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Fathers Like Abraham (LHCOC)

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Fathers Like Abraham

Genesis 12:1-9

Introduction

1.         Today is “Father’s Day,” and it is fitting and proper that we pause to appreciate those who have meant so much to us over the years, our fathers.

2.         Surely no one would argue that there is not a crying need for good fathers today.

3.         In Abraham, we find a wonderful example of what fathers should be like.

a.         Abraham was chosen by God to be the “father of many nations” (Gen. 17:4-5).

b.         It is interesting to note that his name was changed from Abram (which means, “exalted father”) to Abraham (which means, “father of a multitude”).

c.             God would not have made Abraham the father of many nations had he not   

been a successful father to his own family.

4.         What characteristics did Abraham have that fathers today should also possess?

Discussion

I.          ABRAHAM WAS AN EXPECTANT FATHER

A.                Abraham and Sara desperately wanted a child, but Sara was barren (Gen. 11:30).

1.         Don’t you believe they had wished for a child and had prayed for a child?

2.         In Jewish culture, even more so that today, couples felt incomplete without a child.

a.         A large part of this was that a childless couple had no heir (cf. Gen. 15:2).

b.         Rachel’s grief in this regard is vividly expressed in Gen. 30:1.

B.                 In their old age, God promised them a son (Gen. 15:1-4; 17:17; 18:9-14).

C.                 Children today deserve to be born to fathers, as well as mothers, who want them, pray for them, and lovingly care for them.

1.         Children should be viewed as “a heritage from the Lord” (Psa. 127:3).

2.         Elkanah and Hannah are also examples of expectant parents (1 Sam. 1:8-20).

II.        ABRAHAM WAS A LOVING FATHER

A.                There is no doubt but that Abraham loved his son, Isaac.

1.         When asked by God to offer Isaac, God said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love . . . ” (Gen. 22:2).

2.         I am sure that this test of Abraham’s faith was to bring him to a point of decision in regard to which he loved best—God or Isaac.

B.                 Children today deserve to have loving fathers and mothers.

1.         By the way, loving our children doesn’t mean that we always give them what they want.

2.                  Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is say, “No!”

C.                 One of the most loving things a father can do is invest himself in the lives of his children.

1.                  Many fathers leave the rearing of children to the mother.

2.                  Paul Faulkner observes, “The first thing families crave from Dad is his simple presence . . . Kids can’t bond with a moving target.  They can’t become attached to someone who is not there or only occasionally there.”

D.        1 Corinthians 13:4-8a applies to father, too.

III.       ABRAHAM WAS A FAITHFUL FATHER

A.                It is impossible to talk about Abraham and not talk about faith.

1.                  Abraham’s obedient faith was demonstrated in so many ways.

a.         He obeyed God’s call to leave his homeland (Gen. 12:1).

b.         He obeyed God’s command regarding circumcision (Gen. 17:23).

c.         He obeyed God’s command to offer Isaac (Gen. 22:9-10; Heb. 11:17-19).

2.                  This does not mean that Abraham was perfect or that his faith was perfect.

a.         He made some real mistakes (Gen. 12:13ff; 20:1ff).

b.         But his faith was strong and it grew.

B.                 Children today need fathers who will be examples of faith and obedience to God.

1.                  Fathers must be faithful . . .

a.         To God (Matt. 6:33).

b.         To their families (Eph. 5:25; 1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 6:4).

c.         To themselves (In the “Merchant of Venice,” Shakespeare has a character saying, “To thine own self be true, and then it shall follow as night the day that thou can’st not be false to any man.”)

2.                  We remember the adage, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”  Which way are you bending those tender twigs?

3.         It is my observation—for better or worse—that children generally grow up to be very much like their parents.

IV.       ABRAHAM WAS AN INFLUENTIAL FATHER

A.        One of the reasons God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations was so that he might influence generations to come (Gen. 18:19).

B.        It is impossible to contemplate the influence Abraham has had even to this present time.

1.                  It is through the seed of Abraham that the Christ came (Gal. 3:16).

2.                  All Christians today are spiritual descendents of Abraham (Gal. 3:29).

3.                  Abraham is mentioned in “God’s Hall of Faith” as an example of one who lived by faith and is thus an example for us all (Heb. 11:8-12).

C.                 Fathers today must realize the influence we exert.

1.         “Blessed are the children of a righteous man” (Prov. 20:7).

2.         Fathers, think of it . . .

a.         Your children will feel about spiritual things in much the same way as you do.

b.         Your children will feel about the family in much the same way you do.

c.         Eternity will be great effected by what you do.

3.         Fathers, I encourage you to stand up and be godly fathers (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 6:4-9; Josh. 24:15).

Conclusion

1.         The world today needs good fathers, fathers like Abraham.

            a.         Expectant fathers.

            b.         Loving fathers.

            c.         Faithful fathers.

            d.         Influential fathers.

2.         I share with you the Father’s Pledge and ask every father here to make it in as much as it applies to him.

“I pledge allegiance to my home, to my wife, to my sons and daughters.  I will honor my home and consider my trust in supporting it a sacred one.  I will do more than this.  I will take time to cultivate a friendship between me and my family.  I will not be too busy when they need me . . . even though it is only to catch a football or mend a doll’s broken leg.  I will love my children as only I can.  I will complement their mother’s hours of care and concern.  I will introduce my children to Christ and share with them the joys of Christian values in a Christian home.”   -- Bulletin Digest

3.         Today, if you have not done so already, I urge you to render obedience to the Heavenly Father (cf. Luke 15:11-24).

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