Summary: We must know our Father’s business in their lives ~ encourage our kids for God’s mission and call upon their lives. Even at time it may discourage you. This will keep your kids strong and encouraged.
Opening illustration: "A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One morning they were eating breakfast in a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn’t come over here." But sure enough, the man came over to their table."Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice. "Oklahoma," they answered."Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?" "I teach at a seminary," he replied."Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a really good story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down. The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great. Just what I need -- another preacher story! "The man started, "See that mountain over there?" He pointed out the restaurant window. "Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up because every place he went, he was always asked the same question: ’Hey, boy, who’s your daddy?’ Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question: ’Who’s your daddy?’ He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so bad. When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, ’Who’s your daddy?’ But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast, he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, ’Son, who’s your daddy?’ The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, ’Who’s your daddy?’ The new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to the scared little boy: ’Wait a minute! I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.’ With that, he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, ’Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance -- go and claim it. ’With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, ’Who’s your daddy?’ he’d just tell them, ’I’m a child of God. ’The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn’t that a great story?" The professor responded that it really was a great story. As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably would never have amounted to anything!" And he walked away. The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked, "Do you know that man who was just sitting at our table?" The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!"
Let us turn to Luke 2 and catch up with Jesus’ story about His Daddy!
Introduction: According to God’s law, it was mandatory for every Jewish male (after becoming an adult) to go to Jerusalem thrice a year for the great festivals. In spring the Passover followed by the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread ~ Passover being the most important one of all. According to Jewish laws and traditions any male after the age of 12 was considered and adult, thus Jesus had to attend these feasts but did not spend much time with his parents during the feasts. Most of them who traveled long distances, would do so in caravans for the mere fact to be protected from robbers who road jacked many lonely travelers during that time. It was customary for women and kids to travel in the front of the caravan and the men at the back. A 12-year boy could have traveled either way. Apparently Mary thought Jesus was with Joseph and Joseph thought he was with Mary. What really happened was that Jesus stayed back in Jerusalem and was absorbed in discussions with the Jewish religious leaders. The temple courts were famous throughout Judea as a place of learning. In Acts 22 we learn that Paul also studied at these places. At the time of the Passover the greatest of rabbis of the land would assemble to teach and discuss the great truths among themselves. The coming Messiah would no doubt have been a popular discussion topic, for everyone was expecting Him soon. Jesus would have been eager to listen and to ask probing questions. It was not his youth, but the depth of his wisdom, that astounded these teachers.