I HAVE A FATHER WHO CARES
There's an old gospel song with this title "I have a Father who Cares" This text that I have read in your hearing tells me that I have a heavenly Father who cares about me. It seems we live in a world of the nineties where "not caring" is too prevalent. There's a lot of lonely people. I want to share with you something that I don't think I've ever shared publicly before. I was the fourth child born into a family of seven children. My earthly father, God bless his memory, was an alcoholic. My mother struggled much of her family life trying to see that her children had food and shelter. I remember when after years of struggle in their marriage, my father decided he would leave his family. At about the age of 50, he moved away into another state and in to the life of another woman. I was fourteen years of age and effectively the man of the house, since my three older siblings were on their own. So my mother and the four remaining children learned how to provide for ourselves. My father did not care. There was no child support. But God was gracious and good. I harbor no bitterness toward my earthly father, in fact I was by his bedside when he died. I can only hope that he had made his peace with God. I use this illustration of a personal nature to tell you that my story is not isolated. There are thousands who do not have the love and affection of an earthly father.
So in my message today, I have a word for you! I found a Father who cares! The 91st Psalm was prophetic of the spiritual and eternal blessings and benefits which God provided for us in the Lord Jesus Christ. The preceding Psalm, 90, is often referred to in funerals. It is a discourse on the eternal existence and omnipotence of God, contrasted with the frailty and mortality of man.
There are three emphases in the Bible in relation to man:
1. He is frail and helpless
2. He is sinful(Psa 14:2) The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
(Psa 14:3) All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Rom3 :9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.
10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
3. But he is object of God's love!
(John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(Rom 5:6) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Everything that man could not do for himself, our wonderful Lord has provided through redemption in Jesus Christ. We could not save ourselves from eternal destruction, but he provided a refuge of safety in the Name of the Lord
(Prov 18:10) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
(John 14:16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--
(John 14:17) the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
(John 14:18) I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
(John 14:19) Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
(John 14:20) On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
We were hopeless, but He provided for us the assurance of hope
2 Cor.5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
(2 Tim 1:12) That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
We were defeated, but He provided for us His own strength to make us victorious:
(John 16:33) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
(Acts 1:8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
The 91st Psalm is a Psalm for the time of trouble. It holds many promises. I want us to look at the One who makes these promises; the promises themselves; and the conditions we must meet to receive the promises.
I. THE PROMISE KEEPER
A. He is the original "promise keeper" God never makes a promise that He does not intend to keep.
1. No promise is better than the One who makes it. For a promise to be valid, the One who makes it must be both truthful and able to carry out the promise.
(Heb 10:23) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
2. The very nature of God is truth and righteousness. "God is not a man that he should lie. HE CANNOT LIE!
B. The Trouble our Nation is In
1. I usually don't mix politics with my message...but look where lying has gotten our President. We need to pray for our nation! Have you noticed lately that there is a dearth of leadership in the world....there is a hugh vacuum!. It is just into such a vacuum that the Bible tells us the Antichrist will step...and promise that he will lead the world to peace and safety....but he is the devil incarnate and a liar...
2. A Pastor acquaintance of mine was with the President the week before his speech to the nation, counseling and praying with him. He is praying for his redemption...we need to pray for him also and his family.
3. If you are in the midst of turmoil in your family, in your life, there is one who will never leave you or forsake you...take courage and trust Him!
II. THE PROMISES
A. Dwelling In God (Psa 91:1,2)
1. Here is the man who has found the secret of godliness. Not a revival Christian...(explain) . I have heard preachers preach hell so strong that you could almost smell the smoke and see the fire....it is a reality....and I have seen people out of fear run to the altar to give their heart to the Lord...only to fall back into the old life when the revival meeting was over. Why? Because their response was base solely on fear and not trust and faith in God. He wants you to serve Him because you love Him ...because of what He has done for you.
2. True Godliness is seen when we continue to dwell in God no matter what our circumstances. Don't be like the multitude when Jesus began to teach them some things they didn't want to hear they turned away from Him and followed Him no more.
