Classic Christianity – Fathers Day Part 1 (06-19-19)
Bob George teaches a Father’s day message. From the spelling of “Father”, Bob shares characteristics of a father. These characteristics in a father have great impact on our children. Those same things also apply to mothers.
F – Faithfulness
A – Attentiveness
T – Truthfulness and Thankfulness
H – Helpful
E – Encouraging
R – Respectful
These characteristics are God’s characteristics. Because you are children of God they are passed on to you. If you do not understand God’s forgiveness, how are we going to forgive others. If we do not understand God’s love for us, how can we pass that love onto others. All of those things discussed here are characteristics that we as parents should be involved in. This is first of all how God deals with you and me. Therefore, we are in the position of receiving in order to give just as Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We remain attached to the vine so that what is produced by the vine is borne on the branches. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15).
Let us look more closely at faithfulness.
2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
Even when we are not faithful, God is. How many of us are faithful all the time? In the midst of our unfaithfulness, God is faithful. He is faithful and just to have forgiven and to have cleansed us of all our sins (1 John 1:9). When did that occur? At the cross.
At the cross Jesus took away the sins of the entire world to cleanse you and me of all unrighteousness, which is the only thing we ever had.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
The only righteousness we had is self righteousness, which is no righteousness at all. It is made up righteousness.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
There are only two types of righteousness, self righteousness and God’s righteousness.
To the Jew and to the Gentile, and to us today, instead of receiving the righteousness from God, they sought their own righteousness and stumbled over the stumbling stone, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
Why did Jesus cleanse you of unrighteousness? So he could fill you with his righteousness. Righteousness is a gift.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. We do not have our own. We are clothed with his. We will never go into the presence of God with our righteousness. We will go into his presence with his righteousness. So scripture instructs us to put off our old clothes of self and put on the new clothes of Christ’s righteousness.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
God is faithful and just to have done that. Why is he just? We have the Gentile, with their heathen practices, and he took away their unrighteousness, and we have Jews, who have the law, but have no righteousness under the law. So he was just to neutralize all men. Where could we have a standard of righteousness? How would you know when you have reached it and when you have blown it? No way to know those kinds of things. It would be worse than the current legal system, with laws upon laws. So God neutralized all the world. There is no one righteous, no not one.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
God has given us righteousness, not in two ways, but in one way, through his Son, Jesus Christ. He is faithful and just to have done that.
How are we as fathers to deal with our children? We too are to be faithful and just. We are to be fair with our children. How easy it is to show preference to one child or one sex over another. Each child is unique and you can not treat each child alike. But you can treat all with fairness and honesty. God is faithful and he will remain faithful even in our own unfaithfulness. So we want to pass on this characteristic on to our children.
3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”
Even our lack of faith does not nullify the faithfulness of God. God is faithful in all circumstances and with no exceptions.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
This is in application to us.
These are characteristics that we look at in a good parent and father, to be loving and faithful. Wrap these things on your heart. Be faithful to your wife, your children and your word. Faithfulness and love go together.
When dealing with the area of faithfulness, the attitude of a father is that you are always there. You are not an absentee father. You are here for your children. You are here for them regardless of the circumstances. This faithfulness today seems to be scattered to the wind. I have an obligation to my children. I have an obligation to raise them, to be there for them. That means I have got to compromise my own desires. You compromise your own desires for the sake of the good of the whole. We fail to realize there is somebody more important than us. My faith is more important than me.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
Our family, the body of Christ, the children of God, is important. So that prayer of Jesus, “thy will, not my will, be done”, is the attitude of humility. I am looking for the good of the whole. So Jesus being hung on the cross, love held him there, not nails. There is nothing good about being hung on a cross. He did that for the benefit of you and me. A man called out at the foot of cross, when Jesus was dying, “Why do you not save yourself?” Jesus, if he had the strength to speak, would be saying, “If I saved myself, then I could not save you”. His actions were for the benefit of others and not for personal benefit. That is the attitude of faithfulness and the action of love bound to faithfulness. So that is the attitude to be faithful to your family and to your children. I have a faithful father who is faithful to me even when I am not faithful to him.
