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07 July 14, 2013, Luke 8;4-15, Preparing For The Harvest


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07 July 14, 2013, Luke 8;4-15, Preparing For The Harvest

  1. 1. Preparing For The Harvest Luke 8:4-15 July 14, 2013 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA
  2. 2. July Memory Verse: John 14:1-3 HCSB
  3. 3. “Your heart must not be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in  Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to
  4. 4. prepare a place for you.  If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to  Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 HCSB
  5. 5. If your Sundays don’t change your Mondays, then what’s the point?
  7. 7. As Matthew did, we also are being asked to invite friends and family into our homes in November to introduce them to Jesus through the Billy Graham video and your testimony.
  8. 8. Some of those whom you will invite into your home will decide to follow Christ and you will then have the opportunity to become their mentor – the one to disciple them.
  9. 9. *This lesson today is concerning how to prepare for the harvest. *What can be done between now and that night in November when your guests arrive?
  10. 10. Then we will look at how to follow-up with those who make decisions for Christ: how to take care of them as new believers.
  11. 11. Let’s look at what goes on “behind the scenes” when your friend prays to receive Christ by looking at two of the parables that Jesus used.
  12. 12. A parable is a story in which something familiar explains something unfamiliar.
  13. 13. *The word parable means "to cast alongside." *A parable is a story that teaches something new by putting the truth alongside something you already know.
  14. 14. A parable starts off as a picture that is familiar to the listeners.
  15. 15. As you carefully consider the picture, it becomes a mirror in which you see yourself.
  16. 16. Many people do not like to see themselves and that is why some of our Lord's listeners became angry when they heard His parables; some even tried to kill Him over it.
  17. 17. But if we see ourselves as needy sinners and ask for help, then the mirror becomes a window through which we see God and His grace.
  18. 18. Picture Mirror Window
  19. 19. There are two parables that will help us to see what is happening when a person is born again: 1) The Lost Sheep 2) The Parable of the Sower (Soils)
  20. 20. Through this parable, we get a glimpse into what is going on in Heaven when a person asks Christ to be their Savior and their Lord.
  21. 21. Luke 15:3-7 KJV 3 “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,
  22. 22. doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
  23. 23. 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
  24. 24. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
  25. 25. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (banquet)
  26. 26. That is what goes on in Heaven, but now let’s look through another window and get a glimpse of what Satan and the demons are thinking when a person prays to receive Christ.
  27. 27. Luke 8:4-8 KJV 4 “And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
  28. 28. 5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
  29. 29. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
  30. 30. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
  31. 31. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
  32. 32. The sower represents any of God's people who share the Word of God (John 4:35-38).
  33. 33. John 4:35-38 KJV 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the
  34. 34. fields; for they are white already to harvest.
  35. 35. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
  36. 36. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
  37. 37. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. John 4:35-38 KJV
  38. 38. Meanwhile, back to the parable: Luke 8:9-15
  39. 39. Luke 8:9, 11-15 KJV 9 “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?” … 11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
  40. 40. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
  41. 41. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
  42. 42. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit
  43. 43. to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
  44. 44. The seed is the Word of God
  45. 45. For, like seed, the Word of God has life and power (Hebrews 4:12) and can produce spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  46. 46. God’s Word has life and power: Hebrews 4:12 KJV 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, (Rom 1:16)
  47. 47. Romans 1:16 KJV 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 KJV
  48. 48. God’s Word also produces eternal, good fruit: Galatians 5:22-23 KJV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
  49. 49. 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (seed is the Word of God)
  50. 50. The seed can do nothing until it is planted (John 12:24).
  51. 51. John 12:24 KJV 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
  52. 52. *When a person hears and understands the Word, then the seed is planted in the heart. *What happens after that depends on the nature of the soil.
  53. 53. The seed without the soil is fruitless, and the soil without the seed is almost useless.
  54. 54. The human heart is like soil: if it is prepared properly, it can receive the seed of the Word of God and produce a fruitful harvest.
  55. 55. Only the good soil is able to produce eternal, good fruit whereas the other three soils either can’t or won’t produce a harvest.
  56. 56. Satan and his forces know that they have a 3 in 4 chance of preventing the production of eternal, good fruit in those who hear and receive the Word of God.
