a man in CA that we just this year picked up on our mailing list. He was calling with some good questions about our last mailing.)
I know that to the dismay of some here, the Lord sent to you a pastor who has to work very hard at making people feel important and loved, yet his love for study of God's word is as natural as Bro. Ford's love for kids.
Sad to say, you do not have to look very far to find some one who will make you feel a lot more loved than what I am able to do, but you will not be more loved and you will not find anyone who loves to study and teach the word of God more than I do.
Again, I do not understand this, because to the natural man, I sure do not have the qualifications to be a pastor. Men like Bro. Ford are the ones who will draw the crowds. I am looking forward to you meeting him and the girls.
Now, this is Father's Day.
I was asked a question about Jessica being gone. The answer I gave laid upon my mind for a Father's Day message this morning.
The Question was, "How can you turn lose of your daughter like that?"
The answer is found in Gen. 22:1-14. Here we have the story of a godly father, in fact the father of our faith. His wife is called the mother of all godly women also.
Let's look at some things about this godly father Abraham, and pray that the Spirit of God will call to our mind some important points.
I. Gen. 18:16-19 First of all, we see in our text that the Lord Himself testified that Abraham would command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken to him.
The Lord knew that Abraham would not only command his children in the ways of the Lord, but that he would walk in them himself. What a testimony for any father to have. What would the Lord say about our households today? What way are we commanding our children in??
II. Gen. 22:1. God did temp Abraham. God cannot be tempted with sin, nor does He tempt any one. So what did He do here? He tried Abraham's faith.
Abraham said he loved God and he would follow the word of the Lord no matter where it led him. This chapter is going to show us if this father will put feet to his profession.
Does obeying and pleasing God mean more to him than even maybe his only child's welfare or life?
Where does the Lord rank in comparison with his son? Above, below?
When the two conflict, what Abraham might consider best for his son or what the Lord considers best for his son, which will win out?
If we say we have faith, we can be assured that the Lord will present many opportunities to prove that faith by our works. How will we come out?
If we say that we love the Lord above all else, we will get the chance to prove it.
If we say we are thankful, we will get the chance to prove it.
If we say that we want the Lord's will to be done first of all, we will get the chance to prove it.
Here in James chapter 2, we see that Abraham professed to love the Lord and to delight in doing the word of the Lord above all else. The Lord gave him a chance to prove it.
What if he had failed in this test? We do know that the Lord will not allow us to be tested above that which we are able to bear, but will with the temptation provide a way of escape.
III. Gen. 22:1, God spoke, Abraham answered right up.
Obviously, they did not have the written word of God then, so the Lord spoke to Abraham as a friend, face to face. Now, anything other than what we are clearly told, is speculation. We do know that the Lord spoke in a way that Abraham could understand, and that he recognized that it was the Lord speaking.
A. This shows us that it was not unusual for the Lord to speak to Abraham. How unusual is it for Him to speak to us?
B. This shows us that the Lord only had to speak once. It usually takes several times for the Lord to speak to me before I get the message. How about you other fathers in here?
IV. V. 3. Abraham loved his son, who was his only son of promise. Now we are going to see who Abraham loves the more, his only son or the Lord.
How is he going to show that he loves the Lord more? By obeying the word of the Lord in regard to his son.
V. V. 3, land of Moriah. This was the location that David was commanded to purchase many years latter (2 Sam. 24:18-24), and is the location where Solomon built the temple, 2 Chr. 3:1. I think that this location is very significant.
David had committed the sin of numbering the people, contrary to the law of God. This numbering was for military purposes and was a sign of depending upon the might of an army rather than depending upon the might of the Lord for their protection.
God had given David a choice of punishment to chose, and David cast himself upon the mercy of the Lord by choosing the plague. The plague ran until the death angel came to Jerusalem where the Lord said, That's enough.
David saw the angel stop there. He then bought the threshing floor and build an alter and offered sacrifices to the Lord. The place where the angle stopped was Mount Moriah, the very mount where Abraham went many hundreds of years previously in obedience to God.
A. I think that the plague of sin is running rampant among our young people especially, because parents have not made the sacrifice which Abraham made here in Gen. 22. Parents chose what they believe is best for themselves and for their children, instead of what is best for the Lord.
Every situation we face, wither with our children or with ourselves, must be faced with the question, "What will most glorify God in this situation? How does the principles of God's word apply here?"
