Hello and welcome to this message from Calvary Albuquerque. We're excited to hear from our special guest speaker, Ben Courson, who's one of the teaching pastors at Applegate Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Oregon. We pray that God uses this message to cultivate a deep love for His Word in your life. If He does, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at email@example.com. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can get online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving.
Now we invite you to open your bibles to Galatians, chapter four, as Ben begins the message happy, heavenly Father's Day.
It's such a privilege for me to get to hang out with you guys today. I'm not blowing smoke here, but I believe that Skip is one of the greatest pastors of our generation. I really do. I'm a big fan of the Heitzig family. And so it's a blast for me to get to hang out with you this morning.
If you have your Bible, would you please turn with me to the book of Galatians, 4:6? And while you're turning there, we're going to say a word of prayer together. Father, we thank you so much that all things are naked and exposed before your eyes, meaning that there's not a word on our tongue-- but behold, the Lord, you know it all together.
We know that you know our thoughts from afar off. And so I pray that you would borrow my voice box and speak into the recesses of each individual soul. And I pray that each person here would feel like I was stalking them, that I was following their Facebook, their Twitter, their Instagram, their Snapchat, that I was reading their minds and listening in on their conversations, because I know that you can do this. God, if you can talk through a donkey, then you can use me. So I pray that you'd have an awesome conversation with us this morning in Jesus' name. Amen.
I'm so grateful that as followers of Jesus, we know that our pioneer and the captain of our salvation is called the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Emmanuel, Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God, the light of the world, the way, the truth, the life, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the door for his sheep, the shepherd who lays down his life for his lands, the vine who gives fruit to his branches, the Word of God made flesh, the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning, the end, the Resurrection and the life, the Prince of the Kings of the Earth, the Amen, the root of David, the beginning of God's creation, he who wields the bright and morning star, and he who holds the double-edged sword. That's our captain, and that's a great leader. It's true.
Of my favorite things about Jesus is he said, if you have seen me, you have seen. who?
The Father. If you want to know what your Heavenly Father on this Father's Day weekend looks like, watch Jesus hanging out with little ankle biters and tiny tots. When the disciples are telling the kids to scram, Jesus says, actually, these kids are the greatest in the kingdom. And he takes a kid up in his arms and blesses it.
Watch Jesus forgiving prostitutes and saying, no one condemns you, neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more. Watch Jesus hang out with Benedict Arnold traitors, tax collectors for the Roman Empire, who were actually Jews, who everybody hated, and they cheated the Jews out of their pocketbook money. And Jesus invites himself over to their houses for dinner.
Watch Jesus weep over Jerusalem, and then declare, no greater love has a man than this, than that he lays down his life for his friends. And then Jesus goes and dies on a cross. God says that's what I look like.
In fact, Colossians 1:15 goes so far as to say that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. That word for "image" in the Greek language is fascinating. It's the word "eikon." E-I-K-O-N. What it meant in Paul's generation was portrait. So if I was painting your picture, that's your eikon in Greek.
But it's actually the nearest ancient Greek equivalent to our word for photograph. So you could actually correctly translate that verse, technically, as an American millennial, Colossians 1:15, Jesus is the photograph of the invisible God. Hence, if you have seen me, you've seen the Father already.
Now, when did the photograph of God develop the most completely? Well, where do all photographs develop? In a darkroom. Do you remember what happened to Jesus when he was crucified at Golgotha? The Bible says something happened to the sky in midday. Does anybody remember? What happened to the sky when Jesus was crucified?
It went dark. It was in the darkroom room that the eikon, that the photograph of God, developed the most clearly. For God demonstrated His love in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus says, the Father loves you this much. That's what he declares. God is love, and that's when the picture, the photograph of God's love, is developed the most clearly. And so too as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, because we know that's what God looks like, we also are confident of the fact that life is like photography.
We develop from the negatives. You picking up what I'm throwing down? God doesn't just work together the good things for His ultimate future and hope that He's concocted for us. Even the bad things He works together for the good. Why? Because the father's hand will never cause His child a needless tear. So today, we're going to consider what it means that God is our Father as we appreciate you dads for being Imago Dei, Genesis 1:27, the images of the Father in heaven. Let's take a look at Galatians 4:6.
As Paul writes, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of His son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, father." I love that word, "abba." That word is expressive of an especially close relationship to God. It's the Aramaic word for father, so Paul's employing a double expression.
