In this sermon, Tom Ford discusses the importance of a daughter's gratefulness and a father's love. He emphasizes that when people go astray, they often cling to one lie that leads them down a path of confusion and further lies. It is important for daughters to be grateful in every circumstance and to trust God, who is in control of everything. Fathers must show love towards their daughters by being open, transparent, and authentic, even in their imperfections. When difficulties arise, both daughters and fathers should turn to the Bible for guidance and trust God's plan for their lives. As the main points of the sermon, Ford emphasizes the importance of a daughter's gratefulness and a father's love, as well as the importance of trusting God in difficult circumstances.
Well, good morning to you. What a beautiful morning the Lord has given us. I was considering so many things. The events that have happened here over the years. The gatherings.
I know the Lord has worked in our hearts and taught us and spoke to us on these grounds. And I was thankful that Scott mentioned His Father and His Father's last words. And since I learned of those words, I've shared them so many times too. And to walk and see that His Father's grave makes this even a more special place to me. I think of the times I visited my father's grave and stand there and wish I could talk to it and express my gratefulness, my appreciation, my love, the words that He has spoke to me that are in me and have molded me and shaped me and made me who I am.
His love for me when I was unlovable. I was unlovable. And even as I believe that I spoke those things when I was alive, I don't think I could do it enough. And it's typical. I think I struggled so hard when my father passed away.
It felt like it was something new that I never experienced. And I realized that it really has happened in every generation since the beginning of time. And it wasn't unusual, but everyone has or will experience it. And many of You know, this past year, I had a daughter who passed away. It has taken over her grave and to try to understand.
It's even more difficult than to know that in her last year of life that she struggled with so many things and we struggled. And I feel like I have so many questions and I don't have a bunch of answers. So if my message today seems like I'm trying to grasp something to warn you daughters and to help you and warn you fathers, I am doing that very thing, trying to grasp and understand what I might could say that would help. And if it seems I'm rambling and reading Scripture, I know that I have Scripture and that I can cling and hold to it unswervingly. And I know that the God who promises is faithful.
And He will do it. And We have nothing to bring, nothing to add, but all we can do is cling. I tried to figure out why in the world am I here. I've tried to back out so many times. And if I'm here, not because of all the things that are perfect, but because of all the things that are difficult and hard, to give warning and help, That's what I want to do for you, for us.
I finished last night with the word awesome. I didn't have that planned. I know you probably thought it was real clever and all, but I'm not that clever. But I thought, my wife has been sending me such incredible notes this weekend. And I don't know that I've ever preached much without her near me.
And I need her. Hearing about Katie Luther encouraged me. But I need her. And I need her encouragement. I have awesome daughters, by the way, too.
Maybe that's why I'm here. I give glory and honor to God. I've already said we had a daughter that was struggling. And I give glory and honor to God. And just pray that He works through all of it.
And makes us as He wants us to be more like Christ, that we can honor Him with tender hearts and humble hearts, and not thinking that anything that we accomplish or do is of our inner of ourselves, but we yield to Him. I have two things really. It's a real contrast to 10. But I want to talk about a daughter and her gratefulness and a father's love for his daughter. Those two things.
Simple. I think when people go astray in general, a lot of times they believe one lie and they cling in hold of that one lie. Then little by little, everything has to conform to that one lie to make that one lie right. And the next thing you know, you're so upside down and so confused and so many things are upside down, you're totally consumed by lies and lies and lies. But it's easy to be sidetracked by one idea that you get about your daughters when speaking to you, about your fathers, or about your family, or about God.
One thing. If that one thing is what you cling to and you hold to, it will change you completely. So be careful. Here's the exhortation from 1 Thessalonians 5, 16-18. I'm going to use this kind of as a base and I'll read a bunch of cross-references.
But if you thought, if you daughter can do this, let me back up. At my daughter's funeral, a young man came who had been struggling for several years and he would come by our house and visit with us some. And he had long hair and began to look different and dress different and act different, hang around different people, ride his motorcycle, do whatever he did and was kind of removed from most people that we knew before when he was different. And there was hard things. And life's full of hard things.
Hard things can't be excuses. But he came to my daughter's funeral and he looked completely different. His hair was back to the fellow that I knew before. The way he dressed was like the fellow I knew before and the way He held Himself and the way He behaved. And He came to me and said, I asked Him how He was doing, and He says, well, some things have changed.
I said, what happened? And he wanted to tell me because he wanted me to do what he had done. He wanted to tell me that he decided in 2020 that he was going to be grateful. That every morning he was going to wake up and thank God for everything he could think of to thank God. Difficult, hard, hurtful, whatever was happening.
