H: 9/22/19: “Slave to Child”


From Slave to Child

September 21 – 22, 2019

Introduction:  If you are visiting us, we are in this 8 wk series entitled, Soulshift.  In SoulShift, we cover seven shifts, changes, that God leads us through, in his power (that’s key) to make change in our life, from deep inside, so that we become different, looking and acting more and more like Jesus.  Last week PMark spoke clearly and powerfully about the Soulshift of going from a “Me” focused life to “You” focused one.  These shifts we are speaking about is not just a shift in our thinking, it’s a shift that happens deeply in our lives.  It happens in our soul.  

It’s like when Gayle was pregnant with our son, Clarke, it wasn’t until he was born, albeit 7 weeks early, a preme, and I held him in my arms, more like my hand cuz he was less than 4 lbs, smaller than one good size kumu, that something happened in me.  It was my shift of “I’m a daddy now!” My life as a freediver, as a golfer, my spending all took on a radical shift.  All the other stuff took da back seat to my being a father.  I’m sure it was the same for many of you who became parents for the first time.

That’s the kind of deep shift we are contending for, hoping you’d catch and experience in this series.  And these radical shifts only happen when we let God come in, clean house, and change us from the inside out.  

You see, we can come to church, hear many messages, and if we don’t allow what we hear (hold my head), affect something hear (hold my heart), by letting God in, we’ll only become heady Christians, know all the answers, but no mo life change.  Why?  Its’ because no soulshift happens.  Our prayer is that each wk, you’ll be challenged to take what you hear and ask God to affect something here (hold the heart) so that we can truly transform and be more like Jesus in character all done by the power of God in our lives.  

Today, the soulshift I’ll be contending for is a shift from Slave to Child.  

We don’t think about slavery too much, especially since slavery has been abolished in America and for most parts of the world today.  But in our view of and relationship to God, it could be that we are living as Slaves.  I’ll go over this later in detail, but if you base self worth, how important you are on what you do for God, or how you act, somehow thinking that if you do something for God you’ll gain his approval, his acceptance, then you are in slavery.  Again, I’ll explain more later.  

And having a soulshift starts with a different way we see something, think about something.  Like I shared earlier about my shift of becoming a dad.  It wasn’t until I held my son in my hand, named him, that that shift occurred. 

For some of you who just got baptized on Labor Day weekend, that was such a defining moment that you are now marked as a Christian even if you were, based on your simple belief.  But there was something about your baptism that defined that you are a Christian even more for you, didn’t it?!

Do you know what a D.T.R talk is?  If you are old enough to be in a relationship with someone else, you’ve probably had that D.T.R talk, Define The Relationship Talk.  

Many of you know that I married my high school sweetheart, Gayle Chang.  And we started out as “Just Friends”  Yes, she was my friend that saw me struggling in math class offered to helped me not to fail Algebra.  I was smart, just not in math.  

People would tease me, “eh Earl that’s your girlfriend ah”. I’d say, we are just friends, I’d tell everybody!  I remember Gayle’s friend saying gotta formalize it!   She initially turned me down for Jr. Prom, but I finally convinced her to go with me in my Sr. Prom.  When Gayle went with me to get my formal tuxedo, something happened, I think I formalized our relationship to being more than friends!  I got all nostalgic thinking about this, so I dug up a pic from that Sr. Prom night.  From just a friend in math who saved me, to now my girlfriend!  (show pic)  Handsome yeah!

But I was so flacky, so uncommitted in college, a terrible boyfriend.  If my daughter was dating someone like me, I’d tell her dumb da guy!  

After numerous break ups and make ups in college, it was a year after college and I was heading off to Japan as an English teacher/missionary.  And it was Gayle that initiated that D.T.R talk with me.  So what about us?  Was I gonna man up and pursue marriage with her?  And in my mind, I was thinking, what if I meet a Godly Japanese lady there, what if you meet another handsome, athletic, Godly man in Hawaii, Nah, No way, but that could happen!  How selfish of me to let her hang for three years when I’m gonna do God’s work in Japan.  I’m glad Gayle initiated that D.T.R talk with me so that I could man up!  Do you know we can have a DTR talk with God

Have you ever had a D.T.R talk with God to really define the kine of relationship you want with him?  Write in your notes. . .

1. Have a D.T.R Talk with God  

Jesus had this kind of conversation with his followers!  

At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and stood the child before his followers. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you must change and become like little children. Otherwise, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child (Matthew 18:1 – 5 NIV).  

