Summary: A short sermon for Father's Day, giving us a tactical outline on effectively raising our kids for God,
Thessalonians 2:11 is our text this morning (read)
Paul wrote this letter to his church that he had started a short time after he left. Paul knew the dangers this young church was facing. They had been exposed to errant teaching, but became followers of the churches of God through the truth Paul had preached to them. (1Thessalonians 2:14). They would need to mature in their faith, to avoid the pitfalls of falling away from the true gospel Paul knew their maturity would ultimately be brought on, by their faith and hope in the return of Christ. We can get a glimpse of Paul's character in verse 10. He had acted "holy" and "justly" and "unblameable" He was endeavoring to lead this church, by his example. And in so doing, was effectively being a "father figure." As a Father, our primary goal is to be "christ-like". and in so doing, gives us some effective tips. Lets see how he was doing this.
1) Exhorted - 1 Thessalonians 2:11 gives the outline. FIrst of all, He exhorted them. I looked up the definition of "Exhort". It is to "strongly encourage, or urge someone to do something." Interesting enough, a synonym for exhort would be "to encourage". We read in Hebrews 2:12-13 that the peril listed is "unbelief" while the cure would be to "....exhort one another daily..." As a Father, we exhort, or urge, our childern in the things of God. We teach them the word, We act out the word in our lives. In other words, how we treat our wives, how we treat others, and altogether, how to "..live righteously and soberly in this present world..." TItus 2:12
2) Comforted. Again, a defintion is to "assure; to make better" - the comfort that is here, is not the, fluffing of the pillow comfort. It is the comfort of knowing that regardless of what the world is doing, if we follow Christ, heaven will be ours. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 to "comfort one another with these words." What words ? Read vs 16. The promise of His return. Our kids need to be comforted, to be assured, that even though they may act differently than the world, Christ is watching. No matter what people say, to please Jesus is paramount. Christ is our comfort.
3) Charged- Another definition. "to lay on as duty, a responsiblity." Here is one thing that is slipping through the cracks. We need men to step up and lead. We are responsible for our families. It seems our society is teaching us to "do whatever we please" and responsibility is not in the conversation. The responsibilty of being part of the body of Christ. Responsibilty in our church. Responsibilty to authority, Responsibility as God has defined to each role. There is a mass of preaching here. Dads, we need to know Gods word, to rightly direct our boys into becoming men of God, and rightly directing our daughters to be Women of God, on a biblical foundation.
Illustration - A minister had a son who was in and out the hopsital with being devastatingly sick. FInally, test results pinpointed the problem and the boy was found to have a terminal disease that had progressed to the point where it was likely he would only have a few days to live. The doctor told his father and left it up to him to give his son the news. As tragic as it was, as devasted as he felt, the minister knew his son had accepted Jesus as his saviour, and was comforted in the hope that his son would soon be in heaven. He struggled at how to break the news. FInally, as he went into where his son was laying, he asked him, "Son, are you afraid of meeting Jesus ?" His son looked at him, and said "If he is anything like you dad, Im not at all afraid."
Our primary responsibility in leading our families, is to be close to God. In prayer, In Faith, In word, In Deed.