  57. 57. 2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
  58. 58. EXPOSING SATAN’S DEVICES 1. He Blinds the Minds of the Lost (II Cor. 4:3-4); 2. He Comes as an Angel of Light (II Cor. 11:13-14);
  59. 59. SATAN’S DEVICES 3. He Deceives the World with Lies (Rev. 12:9); 4. He Accuses the Brethren (Rev. 12:10); 5. He Teaches Damnable Heresies (I Tim. 4:1);
  60. 60. SATAN’S DEVICES 6. He Corrupts the Minds of Believers (II Cor. 11:3); 7. He Steals the Word of God from the Heart (Luke 8:12).
  61. 61. Ephesians 6:10-11 KJV (the wiles of the Devil) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
  62. 62. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (schemes of the devil) Ephesians 6:10-11 KJV
  63. 63. So through the Parable of the Soils, we are able to see what Satan’s strategy will be on that night in November that some will pray to receive Christ in our homes.
  64. 64. What kinds of soil (hearts) will the people have whom you invite into your homes in November? *We don’t know! *Broadcast the seed.
  65. 65. All of the soil was good soil until the Fall.
  66. 66. Genesis 3:17-19 KJV 17  “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I
  67. 67. commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
  68. 68. 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
  69. 69. 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen 3:17-19
  70. 70. Galatians 6:7-10 KJV 7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
  71. 71. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
  72. 72. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing (1 out of 4): for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
  73. 73. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10 KJV
  74. 74. Start asking God now who He wants you to invite into your home in November.
  75. 75. Why do some unbelievers not understand the Gospel as we communicate it?
  76. 76. All unbelievers are spiritually blind and cannot understand the Gospel without God’s intervention (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
  77. 77. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV 3 “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
  78. 78. 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto
  79. 79. them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV
  80. 80. What can be done in the hearts of those who will attend the presentation of the Gospel between now and November?
  81. 81. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said: “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
  82. 82. So, one way to pray for your loved ones who are not saved is to pray that God will bind that work of Satan that has blinded their mind and is holding them captive.
  83. 83. Pray that God will bind Satan's work in their lives that has prejudiced and poisoned their minds against the Gospel, in order that they may be able to consider the Truth
  84. 84. of God without this ungodly pressure from Satan.
  85. 85. So God, through prayer, can set them free from Satan's power, and once set free from this blinding influence of Satan upon their minds, can accept this gracious offer that
  86. 86. God has made to everyone through Jesus Christ. Make that the direction of your prayers.
  87. 87. God will take away the blinders that has been put over their mind, and they'll be able to see rationally and clearly the offer that God has made through Jesus Christ.
  88. 88. Loose the work of the Holy Spirit and the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts and the drawing of the Holy Spirit of their hearts to Jesus Christ.
  89. 89. You can't just say, "O Lord, save him." God will not save them against their will.
  90. 90. There has to come the change of will and that desire in their heart and that asking of God for salvation.
  91. 91. *Jesus said, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37b). *So, our prayers are to set them free so that they can see the Truth and respond to it of their own free will.
  92. 92. The Holy Spirit must work in the hearts and minds of lost people to make the Gospel clearly understandable to them.
  93. 93. *That is why it is so very important for you to be praying about who you invite into your home this November. *Remember the example of harvesting peaches?
  94. 94. In addition to spiritual blindness, when an unbeliever’s worldview is very different from the essential Gospel truths of the Bible, worldview noise makes it even more
  95. 95. difficult for him/her to understand the Gospel message. As we present the Gospel, we must understand this worldview noise problem.
  96. 96. We must then deliver God’s message of salvation in such a way that the worldview noise can be penetrated and the unbeliever can clearly understand the Gospel.
  97. 97. How do I learn what another person’s worldview is?
  98. 98. In one very important sense, all humans are like onions—we all have layers.
  99. 99. Our worldview layers are covered with an external layer of human commonalities: the needs, wants, and interests that we have just because we are human.
  100. 100. As we initiate “entry conversations” on topics of common interests, we look for entry points that allow us to transition to deeper worldview issues.
  101. 101. Appropriately sensitive “investigative questions” help us learn more about their behavioral patterns, personal choices, and internalized values.
  102. 102. Ultimately, we want to learn what their core beliefs are in order to know what worldview noise we may encounter as we engage in “conversion discussions.”
  103. 103. How can we help an unbeliever to clearly understand the Gospel?
  104. 104. When presenting the Gospel to an unbeliever who knows little or nothing about the Bible and the Christian faith, it is likely that his or her worldview noise will be
  105. 105. very dense. In order to penetrate that worldview noise, we need to explain the Biblical facts that are essential to understanding the Gospel.
  106. 106. But for those facts to make clear sense, we also need to set them in the historical context of the overall redemptive story that unfolds through the Bible.
