As a free gift to my hardworking pastor readers, here is a draft sermon outline that I hope will prompt an idea for any of you still preparing your sermon for tomorrow.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God
1. A crisis of Fatherhood
- 1 in 4 families of children in the UK have only one parent living at home
- 90% of the time that is the mother
- Many men desert their children
- Fatherhood is the greatest delight of a man’s life, but it is also his biggest challenge
As those who have been privileged enough to have a father we can all too easily criticize our fathers.One reason is that just as sometimes people find it hard to relate to God because they found it hard to relate to their father, we Fathers have a pretty hard act to follow in being compared to our Father God!
2. The privilege of being Gods child
- He gently leads and directs us “led by the Spirit”
- We do not need to be terrified of him, as if he were a slave master (“spirit of slavery….fear”)
- He CHOSE to adopt us. Most parents get the kids they are given, adoptive parents choose their children. GLORIOUSLY liberating to know that God chose to adopt us!
- We have an intimate relationship with him “Abba father….Spirit bears witness” cf love of God poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
- He provides for us “heirs…”
- He is with us and for us in good times and bad ”suffer with him” ”glorified with him”
- He will never leave us and is preparing a glorious future for us
3. The privilege of fathering
We can never be the perfect father that God is for all of us. But we can father our kids, and we can be a spiritual father to others. What does fathering look like? Its just like how this passage says God is for us.
- gently lead
- avoid inducing fear or “exasperating”
- regularly choose to stay. So easy to leave. One statistic suggested 70% of married men under 40 expected they’d have an affair at some point.
- be intimate with our kids, and caring. My tendency is to want to fix things, or find out what went wrong….better to give them a hug first.
- provide for them (bank of Dad…..!)
- be there for them when things are tough and go through things with them…..
- be loyal to them for ever and prepare for their future.