VI. V. 3. Abraham rose early in the morning to do the will of the Lord. This is consistent all through the word of God. People rise up early in the morning to meet with the Lord and to do His will.
A. Those who must face the work force for the day need to start here. Rise up early and spend time with the Lord before going on about our business.
VII. In v. 2, the Lord gave Abraham specific instructions. Then in v. 4, Abraham did not stop until he fulfilled those instructions.
A. We have been given specific instructions by the word of the Lord also. How careful are we in carrying them out? Do we keep on keeping on until we reach the end of our journey?
VIII. V. 5 gives us a glimpse of the faith of this father. Abraham had been told to take his son and offer him as a sacrifice. Here he tells the men that he and his son will return after they worshiped the Lord. Did he expect the Lord to raise his son from the dead? We can only speculate in this.
IX. V. 5, this sacrifice of his only child was called worship before the Lord.
A. This is an important point. Worship includes the public assembly as we think of it, but here we see that it includes far more than a once a week worship service. Clearly, worship is service to the King, worship is obedience to the word of the Lord.
In other words, we will worship the Lord on our job tomorrow if we do all things for His glory according to His word.
Worship here included the offering of Abraham's most valuable possession to the Lord, his only son.
X. Vs. 6-10. To me, this is one of the most amazing passages in Scripture. This boy is not some young child, maybe 5 or 6. He is probably 30 or so. This is important for us to see.
A. The Lord said in our text that Abraham would instruct his son in the ways of the Lord. Here about 30 years latter, we see that Abraham did instruct his child in the ways of the Lord. So much so that the son is willing to be offered as a sacrifice as his father obeys the Lord.
XI. Vs. 11-14 God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. And obviously, this is one of the clearest pictures of God the Father and the Son, in the OT.
1 Peter 1:19-23
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. How this was shown to Abraham, we do not know. We do know that he did see the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of His people. This is reflected in Abraham's statement here in Gen. 22:11-14.
XII. Gen.22:14, notice the name which Abraham called this place, Jehovah-jireh. or the Lord will see, or, provide. God sees our needs.
Mat. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Phil. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
A. As we seek first and foremost to find the will of God and follow that will, He will supply all of our needs.
Now, three concluding points about this godly father.
1. The word of the Lord spoke to him about his only son. When Abraham said in his heart, "I do not understand, but here am I Lord. Do as you see fit," right there is where Abraham offered his son to the Lord. To Abraham, this son was now as good as dead. Then the son was given back to him alive in three days.
2. Abraham went as far as the word of God required, he did not grow faint or weary until he finished the course which was set before him. (He went as far and no farther.)
3. The point to which we are headed. Only when we give up our children to the will of God and what is best for them and the Lord, will the Lord give them back to us.
This principle holds true in every area.
Remember the rich man that came to Jesus in Matthew 19:16-30? The problem was that this man was not willing to turn lose of all he had, for he had great possessions. And he lost eternal life.
What do we hang on to that stands between us and the Lord working in our life?
What do we hold on to that may stand in the way of the Lord working in the life of that other person?
Fathers, are we holding on to something which might be important to us which we place before our service and worship of the Lord?
This godly father was willing to turn loose of his only son. The result. The Lord gave this son back to him, along with tremendous blessing, Gen. 22:15-19. We cannot inherit the blessings of Abraham without doing the works of Abraham. And let me add, nor can our children. Isaac inherited the blessings of his father because of Abraham's faithful obedience.
The question which must always be addressed is this: "What is best for that person and their relationship with God? Is it best to maybe even make them do that, or is it best to let them have their own way, or is it best for me to have my own way in this matter? What is the most pleasing to the Lord and the most consistent with the principles of His word?"
I have no doubt that if this father, Abraham, had not turned lose of his son, he would have lost him forever. The question which must be foremost in our mind when working with anyone, especially our children, is, What will be best for them in their relationship with the Lord? Our personal feelings cannot enter into it in any way, shape or form, without risking the lose of everything.
At times this may appear to the natural eyes to be hard and cruel, as it would have been here with Abraham and Isaac, but it is the only thing that will work over the years. Most of us cannot see past the end of our noses, but the Lord does.
Not only fathers this morning, but mothers, do you have something that needs to be offered to the Lord? What is it that might be a secret that needs to be sacrificed to Him?
The blessings of the God of heaven awaits those who will not withhold anything, not even their children, from the Lord.
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