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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, July 06 2020

Surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of happiness in life is   the family. The same surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of frustration and disappointment in people’s lives is dealing with family problems. 

God has designed the family as the basic building block of society. As the family goes, so goes our communities. As our communities go, so goes our states. As our states go, so goes our nations. As our nations  go, so goes entire civilizations.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers and you are God’s builders. v10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds. v11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, in Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on that foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, or stubble v13 each man’s work will become evident, for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. v14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward”. 

Just as books need two book ends to hold them upright so that they don’t fall over, likewise, every child needs a matching set of Mom and Dad book ends to steady them and keep them upright in life!.                                  The titles “Mom” and “Dad” are powerful titles that declare that you are authorized and anointed by God to speak into and influence the lives of your children, no matter what their age, or where they live…The same is true of the title, “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. Let us understand and appreciate the power of these titles which are titles of permission and jurisdiction, used by your children and grandchildren, to release and activate your God-given authority in their behalf....There is powerful leverage in those titles….That bring heaven to earth!!   

Olympic gold medalist Darrel Pace was to give an archery exhibition in New York City's Central Park, and the event received coverage by all the news stations. Darrel was shooting steel- tipped hunting arrows, and punctured the bull's-eye from many angles even behind his back with a mirror, without a miss.                                                                                         Then he called for a volunteer. "All you have to do, Is hold this apple in your hand, in front of the bulls eye." A bold volunteer took a step forward and stood there with a small apple in his hand, trying not to shake. Pace took aim from 30 yards away as everyone held their breath. Then suddenly the apple exploded the apple before striking the target. Everybody applauded and the volunteer is still trembling—and the cameraman approached and said, "I'm sorry, my camera was messing up and I didn’t get the shot. Could you do it again?" Aren’t you glad God gives second chances….to get it right! (even if it means you have to end up holding that apple again)                                          

Over the years, there have been numerous studies on how to build strong, healthy families. What does a healthy family look like? (I’m glad you asked that question), because it so happens that it is exactly what I want to talk about ….building healthy families…                                                   And   if you don’t know what a healthy family looks like, it probably won’t happen, and if it does, you won’t know what you did to get there…

What your kids see you do as they grow up is what you’ll likely see them do, when they’ve grown up. What do your children see modeled before them in your character? Do they see truth, honesty, and integrity in action? Do they have healthy examples of resolving conflict? Do you model and encourage healthy ways of handling pressure and expressing emotions? 

The greatest gift you can give your child is who you are. The lifestyle  our children see us model daily is much more powerful than what we can ever tell them. Both are important. But there must be solid connections between the talk and the walk.Someone said, “teach   them and use words if absolutely necessary!! 

In the Hebrew culture, a Rabbi was a life coach and every boy was assigned to a life coach who would be a father figure to them. The word Rabbi is actually based upon the Hebrew word “Ab” or “Abba” which means daddy.

Jesus was the Rabbi or “Abba” Father, who the disciples accepted to mentor them as their life coach. The Rabbi chose those he would mentor, just as Jesus chose the disciples and us, to follow Him. We are chosen by “Abba” and He is our life coach!

One father wrote this in a letter to “Abba” 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 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 God, love their mother and love them, totally and completely!

How do you spell love…..

Most children spell love with a *…..T, an *…..I, an *……M and an *……E. That’s right. TIME is how most children spell love. Healthy parents don’t find time, they make time.

One of the greatest choices we will make in life is to follow and be like our “Abba” life coach, Jesus He always has time for us…..

Don’t miss the importance of what it is that you’re building. Input equals outcome…. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder…..                            In the early days of the building of the United States Capital, when they were still preparing the site. 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, I am mixing this mortar, because we’re raising up a beacon that will shine to all the nations of the world” 

Since this is Father’s day, I would say to Dads, and to everyone, we’re not called to build junk, but we are raising up beacons through the lives of men, women and children which God has placed in our care…

Craig spent many years as a Royal Ranger commander, working with boys. Those boys are now Fathers, and look back fondly on the training they received under Craig. 

Allan and Craig both worked with and trained new recruits and cadets in the fire department. And those recruits have been better men and women because of it. Thank you both for your service…. 

It takes time to build something great….We’re all busy with demands and pressures, and children don’t have the same sense of time that we do. All they know is now!!! I want it and I want it now!!!                                                                                               I remember when Karen was little and I would be working on a sermon and she wanted my attention…. She would say, Dad…Dad…Dad….Hey Chuck! And that would always get my attention. But things worth building take time….

I still recall to this day, at 21/2 years of age, in Spray NC. I had an uncle named John, who was old and grey haired and slow, but several times a week, he would take me for walks and answer all my questions (which were many). He was never in a hurry, and I have kodak moments in my soul, of Old John, holding my hand and answering all my questions in a slow, unhurried way. He gave me the gift of time….

When the angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist, he realized that this was not just another ordinary Jewish child which he was called upon to raise, but a special gift that God was placing in his care…right up front John’s dad was told that he was building a life that would touch the world. What are you building….    

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.”

