Gregory Dickow - Knowing God as Father
Well, here's a wild question for you. Did you see the Mr. Rogers documentary in theaters? Well, if not, I'm sure you remember his signature song during his program years ago. He's saying it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Sorry, I'm not singing it. Could you be mine? Would you be mine? In fact, there's a line in that movie that says when Mr. Rogers looked into the camera, he didn't see a big audience. He saw one child and he connected deeply with that child. Well, why do I bring that up? Because that's how God, our Heavenly Father, sees you. You are that one child that matters to God right now. No matter what you're going through, no matter what is happening in your life, you matter to God, your situation matters to him. And his love for you is about to change everything.
John the apostle you wrote as described in the message Bible in Revelation. Twenty one, he says, Look, look, God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women. They're his people and he's their God. Well, if God's in your neighborhood and he is he's and he's in my neighborhood, too, I guess that makes us neighbors. So welcome neighbor to the Power to Change Today broadcast. I want to connect with you today, I believe with every fiber of my being that God wants you one hundred percent satisfied today by knowing him as your father in today's teaching. That's exactly what you're going to experience, the six characteristics of the father that will change your life forever. Check this out.
John 14:6, Jesus says he said, I am the way I am the truth and I am the life. No one comes to the father except through me. Now, notice what he is saying here. Sometimes I think we miss the simplest truth of scripture when Jesus says I am the way. What whenever you think of a way, a way is a is a pass or an avenue to a destination. So when Jesus says I am the way we have to answer the question, what is he the way to now? Most of us would agree he is the only way to heaven. And that's powerful. He's the only way to be saved from hell. Absolutely powerful and absolutely true. But what he is talking about here is an overarching theme that is more important and transcends all other things that Jesus came to do.
This is the ultimate purpose for which Jesus came to become a way not just to heaven, because heaven without the father, there is really not heaven at all and hell is not really hell. If God's presence was there, hell wouldn't even be that bad. I'm not saying that hell isn't bad. There is torment. But remember Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego went through a fiery furnace, but there was a fourth man in the fire and they did. They were not burned. Not one hair on their head was singed. Why? The difference was not the place where they were. The difference was the person that was with them. And the fourth man in the fire was Jesus, obviously. But notice here, what is Jesus the way to? He said, I am the way, the truth and the life to what? No one comes to the father except through me.
So Jesus is the way to the father that his whole reason and purpose for coming down here was to be the bridge for you and me to step into a relationship with God as father, not just Lord, not just king, not just Savior, but Father. Boy, there's something that happens in our lives when we know God as father. Now we know in this world today there is something that happens in this world when kids don't know their fathers. There's something that happens in this world when fathers don't raise their kids properly. There's something that happens to kids when the father is absent. I'm not saying that you're condemned are doomed or defined by however you grew up, because the Father, our Heavenly Father, more than makes up for whatever our earthly fathers or mothers lacked and wherever they failed us.
And you might have had great parents, but no parent is enough to fill the eternal hole in your heart. Only the Heavenly Father can do that. And only the Heavenly Father can give you your identity. That leads to your destiny. Everybody has a destiny. Everybody has a destiny. Everybody has a purpose. But there's only one path to that purpose, and that is intimacy with God as father. Listen, Jesus didn't even come to see. You could know him. Jesus came so you could know the father. Now, when you see him, you've seen the father and he and the father are one, and he and the father and the Holy Spirit are one, but his point is, is I'm here to bring you to the father. I'm here so you can know God as father. I'm here to restore to you what Adam and Eve had in the garden.
Adam and Eve were God's first children. God was their father. They were his kids. They were the they were the offspring of his love, they were the overflow of his love, and he birthed them or brought them into this world because of love. They were begotten children of God. He gave birth to them through his spirit. He formed them out of the dust of the ground and then breathe life into their into their into their soul. And they became living souls, living spirits. And they were and they were distinct from the animals because God's breath was in them. They were distinct from the animals because God was their father, not just their creator. God is the creator of all things good, but he's the father of you and I when you're born again.
Now, the Bible says in Galatians 4:6 it says that God has sent the spirit of his son into our hearts by which we cry out of a father, father, father, daddy, father. This word, ABBA, was used by people who had the most intimate understanding of how much their father loved them, how much their father accepted them, how much their father approved of them, and how much their father adored them. So when a child would cry ABBA, when a person would refer to their father as ABBA father, it was the most intimate word. It was the closest word. It was the most affectionate word. It was the most adoring word. And why? Because God doesn't want you to know him just as great God, great king, great Savior. He wants you to know. He wants you to know him as ABBA father. Daddy, father.
