Here’s someone’s definition of a father... "A father never feels worthy of the worship in his child's eyes. He never feels that he’s the hero his daughter thinks he is, and never quite the man his son believes him to be, A father is a man who carries his children’s pictures in his wallet where his money used to be. Fathers are those guys who give their daughters away to other men who are never good enough, so they can have grandchildren that are better than anybody else’s.”
Mark Twain said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to be in the same room. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned."
I would certainly be very negligent if I didn’t thank my kids for all the wonderful sermon material they have provided me! As a matter of fact whatever it was that happened, they had a common saying as they were growing up and it was …”We’llhear about this in dad’s next sermon”!!!
In the early days of the building of Notre Dame University whenthey were still clearing the land. A superintendent asked one of the workmen, what he was doing. He said, “I’m digging a ditch”.. The next worker he asked said “I’m gathering stones to build a wall”… But the third workman he asked, who was mixing mortar, said, “Sir, my wife and I are mixing this mortar, because we’re raising up a great cathedral”
Folks, we’re not called to build junk, but we are raising up great cathedrals through the lives of men, women and children….
When the angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist, he realized that this was not just another ordinary Jewish childwhich he would father, but a special gift that God was placing in his care…
Luke1:16 “And he (John) will turn the hearts of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. v17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
I’m sure we have all heard the saying that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that shakes the world. But that is certainly true of two fathers, one was named Joseph, who was called upon to be the earthly father of Jesus, and Zachariah who was called upon to be the father of John.
We declared over all of our children, that they would be soul winners and bring others to Christ. I’m celebrating as a Dad today, that God has allowed me to see the day when they all were living that out…They’re all soul winners and they’re bringing folks to Christ!
Prophesy over your kids every day according to the word of God….Theword of God is the spirit of prophecy…
For strength, speak Philippians 4:13 “They can do all things through Christ who strengthens them”.
For Courage and boldness, speak Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
For Peace and freedom from worry, speak Philippians 4:6 “They shall not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving may their requests be made known to God.
For provision speak Philippians 4:19 “My God will supply every need of theirs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. ~
For Direction and right choices speak Proverbs 3:5-6 “They shall Trust in the Lord with all their heart, and not lean on their own understanding. In all their ways they acknowledge him, and he will make straight their paths”.
For Protection, speak Psalm 91:1-2 ” They shall dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty. They will say of the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”.
For Joy, speak Psalm 16:11 “You make known to them the path of life; in your presence they find fullness of joy; at your right hand they havepleasures forevermore”.
For Compassion speak, Ephesians 4:32 “ They shall be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave them”.
For Justice speak Isaiah 1:17 “They shall Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause”.
For Wisdom, speak James 1:5 “If any of them lacks wisdom, let them ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given them”.
For Hope, speak Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill them with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may abound in hope”.
For Love, speak 2 Corinthians 13 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends”.
One father wrote this in a letter to God… “He calls me Dad and I call him Dude, With his faded old pillow and a bear named Pooh. He snuggles up close and says, "I want to be like you" I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight, Trippin' over the toys as I turn out the light, and I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see, He's got a father in God, 'cause he's seen Jesus in me. Lord, I want to be just like You, 'Cause he wants to be just like me.
I want to be a holy example, For his innocent eyes to see.
Help me be Your living word, Lord, That my little boy can read.
I want to be just like You, 'Cause he wants to be like me.
Someone has said that the best thing you can do for your children, is to love their mother totally and completely!
Proverbs 22:6 - “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
But one thing for sure, you can’t be a couch potato dad and raise the kind of kids God has called you to raise!
It reminds me of the little boy who was playing on a Sunday morning while his Dad was in a recliner reading the paper. And the father said, “Son, get yourself ready for church.” The little boy asked, “Are you coming with me today Dad?” The man replied, “No, I’m not coming. But I want you to hurry up and get ready so you can go with your momma.” The little boy then said, “Did you used to go to Sunday School when you were a boy, Dad?” The father proudly replied, “I most certainly did!” Then the little boy smiled, “Yeah, I bet it won’t do me any good either!”
