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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Option #1: "Compassionate Subject"
Matthew 9:35-10:8
Rev. Wayne Dobratz

I. The compassion Jesus had FOR us: Acts 10:38; Matt 14:14, 15:32; Mk 6:34; Heb 4:15-16; John 11:33-45

II. The compassion He wants FROM us: cf Eph 4:32; Matt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47; John 4:35ff; Acts 18:9-10; 2 Thess 3:1-5; Matt 10:1-3; Eph 4:11-13; Acts 8:4; Isa 61:1; Acts 4:9-10; Acts 3:6ff

John F. MacArthur cites the writing of G. Campbell Morgan: There is no reason in people that God should save; the need is born of His own compassion. No person has any claim upon God. Why, then, should people be cared for? Why should they not become the prey of the ravening wolf, having wandered from the fold? It has been said that the great work of redemption was the outcome of a passion for the righteousness and holiness of God; that Jesus must come and teach and live and suffer and die because God is righteous and holy. I do not so read the story. God could have met every demand of His righteousness and holiness by handing people over to the doom they had brought upon themselves. But deepest in the being of God, holding in its great energizing might, both holiness and righteousness, is love and compassion. God said, according to Hosea, "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?" It is out of the love which inspired that wail of the Divine heart, that salvation has been provided. (The Gospel According to Matthew [Old Tappan, N.J.: Revell, 1979], pp 99- 100)

The great Puritan writer Thomas Watson said, "We may force our Lord to punish us, but we will never have to force Him to love us." The God of Scripture is the God of love and compassion. How different are the gods of paganism. The supreme attribute of the ancient Greek gods was apatheia, apathy and indifference. Those supposed deities were supremely unconcerned about the welfare of mankind. Even the nature of the true God had been so distorted by the scribes, Pharisees, and rabbis that most Jews thought of Him primarily as a God of anger, vengeance, and indifference. Jesus brought an entirely new message. Because the Lord is compassionate, believers who bear His name are also to be compassionate. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:32-5:2: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

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Option #2: "Abba, Abba, Do!"
Deuteronomy 6:6
Rev. Kelly Bedard

(This is the third in a series of Father's Day/parenting sermons based on Dr. Tim Elmore's book
Nurturing the Leader Within Your Child, of which the following outline is a condensation)

A. It has to be in you before it can be in them (Then Moses said: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart" [Deuteronomy 6:6])

       1. You can't give away what you don't have!

       2. If it doesn't work at home, don't try to export it.

       3. We teach what we know but we reproduce what we are.

       4. You may remember the story of the frail old man who went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight blurred, and his step faltered. When the family ate together, the old man's shaky hands and failing eyesight made it difficult for him. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he picked up his glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. And he kept breaking the dishes! His son became irritated with the mess and decided to set up a small table in the corner for Grandpa. To prevent the old man from breaking dishes, his son gave him a wooden bowl to eat from.
           When they ate together now, it was calm. The son would glance over to see his old man and notice a tear in his eye. He was lonely. But at least it was peaceful at dinner time. There was no mess and no more broken dishes. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
            One evening the son noticed his little boy playing with some wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" The four-year-old looked up innocently and said, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you to eat your food when I grow up."

       5. Children do what children see, good or bad.

       6. Sarah Edwards, the wife of the famous eighteenth-century clergyman Jonathan Edwards, was passionate about investing in her children. She sat aside time to develop leadership qualities in each of her kids--which took a large portion of her time. She had eleven children.
           Author A.E. Winship wrote about Sarah Edwards, indicating "the way children turn our is always a reflection of their mother." Then he chronicled the contributions that streamed from the Edwards family. Of the descendants that could be located, their family produced: 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school, 30 judges, 66 physicians and a dean of a medical school, 80 holders of public office, including 3 U.S. senators, 3 mayors, 3 state governors, a U.S. treasury controller and a vice president of the United States.

B. Father's Day Musings

       1. We thank God for the men whose blood, passed on, courses through our veins, whose faith, passed down, burns in our hearts.

       2. "Visions of Another Father" by Peter Mead
             When the strum of the saw went silent...
             When the hammer had drummed its last beat of the day...
             When the chisels, sharpened, were put up 'til the morn, and the pots of paint were covered...
             When the door of the shop was shut for the night and you walked hand in hand with Joseph toward home...
                   ...did you ever look up in the deepening dark to see in that carpenter's visage a shadowed image of your
                         Father on high?
                   ...did you ever swing yourself into his muscular arms, simply to whisper the words, "I love you, Daddy"?
             Grant me the grace, Lord, to see that same vision in the face of my dad...
                   to whisper those words into his waiting ear.

       3. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. (1 John 3:1)

       4. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

       5. Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. (Bill Cosby)

       6. There are three books my daughter felt were the most important influences in her life: the Bible, her mother's cookbook, and her father's checkbook. (Joyce Mattingly)

       7. The most assiduous task of parenting is to divine the difference between boundaries and bondage. (Barbara Kingsolver)

       8. "Because He First Loved Us" by Peter Mead
             "Love you!" you said and turned to play.
             It was the first time your tiny mouth wrapped itself around those words, the first time you aimed them at me.
             But, rather than melting my cynical heart, that phrase merely made me think,
             "You're only parroting what I said--mirroring my words."
             Until I remembered that that's what I do; for Someone, my dear, shared his great love with ME...
             and that's when my heart melted.
             "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

       9.   I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. (Harry S. Truman)

       10. No matter what, Dad was always there with solid words of advice..."Go ask your mother." (Alan Ray)

       11. When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. (Mark Twain)

       12. "Our Father" by Arden Mead
             Our heav'nly Father, hear your faithful children's prayer:
             Your name, divine and dear, be hallowed ev'rywhere!
             Your kingdom come! Your heav'nly will among us still on earth be done!
             The bread for which we yearn each day, O Father, give.
             Forgive us, as in turn our debtors we forgive.
             Your people lead in trial's hour.
             From Satan's pow'r let us be freed!
             For you, O Lord, are King; all pow'r is yours, we own;
             Your glory now we sing; the glory yours alone.
             So shall it be: Your kingdom, might, and glory bright, eternally!

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