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The fruit of a godly father!

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Intro:

Thank you for joining with us today for Father’s Day.
Father’s are a different breed, and much of who we are today comes from our relationship with them.
Depending on your life you most likely have a very strong opinion on what the word father means.
We tend to go through many phases in our relationships with them.
John says that parenting is 20 years of doing the best you can as a parent and then spending the next 20 apologizing for all of your mistakes.
While I am nowhere near the age to know all of this by experience I can say that I truly understand this idea.
There is no job in the world as difficult as leading a home and raising children.
Father’s tend to be an easy target of many jokes.
And many of them make all the sense in the world.
For example… Jerry Seinfeld says, “You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life, because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out."
Jerry Seinfeld says, “You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life, because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out."
And while many jokes may be made truthfully there are very few things in life that have more of an impact on our lives than these men.
I loved this quote by Pam Brown: “Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers and singers of song.”
And to round things off this quote has a lot to do with what we will be seeing today.
Clarence Budington Kelland said: My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.
We are going to talk about the way to live a life that will impact everything about our children and all the generations that will follow.
Today we are going to travel through two different Psalms that are on purpose connected together here by one central idea.
The word “happy” in and the word “blessed” in both come from the same Hebrew word.
Psalm 127:5 KJV 1900
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: They shall not be ashamed, But they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 128:1 KJV 1900
Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; That walketh in his ways.
The theme from the last part of is the power of children raised well and then speaks of a blessed man in the context of his wife and children.
I know very few things that a good father desires more than to see his wife and children blessed.
The passages we will see this morning are all about being blessed and how that is achieved.
So lets start in today and look at what we see.

I. His Fortune -

Psalm 127:3–5 KJV 1900
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: And the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; So are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: They shall not be ashamed, But they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Here in these verses we see the reward that is given by God.
Children are a heritage.
Something that is handed down to us.
It is given to us from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is HIS reward.
As anyone in here that has ever had problems trying to have children we all know that pregnancy isn’t something that happens through our strength at all.
My family knows all about this struggle.
We begged God for children for 8 years and no matter what happened or how many tears were shed we couldn’t have children.
I will never forget the beauty of the day when God gave us our children.
Jacob and Hannah arrived in our lives on July 26th, 2004.
Life changed overnight and literally what we had begged God for for years was finally sleeping under our roof.
It would take hours to explain to you the miracles that God did to allow us to adopt them.
This happened not because of my brilliance but because of his goodness to me.
This verses emphasizes that truth.
A child is a gift, a heritage, a reward from OUR loving Father.
To extend our name and our blood into the next generation is a part of God’s blessing and promise to us in
Genesis 1:28 KJV 1900
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Then after that first period in verse there there is a slight shift in the focus of the passage.
Children are a gift and not only are they a gift but they are like arrows.
Not just arrows but arrows in the hand of a mighty man.
The word mighty man here speaks of a warrior.
A man of war is the one that has these arrows.
That is what children are like, they are like arrows.
They are the tools that a warrior uses in battle.
They serve to protect the family.
They give the family a sense of security.
I still remember as a young man about the age of 13 watching Old Yeller
I will never forget the scene when Pa leaves home and looks over to his son that was about my age at that time and says hey, it is your job to take care of your family.
I still remember thinking, HEY, I could do that!
No, I would do that!
That is the sense of these arrows.
There is a security knowing that these arrows are used for protection.
Our children are a sacred trust, a solemn responsibility.
We are to wisely and kindly raise our children.
Parents we must understand and take much care in how we deal with our children.
For a warrior an arrow isn’t a hobby or something they play around with.
The way that they take care for and invest in their tool (arrows) is pretty amazing.
Aaron Farley, one of the elders here at the church is pretty amazing with a bow.
I still remember reading once about how he made his own arrows.
Crazy I know, I thought you bought arrows at Wal-mart. :)
I spoke with him and he gave me some pointers.
The preparation of their weapons matter to them.
I have a video here for you to watch to understand how much the making and the forming of arrows really matters.
You can actually go to this guys site and study hours of material on how to make the perfect arrow.
In this video he is showing us how to attach the fletching (feathers) to the arrow.
He is doing this with a wild turkey that he hunted last season.
Take a look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhrtxz3IXJk
They prepare them with much thought and care.
Not like idiots playing with sharp tools but as the warrior straightens and polishes his arrow and gives it a solid point and wings it properly.
We must teach and educate our children in the fear of the Lord.
Our children matter.
Not in a spoiled brat kind of way but in the fact that we will raise our children up to serve our Savior.
Our children matter too much to spoil them, they matter too much to let them grow up and do whatever they want.
We form them, we love them and we care for them.
We realize that the decisions we make in how we raise our children matter.
Our children matter.
They tell the story of the father of John Wesley as he recieved his son unscathed from the window of his home while it was burning and he said.
Come, neighbors let us kneel and give thanks to God.
He has given me all my 8 children, let the house go (as it was burning), I am rich enough.
Because of how much our children matter a man that has many children is happy (blessed).
Happy (blessed) is the man that has a quiver full (arrows) of them.
The man will speak with a quiver full behind him and that makes him not be ashamed as he speaks with his enemies.
When he speaks he speaks for his household and that is a powerful voice.
Back when I was a kid (I know that is a sign I am getting old) we would watch tv shows about a man and his son or sons as they came together to deal with life.
Shows like Rifleman, my dad and I would watch and there would be this unspoken of pride that said hey WE are like that too.
Shows like Bonanza.
In this chapter we see that this is the idea of the man that has a quiver full of children.
This doesn’t happen naturally with our children, they must be taught, we still live in a day and age where our children need to know and understand that we are a team and we face life together.
Not afraid of life but willing and ready to deal with what comes our way.
In these verses we see that we can either rely on our vanity or upon God’s blessing.
We can think we control things or we can surrender our false sense of control to the living God.
God will build our house, he will guard our city, he will provide for our needs and he will reward us with fruit to the next generation.