80% of rapists grew up in fatherless home. 71% of high school dropouts, fatherless homes. 85% of youth in prison - fatherless homes. 90% of youth criminals - fatherless homes. 90% of gang kids in gangs - fatherless homes. Kids from fatherless arms have five times the suicide rate, 30 times more likely to run away, 14 times more likely to commit rape, nine times more likely to drop out of school, 20 times more likely to end up in prison and three times more likely to be poor. Yet our country mocks fathers. Listen to me. This is not an indictment against dads that have failed, this is the cry of the fathers heart to father you when you realize how the brokenness in your life is from this fracture and this wound. Our parents did our did their best, I'm sure, just as we tried to do our best in raising our kids. But still, there are holes still there are cracks still. There are brokenness in every human soul that can only be satisfied.
Go back to John 14 eight amplified Bible. Show us the father. That is all we ask. Then we shall be satisfied. Now go over with me to Luke, Chapter 15. Let me show you how this works and how God heals us when we get a revelation of these six characteristics of our father in Luke. Chapter 15, verse 12. A father had two sons, Luke Chapter 15, verse 12. A father had two sons. And it says that the younger one said, Father, give me the portion of the goods that is that is set aside for me. And his father did so. So he divided them, among them, his livelihood. And verse thirteen goes on to say, and not many days after now, boy, that stuck out in me not many days after. In other words, this son divided himself. This son separated himself from his father.
And not many days after this guy has wasted his life, wasted his possessions, wasted his inheritance, wasted his everything that he has not many days later, boy, it doesn't take very long when you're separated from the father for you to lose your mind. It doesn't take very long when you're separated from your Heavenly Father for you to lose your soul. It doesn't take very long when you're separated from your father for you to lose your way. It doesn't take very long when you're separated from your father.
Not many days will go by and you will have lost what you had. You will you will step into making bad decisions. You will step into hanging out with the wrong people. You will step in to go into the wrong places. Why? Because you've separated yourself from the one who gives you direction the way the truth and the life. The one who gives you comfort. The one who gives you satisfaction. The one who knows how you should use your inheritance. The one who knows you like nobody knows you. The one who loves you and is waiting with for you. With his arms open wide. The one who loves you unconditionally, who encourages you unceasingly, who teaches you uncompromisingly. The one who accepts you, approves of you, loves you, adores you. The one who calls you is dearly love child. When you divide yourself from him, when you pull away from him, this is what he this is what God is illustrating for us.
This whole this whole scripture, this whole passage, while it is a while, it is a clear picture of the condition of this son's heart. It is a greater picture of the father's heart. Watch what happens, it doesn't take very long, and he's wasted everything. Not me, not many days. Not many days. What he gathered after he gathered all his stuff and left his dad. He gathered all his stuff and distanced himself from his father's wisdom, his father's covering his father's love, his father's his his father's guidance, his father's counsel. Not many days later, he's wasted his possessions. Verse 14, look at what happens and that. But when he had spent all, there arose a fear, a severe famine in that land. And he began to be in one well, any land, any distant land that any place, wherever you are, if it's if it's distant from the father, there's going to be severe famine and you're going to end up in want keep going.
Verse 15. Look at what he says. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him to feed the swine. Listen, listen, you your sense of value begins to be diminished when you don't when you're not connected to the father, your sense of value, your sense of worth, you're going to go ahead and feed the swine. This is not humility. This is humiliation. There's a difference. Humility is beautiful. We should all walk in humility, but being humiliated and being someone that we can't even eat the pig's food we have, we can't even eat. We can't even eat what the servants are eating. We end up eating the pig's food, living in the pigpen for 16.
Look at what happens next. And it says, and he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, but no one gave him anything. You know, I no one gave him anything because you weren't created to have anybody else be your daddy. You weren't designed to have anybody else be your provider. You can try to make your husband your provider, you can try to make your wife your provider, you can try to make a friend you provide and try to make your job. You provide. You can try to make money, your provider, but until you receive your Heavenly Father. Is your provider. No one is going to give you anything. No one is going to give you anything because you need to go back to your father. As soon as the sun distanced himself from his father, he squandered and wasted all that he had.
But then verse 18, look at what it says it says. The son said to himself, he came to his senses and he said these words, if there are any better, if there are any better words that define the will of God, I haven't found them in the Bible, these words. The first part of his sentence here in verse 18 more closely described to me the will of God from my life than anything else I've ever read in the Bible, I will arise and go to my father. I will arise and go to my father, I'm hurting, what do I do? I will arise and go to my father. People have betrayed me. What I will arise and go to my father. People have lied about me. I will arise and go to my father. I'm not going to rise and go tell lies about them. I'm not going to rise and go defend myself. I'm not going to rise and hurt somebody else. I'm not going to rise against my brother. I'm not going to rise against somebody else. I am going to arise and go to my father because that is the source of complete and utter satisfaction in life.