  107. 107. How can we help a new believer to become not only a disciple but a disciple-maker?
  108. 108. Just as evangelism is a combined divine-human process, so it is with discipleship.
  109. 109. True believers will persevere in the faith as disciples of Jesus Christ because God secures them.
  110. 110. But, it is also true that God has chosen to use us to “make disciples.”
  112. 112. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 KJV 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse (mother) cherisheth her children:
  113. 113. 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
  114. 114. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the
  115. 115. gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
  116. 116. 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
  117. 117. 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 KJV
  118. 118. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Copyright © Moody Press and John MacArthur, Jr., 1983-2007.
  119. 119. To be an effective mentor, you must be a spiritual physician who can capably apply Biblical cures to those vices and heresies that might afflict new Christians.
  120. 120. You also must be a tender shepherd who, while feeding the flock of new believers, also heals their wounds, calms their fears, protects them from spiritual dangers, and
  121. 121. comforts them in their distresses.
  122. 122. *You are to be a champion for Biblical truth (2 Timothy 4:2), a provider of spiritual resources (1 Peter 5:1-2), a guardian and protector (Acts 20:28-31),
  123. 123. and always a model of spiritual virtue (1 Timothy 4:12).
  124. 124. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6 presented the exemplary virtues of Paul's inner life: tenacity, integrity, authority, accountability, and humility.
  125. 125. In this subsequent passage, however, the apostle views the outward functions of an effective mentor.
  126. 126. Paul could have presented these functions by discussing: discipling, protecting, and overseeing.
  127. 127. But as the New Testament writers often did for the sake of vividness and richness, the apostle used a metaphor.
  128. 128. He could have chosen any one of several metaphors: a steward or household manager (1 Cor 4:1-2); a bond-slave or servant (Col 4:12); a herald or proclaimer of the message
  129. 129. (1 Tim 2:7 NIV); a teacher, soldier, athlete, farmer (2 Tim 2:2-6); or the common image of a shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-4; Ps 23).
  130. 130. All those metaphors are replete with significance and paint helpful pictures.
  131. 131. However, Paul chose to use the most intimate, compelling metaphors of a mother and father, which illustrate the primary kinds of spiritual care a mentor must provide.
  132. 132. *Such metaphors are not limited to this epistle. *In Galatians 4:19 he wrote, as if a mother calling believers, "My children, with whom I am again in labor until
  133. 133. Christ is formed in you." He pictured himself as a mother who first labored to give birth and then, as it were, labored longer to bring her children to spiritual maturity.
  134. 134. In 1 Corinthians 4:15 he pictured himself as a spiritual father: "For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ
  135. 135. Jesus I became your father through the Gospel." He was the human source of their spiritual life as well as their teacher and protector.
  136. 136. Paul's use of these familial metaphors emphasizes the care and affection of shared life that he had with those he brought the Gospel to.
  138. 138. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB 7  “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.
  139. 139. 8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”
  140. 140. As mothers are absolutely and indisputably essential to the well-being of children, so spiritual mentors who minister with a mother's gentleness, intimate
  141. 141. affection, sacrificial love, and unselfish labor are essential for the health of the new believers and the church.
  142. 142. GENTLENESS But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (1 Thess. 2:7)
  143. 143. *The term gentle is at the heart of this verse. *It means to be kind to someone and encompasses a host of other virtues: acceptance, respect, compassion,
  144. 144. tolerance of imperfections, patience, loyalty, and tenderheartedness.
  145. 145. As the phrase her own children indicates, Paul was no paid surrogate mother or modern-style, hired day care worker.
  146. 146. As good parents are concerned about their children's hearts, so are good mentors. These metaphors make that clear.
  147. 147. The verb rendered tenderly cares literally means to warm with body heat.
  148. 148. The loving mother would take the little one in her arms and warm the child with her own body heat.
  149. 149. Such a vivid metaphor perfectly illustrates the kind of personal care the Thessalonians received and those that we mentor need to receive.
  150. 150. INTIMATE AFFECTION 1 Thessalonians 2:8a “Having so fond an affection for you,”
  151. 151. In extending the metaphor of a nursing mother, it was logical for Paul to mention the motive for such nurturing gentleness — love.
  152. 152. He possessed fond affection for the Thessalonians as we should for those we are discipling.
  153. 153. A mother who carries an infant son or daughter on her breast has a naturally fond affection that is unequalled in other human contexts.
