June 21, 2015
Am I Proof?
(That You Are Who You Say You Are)
(Father’s Day Message)
Happy Father’s Day…
If you are here this morning and you have the blessing & responsibility of being a Dad:
? What are you goals as a dad?
? What do you need to arm yourself with to be a godly dad?
Many of the things you will here me say today came from a book called: “Stepping Up – a call to Courageous Manhood” by Dennis Rainey. When we start back up our G3 nights in September this will be the DVD / workbook that we will be doing with the men of the church.
God gives us a unique opportunity as fathers to join Him in what has to be one of the most noble, transcendent assignments we’ll ever have as men: He gives us the privilege of joining with Him in shaping the next generation of men and women.
I came here today to encourage you as fathers to stay in the moral and spiritual battle for your children’s souls. I am not teaching from 1 Peter today, but from book of Colossians chapter 3 & 4.
There might be many here this morning that are in need of a clear battle cry, a challenge to truly step up and courageously be the father you always wanted to become.
What’s keeping you from doing your duty as a dad?
Ö Is it a fear of inadequacy?
Ö A fear of failure?
Ö Past failures?
Ö Pressure from work?
Ö Misplace priorities?
Ö A crisis of manhood in your own life?
Ö The desire to spend time doing what you want to do?
Ö An absent father when you were a boy?
Don’t leave your son or daughter to find answers to life on their own?
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. - C.S. Lewi
How you step up as a father will determine the strength of your convictions and priorities.
So then the question becomes: What are you convictions and priorities as a dad? Do you have the courage to live by your priorities?
Priority #1: Keep Seeking Him - Let go of the Old, put on the New!
Colossians 3:1-10 (NASB)
Put On the New Self
(1) Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (3) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
(5) Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (6) For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, (7) and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. (8) But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. (9) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, (10) and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
Priority #2: Prayer!
Colossians 4:2 (NASB)
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
“A Father’s Prayer”
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee – and that to know himself is the foundational stone of knowledge.
Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
After all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper. “I have not lived in vain.”
General Douglas MacArthur
Priority #3: Build up – don’t tear down!
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
John Wooden, considered by many the greatest coach in the history of college basketball. He coached his UCLA teams to ten national championships between 1964 and 1975.
Many people don’t know about the profound influence that Coach Wooden’s father, Joshua, had on him. Joshua believed in building character and continually emphasized the importance of making right choices. Two of his favorite sayings which he taught his sons, were “Never life, never cheat, and never steal,” and “Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t alibi.”
When John graduated from 8th grade in his small country school, Joshua gave him a card and said, “Son try to live up to this.” Eight decades late John still kept the card in his wallet and could recite these verses by heart:
Ø Be true to yourself.
Ø Make each day your masterpiece.
Ø Help Others.
Ø Drink deeply from good books, especially the Good Book.
Ø Make friendship a fine art.
Ø Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Ø Pray for guidance and give thanks fro your blessings every day.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB)
(23) Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Priority #4: Use Opportunities as an Opportunity!
When we were praying last Sunday morning in the conference room before our adult class I noticed these verses that had been put up by Covenant Christian Academy that meets here in the building. What a great passage for dads as well as moms - and what a great passage to teach your children to live by…
Colossians 3:12-17 (NASB)
(12) So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (14) Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (15) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (17) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
When Coach Wooden become a father in 1936, his father gave him another poem. This poem sums up the philosophy of a man who always knew that true success came in the lives he influenced rather than in titles he won. The poem also reminds dads that every boy needs a father who is a role model:
A careful man I must always be;
A little fellow follows me.
I know I dare not go astray
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes;
Whatever he sees me do, he tries,
Like me, he says, he’s going to be,
This little chap who follows me.
He thinks that I am good and fine;
Believers in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see,
This little chap who follows me.
I must be careful as I go
Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow,
Because I am building for the years to be
This little chap who follows me.
Those are the words that every father needs to keep before him. I challenge you to be involved and to be intentional with your son’s & daughter’s. Put your arm around them as they embark on the journey of a lifetime, and courageously show them what it means to be a godly man or a godly woman.
You can do it.
Their life may be hanging in the balance.
What if you are seated here today and you need help reaching out to those, maybe even family members, who don’t know Christ.
Colossians 4:5-6 (NASB)
(5) Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. (6) Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Priority #5: Point them to Christ!
Colossians 2:6-10 (NASB)
(6) Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7) having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and over flowing with gratitude.
(8) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (9) For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, (10) and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
One father said, “If I had it to do all over again…”
Ö I’d love my wife more in front of my children
Ö I’d laugh with my children more
Ö I’d listen more, even to the youngest child
Ö I’d be more honest about my own weaknesses and stop pretending perfection
Ö I would pray differently for my children
Ö I would be more encouraging and bestow more praise
And finally, if I had it to do all over again, I would use every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day to point them to God.