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BIBLE READING: EPHESIANS 6:1-4
TEXT VERSE: 4
TOPIC: WE NEED TO BE THANKFUL TO OUR FATHERS
Beloved brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are celebrating Father’s Day today! What is the celebration all about?
This is to celebrate that we are blessed to be dads and also to be thankful for our earthly father’s that the Lord provided to us.
Someone wrote these humorous word entitled, “The World According to Dad.” These are words that most dads have said at some time or another to their children.
– This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
– Quiet. I’m watching rugby.
– Bring back all the change.
– How should I know? Ask your mother.
– Money is not growing on my back!
– When I was your age I walked 5 kilometres to and from school each day and it was uphill both ways.
– Eat up; when I was your age we did not even have food!
– You have no respect! My father would have hit me if I talked to him like
– You are going and you will have fun!
– If you break your leg don’t come running to me.
– Don’t put your feet on the furniture. Your mother will kill you.
– Get down before you kill yourself. On second thought, go ahead.
– Quit playing with your food.
– Be quiet! Can’t you see I’m trying to think!
– Why? Because I said so!
– If you don’t stop that I’m going to call your mother.
– You better get that junk picked up before your mother comes in here.
– Just wait till you have kids of your own.
– I was not asleep. I was just resting my eyes. Do not change the station!
I think we all can add a few.
To be a father is one of the most enriching experiences anyone can have. We live for our children, work for our children, and will die for our children. Today on Fathersday we can be busy and celebrate Fatherhood. Both parenting and fatherhood can be a real trial. And yet a real blessing.
When we celebrate Father’s day this Sunday, we will also celebrate and bring praise to the Father of fathers firstly and the most of all!
Ultimately, there is no Father like our Heavenly Father! Not only did He create us, but He also sustains us! To Him we cry Abba Father!
In Rom. 8:16 we read: “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” God wants to be our Father. He does not want to be like a King who lives somewhere far beyond, who sits on a throne and we have to wait to see what He has in store for us. No, He wants to be our Father and we can be His children through Jesus Christ.
We confess that God has become through Jesus Christ our Father, and to Him we call, Abba, Father.
We have a Father who is with us every step of the way. His care is complete, but of Him we may not think ordinary.
When we pray in faith it is the call of a child who knows in faith His Father will listen. And as little children trust their earthly father and mother so we should trust our Heavenly Father.
All relationships should start with the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father! As Fathers we have to have a relationship with the Lord ourselves and serve the Lord according His Word and Spirit. We should be an example to our children.
In Ephesians 6 we as parents are instructed and charged to bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
And the apostle Paul tells the children; and I thought it was fitting for today’s sermon, without children we cannot be fathers, and Paul adresses them personally and that is that they should obey their parents. Children were part of the worship service in the congregation of Ephesus and you can only imagine how they sat up straight and listen attentively. Children you should obey your parents!
What does it mean to be obedient? The Lord teaches that He appointed your parents to you with all their imperfections but also with all their gifts.
This obedience should flow not only from the feeling of love, gratitude and esteem for their parents, but also and especially from reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul says that it should be an obedience in the Lord and he adds, this obedience is right! The proper attitude of the child in obeying his parents must therefore be this: I must obey my parents, because the Lord tells me to do so.
What He says is right, simply because He tells us and His Word is the authority we live by.
The world will teach you different. Rebel; you can do what you want. You do not have to listen to your parents or any authority figure. And behind it all is the devil who deceived Adam and Eve to rebel against God! You can only think of the message of modern Rock Songs. In my time it was the Beastie Boys: “Fight for your right to party, Parents leave your kids alone!”
How can our attitude change? How can my attitude change from being angry the whole time because of hormones, pier pressure and the need to fit in. This only changes when Jesus is your Saviour. Only in Jesus our relationships are restored! Only in Jesus we can love one another. This is between husband and wife and Parents and children.
