Summary: This is the 6th sermon in 40 Days of Love as revised by me to make a Father’s Day Message. Some of the materials is in thanks to Rick Warren as we completed the 40 Days Of Love Series. HOw do we make Love Last.

Lasting Love

6/21/09 Proverbs 5:7-23 Luke 15:11-19

Today we celebrate Father’s Day. We want to pay special tribute and honor to all of you men who recognize that it is a gift, an honor, a high calling, and a worthy pursuit to be a responsible father. Thank you for all the responsible fathers here and in the world today. A responsible father knows that is far more important to cheer and encourage his son or daughter than to go wild cheering for LeBron or Kobe. There’s nothing wrong with cheering for the great atheletes, but your child has the potential to enrich your life in a way they never will.

A responsible father knows that any attempt by him to bring a child into this world, is a commitment on his part to put that child’s needs ahead of his own. A responsible father knows that the greatest gift he can give to his child, is to be loving and supportive of that child’s mother being by her side in the home. A responsible father knows, there are times when he needs to shut out the world to take time with his son or daughter. Yes we thank for men who have chosen to be responsible.

I want to say thank you to all of you fathers who recognized that you have fallen short in your calling, but you’re willing to change and to become the kind of father God is calling you to be and deep down in your heart, you know that you should be. I want to say thank you to all of you men who have stepped into a child’s life and been like a father to them. For some of you, it has been at a distance as they looked to you as a role model, and for others it has been a true commitment and sacrifice as you took them into your homes. A good man is an incredible gift in the life of a child.

Young men and old men alike realize, that you really are not prepared for sex, if you’re not already committed to your future child’s mother by committing yourself to her in marriage. If you go ahead and take the chance and do it your way, you really are going to hurt at least three lives and probably several more including your own. God’s pattern is still, meet to get to know, marry to get prepared, and sex to seal the commitment. When we get the order wrong, we lose. When we get the order right, we are in a place to offer our child the very best chance in life.

Every child desires and wants the love of his or her father. Even when we turn as adults, there is still the desire to have wanted to have been loved by our father. Some of us have a lot of anger and resentment toward our dads, that we need to let go of and forgive them. We can learn in Christ to love them for what they could have been, if only they themselves and accepted the love and mercy of God for their lives.

Last week Pastor Toby preached a great message on selfishness and how it ruins relationships. I think all of us saw our own selfishness, and how it needs to be forgiven by God. Let’s extend God’s grace to our fathers who were selfish at times and may have hurt us. For we are all on this journey of life together. None of us have lived perfect lives.

We are on our last week of 40 days of love. For me personally it has been one of the most humbling periods of my journey in Christ as I have seen how far I have fallen short in what true love is all about. Today we are going to look at lasting love. What are the keys to love that lasts.

Jesus gave us such a high standard when it comes to love, that it is impossible to do it without completely submitting our desires and our hopes into his hands. Jesus told us in John 15:12, “I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.” That sounds so simple and so easy, but I find I am far more interested in you loving me like Jesus loves you, than I am in me loving you, like Jesus loved me.

Since this is father’s day, let’s look at a father who can help us deal with lasting love. Let’s call the father Mr. Wade. Mr. Wade and his wife had two sons, both of whom they loved very much. Mr. Wade worked hard and had determined to set aside some money each year for his sons’ future. He had built a business and expected one day to turn his business over to his sons. The older son was named James. James was a hard worker and he was eager to learn from his father the ins and outs of the business. He tried to please his parents and make good choices for himself. Never gave his parents that much trouble. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a good kid who turned into a pretty good adult. James followed the game plan.

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