Summary: Let’s talk about the positive aspects of fatherhood. And to do that, I call your attention to the familiar story of the prodigal son, & especially to the father of the prodigal son. (*PowerPoint available - #254)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #254.)
(This sermon is largely my adaptation of an excellent sermon by Dennis Slaughter, now Minister Emeritus of Valley View Christian Church, Dallas, TX.)
TEXT: Luke 15:11-31
Well, today is Father’s Day, as you have been reminded several times already this morning. So once again, “Happy Father’s Day” to all you dads who are here.
ILL. Someone has noticed that the word “father” appears in the dictionary just before the word “fatigued” & just after the word “fathead.” So to all you fatigued, fathead fathers, Happy Father’s Day! We’re really glad that you’re here.
ILL. The Telephone Co. tells us that Father’s Day is not the most popular day for long distance calls. Mother’s Day wins that prize hands down. Father’s Day doesn’t even come second. Christmas does. Father’s Day come third, & a distant third at that. But Father’s Day is their greatest moneymaker because on this day more collect calls are made than on any other day of the year. So Happy Father’s Day!
In church, I guess, it’s almost the same way. Mother’s Day is a big day. Lots of people come. On Father’s Day the crowds are much smaller. On Mother’s Day preachers usually preach wonderful sermons about mothers & their sacrifices & all they have done for their kids. And everybody leaves with a warm fuzzy feeling.
ILL. But on Father’s Day some preachers tend to unload on dads about not fulfilling their responsibilities & so on. In fact, one dad went to church on Father’s Day & when he left the service he said, “Wow, if this is Father’s Day, then the first day of duck season ought to be called ‘Duck’s Day.’” Think about it.
Well, that’s not my intention this morning. I don’t want to make this a bad day for dads. So let’s talk about the positive aspects of fatherhood. And to do that, I call your attention to the familiar story of the prodigal son, & especially to the father of the prodigal son.
He’s a good father. In fact, he’s a perfect father, because as Jesus tells the story, he is picturing our Father who is in heaven.
PROP. So let’s notice 5 characteristics of this father as Jesus tells us about Him. Turn with me now in your Bibles to Luke 15:11-31.
I. HE PROVIDED FOR THE BASIC NEEDS OF HIS FAMILY
First of all, “He provided for the basic needs of his family.” The father in the story of the prodigal son was fairly well to do. He had an estate. He had an inheritance for his son that was large enough so that his son could enjoy an extravagant lifestyle for a period of time. He had enough money so that he could put a ring on his son’s finger & kill the fatted calf & put a robe on his shoulder & hire musicians to have a big party of celebration when he came home. So he must have been a man of means.
We have always recognized, especially on Father’s Day, that part of the job of every father is to provide for his family – to make sure there is food & shelter & clothing.