Father’s Day 2011

Today I would want to address the “Fathers” of the church. Again as I stand before you this morning I am not here to declare that I am perfect father I am far from it & I am not here to put anyone down. It is my desire for us to grow together we are on a journey and at times we get loss and it’s time to get the map out and be directed by God.

Psalm 128:1-6
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
[2] When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
[3] Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
[4] Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
[5] The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
[6] Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 128 is called the “Marriage Prayer” because it is sung at Jewish weddings.

You can be born a male, but it takes maturity to become a man. Somebody has well said, “You’re only young once, but immaturity can last forever.”

Real men are in shortage, real men who say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The Bible speaks of real men, men of value.

Where can we find real men?

Someone was visiting a little village, and they said to someone who had lived there all their life, “Have you had any famous men born here?” They said, “No, only babies.” So great men aren’t born; great men are made. It’s a process!

When you buy a refrigerator, you get a book of instructions that tells you how to operate the refrigerator. If you buy a HiFI, you get a book that tells you how to maintain your stereo. If you want to know what a real man is and how to become a real man, then you need to look to the one who made men, and that is the Word of God. I hate to tell some of you this: you’re not even going to learn how to be a real man from TV. The way to learn how to be a real man is to see what God has to say in his Word. You’re not going to find out how to be a father from Michael Jackson.

Psalm 128 has much to say about how this man is made.

Psalm 128
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house; thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.” (Psalm 128)

That’s one of the problems with our society: we have a confusion about what a man is; we have a confusion about what a woman is.

“Are men and women really so different? They are. They really are.

Research have shown that men are more different from the women
known. Their bodies are different; their minds are different. Men are different from the very composition of their blood to the way their brains develop, which means they think and experience life differently from women. It has almost become an article of faith in recent years to maintain that there are no significant differences between the sexes apart from the most obvious and cherished differences. But the fact is there are more important differences between the sexes than the male and female reproductive organs.” (Dr. Joyce Brothers, Psychologist and Psychiatrist)

“Men and women differ in every cell of their bodies. The difference in the chromosome combination is the basic cause of the development into maleness and femaleness, as the case may be.

Normally they outlive us by three or four years. Women’s blood contains more water, 20 percent fewer red cells. Since these supply oxygen to the body cells, she tires more easily and is more prone to faint.

When the working days in British factories under the wartime conditions were increased from ten to twelve hours, accidents of women increased 150 percent, but in men not at all. Why? Because there is a chemical chromosomal difference between men and women.” (Dr. Paul Popano)

God has a great deal to say in his Word about the importance of a man being a man.

I. I want us to look at this Psalm. There are three simple things here that tell us “God’s principle for a Father.” The first thing that you see is that A REAL MAN HAS A FAITHFUL WALK. ”

Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord” (Psalm 128:1a).

“Blessed”

Psalm 128 starts out with the word “blessed”. To be blessed is to be truly happy, regardless of circumstances.

“is every one that feareth the Lord” (Psalm 128:1)

First thing about blessed is to change your perception of happiness.

We all know people who are killing themselves to get ahead in life, to find happiness. Many never find it. Illustration: Reservists

It’s more than a change in the external it is a change of perception!

The Jewish writings say that “We see life, not as it is, but as we are.”

It’s a matter of perception, which means that some people will never be happy, no matter what. We see clearly when we see life from God’s perspective. When we look with spiritual eyes, we learn what’s really important in life.

True happiness is not something external but it is within, and for good. Happiness isn’t a matter of luck; there are no tricks involved. We simply become Christians and begin the life of faith. We learn to be content with what we have when we base our joy on what Jesus has done and is and is going to do for us.

“every one that feareth the Lord”

What does it mean to “the fear the Lord “

The correct interpretation of the fear of the Lord is more than just “afraid” of God, but rather, we show Him due respect. We reverence Him. We take God seriously. We recognize that He is holy. Therefore, He must be at the center of everything we are, think, and aspire to do. He must be our starting point for every endeavor. Paul counsels us in

Colossians 1:18 that “in all things Christ should have the preeminence.”

(primary-say)

If we reverence God, we will not make plans, then pray as an after-thought; we will begin with God.

“that walketh in His ways.”

The next step is to “walk in His ways.” We need to travel God’s way by thinking and behaving biblically. Happiness is the by-product of a life that is lived in the will of God. Obedience to God the natural outcome of regarding God with reverence and respect. The backbone of worship is obedience.