II. His Favor -

Psalm 128:1 KJV 1900
Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; That walketh in his ways.
Now we come into the next chapter.
This chapter is full of this word blessed, bless and blessing.
In here God shows us what it takes to be blessed.
Is that not what we want as Father’s?
Do we not desire for our family to be blessed?
Do we not desire better things for our wife and children?
Glad I have you there now prepare to see what God says about how to be blessed.
The first thing he speaks of kind of goes against our natural tendency though.
He starts by speaking of fearing God.
The idea of fearing God is something that isn’t popular today and truly never has been.
If there is anything we need to learn, we need to learn to fear God.
This is a healthy standpoint from which to see our God.
It is healthy to fear the judge that can put us in prison.
It is wise to fear the soldier that can invade our land.
teaches us that every one that feareth the Lord is blessed.
The favor of this man can be seen in two things.

A. He fears the Lord.

Our fear of God is a secret to a happy and fulfilling life as we will see.
The beautiful thing that is stated here is that EVERY ONE that fears the Lord is blessed.
The word blessed here could be easily interchanged again with the word happy.
We have to be careful with this word fear, it isn’t speaking of shaking in our boots because the “big guy in the sky” is going to zap us for not obeying.
This is the God that I grew up with, the problem is that this is a god that is made up in our own imagination.
This fear he is speaking of is a sense of awe and reverence before his majesty.
It is a recognition that he alone is the King of the world.
He alone is reigning in heaven.
He alone holds all our issues in his hands.
We are to have wonder before His glory and fear before his holiness and justice.
His mighty works, the signs and wonders he performs evoke a sense of awe.
When we understand his power we stand in awe.
Isaiah understood this as he sees him in the temple.
shows us his reaction to God’s glory.
Isaiah 6:5 KJV 1900
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Isaiah says Woe is me!!
This is the reaction of all those who see God in his glory.
John the beloved disciple finds himself in the same position as he sees the one he called his friend when he saw him in his glory.
In our church today we need to recapture what it really means to sense the fear, the awe and the wonder of our amazing God.
The day we live in does everything it can to overload our senses.
We can go to Emmerson and get pulled along by a rope as we wave board.
We can go to Six Flags and go crazy with roller coasters galore.
We go to escape rooms that make us feel urgency.
We even have virtual reality glasses where we put them on and can escape into a virtual world that doesn’t even exist.
We stand in awe as people watch and are enveloped by this reality.
Yet we as Christians pretend and live as if the God of heaven is anything but awe inspiring, is anything but breath taking is anything but someone to fear.
We treat the temporary as eternal and we treat the eternal as temporary.
Amazing as it may seem, those that fear God are happy.
They are happy, they are blessed because they have bowed before the Creator that is even more than they are.
He is their Redeemer.
They have acknowledged him to be God and now they belong to him and worship him.
Because of this THEY are blessed in their relationship.
He has surrendered to the point that…