Let us now look more closely at attentiveness.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Is God attentive to us? In his early Christian life, Bob went to work in an organization big into evangelism and the great commission. Bob jokingly said, “I thought the great commission was 50% on top of retail”, to express how little he knew about the Christian life. To Bob, the great commission was like the visualization of Jesus sitting on a hill, saying, “Go ye therefore and make disciples” while we go and he is no where to be found. Bob said, “I realize now God does not send us. He comes with us. So it is not about him sitting on a hill and saying “see you later”. No, he is right there with us, quite attentive to our needs”.
Is attentiveness important to pass onto our children? If we teach them these things when they are young, then they will not forget about them when they get older.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Have you ever thought about that? Is this worry going to add an hour to your life? Then what are you worrying about?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
If you are going to have an attitude of seeking something, then seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness then all these things will be added to you but it will be added according to your needs and not according to your greed.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The attitude of not being a hoarder. Amy bought a bird feeder. We hung it in the back yard. She bought seed. One bird got on there. Two came and knocked one off. One was climbing in the whole cage, gobbling it all up. Here these birds fighting over each other to get food. Amy was saying, “Where do you think that food came from? Where you see food, do you not know there is more?” That is the attitude of greed. Where do you think it came from? Don’t you think I can buy you some more. What is that? A mindset of greed that says, “I am going to get mine” or “I am to get it while I can”. Where do you think it came from and do you think God is out of it or that he cannot create more.
So is that not something you can teach children? You do not have to be greedy. God can provide needs for us. You do not have to be looking around and grabbing everything.
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Why do I know that? Because God is attentive to me. He knows every hair on your head.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
That is a truth. He knows what your needs are. He is attentive to you.
2 Chronicles 16:9
9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
If that is the kind of Father I have, why do I need to worry about the future, as to what I will eat or what I will wear? Your heavenly Father has agreed to provide those thing for us. So how do I pass these things to my children? We do this with an attitude of truthfulness. I need to teach my children truth I and also need to teach them to be thankful in all things. This is all a part of being attentive to your children.
Look at Paul’s attitude.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Paul said, “I am thinking about you constantly.”
What should the attitude of a Father be to his children? He is thinking about them constantly. You do not have to tell a mother that. That comes more natural to a mother. But to a father, that is something we need to realize how God is thinking about us constantly, so that our minds are focused on him and the gift given to us through our children. So we are instructed to be attentive.
1 Corinthians 1:4-9
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
This attitude of attentiveness. I am thinking about you, I am concerned about you, and I am praying for you. This is the attitude of God toward us and should be our attitude to our children. This message is for you personally. Bob is not here. This is for you. So you listen to it. I want the Holy Spirit to convict me on these things. Conviction is God’s loving discipline, a renewing of our minds, a re-thinking and grabbing a hold of this truth so such fruit is born through us.
Look about after their every need, their physical, mental and spiritual needs. We need to teach children scriptural truth. If you are not teaching truth, then we are not teaching them anything. If I am going to be responsible, to be attentive to a child’s needs, my job is to meet those needs through Christ Jesus. I am here to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Emotional needs come from thinking. So renew their mind with the word of God. So to are men to water their wife with the word of truth. So when thinking is changed, emotions are changed also.
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word
Teach children truth from the word of God. If you do not know the word of God, then no matter what degree they obtain, then you have not prepared them for life. Yes, an education is important, but let us put things in perspective. To get a degree all you have to do is study a book someone else wrote. You do not know if it is true or not. But if you memorize it and learn it, you can write it back down on a test and receive a grade, and if grade is good enough, and you do this for many courses, you have earned a degree.
(to be continued)