Saturday, June 16, 2012

FATHER'S DAY FOCUS PART 3 - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

         HOW TO BE A GODLY FATHER
Over the past couple of days, we looked at some really prominent men in the Bible, whose children turned out less than desirable and completely ungodly. There were others we could have examined from Gideon to Samuel etc...but the lesson is obvious for us, in these last days.  The lesson, thus is, heed the Words of the Lord and the Lessons of the Lord or learn the Hard Way!

While there is no "HOW TO..." manual for fathers in the Bible, there are God's Statutes, Commands and Decrees which are ALL supposed to OBEY. 
We do that, it will go well with us. 
We do that, and we can impart and pass on the blessings of that knowledge and teaching to the next generation. 
We do that, and even though many of us (including me) did not have fathers growing up (mine died when I was 11), we can be the best we know how, with God's Help to our own children.  
So briefly, here is what I know God says to us fathers in His Word:

Proverbs 22:6 (written by Solomon!!) says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”.  Now Solomon did return to the Lord in Ecclesiastes with a life of regret, but he had already left the House of David in tatters by worshipping sin, sex and Satan.The actual translation of this Proverb, in part, is not “in the way he should go”…but “the way he is bent”….or nurtures him, according to Godly principles, in the unique way God created the child. This implies spending time with our children…because this is what the word “nurture” implies!

Our job as men and fathers is to mirror our heavenly Father God – Abba! Our Father Who is in Heaven expects no less. We are going to mess up badly. But the good news is – God does not mess up! He is perfect and there for us if we just call on Him.

GOD’S TRAINING MANUAL FOR DADS:
So just briefly, here are some instructions from the Word of God, for every man who is a father or wants to be one. They are found in Psalm 128 (NLT)
 1 How joyful are those who fear the LORD—
      all who follow his ways!
 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
      How joyful and prosperous you will be!
 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
      flourishing within your home.
   Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
      as they sit around your table.
 4 That is the LORD’s blessing
      for those who fear him.
 5 May the LORD continually bless you from Zion.
      May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
 6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
      May Israel have peace!

TWO MAJOR PRINCIPLES:
1. FEAR THE LORD (verse 1a) – A real man of God knows the awesome power and might of God the Father and fears Him. We know this because we are grounded in the Bible and pray and meditate day and night. But this kind of fear is not just about His Justice, but a Reverence and Respect for Abba which we give no one else.

2. FOLLOW HIS WAYS (verse 1b) - A real man of God follows the Word closely. It comes from knowing the Heart of Father God and seeking Him daily for direction. He already has the laws and statutes in the Bible, but we face a multitude of issues today which the Bible writers never faced. The only way to find good counsel is to seek it first from God, through Christ and then seeking Godly counsel from mature and experienced older man in the church.

There are only two big Principles here!! Just two! It reminds me of when the Pharisees asked Jesus which of the 613 old Testament laws was the greatest and He said in Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Jesus’ words here are an example of how we follow His Ways!
The two major principles found in Psalm 128 are immediately followed by all the benefits and joy of this type of intentional and obedient walk with Jesus!!! These great Words of Godly Counsel from Psalm 128 should bring joy to the heart of anyone. 

Our children they do not come with a Training Manual. 

However…..
If we remember that our children have been observing us and taking note since they are able to, we would walk the way we should according to Scripture.
If we recall all the mistakes OUR parents made and try to avoid them while keeping the good, we will walk in His Ways.
If we ramp up our mentoring and discipleship of our children and lean not on our own understanding, we will follow His Ways.
If we respect and adore Him by our conduct, the contents of our refrigerator and video collection, our conversation and such, we will be joyful and live to see all the Blessings He has in store for us, since He created us.

And finally, if we remember to teach our children to PRAY PRAY PRAY and thus, make prayer  A LIFESTYLE of TALKING WITH OUR CREATOR GOD, we can rest in the knowledge we did the best we could, even in this - the most corrupt culture ever unleashed against God and the family. Let us then resolve to be like Joshua in Chapter 24:15dBut as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD...THIS IS OUR CHARGE TO KEEP.

All Scriptures are from the New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. All rights reserved.
Image Courtesy Google Images
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