Jesus was clear with them about what the mark of greatness would be, to change and become a Child!  That must have blown the disciples minds and puzzled them big time.  Greatness is equated to becoming a Child?  Children are innocent, trusting, wanting to learn, have a dependent relationship on their parents, are needy, and I’m sure Jesus meant all of that! 

Peter had a DTR moment with Jesus when Jesus asked the disciples, who do people say I am.  The other disciples of Jesus responded, Some say you John the Baptist, other guys tell you Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet guy from long time ago come back.  Then Jesus looks at them and asks, what about you?   Who do you say I am?   Then Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God

15 Jesus tell dem, “Kay den, wat bout you guys? Who you tink me fo real kine?” 16 * Simon Peter tell, “You da Christ Guy, da Spesho Guy God Wen Sen. Da God dat stay alive fo real kine, you his Boy.”

It’s one thing to say, that’s what the Shinsatos believe, that’s what Mona says, that’s what those NHCO pastors tell about Jesus, but what about you?  You just might need to have that talk with God yourself.   

Let me say this, You are free to date God go on a journey with us.  You may not even call yourself a Christian yet, and that’s ok.  Eventually you’ll have that D.T.R with God.  And this is the Shift you’ll make:

  • Go from Slave to Child 


Relationship with  Master

Motivation to get the Master’s approval (gotta perform, work hard (be sure to do the right thing, better not get the master mad, driven to prove your worth, YOU FEAR rejection!

Worth (how valuable are you?) Never quite sure


Relationship with Father (qualify it as a Loving, Accepting, perfect)

*You may or may not have had a good example, so can’t compare

Motivation to enjoy your Father, no more striving, no need to work hard to prove my worth,

Worth (what is your worth, value) Priceless, highly treasured, extremely precious, deeply loved, you’re your Father’s beloved child!

Show testimony of Danette Holdren (8 Minutes)

The value of who you are is based on what you do and what you don’t do, but as a child of God, your value is in who you are and most importantly, who you belong too. 

If you don’t make the grade, you can’t perform enough, as a slave you are thrown out. We all try to live up to something and that can be wearisome, that can be hard, but when we can receive sonship we receive freedom and we receive so much value in knowing our value is in who we are as his precious son and beloved daughter. 

So how do you live out this soul shift from Slave to being a Child?

2. Relinquish Slavery and Receive Sonship

Let’s read what Paul writes in a letter to a church he started in present day Turkey.  

And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.  And since you are his child, God has made you his heir (Galatians 4:6 – 7 NLT).

Paul is reminding his church braddahs and sistahs, you God’s kid, remember that.  And because of our new identity, we can call “Abba”.  In the Hebrew language of Jesus, that’s the term for Daddy.  What do you or did you address your earthly father as?  I don’t know about you, but I called my Dad “daddy”, but in public I’d introduce him as “My Father” or in a crowd I’d call out “Dad”, but in my personal relationship with him, I’d call him Daddy.  In Hebrew, “Abba”

That’s the soulshift we are contending for, where we all can receive Sonship, that ever close relationship with God.  That’s why we sang that song this morning, I’m not longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.  It’s declaring our new soulshift, our new identity with God.  

Something amazing yet difficult to understand, happens in the invisible spiritual world, but we know it happens.  It’s when we open our lives to trust God, believing in him ourselves, then God’s spirit, and this blows our minds, His Spirit comes into our lives.  We sense his presence.  He begins to change the way we think and even act.  How many of you have experienced this?  Can you explain how this happened?  Hard yeah?  But it happens!  And when it does, you’ll know it and then as a result, we now can live our our sonship/daughtership with God!  

Sonship illustration:  

Watchman Nee, was a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the 20th century who was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith and spent the last twenty years of his life in prison tells this story:  about a new Chinese convert who came in deep distress to see him. “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I no can be faithful to my Lord, my master. I think I’m losing my salvation.” Nee said, “Do you see this dog here?  He is my dog.  He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. 

You are Jesus Christ’s heir, and God’s son/daughter because it is for you that Jesus died.” We are Christ’s heirs, not through our perfection but by means of His grace.

We poop our pants all the time and our God wants to clean us up, and he does, if we allow him to do so.  Every single poop, he cleans up!  And never rejects us, no matter how stinky our poop is and no matter how many times we doodoo our pants.  He accepts us!  Do you think any loving parents would allow their child to keep them in doodoo diapers, when the diapers are rated for 10 lbs.  It doesn’t mean it holds up to 10 lbs of doodoo.  

And likewise our heavenly father accepts us no matter what we’ve done.  And we don’t need to strive, perform, work hard to prove anything!  We are accept!

