Intro: In the Bible, we are confronted with many poor examples
Such as, Ahab 1 Kings 22:52; the men of Israel, Psa.
78:8, 78:57, Jer. 9:14. These Scriptures, along with many others, give glaring
proof that there are bad fathers all about. In our day, the bad father is not
hard to find. They are everywhere. However, finding that man who stands out
as an example of what a good father ought to be is a hard animal to track down.
About 3,500 years ago, God looked down on Abraham and declared him to be a good
father. If a person will take the time to look at the life of Abraham, the reasons
for this glowing assessment become abundantly clear. Today, we are going to
look at Abrahams life and see Gods idea of what makes a great father.
By way of introduction, let me say that we live in a day when
we need good male role models. It is getting hard for boys to find good, Christian
males who are worth looking up to. It seems that men have forgotten what it
means to be men. Our society seems determined to blur the line between the roles
of men and those of women, but I say we need some real men who are not afraid
to be men.
Chuck Swindoll asks a series of questions in his book, "Growing
Strong In Family Life," which address the need quiet well.
1. Remember when men were men?
2. Remember when you could tell by looking?
3. Remember when men knew who they were, liked how they were,
& didn't want to be anything but what they were?
4. Remember when it was the men who boxed & wrestled &
bragged about how much they could bench press?
5. Remember when it was the women who wore the makeup, the
earrings & the bikinis?
6. Remember when it was the men who initiated the contact &
took the lead in a relationship, made lifelong commitments, treated a woman
like a lady, & modeled a masculinity that displayed security & stability?
Swindoll goes on to say, "We need fewer spineless wimps
who've never disentangled themselves from mama's apron strings, & more clear-thinking,
hard-working, straight-talking men who, while tender, thoughtful, & loving,
don't feel the need to ask permission for taking charge. I'm convinced that
most single ladies would love to have men like that to spend time with...&
most wives long to have men like that to share life with. Children especially
like having dads like that."
Swindoll is right! Our children are looking for men like that!
In the life of Abraham, we find a man who represents what God
is looking for in fathers and in men in general. Lets look at the qualities
that define Gods Idea Of A Great Dad.
A Great Dad Is A Man Who:
I. IS IN LINE WITH GODS PLAN
A. Ill. Gods call on the life of Abraham. He is called, at the age
of 75, to leave behind home and family and set out for God, Gen. 12:1. As
far as we know, there was no hesitation on the part of Abraham. He simply
responded in faith to God and set out to follow Him. Abrahams call was
to be the Father of a great nation, Gen. 12:2. Abraham answered that call
and followed the Lord.
B. There is no greater blessing than for children to be surrounded by men
who have Gods call upon their lives. I am not referring to a call to
professional, vocational ministry. I am referring to men who have heard Gods
call to be men of the cross. Men who are not afraid of their faith, men who
are not ashamed to announce to the world that they are children of the living
God! I am convinced that every Christian man has a call of God upon his life,
especially fathers! This call implies two great truths:
1. That There Is A Personal Relationship With God
(Ill. Abraham knew God in a personal way!) Every child deserves a saved
father! A saved father will not be perfect. However, a saved father will
have a foundation from which he can influence the lives of the children
around him. (What about it men are you saved? Salvation and the church thing
isnt just for women, children and preachers, it is for sinners and
every man here qualifies!)
2. That There Is A Personal Responsibility Before God
Every man in this building, but especially fathers, have a great responsibility
before the Lord. We are responsible for training our children in the way
of God. We are to teach them about Jesus, the Bible and the will of the
Lord. They need to learn about prayer, salvation and a close walk with the
Lord from their dads, Ill. Eph. 6:4; Deut. 6:6-25! (Ill. Thank God for women
who live the truth! But, it is the fathers responsibility to take
the lead in the spiritual upbringing of the children. God will hold us accountable!)
C. Men need to be aware that what our children see us do, they are apt to
do as well.