He says, we go to call God papa, daddy, abba, father. That's what it means. Now for the Greeks, and the Romans and the Jews who were hearing this for the first time, you've got to understand, they would've thought Paul was cuckoo for his Cocoa Puffs. They would have thought he had smog in the noggin. They would have thought he was crazy, out to lunch, because nobody in Jesus or Paul's generation thought of God as father in the way that Christians were talking about God.
Here's what I mean. That's not to say Jesus was the first person to call God "father." For example, the Greeks said that Zeus was the king and the father of gods and of all the people. The Romans, as part of their mythology, worshipped the god Jupiter. Jupiter was their chief god. The word Jupiter literally means deus pater. "Deus" means God, "pater" means father.
But when both the Greeks and the Romans spoke of the gods as fathers, more often than not, they were expressing the paternity of these fathers. In other words, these god created humans, just like a father creates a human with that kid's mom. Doesn't mean the child is ever seen again by that dad, but the dad did create the child.
When the Greeks and the Romans spoke of Zeus and Jupiter as fathers, they meant that they had created human beings. When Jesus spoke of God as father, he wasn't merely talking about procreation or God as the progenitor or talking about him in the sense of paternity. When Jesus spoke of God as abba, he was expressing the fatherhood of God, fellowship, close intimacy, affection, tight bond. God is close knit with his kids.
Jesus said, "Fear not little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Jesus said, "The father knows when a sparrow falls. Are you not of much more value than many sparrows, of you of little faith?" Jesus said, "If you earthly dads know how to give good gifts to your kids, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts in the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
This was revolutionary, iconoclastic, subversive, newfangled, innovative in Jesus and Paul's respective generations. Now, not just for the Greeks and the Romans, but for the Jews, this would've been amazing. To the Jews, God was not papa.
You remember the Hebrews and those practicing Judaism believe that if you saw God, you would die. Judges 13:22 tells us that Manoah, who was to be the father of Samson, was visited by a strange guest. And when he understood who that visitor was, he declared, we have seen God and must surely die.
So who did get to go into the presence of God? Well, only the high priest, on the Day of Atonement, once a year, in the temple-- the holy of holies where the presence of God was held to exist. So unless you're lucky enough to be a son of Aaron, and it just so happens to be the Day of Atonemeny-- one day a year-- and you have the holy of holies nearby, if you see God, you're going to die. That's what much of Judaism taught.
But Paul shreds that to pieces in the New Testament when he declares, in Ephesians 2:18, "We, through Jesus, have access to the Father." Now, what happened when Jesus died on the cross in the temple? Do you remember what happened to the veil that separated the holy of holies from the commoners? Split in two. God's ripping the veil in half, saying come boldly to my Throne of Grace and call me daddy. Call me papa.
So Paul, in concert with this verse, perfect synchronicity echoes the sentiment in Romans 8:15 when he declares, "We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption by whom we cry, abba, father." Because God is our dad, Paul argues we no longer have to be afraid of anything. What if the god who made Canis Majoris and the Milky Way galaxy and Saturn and the cosmos and kangaroos who carry their kids in marsupial pouches and bumblebees and humming birds that fly in reverse and honey, which tastes like hope feels, what if that God said, I'm your dad. What do you have to be afraid of?
Paul says, "We are not under the spirit of bondage again to fear." We have the spirit of adoption. It is not the power of darkness that is to be feared. It is fear that gives power to the darkness.
So the most often repeated commandment in the Bible, in this book more than 200 times, is do not be afraid. Perfect love casts out fear in God is love. So we know that the battle is not ours, but the battle is the Lord's. So we don't got to be afraid of anything. We can take up the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. The shield of faith, which can quench every fiery dart of the Wicked One, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
Fight a good fight. Wage a good warfare. Go hunt some demons. Do a dent in the Kingdom of Darkness and put to flight the Empire of Evil because we cry out abba, father, to the King of the universe.
So what kind of life would you live if fear wasn't a factor? If impossible seemed more like a dare instead of a declaration? What if you let all your reasons not to fear outnumber the reasons not to try? If you don't look at God as father and you don't think Abba's got your back, then let me tell you-- you're going to be scared of everything.
