The Gift of My Father

“And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8: 17)

One of the greatest gifts I have received during my time here in this world is a gift that I had done nothing to receive. At the time that I received it there was no way possible that I could have done anything to be worthy of it. It was the gift of being the son of Bob Kirkpatrick. My father is a gift that through my life and to this very day is a gift that keeps on giving. There is not a day that does not pass that I do not receive something of great value from him. As through his time here he provided the example of a life well liven. The lessons that he taught and the wisdom that he has placed though the experiences and manner of his choices have become the crutch that supports my journey through this life. The truth is that it is the providence of God that placed me in the house and home of my father. There is not a moment in this life that I am not thankful to the Lord for the gift of my father. It is my prayer and hope that each of you have the same blessing, privilege and inheritance of a father as mine is.

The greatest gift in my life has come through the grace of God, Jesus Christ His Son my Lord and Savior. The inheritance of my father, shelter, clothing and guidance in the ethical and moral creeds of a righteous God, as great an asset as it has been, falls far short of the inheritance of my Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. This amazing truth is found in the words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church. “But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) As the gift of my father was given to me though no effort of my own, for how could I have ever repay him for the sacrifices he made for me. To a greater measure beyond my ability to understand, my Heavenly Father has blessed me since before the foundation of the world to this day and beyond the borders of eternity.

Through my belief and faith in God’s Son Jesus I am a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12) I remember as I was growing up in West Virginia I was known as the preacher’s kid. Today I jokingly play on that by referring to myself as one of the King’s kids. As I look back over the time of my life both now and before I had a consideration for the Lord, I can see where His hand was involved in the workings of my life. All the mischief that I created and brought upon myself He made turn out for the good in spite of my efforts to the contrary. If, then, I can now acknowledge what He has done in the past, then, I should have the faith to trust Him to my future. If I have faith then I will also have hope abides in my perseverance. “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-4)

There is no life without hope. It is our hope that gives cause to our live. As a result of my hope I have this cause to give everyone I come into contact with an opportunity to share the hope I have through Jesus Christ which is the sure promise of eternal life with the Father and the inheritance of His riches in glory. It is my cause, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18) As a follower of Jesus we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and might. Because we have the love of God dwelling within us we are to, “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) It took me awhile to get that straight in my mind. I love myself enough to commit my life to my Savior. It took me a while to love my neighbor as myself to desire seeking others and leading them to the throne of grace that they might achieve salvation through Jesus Christ. But when I thought of what I received from my father and my heavenly Father at no cost to me or effort on my part, how can I not share that gospel to all? When I try to imagine the inheritance I am to receive, His righteousness that will permit me to stand at the throne of God, how can I deny that to all who will listen? To end their bondage to sin that they too may become children of God. “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7)

I somewhat have a pity for those who spend their lifetime building their small empire. Pouring their time talent and treasure into a Monument of their days here on this earth. They build on the assumption that men of the future will gather in remembrance of what they have done and marvel. Maybe so, but where are they? They work hard at gathering all the wealth of this world they can only to leave it to those who have no respect for their futile efforts and squander it on meaningless wants. They have their fun I am sure, but where are they who worked for it? There are those who fear the morrow for that day they may reach their end so they live for the this day and give no thought to the next. They have no vision because they have no hope. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) All of these live to save their life only to lose it. Without faith in Jesus they cannot see beyond this life, as you cannot see the unseen without faith. The Follower of Christ can have the abundant life now and forever because their destiny is sealed by the Spirit of Truth and the greatest life begins in the Kingdom to come. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:25-26

It is not true that the Christian walk is a walk in the park. That life for the Christian takes on a path of ease without trial and persecution. In every time since the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ Christians have been laying down their lives for the sake of their faith in Jesus. Jesus was rejected by His own and certainly all others will reject Him as well. God the Father was rejected in that Garden of Eden and Jesus came to reconcile man because of that rejection. Man rejected Jesus as well and they will reject the followers of Jesus too. “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:18-20)

The spiritual battle we fight for the souls of men is here in this world and we do not fight this battle with the weak fleshly weapons of war but with power of the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, as soldiers of the citizens of His Kingdom. We are not of this world, we are of the world we are journeying to and we represent that Kingdom. What can mere man do to us when out life is in the Spirit of Christ. If you persecute me I will turn the cheek and thank you for the blessing. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

I am not living for this world, I am only here in this world for a moment of its history. I am moving towards the world my father told me about. I am living in the eternal world that my Heavenly Father has promised to me. I am longing to hear the words of honor from the most beloved person who lives, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

Through my faith I live not in fear but have hope. In my hope I live not aimless but have cause. With my cause I do not falter but will persevere on the promise of my Heavenly Father as blessed by the gift of my father. “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:10-13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Durant Bible College May 14, 2015

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