Summary: Many parents have kidded themselves into thinking they were teaching their children right when they told them what to do, but never did it themselves. The child picked up all the vibes that were coming through, and did just like the parents did.
Opening illustration: THE IDEA FOR CREATING A DAY for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Roses are the Father’s Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.
Introduction & Background: In this chapter the apostle, Paul (a) directs them how to account of him and his fellow-ministers, and therein, tacitly at least, reproves them for their unworthy carriage towards him (1Co_4:1-6). (b) He cautions them against pride and self-elation, and hints at the many temptations they had to conceive too highly of themselves, and despise him and other apostles, because of the great diversity in their circumstances and condition (1Co_4:7-13). (c) He challenges their regard to him as their father in Christ (1Co_4:14-16). (d) He tells them of his having sent Timothy to them, and of his own purpose to come to them shortly, however some among them had pleased themselves, and grown vain, upon the quite contrary expectation (1Co_4:17 to the end).
Kind of Dads God is looking out for:
1. Encouragers (v 14)
They do not contrast your pride and glorying with our humiliation to shame you, but as a fatherly admonition to beloved children. Fathers do not say these things in a harsh manner, with a severe spirit of rebuke; but in order to admonish you, to suggest counsel, to instill wisdom into the mind. I say these things not to make, you blush, but with the hope that they may be the means of your reformation, and of a more holy life. No man, no minister, ought to reprove another merely to overwhelm him with shame, but the object should always be to make a brother better; and the admonition should be so administered as to have this end, not sourly or morosely, but in a kind, tender, and affectionate manner. They being his children in a spiritual sense, for whom he had the strongest love and affection, as their spiritual Father; and as it was his place, and became him standing in such a relation to them, he warned, admonished, and put them in mind of their obligations and duty to him.
Illustration: For many years a country church in Iowa set aside one Sunday annually for youth to conduct the entire service. The young people did it all; call to worship, invocation, prayer, special music, announcements, choir, and one young person would deliver the sermon. One year a 16 year old boy was told that it was “his year.” He practiced for days until he could give the sermon with the help of just a few notes written on one side of a three by five index card. Sunday morning arrived. The other youths did their parts exceptionally well. When it was time, the young man walked to the pulpit- and his mind went blank. He looked at the index card, spoke for two minutes, and sat down. As the congregation sang the closing hymn, the young man thought, “I am never going to speak in public again, absolutely, positively not.” As the service ended the young man dashed for the exit, only to be stopped by a man named Dale Bockes. Mr. Bockes said, “Son that was a fine job.” And the lad said, “Fine job? Why I only went about two minutes.” “Yes,” said Mr. Bockes, “but you said it so well. It was so clear. You are a good speaker. I look forward to hearing you again.” And the next year, that young man spoke again. Now, John Kline, that young man, is a motivational speaker who speaks worldwide. Mr. Bockes was a great encourager.
2. Godly (v 15)
Here is where so many people get it all back to front. People say, “You talk about God being a ‘father’ - you should have met my dad. He was a user. He was a tyrant. He was a molester. Don’t talk to me about fathers - if God is a father then I don’t want to know Him!”
But listen, God is not just “LIKE a father”; He IS Father. THE Father. The Bible shows God to be the model of fatherhood upon which all other fathers are judged. If you want to know what a TRUE father is, don’t look at your earthly father, or my earthly father, or any other earthly father (however good they may appear to be). Open the pages of God’s Word and see the heart of the Father revealed in the nature of God. HE is the model. The One who is: Faithful, True, Just, Merciful, Compassionate, Slow to Anger, Loving, Affectionate, Providing, Patient, Kind, etc.