So “No need Strive, just Abide, so we can Thrive”  You get em!

Abide in God means, just stay closely connected w/your daddy!

There is no need to Strive cuz, The hard work has been done!  No need prove nothing.  Just Abide, Don’t Strive.  Abide, rest and remain!  So we can thrive!  Be secure in ourselves and in our relationship with God

Because you are a Son/Daughter of God, Our Father, Approach Him Differently by . . .

  • Listening to your Daddy’s Voice

Our Father God, our daddy so longs to speak to us.  So longs to reassures us, guide us, counsels us, redirects our paths, all if we are open to listening to his voice.  And how does he speak, he speaks through his very words (the bible), through others, and because we have his spirit in our lives, he’ll speak through directly to our heart.  

  • Speaking to/with your Daddy

I’m always conversing with God.  For those who don’t know God, it may seem psychotic to talk to someone you can’t see, but because of God’s spirit in our lives that we can have direct access to talk story with God.  No need go through a priest,  W have full confidence to approach God with all kinds of stuff.  

  • Being Real with your Christian Brothers and Sisters

Because we are God’s children, what does that make us to each other?  Yes, you are my brother and sister.  We are family, Ohana, Mo betta togedda. There is this special concern and care we have for one another.  We can be real with one another, no need put on the masks, as we have been totally accepted by God, we can experience that openness, the safety of being accepted with all our past baggage with our those around us.  

That’s why, you here us over and over say, get connected to a place of connection beyond the weekend services.  As good as it is to hear a message, our daddy in Heaven so desires for us to learn to relate to one another and do life with one another.  

I wanna urge you to attend the Papa Boyd one day conference on Sat. Oct 12.  So we can learn more about our new identity as a child of God.  Lastly  

3. Don’t Act Like a Child instead Become a Child

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God 

(John 1:12 – 13 NLT).

The deep change God desires is not a mental understanding of this change, it’s a wholesale, life altering, mind blowing change!  It’s where you BECOME a Child a God.  It starts with receiving him as our Father. 

There’s a famous story that Jesus tells that illustrates sonship well.  Many of you heard it, but I’ll tell it again local style.  

Jesus tells one story, of one father with two boys.  And one boy, Eh, Daddy, Give me my share from all you get and I like em now, cuz I like live on my own!  I like do what I like do, all myself. Afta dat, da younga boy get all his stuffs, sell his share an take da money, and go one far place and An ova dea he spen um all, cuz he buckaloose.  

An dat time no mo food in all dat country. So he get real hard time. 15 He go by one guy from dat country an get job, an da guy sen him out to his fields fo feed da pigs. 16 Da boy real hungry! He like eat da tree beans da pigs stay eat. But nobody give him notting! Den he wise up an figga, ‘Eh, how come?! All da guys dat work fo my faddah fo pay, dey get mo plenny food den dey can eat. Me, I real hungry ova hea, an litto mo me mahke! Mo betta I go back by my faddah.  Den I can tell um, “Eh Daddy! I wen do one real bad ting agains God in da sky an agains you. 19 I not good enuff fo be yoa boy. Let me work fo you fo pay, an den bumbye I pay you back.” ’ 20 Den he hele from dat place an go back by his faddah. “He still far from da house wen his faddah spock him. His faddah heart stay fill wit pity an he run to his boy. He hug his boy an kiss him. 21 Da boy tell, ‘Eh Daddy! I wen do someting real bad agains God in da sky, an agains you. I no good enuff fo be yoa boy.’ “But da faddah tell his worka guys, ‘Come quick ova hea! Hurry up! Go get one robe, da bestes one, an put um on him. Put one ring on top his finga an shoes on top his feets. 23 Go get da bestes young cow an kill um. We goin throw one party, an make kanikapila, we go party! 24 Cuz dis my boy! Jalike he wen mahke, but now he come back alive! Cuz he was lost, but now we find um!’ So dey wen party.

Show Pic 1 and tell them the story continues with the older son’s response to this.  

Dass da story!  Jesus tell about the lost boy dat wen come home.  

Let me ask you one question.  When you think the son received sonship?  He was always da faddah’s son, but I think, he received sonship when we wen  come home to experience his faddah’s extreme love for him.  Maybe that’s what you needed to hear tonight/today.  And maybe God is telling you welcome home. Receive sonship/daughtership from me today.  I want to give you that chance to come home today!  

Dear Jesus I open my heart up to you.  I receive you into my life.  

Benediction:  Who you say I Am

Invite you back next week for our next shift, from Seen to Unseen!  Aloha. 

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