I know for me, if I don't think God's my father, I don't just get paranoid about the big grandiloquent great, perhaps mysteriousness, of the future, I'll even sweat the small stuff too. I have bad OCD, so I'll be eating bacon, and I'm like, oh no, God. There's a hair in my food. God's like, Ben, you're eating bacon. There's a pig in your food. Is that really what you're going to be worried about right now? Like, seriously, come on.
So what is a dad? If God's our Father, what is a dad? As you dads get to reflect the nature of our loving Father today, a dad is somebody-- this is my definition of a dad today. A dad is somebody who carries pictures where his money used to be. Spends so much money taking care of his kids, that he empties his wallet out of that dough and then fills his wallet with pictures of the kids he spent all this money on raising. Thank you, dads. We love you and we appreciate your sacrifice.
A dad is somebody that you look up to no matter how tall you grow. So let me tell you a story about my dad. I really look up to him. My dad, just ohh, he's a lump of sunshine, man. I have to put on like SPF 15 sunscreen because he just gives me a soul suntan as the light of the world. He's a salty, delicious Christian lending flavor to life.
My dad has this awesome laugh. That's one of the things my dad's known for. He has like this huge, buoyant, boisterous, resonant, rich, Santa Claus, James Earl Jones deep voiced laugh. And the weird thing is, if you heard my dad laugh, you'd have no idea what he's went through in his life. My dad, when he was my age, was in a car accident where his first wife died, and he survived. And then a few years later, his oldest daughter, my sister, died in another car accident.
And you would think he'd be like Cassandra prophet of doom, doom and gloom, merchant like the gray cloud of the world drizzling on everybody. But the irony is, he just has this belly laugh. Why? Because my dad really believes that we're all blood brothers and blood sisters by the blood of Jesus, and we all share the same father.
And one day, this father's going to throw a great big family reunion, and death doesn't have the last word. The Lord of Lords and King of Kings put death to death so we don't have to be scared to death of death because at the place of the skull, Jesus crushed the skull of the serpent, Genesis 3:15 proto-Evangelion. So why would he be sad if the King has overcome the grave?
And he really believes that he's going to see his family again. The same is true for you. Listen. When you're walking with God, when you know that he is your Abba Father, you can say, I have all the great and precious promises of the Father working on my account. What the enemy means for evil, the Lord means for good.
He turns my morning into dancing. He gives me the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He turns my sorrow into joy so I will wait on the Lord and be of good courage. And he will strengthen my heart. I would have lost heart, but I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living because those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint, Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and have good courage."
Do not be afraid nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Psalm 1 says meditate day and night on His law, and you'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in your seasons that your leaf does not wither. Whatever you do shall prosper. Psalm 20 says, "May the Lord grant your heart's desire."
Psalm 21:2 says, "The Lord has granted me my heart's desire." Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desire." Psalm 145:19 says, "He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him." He will also hear their cry and save them, because Jeremiah 29:11, "The thoughts that he thinks toward you are not of evil, but of piece, to give you a future and a hope."
Matthew 7:7, you can A-S-K-- Ask, Seek, Knock, and the door will be opened to you, because neither height nor death nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come, neither life nor depth nor any other created thing can separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. So rejoice the Lord always.
Again I will say rejoice. Be anxious for nothing but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be been known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. So brethren, whatever things are true, noble, lovely, just, pure, virtuous, and praiseworthy, think about these things, because whether you're hungry or full, suffering or abounding, you can be content in all things and do all things through Christ who strengthens you, for my God shall supply all of your needs according to the riches of glory.
By Christ Jesus, He will keep his mind in perfect peace whose heart is stayed on these. So I cry out, Abba, Father, I'm no longer under the spirit of bondage again to fear. So why would it be a gloomy Christian? I don't know. I'm just saying, you know.
People ask me if I drink coffee. I'm like, I think I would be unbearable if I drank coffee. I'm the only millennial who actually doesn't. Well, look at our text. Our text says we cry out to God, Abba. We cry out to Him. You know God listens. God listens. He's tapped into souls like the FBI is tapped into phones. He's listening.
And God answers, knee-mail. The cool thing is-- knee-mail, you picking up what I'm throwing down there? The cool thing is, we don't have to wish upon a star. We can pray to the one who created it, because we're not praying to the godfather who is to beat us. We're praying to Father God who's out to bless us. That's what Jesus taught.