(Ill. An old anti-smoking commercial from the 60s showed a father
and a son walking together. The father picked up a rock and threw it, the
son did the same thing. The father whistled the son copied him. The father
fished a cigarette from a pack and lit it up and began to smoke. The commercial
ended with the boy looking from the father to a cigarette pack he found
in the road. The message was crystal clear; what our children learn from
dad, they will replay in their own lives!)
(Ill. A man in Chicago made it a practice to stop in the bar for a drink
or two on his way to work. One morning as he walked toward the bar in the
newly fallen snow, he heard a small voice behind him saying, "Daddy,
I'm A' comin in your steps". It was the voice of his young son as he
tried to place his feet in his dad's footprints in the snow. The man cried
out to the Lord: "Oh, God, if my boy is coming in my steps, by Your
help, I'll track them in another direction.")
D. Dads, men, are you leading the children who are looking to you in the
right way? Remember, what they learn from you determines what they believe
about God, Jesus, the Bible, the Church, etc. Are your steps leading in the
right direction? Are you fulfilling Gods plan for your life?
II. IS ENJOYING GODS PRAISE
A. Abraham was a man who enjoyed the great and abundant blessings of the
Lord. God blessed him in many ways, including:
1. Being the father of Israel from which came the Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
2. He blessed him with a land called Canaan which became his and his descendants
3. He blessed him with a son named Isaac to whom Abraham passed along the
blessings of the Lord, Ill. Gen. 25:5, "And Abraham gave all that he
had unto Isaac." That one verse tells it all! He received from the
Lord and passed it along to the next generation. Isaac was blessed to have
a father like Abraham in his life!
B. Would to God that every other child was as blessed to have a father, or
Godly men around who would take the blessings of the Lord and pass them along.
C. What a parent hands down, he receives in return from his children! They
will always mirror what you have invested in their lives! If you invest the
blessings of God, you will receive blessing in return! If it is the world
you choose to invest, there will be heartache and problems. Gods kind
of dads make the right kind of investments in their childrens
(Ill. Ensign Neal Anderson Scott, the son of a Presbyterian minister in Goldsboro
North Carolina enlisted in the navy during WWII. A Japanese Kamikaze plane
hit his ship during a sea battle. Neal Scott was mortally wounded. As he lay
dying he said, "Mates, keep those guns firing." Then he penned a
letter to his parents that said: "To have had you & mother for these
24 years has been all I could ask for in this world." What a tribute
to his mom & dad!)
III. IS A MAN WITH A GRACIOUS PERSONALITY
A. Ill. The incident which occurred between the herdsmen of Abraham and those
of Lot, Gen. 13. Abraham was willing to allow Lot to take his choice of the
land and Abraham would be content with whatever was left over. In chapter
21, there was a conflict between Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael. Again, Abraham
displayed a gracious spirit and in spite of what were very difficult circumstances,
he sought to be kind and generous to everyone involved, Gen. 21:14.
B. Here is the one area where I feel I have made the most blunders as a father.
It is so easy to get rapped up in the course of your life and forget that
kids are just kids and they will not always acts like adults. It is easy,
when they do things that are childish, foolish, or just plain stupid, to become
impatient and to blow your stack. My prayer is that I will learn to be patient
with my children and give them room to be kids. I would like for my children
to remember that I was kind, gracious, generous and loving. However, I know,
with deep regret, that that has not always been the case!
C. What is so scary is that children retain so much of their parents
personality and characteristics. I see many qualities of my father in my own
life. Unfortunately, not every one of them is good! As my kids watch me be
a father before them, they will remember how I reacted to certain situations
and they will probably react much the same way when they are raising their
children. God help us to have the right spirit about us as we parent these
blessings God has dropped into our lives.
(Ill. One evening a father came home from work to find that his boy had
been sent to bed for swearing. The father stormed up the stairs, vowing
to teach his son a lesson. On the way, he tripped on a step & skinned
his shin. When he did, he began to curse loudly & violently. His wife
said: "You better come down now. He's had enough for his first lesson.")
