Sunday, June 18, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


I count it a great privilege and blessing to honor the fathers of this church on Father’s Day. 


Eph. 6:23: Peace be to you, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Phil 1:2:  Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


For several years, I have been honoring a father-of-the-year.  This year’s honor goes to Deacon Gene Amante.  Bet and Gene have been members of this church for at least twenty years.  Their faithfulness and love to this congregation as well as their own spiritual battles has been extraordinary.  There is a book in Heaven with all their mighty exploits.  Gene’s support of me personally has been something I have never felt worthy of, nor have I ever taken it for granted.  Gene, we the church of Eastgate Ministries and I personally thank you.  May you continue with God’s blessing of long-life, good health, prosperity, and the comfort of your children, and children’s children.


It is to the Father’s Love to us-ward (2 Pe. 3:9) that I bring this message today.


Isa. 46:3-4: Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, and who have been carried from the womb; even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs, I will carry you!  I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.


The Lord reveals Himself with words under the beautiful and tender image of a Father bearing in his arms, the child he loves.  It is a repetition of the same words spoken by Moses in his wilderness address to Israel.


Deut. 1: 30-31: The Lord your God, who goes before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.


Again, the Lord God expresses this love where Ephraim is represented, first as a little child, a tender infant, and Jehovah’s loving care of Him.


As the babe is, by and by, no longer carried in arms --- but led by hands to teach him to walk; so God nurtures His children from stage to stage, not just in the spiritual, but in the natural life as well.


Hos. 11:3-4:  I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them.  I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love.  I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.  I stooped and fed hem.


This is a picture of God’s unwavering, covenant faithfulness --- not in infancy or adulthood only --- but extending from the cradle to the grave  --- from the first cry of a babe --- to the white hair of old age. 


The comparison of parental love and affection falls short of the magnitude of God’s love which is still incomprehensible to us even after we have enjoyed a lifetime of that love and care. 


Growing up and leaving the day-to-day parental care of earthly parents usually takes place in stages as we become independent. “All grown up” is a state-of-being, usually in our mid-twenties or early thirties.  The same tender care is not needed as in the helpless period of infancy or the young child facing life with all its successes and failures. 


Not so, with our Heavenly Father.  No weakness, no infirmity paralyzes His arm!  From the hour of birth --- to the hour of death --- it is one unbroken ministry of paternal kindness. He is continually guiding, teaching, and going before us to grow us up into the image of Jesus Christ, He is always there carrying us if we are not rebelling against Him.


The invisible God ever lives and loves; lives as a Father, loves as a Father, “Even to your old age, I am He!” (Isa. 46:4).  For God is Love.


1 Jo. 4:16:  We have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.


1 Co. 2:9: It is written:  eye has not seen, nor ear heard; nor have entered the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

For the earthly Fathers of this church, who have been found in the way of righteousness --- each of you have a witness of the reality of this divine comfort of Father God’s love.  He was there when you were growing up to keep you safe.  He was there during the years you supported your growing family and prayed them through the traps of the evil one.  Those in this church who have reached and surpassed the “threescore and ten” have this testimony of God’s unchanging fidelity in the midst of an every changing world.


Proverbs 16:31: The silver-haired head is a crown of glory if it is found in the way of righteousness.


He like Jacob has a staff with which he set out in early morn from Bethel ---with the same staff he crosses Jordan. 


2 Co. 4:16:  Our inward man is being renewed day by day. 


The Lord has promised a blessing to all who serve Him in their youth.  Let the young father glorify Christ with the strength of adulthood.  It is only if we can with the Psalmist, “O God, You have taught me from  youth hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works.” 


Let us work while it is called today.  Let us give to God the best of the feast --- the morning prime of active energy --- the ripe and abundant autumn fruits.  Then if we are blessed with “three-score and ten years” plus more according to our strength, those later years will be filled with the sweet radiance of the summer sun sending its beams into fullness of days.  It is Jehovah’s own light and love --- stray sunbeams from the heavenly glory wandering down to illuminate the light of His glory all around us in purpose, destiny, health, happiness, and life everlasting. 


The best wine is kept for the last.  The man or woman of God can stand with the prophet, even in the midst of catastrophe, ruin and death, claiming as its own ‘I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you’ I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX

www.eastgate ministries.com – I entered into the labors of John MacDuff (1818-1895).  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Rev. MacDuff.

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