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NEHCC Sermon - 6-15-08 - Fathers Day – A Fathers Guide

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Sermon – Fathers’ Day – A Fathers Guide

Scripture –     Matt 7:7-12



Matt 7:7-12

7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  NKJV


Matt 6:6-9       6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  NKJV

Big Russ and Me
From Publishers Weekly
Russert's memoir begins as a tribute to his dad and the lessons he taught through the years, His neighborhood in the 1950s was tightly knit, Irish Catholic and anchored by the institutions of marriage, family, church and Throughout his private and public life, Russert continually turned to his father for advice, and the older man's common sense served the younger pretty much without fail.

Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons

From AudioFile
This work is a companion to Russert's memoir of his father, BIG RUSS AND ME. After publishing that bestseller, the author received some 60,000 letters and emails from people who described their fathers. Most of the writers are positive about their fathers; all reveal depth of feeling.

From Booklist
Surprised by the overwhelming and heartfelt reception to Big Russ and Me(2004), Russert follows that memoir of his relationship with his father with a collection of letters he received recounting relationships between fathers and their sons and daughters. Russert, Many recall fathers who couldn't bring themselves to tell their children they loved them but showed it in myriad ways. Many write of lessons learned about honor from fathers. A man recalls going to a New York Giants game with his father, who passed up an opportunity to sell extra tickets to scalpers and instead sold them--at cost--to another father with his son. Women recall how ties to their father set the tone for later relationships with men. One contributor recalls her father's tolerance as she and her sisters practiced applying makeup on him, going so far as to paint his toenails. Once again, Russert celebrates the relationship between fathers and their children in this heartwarming book.

Father’s Day - Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.


It is interesting that a common connection between Tim Russets’ books and the impetus behind the creation of mother’s day is that the motivation occurred after the principle children became adults.


Father’s have the greatest impression on their children when they are still children. A father cannot raise an adult child. A big majority of the memories of fathers have been created by what they saw not so much by what they were told. This confirms that children learn from their parents most by what is caught not by what is taught. The father is a major influence in the life of a child for good or not so good.


To be a Godly father one must be a Godly man. The phrase, “children are now having children” is becoming more and more prevalent. A boy with an absentee father becomes one himself.

Fathers' Absence

    • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
    • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
    • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
    • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
    • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
    • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
    • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
    • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

Civil rights veteran and renowned African-American Harvard psychiatry professor Dr. Alvin Poussaint, says one of the major issues is the absence of father figures. "Many of these fathers are not present. They're absent. Many of them are even incarcerated. Many don't have jobs," Dr. Poussaint says. "And a lot of these young men don't even feel that it's important to be a father because many of them grew up in fatherless homes. … The cycle just continues."

The absence of fathers often leaves children feeling abandoned, which Dr. Poussaint says can lead to more negative feelings. "There's the grief and the [sadness], and later they get angry, and who knows how this is all playing out in terms of even the violence that young males have toward each other," Dr. Poussaint says.


A boy may know how to make a baby but he does not know how to be a father. He learns that from his father.


In the sight of God we are all still children and we men can still learn from our heavenly Father how to be good earthly fathers. I opened this message talking about the relationship between Tim Russert and his father. The greatest father and son relationship is between God and Jesus.


From them we can learn how to be good fathers and good sons.

The first thing we can learn from our heavenly Father is LOVE. – God is love. God is not afraid to say it as He did to Jesus.   

Matt 3:17         This is My beloved Son,…                   The scriptures record this 9 times.

A good father tells his children that he loves them and tells them often. Our heavenly Father is not afraid to show us that He loves us.

John 3:16 tells us how he shows us His love.

How about this verse?   

Rom 5:8          8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NKJV

Even when we were un-lovely God still loved us.


As fathers we can hate the behavior of our children but still love the child. This does not mean that we overlook the wrong it means that we look beyond the wrong.


Which bring us to another act demonstrated love

Heb 12:6         6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."*  NKJV

Let me take this a little deeper. We see two acts of God toward his own because He loves us.

Chastening - ‎to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment):

Scourges - ‎to flog/whip (literally or figuratively)


Neither of the two we like and we are not supposed to like it. But I ask any parent here, have you ever applied this “tough” love to your children? Was it ever applied to you as a child? Did you or they like it?


We have already seen one example of the results when David failed to discipline Amnon.  Next week we will see another in the life of David.


God as our fatherly example showed us sacrifice for He was willing to give that which he loves deeply to us, His only begotten Son.


As father’s we must be willing to make sacrifice for our children and they will make sacrifice for their children. The sacrifice of time, of labor, of doing which is right even if it is contrary to what we want to do, of listening to them is not to be compared to the sacrifice that God made.


He knew we needed a savior before we even asked. Now if we ASK the Father he will lead us to the Savior. If we seek the Savior we will find him and if we knock (take definitive action) the door to eternal life will be opened to us.


As His children he only asks us to honor Him and obey His commands and statues. Is that any more than what we ask our children? We expect them to respect us and listen to us.

On this Father’s Day and others days, tell your earthy father that you love him even if he has not told you that lately. Then in prayer tell your heavenly Father that you love Him then find some way to demonstrate that love to both.





Heb 12:5-11

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?* He said,

"My child,* don't make light of the Lord's discipline,

and don't give up when he corrects you.

6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."* 

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?* 

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

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