B. He walks in his ways.

They have surrendered to the point that now they do not walk in their own ways any more.
Now they are known because they walk in his ways.
As we learn to fear the Lord our walk changes, our priorities change, our perspective changes, everything changes.
This is how we know that they stand in awe of him and understand what the fear of him really is.
He is God, I am not so I will walk in HIS ways.
I will obey him.
It is an amazing blessing to be humbled before God and to be lifted up to serve him in this world.
And while our red white and blue blood rebels against this idea we hear all the time what people that serve the president of our country say things like.
I serve at the pleasure of the president.
I do the same, but I serve at the pleasure of the king of kings.
Not as a preacher but as his child.
Blessed is the man that fears him and because of that he walks in his ways.

III. His Family -

Psalm 128:2–4 KJV 1900
For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine By the sides of thine house: Thy children like olive plants Round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.
What does it mean to be blessed by God?
He says that the fruit of our work will be enjoyed.
We will be able to eat from what we work at.
Our finances are blessed.
We will plough we will plant and we will be blessed.
This is not stating that God will give us what we want but we will have what we need.
He provides exactly as he says he will in
Philippians 4:19 KJV 1900
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
You will be happy or blessed and things will go well with you.
He blesses our work, not our laziness.
His provision through our labor is kind of like this.
Reminds me of this Norman Rockwell painting of 3 generations gathered around for the Thanksgiving meal.
Slide Norman Rockwell
The family is enjoying the labor of their hands.
Then he says the wife will be fruitful.
The blessed man will have children all around your table.
The wife is blessed, the children are blessed.
Then in verse 4 he closes it up.
The man that fears the Lord will be blessed like that.

IV. His Future -

He has announced the blessing now and described it.
Speaking to the people of Israel he speaks of a blessing out of Zion and you will see the good of Jerusalem.
A fruitful life comes from him.
The Lord is the one that will bless.
Then in verse 6, you will see your children’s children.
As we see the Lord bless this way we develop an even deeper sense of the fear of God.
We stand in awe of him as we are blessed by him.
A blessing for us as fathers for our children because they are connected to and learning from a man that fears the Lord and then a blessing around our grandchildren as well.

Conclusion:

Fathers can I encourage you today to live a life that fears the Lord and that walks in his ways?
You do realize that the blessing of your life, your wife’s life and the life of your children and grandchildren depend on that.
It is time to stand up and live a life that will bring blessing to those around you.
We are tempted to believe that a few more hours of work, a little bit nicer of a car, a few more square feet in our house and little nicer of a computer will be a blessing.
The truth is that the only thing that will truly bless us is to live a life that reflects the fear of God and our walking in a way that brings honor to him.
Will you decide to be that kind of a father or not?
This can be the day that you can declare blessing over your family as you dedicate your life to him.
I don’t know if you have ever had the privilege of sitting down with a financial planner.
They will sit down with you and explain to you how much money you need to invest to be able to make sure your wife and children are taken care of.
They will speak with you about ROI (return on investment) and how to invest.
I am telling you today about a return on investment that has the backing of God himself.
Let’s live lives that will make our families be blessed.
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