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Children of God | Pastor Michel Espinoza



The fifth Sunday of the month is family Sunday, and what a joy it is to see all the young faces on the worship team, giving the object lesson and in the sanctuary.  Sammie Segura helped lead singing while David Conway gave the object lesson from Ephesian 1:3 that the LORD  "blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (NIV) God passes the blessings on to us. The more time we spend with God the moretime we become like Him, which is the goal for every Christ follower-to be more like Christ. “And the child shall lead them” Isaiah 11:6 is occurring right before our eyes. Praise the LORD!

 

Pastor Michel Espinoza, FC’s children’s pastor, shared his thoughts on the children of God and cited several important verses that depict the children of God and the love of the Father.

John 1:12 states “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 Also Galatians 4:6 explains “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba Father!’” We have the privilege of being His children when we believe, and we can have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe. We can call him Daddy or Papa or Pops.

 

Jesus is praying for us as He also prayed for those who persecuted Him even when He was on the cross. What an incomprehensible act, but He did. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 He modeled for us the ultimate example of being unoffendable.

 

The animated depiction of the Prodigal Son showed us the loving father of a wasteful, disrespectful son. The father waited at the doorway and hoped his son would return. When the shamed, pig-feeding son came home, the joyful father embraced him, dressed him in a fine coat, gave him a beautiful ring, and celebrated, for his son that was dead was alive.

 

Pastor Michel then shared how another father mourned for his son. From 2 Samuel 18, we learned that David was sad because his rebellious, murdering son was dead. He wept in verse 33b “If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!” David had waited at the gate for news of his son who was trying to kill him and take over his kingdom.

 

Both David and the father of the prodigal son had wicked sons and wanted the benefits that came with having dead fathers. David mourned for Absalom. Jesus mourns for us. Faith in Jesus makes us children of God as John 1:12 reminds us. “Because of Jesus, we are children of the Living God.”

 

As children of the living God, we may think we will not have trials, but that is not what the LORD warned us. In John 16:33 Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Pastor Michel took us to Habakkuk 1:2 where  we learned that Habakkuk, the prophet was struggling. He asked the LORD, ”O Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?” That is the cry of a burdened man. He did not have the benefit of the New Testament like we do. He could not read James 1:2-4 to see the bigger picture.

 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever

you face trials of many kinds, because you know that testing

of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish

its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking

nothing.”  (NIV)

 

The New Testament gives us practical living direction to help us negotiate through the trials of life. For we know that “Trials strengthen our faith.”

 

The Lord answered Habakkuk,

 

“Look among the nations and watch-Be utterly astounded!

For I will work a work in your days which you would not

believe, though it were told you.” Habakkuk 1:5

 

Habakkuk determined to be faithful to the LORD.

 

“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart,

and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I

will answer when I am corrected.” Habakkuk 2:1

 

He was eagerly waiting for the LORD to answer him and was looking for the LORD’s correction. Though the book began with a cry of how long LORD, it did not take Habakkuk long to release his heavy heartedness and to wait on his LORD. May we learn from this prophet to be candid  with our living LORD, our Abba Father, our Papa and then to wait on Him. Sit at His feet to hear what He has to say to us. That is relationship and communication. James 1:5-6 reminds us

 

 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives

generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the

one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by

the wind.” (NIV)

 

“Expect God to respond like a son trusts a father,” affirmed Pastor Michel. That is faith.

“Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

 

Pastor Michel shared his difficulties and the hope that he had in the LORD during his two year struggle. He cried out to the LORD like Habakkuk did. He waited and waited on the LORD. Instead of running away from the LORD, he ran to the LORD and started serving with the children’s ministry. Pastor Michel said,”Despite what it looks like, I will live for God.” The LORD told Pastor Michel, “Just keep going. I have a way out.” Pastor Michel cited Psalm 139:14

 

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

marvelous are your works and that my soul knows very well.”

 

Circumstances did not look good but they did not hinder Pastor Michel’s faith in God or praise to God. He was determined like Habakkuk and declared, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD. I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18 It was hard, but God… He learned that “True faith turns to worship.”

 

In summary, we have the privilege of being His children when we believe. “Because of Jesus, we are children of the Living God;” “Trials strengthen our faith;”  and “True faith turns to worship.” May we be salt and light in this darkened world.

 

10/31-Trunk or Treat from 6:00-8:00

11/4-Daylight savings time ends with the clocks falling back Saturday night

11/5-All church prayer meeting

11/16-LB sponsored Thanksgiving FC staff luncheon from 12:00-2:00. Please contact Mary Dinnen if you would be willing to bring a dish to bless the staff.

Submitted by

Larry and Annette Linthicum


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