Our beliefs determine our behavior. To think secularly is to operate within a frame of reference restricted by the limits of our world. Is our thinking earth-bound or heavenly-minded? To think as a Christian is to regard all things as related to God’s purpose. We can expect blessing when we live with a constant awareness that we belong to God.

When we walk with God we can expect Him to bless our work, verse 2. We may not perceive the blessing; we may wonder how God is working at times, but we trust His plan to produce the intended results. I believe God calls all of us to our vocations in life. He opens and closes doors of opportunity, and helps us to succeed in our goals. Some of us have very stressful jobs; God can nonetheless help us to rise above the circumstances and face the workday with strength from

We need to keep in mind that in the Christian life prosperity and success aren’t measured by the standards of the world. In our striving for success, we may achieve our goal and live to regret it. In whatever we do, without God we will either fail miserably or succeed miserably. Happiness comes from doing things God’s way.

He’s talking about a man who is to be a worshipping father. He’s talking about a man who is happy because he knows how to walk with God he knows how to worship God.

REWARD: PERSONAL BLESSING

“For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:2).

When you obeyed God, He would reward our labor – “eat the fruit”.

The Golden rule:
Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. [8] For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. [9] And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

In the verse we find that God’s plan for the father is TO BE THE PROVIDER for his family. God has given a man a primary responsibility to be the emotional provider, the provider of security, the provider of the welfare and peace of the home.

If you think you can just give your kids things and you’ve met your obligation as a father, then you’re wrong. If you think providing for your family is putting your wife in a beautiful home and you’ve done all that God expects you to do, then you’re wrong. When the Bible says you’re to be the provider, it means far more than just the material things. It’s talking about the spiritual things of life. We need to be careful men, our church may be in trouble because we have men who have not been the provider of spiritual leadership and spiritual protection in their home.

RESULTS:
“happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:2).

You will be happy and it will be well with you. You would have security in Jesus Christ. You are satisfied, why you have a clear conscience because you have a right standing with God. Healthy self-image, SECURITY! You have a secure relationship.

And once we have that taken care of then we can support our wives to help them grow as a “fruitful vine”.

First it begins with your relationship with God then your wife.

Many men want their wife to submit to them but man can we at least prove to them we are the Spiritual man of God.

Could we love them could you not make mistakes that will hurt them, Could we be the spiritual one by loving them unconditionally.

WIFE:

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house;

Wives are called “fruitful vines”. Grapevines are Jewish symbols of prosperity, of abundant life. Not just a spreading vine which serves for an ornament, but as a fruitful vine which is for profit, and with the fruit.

The vine is a weak and tender plant, and needs to be supported and cherished, but it is a very valuable plant.

A vine has to have the support of that wall. Guess who that wall is? He’s talking about a man who can be as strong as the wall of a house and yet be supportive and tender so that wife can be a fruitful vine.

Men, the greatest thing you can do for your children is to love their mother as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.

You are that man who is to be sensitive and loving and be the support that wife needs.

A Rabbi said, “I never call my wife ‘my wife’; I call her ‘my home’, she who makes a home for my children.”

Her place is by the sides of the house, not under-foot to be trampled on, nor yet upon the house-top to domineer (if she be so, she is but as the grass upon the house-top, in the next psalm), but on the side of the house, being a rib out of the side of the man. She shall be a loving wife, as the vine, which cleaves to the house-side, an obedient wife, as the vine, which is pliable, and grows as it is directed. She shall be fruitful as the vine, not only in children, but in the fruits of wisdom, and righteousness, and good management, the branches of which run over the wall like a fruitful vine, not cumbering the ground, nor bringing forth sour grapes, or grapes of Sodom, but good fruit.

First it begins with your relationship with God then your wife then your children

Children
thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.

Your children are to be like olive plants. In the holy land, a person who owned olive plants and olive trees owned something of great value. Olive plants and olive trees can provide fruit and income for twenty to thirty generations. He’s talking about you as a dad perpetuating your life and your faith and your heritage through all the generations that are to come.

“The children around your table are as fresh and promising as young olive plants” (The Message).

Your greatest work is not building a business. My greatest work is not building a ministry. My greatest work is not preaching sermons. When I’m remembered by
my children, I don’t want to be remembered for the sermons I preached or the church that I built; I want to be remembered as a dad who loved God and a dad who passed on to my children the values and the heritage of the Word of God that causes
them to pass the message of Christ down through all the generations. God’s plan for evangelizing the world and carrying on the message of Jesus Christ is for that message to be passed down from generation to generation to generation. The Bible says, “You fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

I want you to listen to a statement Josh McDowell made. If you forget everything else, don’t forget this. He said, “Rules without relationship bring rebellion.”