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, (and that includes spiritual provision) and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”.
The shame is that there are homes where dad is uninvolved in anything spiritual in the home and if mom doesn’t do it, it doesn’t get done…..
Every Father needs a tool box… In that box, he needs to have an Adjustable Wrench - Fathers must be flexible and adaptable to any situation that arises.
Every Dad needs a Level - Fathers must be fair, balanced and level-headed.It’s not easy to love and apply discipline at the same time.
He needs a Staple Gun and Clamps – Cause God knows that Fathers will be called upon to hold things together and keep them together.
He needs Shop Towels - He must be ready to clean up some messes heencounters, wash some feet, and keep the talk clean.
Fathers need an Extension Cord – Cause Fathers must be able to stretch a bit and be able to connect to the source of power at all times.
And we can’t forget to put a bottle of Cologne in the tool box- when everything stinks, and our attitude gets stinky.. put on some of the sweet cologne of His presence! Sweeten up the atmosphere!
And what about some Pliers - Fathers must be able to keep his grip when everyone else is losing theirs.
And Oh, how about a Rubber mallet – because fathers must be able to do some persuading, without doing damage to whoever he’s persuading!!!
What does your tool box look like?
WORD OF GOD, SPEAK, SPEAK TO US, TODAY!!!
1 Corinthians 2:6 For we speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away. v7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages for our glory. v8 It is wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood, for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, v9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND IT HAS NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
There are no perfect fathers except the Father in heaven, with all capital
Letters! And God doesn’t expect perfection, just a teachable spirit! Chuck Swindoll said, "A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living."
One young woman was talking to her counsellor and describing her dream husband… She said, “he has to be handsome, funny, entertaining, smart, keeps me interested, romantic, doesn’t interrupt, let’s me be myself, doesn’t expect me to do all the house work, and never insults or belittles me”….. The counselor pauses for a moment and says, “My dear girl, what you’re actually shopping for a 70 inch flat screen TV”!!!
No man is going to be the TOTAL man or FATHER, but we have the total father in Father God, who will give us wisdom and Holy Spirit counselling as we need it and are open to it!
1 Corinthians 2:10 For God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. v11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. v12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, v13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. v14 But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned”.
One day a father was watching his young son play in his sandbox. Someone had placed a very large rock in it. The young boy tried to pick it up but it was too heavy. He tried to roll it but couldn’t. He even laid on his back and tried to push the rock with his legs, but that didn’t work either. The had given up, and the dad thought it was time to teach his son a life lesson.
The boy said, “Dad I have tried everything and I can’t get this rock out of my sand box. I tried to pick it up, I tried to roll it and I tried to push it and nothing worked.”
The dad bent down and lifted the rock out of the sandbox and said, “You see son, you didn’t try everything. You didn’t ask me to help you!
We all have some rocks in our sand box that we have a hard time moving. Our families and friends need to see us and hear us calling on the one that can do what we can’t do ourselves.
There are relationship rocks, those pesky work problem rocks, the rocks of circumstance, and those physical health rocks, that we’ve pushed, pulled, kicked and prodded, and we’ve tried everything, but we haven’t really tried everything until we call on Jesus. Have you knelt before Him with your spouse, with your family, with your friends?
We will always stand tallest on our knees!
Jesus came to show us what a father’s heart looked like…
He shared three stories that reveal the Father’s heart. The story of the lost sheep, shows us the length He will go to for just one person who has gone out and become lost and disoriented.(leaving the 99 in search of the one, doesn’t really make sense until you are that one!)
The story of the lost coin, reveals how much the Father cares about any area of lack or lost opportunity we may suffer. And He will be diligent until it is recovered.
