Summary: Father's Day sermon.
"The Measure of a Man"
Psalms 128:1 A Song of degrees. Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.
Introduction: How many of you have lived through a time of shortage? I'm old enough to remember some old-timer's talk about the shortages during WWII when so many things were rationed because of the war effort. Millions of Americans sacrificed to make sure that our armed forces had the materials needed to wage war on two fronts. How many of you are old enough to recall the oil embargo of 1973-74. The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12.
The oil crisis, or "shock", caused many global short-term and long-term economic and political effects. I recall the long lines in some parts of the country as motorists lined up to get gas.
In hindsight $12 per barrel seems pretty cheap compared to over a hundred today. When Sis Judy and I got married we were paying under 25 cents a gallon for gas but now regularly pay between $3.25-3.75 depending on where you live.
We don't have many shortages today in terms of material things. America is the richest nation on earth and I'd still prefer to live here than anywhere else. But America is facing a shortage that is more important than almost anything that I know of. Our culture is facing a shortage of men, not just any kind of man but real men, men who will serve God. Not every male is a man obviously for there are many who are born males, but it takes maturity to be a real man. Someone said, "You're a child only once but you can be childish all your life."
What is real manliness, what is the measure of a man? We won't find the answer in popular culture, or from those in the entertainment industry. Justin Bieber, Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Bruce
Springsteen, and not even my child hood hero John Wayne is the place to look for what is the true measure of a man.
Also, if you purchase an appliance or a new automobile you will receive an owner's manual with instructions on how to set it up, operate and maintain it. The only place to really find out what it means to be a man is in the Word of God. In the Bible we find out that in the beginning God made them male and female. There is a basic fundamental difference between men and women and I'm not referring to anatomy either. The world and the devil are doing all that they can to blur the distinctions in the name of equality but God made them different!
In this Psalm we find the real, true measure of a man and I'd like to share that with you this morning and Father's Day. First:
I. A Man Is Measured by His Walk v. 1
a. It is practical
The word "walk" is a metaphor for behavior that is found throughout Scripture. Enoch and Noah walked with God which says something about the nature of the way that they lived.
b. It is principled
We need men who will allow their lives to governed by the Word of God. Men who will strive to live in purity. Men who will behave with integrity and honor.
Headline from the Dothan Eagle dated June 4, 2014 - Two men, one of whom was a longtime deacon of a local Baptist church, were arrested over the weekend and charged with soliciting children for sex, according to the Henry County Investigative Unit. __________, a longtime deacon at Rehobeth Baptist Church, also was charged with transmitting obscene material to a child. According to the investigative unit, ___________believed he was meeting a 14-year-old child.
Statistically speaking, you are probably seated in the pew with someone, be they male of female, who is viewing pornography on line. In the 7 years that I have been pastor of this church I have had two men tell me that they had a problem with pornography. It is epidemic and crosses gender, economic, educational and social lines.