VIDEO Father Figures: Jacob – Biblical Fatherhood: You Can Always Be A Great Dad

Father Figures: Jacob

Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people. So Jacob went down to Egypt.
Acts 7:14-15

We don’t often use the word patriarch in modern conversation, and it may be to our detriment because of its rich meaning. Patriarch is a biblical term, occurring four times in the New Testament. The Greek word behind patriarch is made of two words: patria (“lineage” or “family”) and archon (“ruler” or “leader”). Put them together and patriarch refers to the head of an extended family—like the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Unlike modern families, ancient families in the biblical era often lived intergenerationally—there might be three or four generations of the extended family living in close proximity. And the patriarch had oversight over them all. When Jacob and his descendants left Canaan to go to Egypt in search of food, there were around seventy-plus people in all (Acts 7:14; see also Genesis 46:27). Regardless of the exact number, it was a large family. Today, whether living in proximity or not, grandfathers can exercise the role of patriarch over their extended family by offering love, encouragement, example, counsel, and provision to all their descendants.

The role of patriarch (and by extension, matriarch) was an honored role in Scripture—and should be today as well.

A father’s holy life is a rich legacy for his sons.  Charles H. Spurgeon


 Biblical Fatherhood: You Can Always Be A Great Dad | Patrick Morley

The Perfect Father

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10

Standing in the crowded store aisle, I struggled to find the perfect Father’s Day card. Although we had reconciled after years of a strained connection, I had never felt close to my dad.

The woman next to me groaned and shoved the card she’d been reading back into the display. “Why can’t they make cards for people who don’t have good relationships with their fathers, but are trying to do the right thing?”

She stormed off before I could respond, so I prayed for her. Thanking God for affirming only He could be a perfect Father, I asked Him to strengthen my relationship with my dad.

I long for deeper intimacy with my heavenly Father too. I want David’s confidence in God’s constant presence, power, and protection (Psalm 27:1–6).

When David cried out for help, he expected God’s answers (vv. 7–9). Though earthly parents could reject, abandon, or neglect their children, David declared God’s unconditional acceptance (v. 10). He lived with assurance in the Lord’s goodness (vv. 11–13). Like most of us, David sometimes struggled, but the Holy Spirit helped him persevere in trust and dependence on the Lord (v. 14).

We will encounter difficult relationships on this side of eternity. But even when people fall short, fail us, or hurt us, we’re still completely loved and protected by the only Perfect Father.

Lord, thank You for being a Father we can always count on.

God—the Perfect Father—will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us.

By Xochitl Dixon 

Dealing With Disappointment

Habakkuk 3:17-19

After I preached a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Many people feel defeated and let down by their circumstances. But the way a person responds can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.

A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise and righteous reaction because He has all the facts.

Third, follow His directions, even if they aren’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires and the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth and result in our greatest good.

And fourth, keep your focus on God and His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts and the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.

There are many methods for dealing with being let down, but pursuing the Lord’s will is the only one that satisfies. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks and sorrows while growing your faith.

Your New Expectations

“This I say . . . that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk.” (Ephesians 4:17)

This succinct command is quickly followed by a sweeping description of the impotent mind of the Gentiles in contrast to the utterly changed condition of the believer. The Gentiles have a darkened perceptive ability, rendering them alienated because of the “ignorance that is in them” and an overall “blindness of their heart” that is the root cause of their inability to function, even to feel, in the same way as the children of God (Ephesians 4:18-19; compare Romans 1:21-32 and 2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

However, the saint of God is told to discard the “old man” and to “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:20-24)—as though that simple picture of a powerful reality is adequate instruction to fulfill the earlier command. No longer is the child of God to be “corrupt” by the “deceitful lusts” of their old condition, but having “learned Christ” and “been taught by him,” the saint is to “be renewed in the spirit of [their] mind.” A transformation is now possible through the new mental (intellectual, spiritual) abilities given to us by Christ (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

We are responsible to wear the new man like a body-enveloping cloak, created for us by the omniscient Creator “in righteousness and true holiness.” Don’t miss this! We have been given a specially created new man to wear (externally visible) that will show (exhibit, demonstrate, make clear) the spiritual difference between the Gentiles and the saints of God.

The 17 commands that follow in Ephesians 4:25–5:7 address every aspect of the Christian walk, all relating to a lifestyle of truth, giving specific contrast between the Gentile and the saint. HMM III

Thou art loosed from thine infirmity

Luke 13:11-17

We are now about to consider one of our Lord’s miracles, wrought upon a woman who had long been in sorrow. May it comfort any who are spiritually in a like condition.

Luke 13:11

Poor creature, to be so long deformed, so long made to suffer at every step she took! Her condition was very grievous, but she did not stay away from public worship. If she had done so, she would not have been found by Jesus in the synagogue.

Luke 13:12, 13

When souls which have long been bowed down are graciously made upright, they never fail to give praise to God.

Isaiah 49:13-16

There are many persons to be found who are bowed down with despondency of spirit, and cannot lift up themselves to enjoy a comfortable hope. Let such take heart from the case before us; and let them also remember that the Lord does not now forget the sorrowful and broken-hearted. We see this expressly stated in—Isaiah 49:13-16.

Hebrews 2:14-18

That he might be able to sympathize with downcast souls, and bear with their infirmities, Jesus himself became a man like ourselves. Troubled hearts should think of this, and be of good cheer. The Holy Spirit speaks of him most sweetly in—Hebrews 2:14-18.

 

Darkness and doubts had veil’d my mind,

And drown’d my eyes in tears,

Till, like the sun, my Saviour’s face,

Dispell’d my gloomy fears.

 

Oh, what immortal joys I felt,

And raptures all divine,

When Jesus told me I was his,

And my beloved mine!

 

In vain the tempter frights my soul,

And breaks my peace in vain;

One glimpse, dear Saviour, of thy face

Revives my joys again.

 

Why Should We Settle Down?

That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

Why should a Christian “settle down” as soon as he has come to know the Lord?

I blame faulty exposition of the New Testament for stopping many Christians dead in their tracks, causing them to shrug off any suggestion that there is still spiritual advance and progress beckoning them on.

(It is the position of some would-be teachers that everyone who comes into the kingdom of God by faith immediately obtains all there is of God’s spiritual provision.

I believe that such a teaching is as deadly as cyanide to the individual Christian life. It kills all hope of spiritual advance and causes many believers to adopt what I call “the creed of contentment.”

I am sure you agree with me that there is always real joy in the heart of the person who has become a child of God. Sound teaching of the Word will then hold out the goal of moving forward, emulating the Apostle Paul’s desire to become a special kind of Christian!

 

A Trustworthy Name

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.” Zeph. 3:12

When true religion is ready to die out among the wealthy it finds a home among the poor of this world, rich in faith. The Lord has even now his faithful remnant. Am I one of them?

Perhaps it is because men are afflicted and poor that they learn to trust in the name of the Lord. He that hath no money must try what he can do on trust. He whose own name is good for nothing in his own esteem, acts wisely to rest in another name, even that best of names, the name of Jehovah. God will always have a trusting people, and these will be an afflicted and poor people. Little as the world thinks of them, their being left in the midst of a nation is the channel of untold blessings to it. Here we have the conserving salt which keeps in check the corruption which is in the world through lust.

Again the question comes home to each one of us, Am I one of them? Am I afflicted by the sin within me and around me? Am I poor in spirit, poor spiritually in my own judgment? Do I trust in the Lord? That is the main business. Jesus reveals the name, the character, the person of God; am I trusting in Him? If so, I am left in this world for a purpose. Lord, help me to fulfill it.

 

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