IV. IS A MAN OF PRAYER
A. Abraham was a man of prayer. This is seen in that every time Abraham moved,
he erected an altar to God and there he sacrificed and prayed, Gen. 12:8;
13:4; 21:33. He prayed about many things, such as the impending demise of
Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen. 18, but he also prayed about his children.
1. He prayed about Gods promise of a son Gen. 15:1-6
2. He prayed for the welfare of Ishmael Gen. 17:18
B. There is, to my mind, no greater blessing that a child can have than to
know that their father is praying for them! Fathers should make it a practice
to pray for the children daily. Pray for their salvation, their protection,
pray for them that they will be used of the Lord for His glory. Whatever the
object, just be sure to pray for them daily! Let them know you are praying
for them too!
C. A poet has penned this prayer called, "A Fathers Prayer"
Dear God, my little boy of three Has said his nightly prayer to Thee; Before his eyes were closed in sleep, He asked that Thou his soul would keep. And I, still kneeling at his bed, My hand upon his tousled head Do ask, with deep humility, That Thou, dear Lord, remember me. Make me, kind Lord, a worthy Dad, That I may lead this little lad In pathways ever fair & bright, That I may keep his steps aright. O God, his trust may never be Destroyed or even marred by me. So, for the simple things he prayed With childish voice so unafraid, I, trembling, ask the same from Thee. Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me.
V. IS A MAN OF GREAT PERSUASION
A. Of all Abrahams accomplishments and achievements, his faith stands
head and shoulders above the rest. Abraham is chronicled in the bible as a
man of faith. In Gen. 15:6, the Bible says, "And he believed in the LORD;
and he counted it to him for righteousness." In Hebrews 11:8-11, 17,
the writer stresses the faith of Abraham. Abrahams faith was that which
made him a child of the King, Rom. 4:22. He was persuaded that Gods
way was above any other way.
B. As I said earlier, every child deserves a saved dad in their life! Every
child desires, and deserves a father who is saved by grace and is trying to
lead his family in the way of the Lord to the best of his ability.
C. The child of a God-fearing father doesnt have to fear abuse, mistreatment
and neglect. That child can be assured of love, kindness and acceptance. Children
have every right to expect to be surrounded by these types of men as they
go through life. They deserve the best leadership that we men can give them.
They deserve to be surrounded by saved men!
D. Men, look into your heart today, ladies also! Are you saved? Have you
placed your faith in Jesus Christ and in His finished work on the cross for
your souls salvation? If not, then there are children in your life and
others all around you who deserve better than you are giving them. Why dont
you just come to the lord today and get that thing settled with Him? Why not
come and be saved today?
Conc: Is it any wonder that James 2:23 calls Abraham the friend
of God? Few men have ever reached the spiritual stature of this great man. However,
men in our day could be more like him, and we could possess these qualities
that he possessed if we would only allow the Lord to have His way and work His
will in our lives! Lets face it, we need godly fathers and men who will
mold small lives into great ones for the Kingdom. We need men who will change
society by giving the next generation great examples to imitate. We need men
of God and you can be those men. Are you what God wants you to be today? When
we are the men we can be, our children will become the children they should
be. They will be a blessing and the Lord for His glory will use them. They will
be like this little boy who walked by his father and said, ""Papa,
when you go to heaven, will you take me with you?" "Why, son?"
the father replied. "Cause I want to go with you" was the child's
simple, earnest reply. He loved his father, respected him and wanted to spend
his life with him. That kind of love and respect is earned! It is not bought
nor is it natural. It is the result of a father or a man who invests his life
in the lives of children! If God were to weight us men here today in the balances
of fatherhood and manhood, how would we do? Would be found wanting? If so, there
is a remedy in Jesus! It may be too late to undo every wrong done, but it is
never too late to become the man God wants you to be!
Sermon By Alan Carr
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