You can’t grow children who will love God by setting up the rules for them and coming home once in awhile and enforcing those rules. You have to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If you just have rules, you will provoke your children; you will exasperate your children; you’ll frustrate your children. So he says the way to bring them up like the tender olive plant is to do it in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to have that relationship with your children that will help them to know that you love them and that you love God.

I read that the average father spends seven and one-half minutes a week with their teenager. The world has your child days a week. The school system has your
child five days a week, six hours a day. The average father spends seven and a half minutes a week with their teenage child. Then we wonder why they do not have a walk with God. The Bible says, “Bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.”

NATION WILL BE BLESSED
The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”

The blessing extends from the family unit to the nation. We look at our country today, and we understand what God says in his Word: “As the father goes, so goes the home. As the home goes, so goes the nation.”

If we want to turn our nation back to God, we’ve got to turn fathers back to God. That’s where it begins.

Joshua stood before all of Israel, that mighty general, that man who had led them in victory after victory, and he gave them a great challenge. “Choose you this day
whom you will serve, whether the God that your fathers served on the other side of the flood, or whether the gods of the people of the land where you dwell. But as
for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” When men across this nation rise up and truly say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” and begin to be
that fruitful father and that faithful father, that father that God has given us in his Word, that’s when our nation is going to turn to God.

“For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our FATHERS, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set
their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” (Psalm 78:5-7)

Why is the “Father’s role is important?

The father is the spiritual representative of God in the home.

When Jesus taught us to pray, He taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven.” When I pray to God and as I pray “Our Father” the first person I would naturally percept is my natural father.

So the husband is to represent the leadership of God in his home. The wife
is to represent the bride of Christ, the church. The Bible says husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. The reason that a man must live a godly life is that they are to model before their family the love, character, and care of God himself.

Yet what a tremendous contrast this is with the idea that some men have that religion and spirituality is up to the wife.

I want to tell you, Sir, because YOU’RE to be the spiritual leader of your home; YOU’RE to be the spiritual example in your home.

The spirituality of your home is primarily YOUR responsibility. You are to represent God in your home. God is called our Father, and He has given that earthly role to you.

The chief characteristic of God is faithfulness. God is always consistent; God is always faithful; God is always loving; He’s always kind; God is always present;
God is always there.

We as fathers are to be the pattern for our family that represents the faithfulness of almighty God.

I want to submit to you that one of the problems in the world is faithless fathers and
therefore failing fathers. One-third of America’s children are not living with their natural fathers.

“We see more children who show symptoms of stress, headaches, stomachaches, low moods, depression, learning problems. As they get older, many of them feel they have missed out on an important part of their life. They feel used and abused; they feel that no one has cared about them. Therefore, they’re not able to care about themselves or anybody else. It can be traced back to the fact that they either had no father at all, or they had an absentee father in their home.”
(Dr. David Elkin, Child Psychologist)

Fathers and husbands need to learn faithfulness.
Stand by your promises. Never, never let go no matter what. When marriage isn’t fun, stay with it. When parenting is over your head, stay with it. When work is crushing your spirit, don’t let it beat you. When the local church is overwhelmed with pettiness, stay faithful, stay by it. When your children let you down, pick them up. When your wife goes through a six-month mood swing, live with it and be faithful to her. Be a man. Be faithful.

Understand that the heart of staying power is sacrifice, giving one’s self up for the good of another. For the ultimate example of staying power, look to Jesus Christ. That’s what the Bible means when it says, ’Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.’”

Just think about Jesus. He could have given up when they cursed Him; He could have given up when they said, “You’re an illegitimate son of a Roman soldier”; He
could have given up when his own people, the Jews, turned against Him; He could have given up when they drove the nails in His hands and feet. But the Bible says He continued to love us; He continued to care for us; He continued to give.

The Bible says if you want to be a faithful father and have a faithful walk with
God, then keep on keeping on and be faithful to your promises no matter what.

Because children are looking to dads for consistency and for faithfulness. So
that’s the faithful walk of a faithful father.

The Bible gives this order: “The head of every man is Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3). So first of all, we as fathers must be sure that the head of our life is Christ, that we are submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a tremendous responsibility we have as fathers, because the Bible says that we are the head of our home. But while we’re the head of our home, the wife is the glory of our home. What a picture this is of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His wife and his children look at him and see a husband and a father who loves God with all of his heart, who puts God first in his life.

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