Now, let me show you something about the father when he rises and goes to the father, notice these characteristics of the father, six things that will heal you of the father fracture and give you complete satisfaction if you embrace these things. They're really simple. The first thing about the father is that he believes in you no matter what your current condition is. Look at verse 20, he says in verse 20 of Luke, Chapter 15. And he arose and came to his father. And while he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion on him and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Now, what does this tell us? It says he believes in you no matter what your condition is. How do we know that? Because when we're far off, he's still looking. He's still seeking. He's still believing. You're coming home. He's still ready to embrace you, ready to accept you, ready to trust you, ready to give you another opportunity, ready to welcome you back with open arms. He sees you from a distance. Why? Because he's looking for you. He believes you're coming back. He believes no matter how far you've fallen, you're coming home.
No matter how how you've been beaten, you're coming home. No matter how bruised and battered and broken you've been, you're coming home. He knows it. He believes that he believes in you. He believes that a seed of love was deposited in you at one point when you got saved. He believes that there's a destiny inside of you. He believes that there's a greatness inside of you. He believes that there's a purpose for your life. He believes in you more than you believe in yourself.
So he sees you from afar. You don't even see yourself. You can't even find yourself. You don't even know yourself. But he sees you when you're a great way off. No one. The father believes in you no matter what the condition is of your life. No to the father is moving towards you. It says his father saw him and ran to him. The father is always moving towards you. Your Heavenly Father is always coming at you, coming after you, coming towards you to bless you, coming towards you to do want to kiss you, to fall on you. Not to rebuke you. Not to smack you. Not to, not to. Not to berate you. Not to shame you, but to kiss you. The father believes in you no matter what you've done and no matter what your current condition is, number two, he's always moving towards you. Notice the father runs. It's not a walking. He's running towards you. He is moving towards you continually. He's in a hurry to be with you. He is always moving towards you.
Number three, it says he's full of compassion. This is the third thing you need to know about your Heavenly Father. He's full of compassion. He is not angry at you. He's not mad at you. He is what? Mad about you, he's not mad at you, he is what mad about you, he has compassion on you. Listen, no matter what you've done, the father is all about mercy. He's not about judgment. He's not about sticking your nose in it. He's not about reminding you of your past. He's not about shaming you. There's no shame in his game. All he wants to do is kiss you, embrace you, hug you, welcome you. He's full of compassion. He feels deeply for you. He doesn't have superficial feelings for you. He hasn't lost his that loving feeling. Come on. He feels deeply for you. Deep compassion, his well is too deep. For you to ever run out. Of the father's love for you. But I wasted everything. But he still sees you because he believes in you. He still runs to you because he's always coming towards you. He still has compassion on you because his heart is filled with love for you.
And number four, he celebrates you look at verse 20 to bring the best robe and put it on him. Whose robe do you think this was? Well, he's the father. He's the lord of his house, his robe is the best robe. What's he doing, putting his own robe on his son? Clothing him with righteousness. Bring the best. He always has the best for you, you know, when a door closes, rejoice. Don't try to kick it down, don't try to knock it down and try to find the window to get through it. Don't try to. Don't try to tear it up. Don't try to. Don't try to pull a Wile Coyote on the roadrunner thing and blow something up to get in there. When a door closes, trust God. Believe about your Heavenly Father that he has something better for you.
He celebrates you. He doesn't tolerate you, yeah, there's my son. Let's wait until he gets here. I got a few words that I want to share with him, and they seem pretty. No. When the sun comes, he celebrates him. And he kisses him. When the Bible says he kissed him, this word kiss. Is a present participle, it means he kept on kissing him. He kissed them once and he met I accept you, he kissed him a second time and he meant I forgive you, he kissed him a third time and he meant I restored you your privileges. I kissed him a fourth time. He said, I approve of you. He kissed him a fifth time. And he said the past is over. He kissed him a sixth time and he said, You're still my son. He kissed him a seventh time. And he said, you are never. Out of my will and out of my heart and out of my mind. I love you too much. And I'm never letting go and I'll never stop loving you, never, ever, ever.
And number five. He's the father of second chances. He says, put a ring on his finger. That ring is not just some sort of jewelry, some family heirloom, that ring is a signet ring, that ring represents the father's authority and the father's provision so that that son can go anywhere in the city and show them that ring and whatever that son needs is paid for. Whatever that son needs, he shows them the ring it's paid for. Isn't it interesting, the father, when he kisses him? When he brings the best robe, when he hugs him, when he falls on his neck, when he embraces him, that's what being baptized in the Holy Spirit is.
By the way, the Bible says the same word here when it says he fell on his neck is the same word used in Acts 2 when it says and the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were in the house. The Holy Spirit is the Communicator of the Father's love. The Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the Father's love. The Holy Spirit is the hug of the Father, the embrace of the Father. Baptizing you, surrounding you, covering you, immersing you. In his goodness and in his love. He's the Father of second chances and number six: he's the Father who always gives the best. Bring the best road. Kill the fatted calf. He look at what he says, what is an inverse twenty three or twenty four kill the fatted calf. And let's eat and be merry. The father is the father of all happiness and joy.