  154. 154. The Greek word translated fond affection (himeiromai; used only here in the NT) means to long for someone passionately and earnestly, and, being
  155. 155. linked to a mother's love, is intended here to express an affection so deep and compelling as to be unsurpassed.
  156. 156. Ancient inscriptions on the tombs of dead babies sometimes contained this term when parents wanted to describe their sad longing for a too- soon-departed child.
  157. 157. Paul acknowledged that God naturally designed such intimate affection into the hearts of mothers.
  158. 158. The hearts of all righteous spiritual mentors have been supernaturally given the same type of affection for their people, even as Paul and his companions had for those who were Christ's followers.
  159. 159. SACRIFICIAL LOVE “we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” (2:8 b)
  160. 160. Such personal and intimate supernatural affection was not out of a sense of obligation; they were not merely carrying out an assignment as God's messengers.
  161. 161. It was, rather, the highest joy of their hearts to so love. Paul said they were well- pleased to so minister.
  162. 162. That desire defined an eagerness and zealousness generated from love-filled hearts (cf. 3:12).
  163. 163. They came first of all to impart . . . the Gospel of God. The verb translated impart means to share, or give someone something of which one retains a part.
  164. 164. That is exactly what happens when Christians impart to other people divine truth.
  165. 165. They give someone else the Good News of salvation, yet without losing possession of it themselves.
  166. 166. It is like sharing your candle flame with another person.
  167. 167. Paul and his fellow workers taught the transforming truths of the Gospel of God and yet retained those truths, even strengthening them by the giving (as all good
  168. 168. mentors know), thus forming a loving, enriching fellowship with those who accepted the message.
  169. 169. The term Gospel of God appears three times in chapter 2 (vv. 2, 8 & 9) as well as in Mark 1:14; Rom 1:1; 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7; and 1 Peter 4:17.
  170. 170. It describes the Gospel from the perspective of God as the Source.
  171. 171. It is the Good News designed by and revealed from God about what He has done to redeem sinners through His grace and by His Son Jesus Christ.
  172. 172. Implicit in the expression Gospel of God is a doctrinal fullness that encompasses: justification, sanctification, and glorification.
  173. 173. The missionaries understood and obeyed the Great Commission's injunction that said Christians were to "make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to
  174. 174. observe all that I commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20).
  175. 175. They exhorted the Thessalonians to repent and embrace Christ's death and resurrection (justification).
  176. 176. They also instructed them on how to live holy lives in obedience to Scripture and in the power of the Holy Spirit (sanctification) and to wait for their eternal glory at the
  177. 177. glorious coming of the Lord for His beloved church (glorification). *In reality, all New Testament teaching relates to the complete Gospel in some way.
  178. 178. As you mentor new believers, you want to help them understand justification, sanctification and glorification.
  179. 179. Besides imparting the complete Gospel, Paul, Silas, and Timothy shared also their own lives.
  180. 180. Literally, they gave up their souls — their real inner beings — for the sake of the Thessalonians.
  181. 181. There was nothing superficial or partial about their sacrificial service.
  182. 182. Someone else has poured their life into yours, now it is your turn to do the same.
  183. 183. A woman who fulfills the Biblical role for motherhood does the same thing when she, at great cost to herself, unselfishly and generously sets aside her life for the benefit of her beloved children.
  184. 184. That is especially true of the nursing mother as she provides nourishing milk for her little one and cares for her newborn baby's every need.
  185. 185. Paul ministered to his people with that same attitude of all-out commitment because, as babies to a mother, they had become very dear to him.
  186. 186. Very dear adds to the images and descriptions intended by Paul to unmistakably demonstrate the heart of a godly mentor.
  187. 187. UNSELFISH LABOR 1 Thessalonians 2:9 “For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we
  188. 188. proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:9
  189. 189. Paul pictured Silas, Timothy, and himself as spiritual mothers who made the maximum effort to provide gentleness, intimate affection, sacrificial love, and hard-
  190. 190. working provision as they proclaimed to them the Gospel of God. *That maternal metaphor, however, only partially describes the effective spiritual mentor.
  191. 191. Describing the spiritual mentor as a father completes Paul's picture of leadership.
  192. 192. THE SPIRITUAL MENTOR AS FATHER 1 Thessalonians 2:10 “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved
  193. 193. toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you
  194. 194. would walk in a manner worthy of the God Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:10
  195. 195. THE FATHER AS MODEL 1 Thessalonians 2:10a “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;”
  196. 196. Paul pointed both to the Thessalonians' firsthand knowledge and God's perfect insight into how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly he and his friends behaved toward them.