The story of the lost son, clearly reveals how the Father’s heart is so connected with every son who is struggling and disillusioned, and will faithfully draw them back to the Father’s heart.
It reveals a God that is approachable, and is not out to condemn us but to continually draw us to Himself.
The bottom line is that it tells us that lost things can be found!
There is a story which I had intended to share last week, but because of time, I cut it out of my sermon. But it seems to have found it’s place in the message this week. Some of you may have seen it on Facebook, but I believe the principal is vitally important.
A warehouse property was for sale. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and thrown trash all around the interior. As the owner showed a prospective buyer the property, He made it clear that he would replace the broken windows, fix the doors, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out all the garbage. The prospective buyer said "Forget about the repairs, When I buy this place, I'm going to tear it down and build something completely different. I don't want the building, I’m buying the property rights ."
Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse that is going to be demolished anyway…. (old things are passed away). STOP SWEEPING! God is not as interested in what you have built as He is in having the property rights, so He can build what He wants to build!
It is so important that we all give the Lord our property rights. All our titles and positions, and influence are nothing if He doesn’t have the rights to it all.
Growing up, I’ve sat through altar calls and did not respond because I was holding on to my property rights.
Over my lifetime, I’ve heard the Spirit’s voice and struggled to obey, because I was holding on to my property rights.
I know that it will be a continual thing as God’s Spirit deals with those places in me that He wants to work in, and I will have to yield the property rights to Him, again and again.
When we hold back and hold onto what God is asking that we give to Him… When we stop when He says to go… or charge ahead when He says stay… When we make choices, even though the tender voice of the Holy Spirit is raising red flags all over the place… When we move into our day without consulting His wisdom and His counsel… Isn’t the real issue that we don’t want to turn over the property rights to Him!!!?
The old hymn says it so well…. “Just as I am, without one plea, but as Thy blood was shed for me, and as Thou bid’st me come to Thee, oh lamb of God I come, I come”….
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will fellowship with him, and he with Me. v21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to rule with Me on My throne (place of authority), as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. v22 He who has an ear (that is able to hear), let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Bob Pierce founded World Vision in 1950. His heart of compassion was birthed out of the terrible suffering of the little children which he saw first hand in Korea, during the Korean War. Pierce wrote in the flyleaf of his Bible…"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."… He returned home, knowing what God wanted him to do…. He gave God the property rights… Acts 9:1 “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest v2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way (followers of Jesus), whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem”.
Saul was a devout Pharisee (a religious person). He was a man who knew the Law as good as anyone. The first 5 books of the bible (the books of the Jewish law) were his standard for living.
He was sincere. He had a form of godliness but he denied its power source, which was Christ. The problem was, you better not disagree with him, because he put down anyone that didn’t live the way he lived and believed the way he believed. (they’re still in the church today)
The word says he breathed out threats and murder against the disciples. That means it came from him as often as the breath in and out.
Listen, whatever you breathe out is a byproduct of what you breathe in.
The person whose always sour, has a bad disposition, is always copping an attitude, they’re pessimistic and grouchy, and cannot be pleased no matter what…
That is a person who is constantly breathing in some bad stuff.
But if you’re a person who has…Joy on their lips, A pleasant attitude,
A “we can do it” outlook, A “look what God is doing” attitude, and always has a word of encouragement…
That’s a person who has given their property rights over to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:17 “Anyone who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. v18 Therefore, flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. v19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? v20 For you have been bought with a great price, therefore glorify God in your body”.
He paid a tremendous price in order to have the right to bless and prosper your life. Turn it all over to Him and receive His blessing, the wisdom of His Discipline, the promises of His Word, The plan He has for you, and the connections which He is setting up with those who will bring you there.
And when you do turn it over to Him, you will become a well-spring of blessing to everyone you meet.
How about it, is there something….some area that you’ve struggled with…. Some person you can’t let go of… we’re going to take a moment and let Him finish what He has begun in you….
The song says “leave it there, leave it there, take your burdens to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave it there”