The ideal service to recognize Father's/Mother's without excluding those who do not fit.
|Good morning dearly beloved. We are here today to give honor to a special group of people in our service. This will not be your typical service, nor will it be one that you will soon forget. One might say that this is the kind of service that is important enough to point out to the world as a whole, wherever they are free to worship as a unit of like minded believers.
There will be only one Scripture we will look at today and it is one of the most familiar verses in the whole world. It has been translated in so many languages that if you put then all in one book, you might wind up with a Tome the size of Rhode Island.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16."
Who here has ever heard of this verse? That's right beloved, almost every hand is raised today, and those of you who's hands are not raised go ahead and do so, for today you have heard for the first time this precious verse.
Now beloved, take a look around this room, and see all of the hands raised. Go ahead, look around you, see here in the choir, on the instruments those hands are raised too. In the Pulpit, you see my hand is raised as well. Everywhere you see hands raised. Okay you can put your hands now, and get some of that circulation back into the arm. Thank you for indulging your servant in Christ with this illustration.
Back to the Word of God today now beloved. Let us look at the first phrase in this verse.
For God so loved the world:
Do you catch the meaning of this phrase. For God so loves the world! That is everyone in the whole world. His love is so encompassing, there is no people group left out, He loves them all. That also includes all of us right here in this congregation beloved. Minutes ago all of our hands were up, there was not a single hand that did not get raised. Everyone had heard about that verse previously or heard it for the first time today.
The reason for this illustration was to point out the fact that everyone is as equally important to Him as any other group of people, man, woman, boy, or girl, no matter how you slice it everyone is loved by God. Now let us begin the second part of our service by recognizing a special group of people today. It is Father's Day today and I would like for everyone of you who are a father, to join us front here. Come on now, give them room people, let them pass, and now men make your way down to the front. That's right.
Beloved, let's look at our father's in the congregation because they are important in God's plan, so important in fact that He said it in His Word. For God so loved the world. They are a part of this world so that makes them important and therefore worthy of being recognized. So go ahead, give them a round of applause. Thank you for that stirring ovation. Did not expect that but it shows how much you truly respect the men of this church who are fathers.
Men, don't leave yet. That's right you're still in the spotlight for now. But don't worry you won't be alone for long. Now beloved, let's look at the second part of this phrase.
that He gave His only begotten Son
In this case when the word Son is used, it strictly refers to the only begotten Son of God. Who is of course Jesus. I would like for all of you who are the wives, sons, and daughters, of these fathers to join them and hold hands together around this church building. That's it. Spread on out from the left to the right. Keep going, you're doing fine.
Those of you who still remain, survey the group before you. The fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of this congregation. It's massive, impressive, and worthy of being recognized. Why? Because God so love the world that He sent His only begotten Son. That in itself is a reason to celebrate. So give these families here a round of applause.
Thank you for that most cheerful round of applause, you who remain in your pews. It shows that you recognize that the Fathers, the mothers, the sons, and the daughters of this congregation are important enough to be recognized in this way. Thank you for doing that, and the tears in some of the eyes of those who are encircling you indicates they appreciate your recognition as well.
But some of them are crying for another reason. You see some of the mothers and fathers are missing their mothers or fathers because they have moved on and are now in the bosom of the Father God. Held and loved by a doting Father who leads His children to the work that He uniquely planned for them to do.
Some of you in the congregation are in the same situation. You've lost your parents, you're not a parent for whatever reason, and you may be wondering where do I fit in with all of these people. Families, don't move yet. Remain where you are. You're still in the spotlight for now. But don't worry you won't be alone for long.
Let us look at the final portion of this Scripture now beloved.
that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
Now those of you who are believers in the Son of God as your Savior, I want you to raise your hand. Wow! Look at that sea of hands around the congregation and those in the midst of this massive swarm of God believing and saved children of God. Those of you who did not raise your hands, this is your opportunity to change that in this service. Before the end of this day you will have the knowledge you need to make the most eternally important decision you will ever make.
Here is a bold move at this time beloved. Now the next group in the congregation I would like to stand and join these families are those who are not reptiles. For those of you who are confused, that means if you're not a snake, or any other kind of animal, join these who are around the church. Yes this is a funny part of the service. Join hands from left to right around the sanctuary. That's right, let them in, put aside all your petty difference for one time today. Maybe after today you will realize how small our petty differences really are.
Look at that! One lone person is still not in the circle that is almost meeting at the back of this sanctuary. In the choir, the instruments are laid aside, the sound booth is unattended, the ushers are among you beloved. The entire congregation is now standing and one person will now join you. Continue holding hands until I reach the back of the church. I stand with you today as one who cannot be a father, one who has lost his father, step-father, and his mother to death. But what I am is what everyone of you are. A part of God's plan and in spite of your station in life, you are important to him and worthy to be recognized. Give ourselves a big round of applause and say "thank You Jesus for following Your Father's plan."
Here among this group that has now encompassed the whole of the pews, are many different groups of people. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, married, unmarried, childless, parent-less, saved, and unsaved. Why are we all here in this circle? Why are we not sitting in those comfy pews enjoying a fiery message from your beloved servant in Christ? Because you are all the final illustration of this message.
You are the most important person to God that ever walked the face of this earth. Whether you're a father or not, whether you can have children or not, whether you've lost your parents or not, whether you're saved or not, we all are important enough for God to make this statement in His Holy Word.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
This is the ideal Father's Day service for all to follow. It includes everyone who may feel left out. It includes those who don't even know the Lord today, because they have the opportunity and the knowledge in this single verse to make an eternal decision. A decision that decides if they will spend eternity in heaven or separated from the presence of God in the pits of hell.
The decision can only be made by you who today have never given their lives over to the Lord. Everybody please return to your seats in an orderly fashion if you will now. I will meet with you for one more moment up front. Thank you all for being willing to become living breathing illustrations in this the Ideal Father's/Mother's day recognition service.
No one is left out, no one is crying now because they are in the bare pews looking at the mass of people who were surrounding them. No one was condemned for their condition, their weaknesses, nor for their strengths. All were included in this entire congregation because God said that everyone of us is important to Him; therefore you are important to me.
Those of you who would so desire to come and give your life to the Lord today we will be in the front to receive and counsel you in the way to ask Jesus into your hearts. No pressure, no scare tactics. You have been given the necessary information, you have seen the sea of people who are believers, you have joined them as a group. You are just as important as they are to God and because of the importanvr He places on you, we stand waiting for you to come and ask Him into your heart.
You are all important. On this day in which we celebrate and recognize those who are fathers, let us also remember to recognize others who are equally as important who may feel so left out in a service that may fail to acknowledge their worth. Not intentionally but by omission of inclusion of the others in the equation.
John 3:16 is indeed one of the most well known verses in the Bible. Almost everyone has heard it. As you've seen illustrated in this service today, there is a way to include all people into the service. It may be a long service, but in the end is this not more important than getting your meal a little later than normal? Take the time and if you are a leader of a congregation, the shepherd whom God has ordained to lead, consider if you will the inclusion of all who are important to God. Including yourself, leader and chosen of God to serve Him in the capacity He has for you in this life.
Consider if you will,