I have good news for you today. It comes from the Bible.
Our topic today is Self-Respect
Let's get right into the Bible.
"Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:5-6)
I want you to notice that everything in this verse flows out of this beautiful gift called adoption. When you accept Jesus into your life, God adopts you. You literally become a member of his family forever. God literally becomes your Heavenly Father.
What this means for us is pretty mind blowing once you figure it out.
My talk today is part two in a series. The series is called My Father... and we're talking about what it means to say that God is your Father.
I know that talking about our fathers will raise a whole lot of different reactions. Some of us feel really great about our dads. Some of us feel really bad about our dads.
For good or bad, our dads are one of the single most impactful forces in our lives.
Our father's influence is not only impactful, it's long-lasting. We will be dealing with our father's influence for our whole lives.
But, like I said, I do have good news today. But to get to it, we have to trace down a family tree in the Bible. And that family tree is really messed up.
Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:5-6)
The first king of Israel was a man named Saul. He started out okay, but then turned into a monster. He rebelled against God. He was a bully. He was a coward. He was a bad guy. At one point, he actually looked for help from a witch and her demons. King Saul was a beast with a very ugly dark side.
King Saul was also a father. You could probably guess that King Saul was an epically bad father to his son, Jonathan.
In one hideous story in the Bible, King Saul wanted to kill Jonathan, but the people rescued him.
In another appalling story, Saul wanted to murder Jonathan's best friend, David. But Jonathan spoiled his father's plot and rescued David.
That's when you get this gem in the Bible. Warning, this is brutal:
Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan. "You stupid son of a whore!" he swore at him. "Do you think I don't know that you want him to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother?" ....Then Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him... (1 Samuel 20:30, 33)
This is pure evil. God hates this. This is never right, never righteous, never acceptable to God.
For you, this might be the story of your life. You might understand this all too well because you are living this right now. This is your father, or this was your father.
I want you to know that God is completely, and totally against any man who would abuse you, your mother, or anyone. This is not from God.
This is satanic.
And I feel like I have to say this too: Never let any abusive person throw Bible verses at you about submission and obedience. That's just heaping abuse on abuse.
Jonathan is one of the great men of the Bible. He has class. He has integrity. He is a good man and a great friend to David. He's in a horrible situation, but he never lets his father's evil define him.
And that's why I telling you about him.