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Summary: Joshua serves as an example of fatherhood at its highest and calls all Christian fathers to be "priests of their homes."

The Godlyfather

Josh 24:14-18

14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

16 Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!

17 It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.

18 And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God."

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.

A GOOD FATHER IN ONE OF THE MOST UNSUNG, UNPRAISED, UNNOTICED, AND UNAPPRECIATED HEROES IN ALL HUMANITY.

One time a little boy was asked to define Father’s Day and he said, “Its just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”

The greatest number of long distance phone calls are made on Mother’s Day; the largest number of collect calls are made on Father’s Day!

DAD’S FAVORITE SAYINGS:

 Go ask your mother!

 Just wait ‘till I get home!

 When I was your age…

 I used to walk to school in the snow!

 I’m busy right now.

I came across this prayer the other day, which I thought you would appreciate:

Mender of toys, leader of boys,

Changer of fuses, kisser of bruises,

Bless him, O Lord.

Mover of couches, soother of ouches,

Ponder of nails, teller of tales,

Reward him, O Lord.

Hanger of screens, counselor of teens,

Fixer of bikes, chastiser of tykes,

Help him, O Lord.

Raker of leaves, cleaner of eaves,

Dryer of dishes, fulfiller of wishes,

Bless him, O Lord.

WE COULD GO TO MANY PLACES IN THE BIBLE for an example of a godly father. One such is without a doubt, JOSHUA.

At the age of 110, he summoned the leaders of Israel to Shechem for a farewell address. He charged them to obey the Lord who had fought for them and given them an inheritance. He warned them of the danger of apostasy, saying, “Choose you this day whom you will serve….”

He chose the perfect setting, because Shechem was alive with sacred memories:

 Abraham’s altar

 Jacob’s well

 25 years earlier, a tremendous dedication service had taken place here

As Joshua spoke, he did so with authority of experience, for he had walked with Moses for 40 years and led Israel into the conquest of Canaan for another 25 years.

He reinforced his appeal with the POWER of a GOOD EXAMPLE. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

There are lot of things we could say about Joshua, but for the sake of time I want to mention just two—two qualities that he possessed that all fathers would do well to emulate.

I. Priest of the Home

A. He acknowledged his responsibility for the spiritual life of his family. He spoke for his family; he declared their intent.

(1) A priest cannot function unless he is in close contact with God.

(2) According to the Bible, the family was designed to be the basic educational unit (Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18; Eph.6:4).

It is the father’s duty, then, to make sure his children know how to be saved and how to walk in the ways of the Lord.

(3) The greatest thing a father can pass on to his children is the

love of God. We all know that love begets love. In chapter 3, verse 11, Joshua urges Israel to make love of God their special aim. I remember a little fellow, frightened by lightning and thunder, who called out one dark night, "Daddy, come. I’m scared." "Son," the father said, "God loves you and he’ll take care of you." "I know God loves me," the boy replied. "But right now I want somebody who has skin on." If I were starting my family again, that is what I would want to be above all else - God’s love with skin on

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Byron Martin

commented on Jun 16, 2011

Brother Howell was my pastor for a couple of years in New Jersey. My wife and I are so thankful for the guidance he gave in that season of our lives. We believe God sent him to New Jersey especially to bless our lives. May God bless all that you put your hands to, Bruce. -Byron E. Martin

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