Summary: When we view children as a curse rather than a blessing we are under God’s curse. One reason that is true, I believe, is that children reveal whether we have a servant’s heart or a selfish heart. A selfish heart is more concerned about getting away from
A Father’s Heart
Purpose: To show what a godly father looks like.
Aim: I want the listener to focus on loving children by showing Christ to them.
INTRODUCTION: Revival is a subject that is constantly on my heart. I often say that I don’t really know what a real revival in the church will look like. But, the prophet Malachi does give us one tangible way to measure of what revival looks like.
The greatest revival of all time will happen when Christ comes back to earth. Malachi, the last book of the OT describes some of what that will look like. We learn that revival results in great joy from Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. (NAU)
Before the joy comes, though, there is a change of heart about children. Malachi 4:5-6 5 . . . before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (NAU)
➤When we view children as a curse rather than a blessing we are under God’s curse. One reason that is true, I believe, is that children reveal whether we have a servant’s heart or a selfish heart. A selfish heart is more concerned about getting away from children than giving time and effort to children.
Sadly, our culture today does not value children. They are often viewed as interferences to a career, or a financial drag that keeps us from getting the things in life we want. We are reaping the results today. Because parents have invested so little time and energy in teaching biblical values to their children most young people have very little regard for authority. Ask any policeman. I wish that more politicians understood that respect for authority comes from godliness; fear of human authority only comes from the threat of force.
Jesus Himself taught us what He thinks about children. Mark 10:13-16 13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. (NAU)
Notice that loving children is a manly thing. It’s the heart of FATHERS that are turned toward their children. The same Jesus who allowed children to sit in His lap also made whips to drive the money changers out of the Temple.
As we come to our text today, we need to keep in mind that:
“A new generation of Israel is gathered on the plains of Moab to hear Moses review the law in preparation for their entrance to the Promised Land. The previous generation had died in unbelief in the wilderness. Moses begins his instruction by telling the people of Israel what a home is all about.”
We are only one generation away from forgetting God.
So, let’s look at what a godly father like?
➤Vs.1-3 I. A Godly Father Focuses on God’s Word “that you might do them”
Vs.1-2a A. So that God is feared “you…might fear the LORD”
Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (NAU)
Some fathers are very good at getting their children to fear them, a godly father, on the other hand, wants his children to fear God, not him.
There are two strong emotions in this text: fear and love (vs.5). They MUST go together, they are not opposites. We LOVE God because of all that He has done for us and we FEAR God because we don’t want to do anything that will offend Him.
Children will not have the right kind of respect for authority until they have the right kind of respect (or fear) for God.
“Saint Augustine gave interesting advice when he said, “Love God, then do as you please.” If we love God sufficiently to want to do what is pleasing in His sight, then we need never worry about our conduct, because things which will not please God will not please us. If we lack love for God, all the rules in the world will not keep us true to Him. The law tells us what to do; love gives the power to do it.”