Summary: This sermon is used to encourage fathers as their role changes throughout the years. The word FATHER is an acrostic for the message.
The Legacy of the F.A.T.H.E.R. (Father’s Day 2007)
1 Thes 2:10-12
Today is a special day in which we set aside this time to honor our Fathers
Most Father’s Day messages “beat up” on Dads while mother’s day messages are warm and fuzzy
Well, Dad’s, relax because this one is hopefully one that will make you feel good and not beat up
The approach that I am taking this morning is more from my personal experience in trying to understand that my role as a father is ever-changing as my children grow
Whenever they were younger…I was the Dad that was “stronger than metal” and could not be defeated by anyone or anything
Of course, now that they are older…the ugly truth has been revealed that I am really a weak vessel and at times struggle with defeat
I have a t-shirt that says “Fatherhood: the toughest job you’ll ever love” and it is true.
As my children grow, so must my role as a father…some of the characteristics that make up fatherhood have to change in order for me to be a good father to my girls and that can be very tough at times
However, I want to tell you that the most rewarding, most prestigious, most honoring position I have ever held or will ever hold is that of being a husband and a father
I have held my positions, taken on many roles and responsibilities, had many titles, but none have ever been more challenging or more rewarding than being a husband and a father
So today I want to talk about The Legacy of the FATHER. (acrostic)
When we all die, we will leave behind a legacy and the greatest legacy I could leave is being a loving father to my children.
Turn to 1 Thes 2:10-12 read together / pray
In my ever changing role as a Father, I thought about what each of the letters in FATHER might stand for…and the letter…
1. F – Farmer
FARMER! Bro Jimmy you must have lost your mind! How is a father a farmer?
Webster’s definition – one who works on a farm or cultivates land
Zechariah 13:5 He will say, ’I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.
Whenever you are raising your children…their minds, their spirit, their character, their faith, their emotions; are all fertile land just waiting to be cultivated with seed.
Dad’s hold in their hands the very seeds that get planted in their children’s lives both for positive and negative
There have been times I know I have planted wrong seeds; like criticism, doubt, fear, confusion, frustration
These are the weeds in my children’s life that I have planted and now have to be rooted out…how many of you know that some weeds are hard to get rid of?
Ephesians 6:4 says Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
But, I know I have also planted some good seed like love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, self-esteem, challenge, leadership, obedience, faithfulness, eternal life, servanthood, bible reading/studying; on and on
But, how many of you know that a farmer just doesn’t plant the crop and leave it…but it must be fertilized and cultivated…must be nurtured along
Yes Sir…Father’s truly are farmers as they have a direct impact in the things that are planted in their children’s lives…and they are farmers forever
Secondly, the next letter is…
2. A – Advisor
Webster’s definition – one who gives advice
As I have moved into the realm of being a father of adult children now…I find that I have to assume the role of being more of an advisor than a demander
Now that two of my girls are adults, now I am having to adapt to not being able to tell them what to do or not to do…but advising them on what they should or should not do
But it is up to them as to whether to accept or reject my advice
Prov 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Prov 24:6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.
My Dad told me, after my grandfather died, “I sure wish I could just pick-up the phone and ask his advice one more time”
Father’s are a great source to give advice in life’s situations…they have great experiences to share…to help their children have victory and success
The next role is the letter…
3. T – Teacher
Webster’s definition – one who teachers or instructs
Father’s are a wealth of “how to” do things…my Dad taught me how to fish, how to change the oil in my car, how to hunt, how to drive, how to reload ammunition, how to play ball, how to defend myself, and other things