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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Gen. 18:19 GOD’S IDEA OF A GREAT DAD

Intro: In the Bible, we are confronted with many poor examples of fathers.

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 Abraham’s life and see God’s 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. Let’s look at the qualities that define God’s Idea Of A Great Dad.

A Great Dad Is A Man Who:

I. IS IN LINE WITH GOD’S PLAN

A. Ill. God’s 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. Abraham’s 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 God’s call upon their lives. I am not referring to a call to professional, vocational ministry. I am referring to men who have heard God’s 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 isn’t 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 father’s 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 60’s 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 God’s plan for your life?

II. IS ENJOYING GOD’S 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 forever.

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. God’s kind of dad’s make the right kind of investments in their children’s lives!

(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 parent’s 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 God’s 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 Father’s 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 Abraham’s 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. Abraham’s faith was that which made him a child of the King, Rom. 4:22. He was persuaded that God’s 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 doesn’t 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 soul’s salvation? If not, then there are children in your life and others all around you who deserve better than you are giving them. Why don’t 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! Let’s 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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