Jesus is the only hope to understand the times we live in. There are dysfunctional parents and broken children in our society. But His Spirit open the blind eyes and generate the knowledge and confidence in Him. And to hope in Jesus is the denial of the old sinful self, turning the back to the old self-centered life and to break with the life of self-adoration and worship of the things of the world. We should teach our children to love the Lord, live in His grace, and the best way to bring it across is to love the Lord yourself.
But how should we honour our parents even if they are wrong, and for teens it is probably most of the time?
A practical way is that you simply let them know that what they want you to do is wrong and unacceptable before God. You should express this in a simple respectable manner. For instance, if your parents want you to steal, will you do? Will you go ahead and steal? You certainly must not do that. However you must be respectful in letting them know what they demand of you is wrong and that you won’t be able to carry it out. Listen to them and answer them in a respectable manner even more when they grew old.
I have seen children who don’t in anyway listen to their parents. There are even some that the voice of their parents is like an irritating sound to them.
You should not pick up this kind of dishonouring attitude to your parents. Simply listening when they talk to you signifies honour. Learn to do this if you are not.
Why should we as children do that? The apostle Paul answers: “for this right.” He strengthens his argument by quoting from the fifth commandment: “Honour your father and mother” this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and you may live long in the land.”
Some of the old Jewish laws had a lot of threats of what could happen if you are not obedient. The fifth commandment is different and it comes with a promise. This is not literally a long life, but a life fruitful in Jesus. It does not matter if you die young or live to be old, but the promise is an eternal life in Jesus. You have to be obedient to your parents because you love the Lord.
To honour your father and mother means more than to obey them. To honour implies love, to regard highly, to show respect and consideration.
But the contrary is also true. Disobedience to godly parents indicates an undisciplined life. This in turn shortens life. For example when a devout Father or mother warns his child against the dangers of life and the child disregards his advice, he is following a course that does not as a rule lead to a long life. Even if this child may live long in this life, he will have no peace in Jesus and ultimately eternal life.
Our children are not only in a relationship with us, but also with Jesus. The children who are obedient to their parents are also obedient to Jesus. Jesus’ love and Spirit controls the child’s heart and therefore the child wants to please his parents, because this is what the Lord desires.
Undisciplined children spell ruin for a nation, church and society. Our young people in Australia are confused and have a lot of anger. The remedy is not to appease them, but to instruct them in the Lord.
This why the new Special Religious Instruction (SRI) program from the Victoria government is so concerning. The SRI program states that a Religious program will NOT BE ALLOWED to be run during class time from the start of 2016. How can we a nation expels God from our schools? The land the Lord has given us? This only spells disaster!
The most important foundation of the church and society is the family.
In our times when the foundations are destroyed, and everything seems confused, it is crucial to give more and special attention to the family and above all the Lord. We as church is the family of God, and we we need to give special attention to our families.
We promised before the Lord that we will raise our children in the fear of the Lord and it is now evident that no one will do that for you. Especially not the local government.
We as parents are naturally concerned about our children. How are they doing in school? Do they have the right friends? And for some there is also the fear of them leaving the Lord.
We should never stop praying for our children; never stop educating them as they are too precious. We should never stop teaching them to do what is right even if they are adults.
Urge them to love the Lord and know the Holy Spirit groan with you when you are concerned about them. The Spirit prays when we pray. He carries our broken thoughts to the Lord. He lays our requests before the Father.
Do not fear and trust in the Lord when you and your children experience difficult times. We have not received a spirit of slavery to fear, but we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
We should continue with our instruction as well. Do not give up on your children’s and grandchildren’s instruction in the Lord. The Lord is not giving up on us, here in Australia!
And children obey your parents in the Lord, for it is right. The promise of God to reward obedience still holds. He will reward us with a long life, an enternal life in Jesus. In Revelation 2 we read: “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’; The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’”
What a wonderful promise, and it will be sealed to us again with the Lord’s Supper!
Let us be reminded today that as Father and Mothers we have a tremendous impact on the life of our kids and their kids and their kids and their kids…! Have fun! Make memories! Happy Father’s Day!