1. From James 1:17 we learn 2 things about the Father. a. He gives every good and perfect gift. b. He is faithful, dependable, and trustworthy. 2. In our lesson we are concentrating on 3 gifts that God gives His children. 3. The passages we are studying use the father-child relationship to illustrate why God gives these blessings to His children. 4. Father's Day is a good time for us to be reminded of these principles.
I. FIRST, GOD SUPPLIES THE NEEDS OF HIS CHILDREN (Matthew 7:7-11)
A. In these verses, Jesus showed that God answers the prayers of His children. B. He made this very clear in vs.7-8. 1. We are to ask, seek, and knock. 2. If we ask, seek, and knock, Jesus said that God will give us what we ask, He will cause us to find what we seek, and He will open to us. 3. Jesus repeated this in vs.8. C. To illustrate His point, Jesus referred to the father-child relationship. 1. (vs.9) A father who loves and cares for his child will not give him a stone if he asks for bread. 2. (vs.10) A father who loves and cares for his child will not give him a snake if he asks for a fish. 3. (vs.11) Jesus used this reasoning to show that God will give that which is good to His children who make requests of Him.
II. SECOND, GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN (Hebrews 12:5-11)
A. This chapter begins with an exhortation to run the Christian race "with patience." B. (vs.2) As we run the Christian race we are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. C. (vs.3) Remembering what Jesus endured will keep us from being weary or faint. D. This letter was written to Christians who were undergoing some type of affliction. E. It seems that this affliction was designed to have a chastening effect. F. These Christians who were being chastised needed to remember certain things. 1. (vs.5-6) God chastens His children because He loves them. 2. (vs.7-8) To be God's true children, we must endure His chastening -- those who reject His chastening are not His true children. 3. (vs.11) Chastening is not enjoyable, but it is designed to make us better. G. To illustrate this information, the writer referred to the father-child relationship. 1. (vs.9) Fathers who correct their children out of love deserve respect because they are concerned about the welfare of their children. 2. (vs.10) God chastens His children so we can be partakers of His holiness.
III. THIRD, GOD RECEIVES HIS WAYWARD CHILDREN WHO RETURN TO HIM (Luke 15:20-24)
A. In this parable, Jesus used the father-child relationship to illustrate how God feels when His rebellious children return to Him in humility. B. (1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1. Many times, the Bible uses the father-child relationship to help us understand certain things about God. 2. As our Father,: a. God supplies the needs of His children as we ask, seek, and knock b. God disciplines His children for our benefit c. God receives His wayward children who return to Him. 3. We began by pointing out from James 1:17 that the Father: a. gives every good and perfect gift to His children b. is faithful, dependable, and trustworthy. 4. God wants us to give ourselves to Him, and He wants us to be children who are faithful, dependable, and trustworthy.