So can I tell you a few cool attributes about our awesome Abba Father on this Father's Day weekend? Did you know that like my earthly dad, our Heavenly Father has an awesome laugh? Did you know that God loves to laugh? Psalm 2:4 says, "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh."
Psalm 37, 12 through 13, says, "The wicked gnash their teeth against the just and plot against them, but the Lord laughs, because he knows their end." Do you ever feel like you have an enemy in your life who's plotting against you, gnashing their teeth at you, somebody who eats nothing but the souls of kittens and the dreams of impoverished children?
When they're plotting against you, God laughs. He thinks it's funny. Why? Because he knows they're not going to win. He knows their end. He thinks it's funny because He's betting on a fixed fight. Even if the other team is playing with deflated footballs and even if the other team has Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James, you're in a golden place and a golden state of mind, because God's your papa and he's got your back.
I read this stat recently that the average kid laughs 400 times every day, but the average adult laughs 15 times every day. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist. I got a 2.0 grade point average. But I'm pretty sure that we're not getting more joy the order we're getting. I'm pretty sure we're getting less joy, which is really ironic, because Jesus said, "These things I've spoken to you that your joy might be full."
I give you a joy that no man can take from you. The fruit of the spirit is joy in the presence of the Lord, Psalm 16:11. There is fullness of joy. So Jesus didn't say, I have come to suck the life out of you and give you death more abundantly. He said, I've come to give you life, and that more abundantly.
Don't you dads love it when your kids laugh? So too when you're laughing, Heavenly Father loves it when you have joy. He doesn't just did give joy, though. You know our God is a joyful god. I love being around joyful people. God's a joyful God. Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Not just the joy God gives, the joy He Himself possesses is what makes us strong.
In fact, did you know that our father, our abba, our papa on this Father's Day weekend is so filled with joy that he can't help but sing over you with rejoicing? Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord rejoices over you with singing." When He thinks about you, He's so filled with joy that he sings over your life, man.
Frank Sinatra, Arianna Grande, they don't got nothing on Him. God's got angel pipes. He sings over you. So when you're worshipping God to this awesome worship set this morning, know that God is singing back over you with rejoicing. Isn't that a cool thought?
In fact, I don't know if it ever rains in New Mexico, but if it does and you have SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and you're sad because it's all gloomy and it's raining, just think. You know what? It's a really big shower for a really big God. And God's just singing in the shower. That's what he's doing. Just singing in the shower, just rejoicing over me because He knows that this isn't the end of the story. His ultimate triumph will win the day.
In fact, God knows that life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness. The black keys represent sadness. But as you go through life, remember-- black keys make music too. And God takes the tragedies in your life, and he works it together for this good symphonic orchestral tour de force magnum opus masterpiece.
The Bible says that you are God's workmanship. In the Greek language, it's "poema." Poema is the Greek word for poem. You are literally, according to Ephesians 2, God's poem. You are poetry in motion, as he's playing the black keys of your tragedy into a great orchestral symphony rejoicing over you with singing. That's who are Abba is, and happy Heavenly Father's Day to you, God. You're awesome.
But here's the cool thing. Even if you feel like today, as a dad, you don't live up to Imago Dei, you're not mirroring the invisible attributes of the Father like you want to to this generation, or if like me, as a son, you say, I wish I was a better son to my earthly parents. But I don't live up. I fail. I don't meet these glorious standards that God has destined me to live at.
Maybe you just feel like you failed your Heavenly Father in general. Let me tell you a little story. When I was a kid, I played for this team called the South Medford Generals. And the first pay of the season, I scored for the wrong team.
Now, I've talk to people who shot for the wrong team. I scored for the wrong team the first play of the season. I was off to a bad start. As the year went on, I kept throwing the ball out of bounds, falling over my feet, missing my jump shots, shooting for the other team on accident.
But at the end of the season, we played North Medford, our rivals, in this championship game. And we won the title. We were number one, end of the season tournament. And I got to wear this fake gold medal around my neck. And I just thought I was bomb.com. I just thought I was the man.
But now that I'm older, I look back on that experience and I realize that we didn't win because of me. I made it harder for my team to win. I gave the other team points. The only reason we were champions is because we had this kid on our team named Kyle Singler.