  197. 197. Devoutly means "in a holy manner" and emphasizes how Paul, Silas, and Timothy lived before God.
  198. 198. The adverb uprightly ("righteously") refers to how well the men dealt righteously under divine law toward both God and man.
  199. 199. And finally, the word blamelessly pertains to their reputation before people.
  200. 200. In every respect, they were exemplary spiritual fathers, setting the standard for all who have followed.
  201. 201. 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
  202. 202. THE FATHER AS TEACHER AND MOTIVATOR 1 Thessalonians 2:11 “just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and
  203. 203. imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,” 1 Thessalonians 2:11
  204. 204. As a father would his own children expresses the natural, normal function of a father concerned about the well-being of his own children.
  205. 205. *Fathers are not only examples, but also instructors. *So the spiritual father is not to be merely a model but also a personal teacher and motivator.
  206. 206. This fatherly instruction is conveyed in three verbs describing what fathers do and what Paul had done continually.
  207. 207. 1) Exhorting 2) Encouraging 3) Imploring
  208. 208. Exhorting is from parakaleo, literally "to call alongside," and is related to the noun parakletos, "one who comes alongside," which is one of the titles for the Holy Spirit.
  209. 209. The apostle referred to coming alongside children for the purpose of aiding, directing, and instructing wisely as a source of character conduct.
  210. 210. 1) Exhorting 2) Encouraging 3) Imploring
  211. 211. Encouraging (paramutheomai), meaning to encourage in the sense of comfort and consolation, is so critical in assisting toward spiritual growth because
  212. 212. of the many obstacles and failures Christians can experience.
  213. 213. Used in John 11:19 and 31 for the consolation given to the grieving family of Lazarus, the word was reserved for the tender, restorative, compassionate uplifting
  214. 214. needed by a struggling, burdened, heartbroken child. *This beautiful expression of natural fatherly kindness also fits the spiritual father.
  215. 215. 1) Exhorting 2) Encouraging 3) Imploring
  216. 216. Finally, Paul reminded the believers that he had been imploring each one (singling them out personally).
  217. 217. Imploring is the Greek participle marturomenoi, which is usually translated "testifying," or "witnessing," is related to the word martyr because so many faithful witnesses died for their boldness.
  218. 218. Paul warned the Thessalonians that any deviation from the divinely prescribed course of conduct had serious consequences.
  219. 219. The warning was an admonishment that if they did not follow the course laid out for them, they, as disobedient children would receive from a father, could
  220. 220. expect to receive spiritual discipline from the apostle.
  221. 221. THE FATHER AS PRODUCER 1 Thessalonians 2:12 “so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God Who calls you
  222. 222. into His own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12
  223. 223. Like a father whose goal is the mature wisdom of his children, the apostle Paul concluded his exhortation by affirming that a spiritual father will endeavor to continue his
  224. 224. efforts until he produces sons and daughters who walk in a manner worthy — live mature lives. Walk refers to daily conduct.
  225. 225. In referring to the God Who calls, the divine call, as always in the epistles, refers to the effectual saving call.
  226. 226. By it God, through the faith graciously and sovereignly granted to sinners, regenerates, justifies, and sanctifies them.
  227. 227. And Paul stated the singular end of that call — entrance into His own kingdom and glory.
  228. 228. Though they, as all believers, had not yet seen either the millennial kingdom or the eternal kingdom, they were already citizens of the redeemed kingdom over
  229. 229. which God now rules (Luke 17:21; Col 1:13; cf. Rom 14:17).
  230. 230. Thus they had a present share in the glory of God as well as a promise of the future glory in the kingdom yet to come.
  231. 231. All believers look forward to sharing in the full glory of the heavenly kingdom when God raises them to be like Christ and with Him for eternity.
  232. 232. The parental pictures of spiritual mentorship in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 clearly demonstrate that it is not enough for mentors just to be compassionate, tender, and caring as spiritual mothers.
  233. 233. We also need to live uncompromising, pure, and exemplary lives as spiritual fathers — lives that, in their motives and actions, set the standard for all to follow.
  234. 234. Furthermore, we need to teach the truth faithfully, building up the saints in spiritual wisdom (Eph 4:11-16) and display the courage of conviction
  235. 235. to come alongside and exhort and call our spiritual children to obedience, through both strong discipline and tender consolation.
  236. 236. These efforts lead those we mentor to live in a way that honors God, Who has called them to His eternal kingdom and glory.