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Summary: This message attempts to stir up an attitude of thanksgiving for fathers who took the task of fatherhood seriously, sacrificing themselves for their families.

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Favored By Faithful Fathers

Text: Prov.17: 6

Intro: Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Valley Community Church, in Orange County, California, gives five biblical qualities that he dubs “God’s Model For Manhood.” These qualities are as follows:

1. COMPASSION; Men who put People before Profit.

Philippians 2: 20-21; Luke 10: 30-36

2. CONSISTENCY; Men who put Character before Conformity.

Philippians 2: 22; Proverbs 10: 9; Proverbs 20: 7

3. COOPERATION; Men who put Cooperation before Competition.

Philippians 2: 25a; Judges 20: 11

4. COMMITMENT; Men who put The Cause Of Christ before

Comfort. Philippians 2: 25b-27; James 2: 17

5. COURAGE; Men who put Service before Security.

Philippians 2: 29-30; Romans 12: 1-2; Mark 8: 35; 2 Chronicles 16:

19 (Rick Warren).

These are not only good qualities for manhood, but fatherhood as well. All of these traits are needed to be a faithful father to one’s children.

Whether they realize it or not, fathers play a monumental role in setting the tone of their children’s lives. Consider these findings:

One startling bit of research conducted by the Christian Business Men’s Committee found the following: When the father is an active believer, there is about a seventy-five percent likelihood that the children will also become active believers. But if only the mother is a believer, this likelihood is dramatically reduced to fifteen percent.

Keith Meyering, Discipleship Journal, issue #49, p. 41.

Without a doubt, fathers play an important role in the emotional and spiritual development of their children, for better or for worse. It is for this reason that we should be thankful for the gift of a faithful father, whom God used to shape our lives.

Theme: Let’s thank God today for the:

I. FATHERS WHO LOVED US

A. As Demonstrated By Their Devotion.

1. A father’s love for his children is a natural response according to God’s Word.

Ps.103: 13 “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”

NOTE: The word “pitieth” means, “to love” or “to have compassion on” (James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible: published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #7355 of the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 108).

2. A father’s love and acceptance should not rest upon the child’s performance.

Luke 15: 20 “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

NOTE: [1] The “Prodigal Son” had become rebellious and self-willed, and finally left home, to live a wild and wasteful life. This man’s father no doubt disagreed with his son’s actions, but didn’t let that destroy his dedication and devotion to him.

[2] All of us do foolish things in the process of growing up. I’m so glad that God gave me a father who loved me, even when he knew I was making some obviously foolish decisions.

[3] One of the greatest ways that a father can demonstrate his love and devotion for his children is to spend time with them.

[3a] Time spent with your children will mean more to them than you can imagine.

Charles Francis Adams, the nineteenth century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.”

His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life!”

Silas Shotwell, in Homemade, September, 1987.

[3b] The lack of a father’s attention can result in irreparable harm to his children.

A young man was to be sentenced to the penitentiary. The judge had known him from childhood, for he was well acquainted with his father—a famous legal scholar and the author of an exhaustive study entitled, “The Law of Trusts.” “Do you remember your father?” asked the magistrate.

“I remember him well, your honor,” came the reply.

Then trying to probe the offender’s conscience, the judge said, “As you are about to be sentenced and as you think of your wonderful dad, what do you remember most clearly about him?” There was a pause. Then the judge received an answer he had not expected.

“I remember when I went to him for advice. He looked up at me from the book he was writing and said, ‘Run along, boy; I’m busy!’ When I went to him for companionship, he turned me away, saying ‘Run along, son; this book must be finished!’ Your honor, you remember him as a great lawyer. I remember him as a lost friend.”

The magistrate muttered to himself, “Alas! Finished the book, but lost the boy!”

Homemade, February, 1989.

B. As Demonstrated By Their Discipline.

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