Summary: 6 of 6 messages. This was delivered on Father’s Day and focused on dad’s setting priorities.
Winning your Kids to Jesus
June 17, 2007
There was a little first grade girl who wondered why her father brought home a briefcase full of work every evening. Her mother explained, "Daddy has so much to do that he can’t finish it all at the office." "Well, then" she asked, "why don’t they put him in a slower group?"
Our Daily Bread, 9/8/89
Today is Father’s Day. Congratulations all you dads! I want to ask all you guys a simple question this morning.
Have you ever had something go “bad” in your refrigerator?
Now here is the really important question, when something does goes bad in the refrigerator how long does it take you to figure it out?
I hate to admit it but some guys can go for as many as six months and never notice the green mold all over the veggies that have wilted into a green mush in the bottom of the vegetable drawer.
So how can you tell when food is spoiled?
Well, one of the first hints might be – when you open the door - it smells like something has died inside. But someone has come up with a list of ways in which we can determine whether our food has gone bad without having to smell it:
Ways to tell if food is bad:
• Canned goods that have become the size or shape of a softball – should be disposed of… very carefully.
• If you can take Chip Dip out of its container and bounce it on the floor – it has gone bad.
• Any carrot that you can tie a clove hitch – is not fresh.
• Potatoes that are edible – generally do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.
• Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt – and smells like a goat.
• Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese – and smells like a dead goat.
• Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese – and doesn’t smell any more – or maybe your nose is just burned out.
• Cheddar cheese is spoiled when you think it is blue cheese – but you realize you’ve never purchase that kind.
There are number of ways that you can tell you have spoiled food in your refrigerator. But when it does become rotten… what do you do with it? You throw it away.
That’s easy for food – but when it is your kids the issue is different. Kids aren’t something you throw away when they go bad. In fact none of us are disposable – that’s why Jesus came to our world – to redeem us and our kids and to make a way back to God’s perfect world.
So here is the real issue dads, how do you make sure your kids don’t go bad? How do you help them discover the great life that Jesus wants us to have with him? How do you win your kids to Jesus?
Well let me tell you a story. It’s the story of two boys and their father. Let’s call it the story of… Hophni, Phinnias, and the bad dad. We can read the story in 1 Samuel 2:13-17. You ready? Here we go…
Hophni, Phinnias & the Bad Dad
Eli’s own sons were a bad lot. They didn’t know GOD and could not have cared less about the customs of priests among the people…
Ordinarily, when someone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant was supposed to come up and, while the meat was boiling, stab a three-pronged fork into the cooking pot. The priest then got whatever came up on the fork. But this is how Eli’s sons treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh to offer sacrifices to GOD. Before they had even burned the fat to GOD, the priest’s servant would interrupt whoever was sacrificing and say, “Hand over some of that meat for the priest to roast. He doesn’t like boiled meat; he likes his rare.” If the man objected, “First let the fat be burned—God’s portion!—then take all you want,” the servant would demand, “No, I want it now. If you won’t give it, I’ll take it.” It was a horrible sin these young servants were committing—and right in the presence of GOD!—desecrating the holy offerings to GOD.
The Early Days of Misplace Priorities
Eli was High Priest and Judge over Israel
This is just the beginning of what happened with Hopni and Phinnias. These two men were about as evil and corrupt as you get. They skimmed off the most valuable and best cuts of meat for themselves, they chased the good looking women who served at the gates of the temple and they treated the people, who they were supposed to be serving as priests, with contempt.