Now, Kyle would go on to play for South Medford high school, and he won a state championship against Kevin Love. Then he got a full ride scholarship to Duke University, won a national championship, was final four player of the year. He and his buddies were on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Then he was drafted to the Detroit Pistons, got second team all NBA rookie squad. Was recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He plays with Kevin Durant and makes more than $1 million a year as a professional NBA basketball player. He was on my team. I ran into my coach a few years ago. I said, wasn't it so fun when we got to have Kyle on our team? He said, oh yeah. Our whole game strategy was just, give the ball to Kyle. That's all we do. Just give the ball to Kyle.
Do you feel like you've scored for the wrong team, even this morning? Maybe got mad at your kids, or maybe we disrespected our parents, and I scored for the wrong team. Listen, even if I fail, God's love never fails. That's what counts. It's not about who I am but whose team I'm on.
So in the analogy, because God's love never fails, he's like the best spiritual ballplayer ever. He's crossing people over, breaking their ankles, you know. He's all wet, splashing his jump shots. He's dunking all over people's faces, posterizing them. I say, God, you're awesome. Abba Father, can I be on your team? And God, says you are more than a conqueror through me who has overcome the world. Here's the gold medal around your neck. If God is for you, who can be against you, if you're picking up what I'm throwing down.
Besides, even if you fail? You're in good company. Did you know the Titans that we venerate in the Bible were the biggest failures? David killed somebody, and had an affair. Jonah went in the opposite direction God called him to travel in, and then he led the greatest spiritual awakening in Old Testament history. Peter denied the Lord three times when a little girl peer pressured him.
Elijah was moody. Paul the Apostle tried to kill Christians. So if you feel like you've failed, you're in good company. In fact, it's true in history, by the way. Have you ever noticed this? Like, the greatest people in history were often the biggest failures. Thomas Edison was told by his school teachers that he was too stupid to learn anything. Doctor Seuss, his first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.
Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and lost every public office role he ran for before he became prime minister at 62. Colonel Sanders, the creator of KFC, tried to sell his chicken recipes, but more than 1,000 restaurants turned him down. Abraham Lincoln couldn't get into law school, failed at business twice, lost eight elections, and then became our 16th president. Walt Disney tried to get funding for Disneyland, but more than 100 banks turned him down. And then he created Disneyland, and all the banks are kicking themselves to this day.
Harrison Ford-- can't wait for the new Star Wars. Harrison Ford was once taken into an executive's office and told he would never make it in the movie business. Vincent van Gogh sold, as a post-Impressionist painter, one painting in his entire life. No wonder he cut off his ear. Did you know Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor because he, quote unquote, "lacked imagination and had no good ideas."
So if you feel like you're a failure, listen. It's not about how high you climb. It's about how high you bounce when you hit the bottom. You have God on your team. And I want to tell you that, in the Father's eyes, you dads are a star. Not just you dads, all of you children, of God-- you are stars in the father's eyes, Philippians 2:15. Paul there declares that we live in a wicked and perverse generation. But, he said, "In this wicked and perverse generation, we shine as lights."
The word for lights that he uses in the Greek language is "phosteres." It's the same word that the author of Genesis employed when he was writing the Septuagint, which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, when it declares that God put the Heavenly lamps in space-- i.e. The sun and the moon. So just as God put the sun the moon and the stars up in space-- and those are called in Genesis, the Greek translation, "phosteres"-- so too Paul hijacks that word and says you are phosteres, stars, in a wicked and perverse generation.
Now, the darker the sky is, the more the phosteres can shine up in the heavens. So too the darker the Earth is, God from the heavens can look down and see that the more black the backdrop is, the more His phosteres can shine all the brighter. So we don't have to complain about how dark our world is, how dark our family is, how dark our lives are. We can use the darkness as a backdrop against which to shine all the brighter because we are phosteres.
Daniel 12:3 says, "Those who are wise will shine like stars forever in heaven." Yes, Taylor Swift is a pop star. And yes, Steph Curry is a basketball star. But you are a kingdom star-- Philippians 2:15, Daniel 12:3-- in the eyes of the Father so you have cause for rejoicing. I believe that.
So it changes our whole attitude when we look at God as father, because a bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can't go anywhere until you change it. I read this fact recently. Researchers discovered, as we begin to draw to a close, researchers discovered that happiness increases by 10% on Fridays. I could've done that study.
Why? Because you know you have a day off the next day. Check this out. One time, my dad was in an airplane. And he was in a storm, and the wings were freezing over. And the pilot said they were going to crash, because there were treacherous mountains, the winds were boisterous. They didn't have the defrosting mechanisms requisite to thaw out the plane.