And he said to start with, it was just words, and then God began to change his heart and he became grateful. And it changed his outlook on everything. Everything. It mended relationships. It took care of hurts and problems that he had just to be thankful.
And I was encouraged. So to start with, those first few days, every day I would wake up and I would thank God that I know my daughter's in heaven with Him. And that He had mercy on us and mercy on her and took her home. I began to thank Him for everything I could thank Him for and was careful not to be ungrateful or to become twisted in my thinking and who God is and what happens. So let me go to this verse.
1 Thessalonians 5, 16, 17, and 18. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Do you want to know the will of God? And yes, it's for all of us and I'm speaking to you daughters.
But this is the will of God that you to rejoice always to pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all circumstances. You can say, oh my circumstances are hard and difficult. What am I to do? You tend to start to look and blame people or things around you or circumstances. So it's important that you understand who controls the circumstances, who He is and what He's trying to do, And acknowledge that it's God.
Nothing's coming our way without God allowing it to happen. And His purposes are good. He wants to use it for His glory. And He wants to use it to make us, mold us, shape us, into the image of His Son. That He would be glorified.
That He would get the glory. That He would make us usable for His good works, all that He has for us to do. If we can stand over a grave and go, Life is short. Eternity is forever. God has us here for His purposes.
Let's get busy and do it. If we're living for our own purposes and our own self, then the circumstances don't make sense. And then become more and more difficult. And we become bitter because it doesn't fulfill what we want, when we want it, the way we want it. We want to feel happy and good all the time, but the truth is we have trouble.
We have problems. And it's our own problem, a sinful problem, and God's gonna use difficult things to break us and humble us and to show himself mighty to us. We're to expect it. I don't know how it happens. Somehow We think that if difficulty and hardship or persecution comes, that it surprises us.
The Bible tells us over and over again that it will happen. And we're to endure this as discipline from our Heavenly Father. It shows that we are His children and it shows that He loves us. We're not to blow it off or disregard it, and we're not to be overwhelmed by it so we're just destroyed. That's Hebrews 12.
Remember last night? I said to study Hebrews 12? Study Hebrews 12. So we have to be careful and be sure that we don't lose this idea of gratefulness. And then to the fathers, and I'm going to come back and visit that ladies, but to the fathers I want to say this.
It's 1st Timothy 1 verse 5. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. A pure heart. We have to be sure that our heart is pure, that our motives are pure, that what we're doing is from a pure heart and not with motives that are not right. It has to be from a good conscience, that our conscience is clear, that we're not hiding sin and harboring sin and covering up and pretending to be something that we're not.
It's back to the authenticity word last night. Fathers, we have to be from our part that which is in our heart teaching to our children and not just putting on an outward show. And certainly not putting forth a show that seems to be perfect, but putting forth a show that is true and honest, that Dad has problems too. And when we need to repent, that we would repent and ask forgiveness and be open and honest with our children. You know, we're not perfect.
These are words of my Father. I'm not perfect, but I want to be real. And this is real Christianity. Real Christianity isn't this facade of perfection. Like do we have it all right?
So we have to show our children how right we are and how perfect we have it. So they'll get in line. That's not it at all. We don't have it right. We're struggling.
We're learning. We're crying out to God for help. We need Him. And a sincere faith. Are we truly saved?
Are we a fake? It's going to end in destruction if you're a fake, Dad. So that's two points, right? Let me read this, young ladies. Understanding Circumstances from God, Ephesians 1-11.
In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who worked out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. God is working. And in the most difficult and hurtful and hard circumstances, know that God is working. And He wants our attention. He wants us to get aligned and under Him and corrected by His Word.
He wants to use our fathers and our lives to help us know what that is in areas where He doesn't speak so clearly to. He's given us someone to help us. All of us someone to help us. 1 Peter 1-2, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctifying work of the Spirit for obedience to Christ. It's really about obedience to Christ.
That's why we've been saved. It's not about self-fulfillment. Feeling good about ourselves. That's not it at all. Isaiah 46, 9 and 10 says it better than just about anywhere.
Remember the former things of old, for I am God. Let's remember He's God. He's God. He is the Lord. We are not.
Here's what He does. I am God and there's no other. I am God and there's none like me declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done." You hear that? God declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done saying my counsel shall stand I will accomplish all my purposes. Let's get in line with him on his team and let's let him accomplish those purposes.
And it's got to start with oh we have problems and issues and we need to let God work in our heart no matter how hard it is. You know there are daughters that are grateful. I understand. And there are daughters that are also ungrateful. And they're keeping company with ungrateful people and the ungrateful ones all line up together and get together and complain together and are ungrateful and they think they're right and they're trying to justify their ungratefulness because their Father's not perfect.