There is a saying that children don’t come with instruction manuals, but the truth is that they come with the best instructions ever assembled in the history of the world, it is complete and all encompassing and it is the Word of God! 

How foolish to ignore the manual which the creator of every human life, has written to give us guidance as husbands andparents.                                                             4 bachelors came up with a list of what to look for in a companion..                                                   1st.  It is important to find a woman who is good at house hold chores, is a good cook and can take care of the kids.                                                                                                                     2nd.  It is important to find a woman that you can show off for social functions.

3rd.  It is important that she shares the same life goal and common vision as you.

4th.  It is important to find a woman who is romantic and loves intimacy with you.

5th It is very important that these 4 women never meet one another.                                                  

Hey, If your marriage is in trouble, improve your relationship with the Lord.

Trouble with the children, improve your relationship with the lord. 

Trouble on the job, improve your relationship with the Lord.

If nothing seems to work, improve your relationship with the Lord!!!                     

God doesn’t expect perfection, just a teachable spirit! 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!           

Chuck Swindoll said, "A family is the place where principles are hammered out and shaped 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, in great shape, 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, you’re not shopping for a husband, what you’re actually shopping for a 70 inch flat screen TV”!!!

The old saying is that love is blind… God says, “Oh, No… love needs clear vision.” Our love needs discernment or else we will end up loving things we ought not to love—and entering into relationships that are not good for us. While love is our quest, it is never enough without wisdom and discernment. Not every relationship is a good relationship. Not every choice is a good choice, not every man or woman is the one of your dreams, they might be the one of your nightmares. 

By the way, I came across the words women need to hear the most.. from men…

I love you, I Do.. I understand, I’m sorry, You’re right, & you’re hired

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 child 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, they can be recovered and joyfully celebrated!

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”…                                                                               With all that we’re building, we need to build within our families a deep sense that no matter where we are, in Christ we’re always home. “In the Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also”. As we grew up, I chose to take the path of faith in God, my foster brother chose the ungodly path of my atheist foster dad… the last time we were together, I asked him to promise me he would make peace with God and if I went before Him, I would be looking for him in heaven. If He went before me, I would be expecting to see him when I got there. He died a short time later in his sleep, but he kept his promise…..

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.”

The God of all creation, wants to take time to be involved in what we’re building. If He’s willing to give us His time, and He is, are we willing to give Him time to listen, to get His instructions, to allow Him to speak into our plans, our relationships, our marriage, our family, and our journey….

A tightrope was attached from the Canadian side to the American side over the Niagara Falls. The drum roll started and the tight rope walker, began walking over the treacherous part of the falls pushing a wheelbarrow-- blindfolded!! And he makes it across easily. The crowds go wild, and he comes to a spectator and says, " Do you believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it." "No, I mean do you really believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do, you just did it." "No, no, no," said the Tightrope walker, "do you really, really, really believe I can do it again?" "Yes," said the spectator "I really believe you can do it." "Good," said the Tightropewalker, "then you get in the wheel barrow and let’s go."

The word believe, in Greek means "to live by what you acknowledge as truth"

In the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses reduced all of God’s law to its essential basics in a statement that is known as the “Shema”.

In verse 4&5 it says It says “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, is one God! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”                                                          This is the passage that Jesus quoted in Matthew 22:35-40 when he was asked by a lawyer,which was the great commandment of the Law. After quoting it, Jesus added that the second was like it,                                           “You shall love your neighbor (or others) as yourself,” and that the whole “Shema” and the Prophets depended on these two commandments.

This tells us three things for this to happen….

1. The parent or care giver must love the Lord

2. The parent or care giver must teach his children the love of the Lord

3. The parent or care giver must teach by example, what the love of the Lord looks like to his children

So many of those I grew up with basically want nothing to do with the church now. For many of them, a large part of the reason is that either one or both of their parents or many of the other adults in the church failed to actually live out what they claimed to believe. These children came to the conclusion that it was all just a farse, a big sham, and they developed their own moral code of conduct, away from Christ and the church. 

How privileged are those children who are raised by parents who have the Word of God in their hearts and who live out every day, what they say they believe. That’s the “Shema”

To love the Lord your God. To teach our children to love the Lord our God, and to live out the love of the Lord our God before them….

When is the best time to do this…. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us…

A. When you sit in your house. B. When you walk by the way. 

C. When you lie down. D. When you rise up.

Well, come on, that pretty much covers anytime, all the time!

So I ask us all what I asked at the beginning, Fathers, Mothers, sons, and daughters, do we understand what we’re building?When you understand what you want to build, you get the right tools and you use them with all the skill you can muster, and partner with the one who knows how to do it best and He tells us…

1 Corinthians 13:4  (Would you stand and read it with me) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. v5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. v6 Love does not delight in but rejoices with the truth. v7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. v8 Love never fails”. 

(sounds like a pretty good description of a Godly Husband and Father)….I will ask the men to come forward and let’s gather around them a bless them and petition heaven that they may be equipped for this lofty and High calling of God on their lives….Fatherhood…..

Posted by: AT 12:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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