So my dad heard that they were likely going to crash, and then he took a nap after he heard that. Well miraculously, this plane did make it to safe landing. And afterwards, I said, dad, when you heard you were very likely going to crash, how could you sleep? My dad said, well, I knew if I was going to die, I was going to heaven. So I might as well enjoy the ride. I'll rest. Jesus loved to rest, like those 10% happier people on their day off when Friday rolls around.
Parachute with me down from that airplane where there was a storm in the sky to the Sea of Galilee, which is 680 feet below sea level, surrounded by a hilly region funneling in cold winds that cause tempestuous storms to emerge from out of thin air. Jesus was in a storm, and you may remember his disciples were stressing. And what was Jesus doing? Sleeping. Just a citizen of the Land of Nod, sawing logs, catching 40 winks, snoozing away.
The disciples, they say, master, don't you care that we're dying? Jesus gets up. Works the kinks out of his neck, probably rubs the sleep out of his eyes, and the author says that he rebuked the storm and told it to be still. In the Greek language, it's the same phrase that's used of Jesus rebuking demons and casting them out. He stilled the storm, overcame the storm like he overcame Satan.
And the disciples said, what manner of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him. Listen. Both Jesus and his disciples got to the other side. The disciples got there stressing, Jesus got there sleeping. You might as well enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going, because the God who calls you to it will bring you through it. You're going to get to the other side either way. Why not enjoy the ride? Just as my earthly dad did, so Jesus could sleep in the storm because he trusted his Heavenly Father would get him to the other side.
And so maybe you're here today and you're young man and you're saying, Ben, if the father is really this good to me, then why did he let that girl break my heart? I'm sure here on Father's Day. I want to be a dad. But when I asked this girl's dad if I could marry her, he said no. And I just said, why you got to be so rude? I'm going to marry her anyway.
And then maybe you went up to that girl and you're like, my name's Will. God's will. I was reading the book of Numbers, and I realized I don't have yours, so. Is your name Faith? Because you're the substance of things hoped for.
And then maybe she said, please take a long, hard look at your textbook, because I'm history, and you got heartbroken. And you're like, I want to be a dad, but she broke my heart. I had that happen to me. I was dating this girl. She dumped me, married my best friend. And I was heartbroken for a year. You should have heard my sermons then. They were so depressing. I wanted to be a monk in the woods.
But you know what? After a year of being heartbroken, one night this Mexican girl walks into the church, has this Hispanic flare going on-- blue eyes, blonde hair. I'm like, I got to go say hi to her. So I think of a really romantic line. And no kidding, I said, will you go with me to Taco Bell? And miraculously, she went with me to Taco Bell. And shortly after that, we got married,
And now I'm like, God, I really wanted this first relationship, this girlfriend who dumped me. I wanted that to work out. But had that relationship worked out, this might have been the smallest handcuff in the world. But now that I'm married to Necia, the Neciantor, I can say this is my precious. In the same way, I want to tell you that when your plans don't work out, it's because God has better ones. Father knows best. Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
So in the Father's eyes, you're a game changer, world shaper, risk taker, history maker for the Kingdom of God. Don't tell your God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is. And like Jesus sleeping in the boat and my Earthly dad sleeping in the plane, you can relax and sit back, because every setback is a setup for a comeback. And just because you go through Hell doesn't mean you have to smell like smoke. You may be at your rope's end, but you're not at your hope's end. You might be knocked down, but you are not knocked out. You might lose a battle, but you ain't going to lose the campaign because if Abba Father is for you, then who can be against you?
Happy Heavenly Father's Day to you, God. And thank you, dads, for reflecting our loving Abba to this generation. Lord, we, love you so much. We're so grateful that you have given us the privilege of crying out to you, Abba Father. I pray that we would go our way, as you said in Matthew 5:10 through 12, rejoicing and be exceedingly glad. [INAUDIBLE], literally leap for joy. Help us to go our way leaping for joy as we sing this final chorus to you.
We thank you that throughout the day, our Abba Father with angel pipes is singing over us with rejoicing, Zephaniah 3:17. In Jesus' name, Amen.
We hope you've enjoyed this special service from Calvary Albuquerque featuring our guest speaker, Ben Courson. How will you live out what you've learned from this message? Let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this special teaching from Calvary Albuquerque.