Summary: A short message for Father’s Day in which we did some significant recognition of our fathers in attendance and remembrance of fathers passed on.
FATHER’S DAY 2009
“LESSONS ON FATHERHOOD FROM JOSEPH”
For many years, Lou Gehrig held the iron-man record of playing in 2,131 consecutive baseball games. Cal Ripken, Jr. broke that record on September 6, 1995. Ripken gave much of the credit for his success and accomplishments to the example of his father, Cal Ripken, Sr. His dad played minor league ball and then coached and managed for the Baltimore Orioles.
During the 1996 season, Ripken, Sr. was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame. After his acceptance speech, his son stepped to the microphone. Here’s how Ripken, Jr. describes the event in his book The Only Way I Know How:
“It was difficult. I wasn’t certain I could say what I wanted about my father and what he means to me. So
I told a little story about my two children, Rachel, six at the time, and Ryan, then three. They’d been
bickering for weeks, and I explained how one day I heard Rachel taunt Ryan, ‘You’re just trying to be like
Daddy.’ After a few moments of indecision, I asked Rachel, ‘What’s wrong with trying to be like Dad?’
When I finished telling the story, I looked at my father and added, ‘That’s what I’ve always tried to do’”
Today is Father’s Day. We honor our dads and pray that God will bless them beyond measure. But dads, are we the kind of men that our children should emulate? Are we truly the example for them to follow?
On Mother’s Day, we learned some lessons about motherhood from Mary, mother of Jesus. Today we’re going to look at some lessons on fatherhood from Joseph, Mary’s husband. No, he was not the biological father of Jesus but he certainly lived his life in a way that stands as an excellent model for us as men to follow.
Mt. 1:18-25 – 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be
married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in
mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through
the prophet: “23The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ —
which means, ‘God with us.’ 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him
the name Jesus.
JOSEPH WAS A MAN OF CONVICTION
Joseph was a man who had decided that he would do things the right way. The right way to Joseph was the way God had said things should be. He was first of all a man who wanted to please God and do what would honor God.
As soon as he heard that Mary was pregnant and knowing that he was not the father of the child, Joseph decided to annul his engagement to her. He expected to have a wife who was faithful to him. He expected his wife to be a righteous follower of God. He could not condone an act of unrighteousness and sin.
Yet, Joseph’s conviction was tempered by his faith. When the angel appeared in the dream and explained Mary’s situation – that she had become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit and was now carrying the Messiah – Joseph submitted to God’s plan to save the world.
Joseph’s conviction tempered by his faith led him into obedience. It says in vs. 24, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.”
Men, how many of us would have woken up from that dream and done what was asked of us? We would have considered it, prayed about it, tried to figure all the possible outcomes of our decision, lost sleep over it but I doubt very many of us would have acted in total obedience.
Why do you think that this man Joseph was chosen by God to be the earthly father-figure for His only begotten Son? Because Joseph was a man of conviction. He had chosen to follow the words of Joshua in Josh. 24:15 – “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”