3. The secret of Godliness is dwelling constantly in the Lord's presence. Outside of His presence we are susceptible to every danger! Don't try to straddle the fence. That is, don't try to keep one foot in the world and the other in the church. Sell out to the Lord! No matter what the stock market does, you will still win!
(Satan & Job "Remove the hedge...")
4. Why is it a SECRET PLACE? The enemy does not know how to invade it. Look back at the dwelling place of the Most High in the Old Testament in the Tabernacle. It was in the Holy of Holies where He dwelt. When Jesus died on the cross the veil of the Holy Place was torn asunder signaling the fact that you and I would have a secret place in His presence that we could hide.
Promised to be
B. Our Fortress (Psa 91:2)
1. David was a military man from the day he killed Goliath. He knew the value of a good defensive position, such as a mountain fortress. Yet he realized that his best defense was to be within the walls of God's protection. "In him will I trust"
C. Deliverance From the snare (Psa. 91:3)
1. The snares and threats to the Christian are many. The most dangerous position we can be in is to think there is no danger.
a. This will be the atmosphere at the end-time when "they shall say peace and safety , then sudden destruction will come upon them..."
2. The fowler was one who laid out his traps and bait to snare birds. Satan represents the fowler. As the fowler knew how to arrange the trap and bait, so Satan and his agents know how to appeal to our weaknesses and hide the dangers of the results that follow.
a. Job and Satan
b. Cain and his offering.
D. Deliverance From Fear (Psa 91:5-8)
1. Fear is the greatest enemy of faith. Many people suffer more from the fear of their enemies and their problems than from the thing itself.
a. Peace of mind comes from trusting completely and constantly in God . Isa. 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
b. Who are we to worry? If we do our part, God will take care of the rest.
2. It is astonishing what fear can do. I remember a story that I read about a tortured criminal. His jailers told him, instead of being hanged, he was to bleed to death. They made him sit on a chair with one of his arms brought around a screen where he could not see what they were doing. They then pricked his finger and at the same time turned on a faucet and let water drip into a bowl. In a short time, the man was dead. He actually lost only a few drops of blood, but fear so completely took over his mind that it destroyed his body also.
E. Protection From Evil (Psa 91:9-13)
1. From unknown dangers, diseases, and trouble. Only God knows what fatal disease you have been healed of and never knew you had it. Or what pestilence He has kept you from.
2. When we need Him the most, He'll be there. There have been several times in my life when I can testify to the miracle hand of God saving be from death . When I breathed that name of Jesus, there was a miraculous event that occurred.
3. Sometimes that protection comes in the form of a Divine Delay. How many times has it happened to me, and probably you, that something unexpected happened to delay your trip only to drive upon a serious accident that you could have been involved in, if you had not been delayed.
4. It happened this week in the fatal airliner disaster. A famous celebrity (tennis star I think), was ticketed on Swiss Air flight 111. At the last minute, he changed his mind and didn't go. Was that a divine action?
III. CONDITION WE MUST MEET
A. Dwell in the shelter of the Most High (Psa. 91:1
1. The old chorus we used to sing "Shut in with God in a secret place..."
2. We must trust Him (v.2) We do not always understand His will for us, but if we really believe that He loves us and will do what is best for us, then we can safely trust Him and He will never betray that trust.
3. We must set our love upon Him (v.14) It is not enough to grudgingly carry out His will. Our obedience must be motivated by love for Him.
4. We must know His name (v.14) What is that revealed Name of the Lord that we know today? It is JESUS! There is power in that Name to answer any need we have.
Conclusion: The sum of this message is "I have a Father Who cares" In Him I find the answer to every need. In Him I find all I need to serve Him. If you don't know Him,, let me introduce you to Him today. For He cares as much for you!
The Father in the story of the Prodigal (Luke 15) He saw him while he was a long way off..Why? because he was looking for him. I can testify to you, when I lost my way, my Heavenly Father was there to reach out to me and save me..because He cares!