Summary: The essence of life is contained in accepting responsibilities, setting and keeping the right priorities and focusing on eternity.
1. Both of my sons are going through some big changes . . . .
2. My sons, this sermon is to you and for you. Of course what I have to say to you will hopefully express the same desire of every parent for their sons and daughters.
I. A FATHER’S RESPONSIBILITIES
A. YOUR TRAINING AND DISCIPLINE.
1. God placed your training and discipline squarely on my shoulders. (Eph. 6:4).
a. As your father, I do not want to look back one day with the tears and regrets of David (2 Sam. 18:33).
b. I must be the kind of father Abraham was. (Gen. 18:19).
B. REAPING LASTING RESULTS –
1. I hope that . . . in spite of all my mistakes and shortcomings as a father, I have instilled in you enough of a spiritual foundation and wisdom from above to get you started on the right course and to help keep you walking in it!!! (Prov. 22:6)
2. Please be the wise sons that I know you can be.
II. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY
A. TO RECEIVE TRAINING AND DISCIPLINE –
1. Responsibility basically means you do those things you are supposed to do. (Ephesians 6:1-3)
2. Hoping for more than lip service – (Eph. 6:5-6; Mt. 15:8-9)
3. Wise instruction does not always translate into wise action – (Jeremiah 32:33; Prov. 13:1)
4. Remembering wise council in the hour of temptation – When you need it MOST!! (Prov. 3:21-23)
B. ESTABLISHING PRIORITIES -
1. Jesus told us, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness " (Mt. 6:33).
2. The most important thing in your life should be God, His church, His people and doing what He says is right.
a. Most people you know, your friends, your teachers, many adults you know, have never learned this lesson and many who do know it do not apply it.
3. Practically applied this means that worshiping God, studying His Word and attending worship services and Bible studies of the church come before anything and everything else you do in your life.
a. This is why you have missed concerts, school activities, sports and even time to study your school work when these activities have conflicted with the assembly of the church, whether Sunday morning or night, Wednesday night or even during the week of a gospel meeting.
C. FULFILLING RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Always strive to be able to say, "(I) have done that which was (my) duty to do" (Lk. 17:10).
a. There are many who will disappoint the Lord and who will disappoint you because they did not do their duty.
b. Do what you can and grow! (Mat 25:14-30).
D. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY
1. The excuse, "They made me do it" will not be good enough. (Ex. 23:2). (You choose your friends)
2. Also do not deceive yourself into believing that bad friends do not rub off on you. (1 Cor. 15:33).
3. Good friends are a great blessing and will last a lifetime. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24)
E. BE ALL YOU CAN BE
1. Do not settle for the minimum that will get you by, but do your best. (Rom. 12:11).
a. Look back on each day and survey it to make sure you are happy with the trade you made for that day — one day of life for what you got out of it. Once a day is gone - That day can’t be relived – (Eph 5:15,16)
F. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS –
1. When you do wrong – Admit it – Turn from it – And make it as right as you can!! (Humility is strength . . . eating humble pie takes a truly strong man!)
III. THINGS I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER
A. WHERE YOU CAME FROM –ECCLESIASTES 12:1
1. Your actions will reflect upon your parents – We have made mistakes – but we have always been there for you and have always loved you! Both of you have made us very proud so far – We hope that you continue to do so!!
3. Others will always associate your actions whether, good or bad, with those whom you claim close relations!
B. WHO YOU ARE
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches" (Prov. 22:1).
1. Your reputation is one of the most important possession you have.
a. You wear two names that you should cherish and protect: "McClain" and "Christian."
b. Emphasis should be upon the latter!!! (Acts 11:26; 2 Cor 5:15)
2. The things you do, the choices you make, the friends you find, and the places you go — will all affect your reputation.