You know, it's kind of a hard thing. I know you little girls in here, you think your father's perfect. And it's a beautiful thing to think that. It really is. It's so precious.
Your father is your hero and he is so perfect and awesome in your eyes. And then when you get older, you realize that wait a minute, He isn't. But it doesn't change anything. The command from God is that you submit to Him and honor Him and you love Him in the same way, even when He's not perfect. God knew He wasn't perfect to start with.
Just because you didn't doesn't mean anything. God knew. When God, which was before you were born, God, when God said honor your father and your mother, he knew your father wasn't perfect. Boy back then? So when you discover it, don't think there's some new caveat that now you have this loophole that well I don't...
Got it? You got it girls? You girls that got it got it, right? The little girls are still thinking, what's he talking about? But guard your attitude.
Be thankful for your Father. Fathers, be open, transparent. Let the heart be open. Here's the problem. Help me.
Pray for me. I need you. If you're struggling, know I'm struggling. Pray for me. Here's the ungrateful.
For although they knew God, Romans 1.21, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. If you become ungrateful, that's what will happen. You will think like you should never think, and you will think that you're right. And you'll seek to justify it. And it will be an excuse of something your father did, but really in the end you will run to sin and you'll do things you thought you'd never do.
And you'll try to justify it in your little form of Christianity. It's sickening. It's sickening. And don't think you won't go there. But be grateful where you are.
Don't fall into it. But understand this, 2 Timothy 3.1, that in the last days there will be will come times of difficulty for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving, of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying the power, avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak-willed women." It's interesting that the target is women. Women are easily led astray because you're supposed to be a follower. You have a head and a follower, and you're made to submit and to be a helpmate, not in weakness, but in strength, not in not being equal, but being equal with a role that's different and fulfilling that role and being more powerful in that role than you would anywhere else.
That's where it is. But once you follow, have the wrong attitude and you start following the wrong people, you get with those ungrateful people, there's no end to where you'll go. But it's ungrateful there. And a bunch of ugliness goes with it. So be grateful, daughters.
I need to move on. Father, let me say this about love. Luke 6 32, let Jesus say it. If you love those who love you, what benefit is to you? What benefit is it to you?
For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those who lend, etc, etc, but love your enemies and do good and lend expecting nothing and your reward will be great and you'll be sons of the most high. For he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
He's kind to them. So if you have a daughter that's ungrateful, understand that you've been ungrateful before, that you understand she's understanding some things she didn't understand before and help her in her ungratefulness. It's your role. God put you there. Not so all the children will do exactly right.
They put you there because when they don't, we can reach out and help them. Now, a loving father will do this just like a loving God. A loving God who is kind and ungrateful. A loving God will never leave somebody in their sin. A loving God will always point out sin.
A loving God will always call people to repentance. Always. And a loving God will give the power to repent and to be saved and to be free from that sin. That's what the loving God will do. It's not He accepts you in your sin the way you are.
Everybody come. Oh, everybody needs to love me like I am because this is who I am. It's my independence. I'm an adult. I can do what I want to do.
You know, none of that. None of that hogwash. We're on a farm. But the idea of us loving and how we love, don't let the world or the whatever we're calling this huge organization out there that calls themselves the church, don't let this huge organization that calls themselves the church define love for us. Let's let the Scripture define love and let's live in this love.
And it is a much broader term than what the world wants us to submit to, but it's a more clear term as well. We have to have the resolve of the Scripture to know what this love looks like and to be sure that we are loving toward our daughters and understanding when they're struggling because we struggle too. Oh, but God showed His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Let your love be genuine. I preached this sermon on this verse and called it When Love Hates.
Let your love be genuine. Abhor what is evil, but hold fast to what is good. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. This is the love of God and this should be our love for our daughters. God, may God help us.
I don't understand a whole lot about a lot of things, but I know God and who He is and His Word and the truth of His Word. And there's so many circumstances that are very different, but we can trust God as the one who controls the circumstances. We can trust God as the one who is faithful. We can trust God who is the one who loves us perfectly. We can trust God to work through our imperfect fathers, daughter, to help us with our imperfections, that we could work together and help you daughters be a support and a help and encouragement to the fathers.
Us fathers can accomplish way more in life with your help than we can without you. We need you. We need you. Preachers are not. We need you and your husband will need you and your children in your future.
Resolve to trust the Lord in difficulty and to be grateful in every circumstance. Amen? Amen. God bless you.