Father's Day: Fathers Who Imitate The Son
Father's Day: Fathers Who Imitate The Son
Topic: Father's Day
A young boy was asked, “What’s special about Mother’s Day?” The boy retorted that “It’s a day when mothers are treated like queens. They get a break from cooking as Dads take the family to a restaurant. And the mothers even get some gifts on that day.” Then, he was asked, “What’s so special about Father’s Day?” to which he replied, “It’s a day the father drives down his family to his favourite restaurant to celebrate his special day and ends up paying the bill.”
I found something interesting known as ‘The Men’s Thesaurus’ (unknown author cited on sermoncentral.com). I made slight changes to this list.
Men don’t always say what they mean.
When a man says “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN.”
He means: “I have no idea how it works.”
When a man says “TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD.’’
He means: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.”
When a man says ‘THAT’S INTERESTING, DEAR.’
He means: “Are you still talking?”
When a man says “CAN I HELP WITH DINNER.”
He means: “Why isn’t it ready yet?”
When a man says “YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS.”
He means: “I can remember how much Sachin Tendulkar scored in a particular cricket match against Australia in 2007, the vehicle identification numbers of every vehicle I ever owned – but yes, I forgot your birthday.”
When a man says “YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE.”
He means: “I am used to the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse.”
When a man says “YOU LOOK TERRIFIC!”
He means: “Oh please don’t try on one more outfit, we’re late and I’m starving.”
When a man says, “That’s not what I meant.”
He means: “If something I said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, I meant the other one.
Dads are special!
As a child, I thought that He-man, Spider-man or Batman are heroes.
But later, I realized that none of these heroes were there for me in any way.
It was my Dad who worked hard and provided for all my needs.
He raised me up along with my mother.
This is an awesome occasion to honor our fathers.
But some of you might have not experienced your earthly father’s love.
Or you lost your father at an early age.
But we can experience the perfect love of our heavenly Father!
Some of you may not be fathers as yet but praise God, you can be a spiritual father to many.
Now I cannot overemphasize the influential role of a father.
According to a survey, if the child receives Christ first in a family, there is a 3.5% probability that the rest of the family members will be saved.
If the mother receives Christ first in a family, the probability of the household getting saved goes up to 17%.
But if the father is saved first, the probability of the family to receive Christ is 93%!
That shows the significance of a father’s influence.
Fathers must imitate Christ in order to be a positive influence on their family and society.
Today’s text tells us that the ultimate goal of every believer, including every father is to become like Christ.
Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to Romans 8:28-29?
I have entitled today’s sermon as: “FATHERS WHO IMITATE THE SON.”
The ultimate goal of salvation is to become like Christ (Romans 8:29).
Though Jesus never had any physical children, he is a perfect role model for every believer and every father.
I believe that this world desperately needs fathers who imitate Jesus.
CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: Fathers must imitate Jesus in their lives.
I. FATHERS MUST BE LOVING LIKE JESUS.
The first characteristic that fathers must imitate is to love like Jesus.
John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus demonstrated his love for God and for others by dying on the cross.
Fathers must also love God and others.
Matthew 22:36-40: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
1 John 4:7-8: 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In many families, an ugly cycle recurs.
Since the fathers don’t love their family enough, the wife and children disrespect their fathers.
This further stops the father from demonstrating love to his family.
This must stop.
The fathers must be loving, no matter what.
The wife and children must respect the father, no matter what.
Father must be loving like Jesus.
II. FATHERS MUST BE HUMBLE LIKE JESUS.
One of the major sins that men struggle with is pride.
I spoke about this in the ‘Iron Men’ meeting a few months ago.
Psalm 31:23: The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
God hates pride.
The apostle Peter says to the ‘exiles’: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).
God alone is worthy of all the glory, honor, and praise and we must give him the rightful place in our lives.
We must follow the example of Christ who came as a servant to this earth.
Mark 10:45: For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus is the greatest example of humility. He demonstrates this beautifully at the Last Supper.
John 13:3-5: 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Though Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, he humbled himself to the position of a slave.
Though Jesus knew his disciples would betray him, desert him, and deny him, he still washes their dusty feet.
Philippians 2:5-8: 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
God’s people must not be arrogant.
We must shun pride and develop humility with the help of the Spirit.
Fathers must be humble like Jesus.
III. FATHERS MUST BE COMPASSIONATE LIKE JESUS.
Matthew 9:36: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Compassion is often seen as a feminine emotion.
Men don’t like to give the impression that they have a soft heart.
But Jesus felt compassion towards the lost.
Jesus even wept on a couple of occasions.
Example of the father of the prodigal son.
Compassion is a biblical quality that the fathers must possess.
Psalm 103:13: As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Even when you discipline your children, show them compassion and love.
Be available to your children.
Share in their disappointments and joys.
Play with your children.
Fathers must be compassionate like Jesus.
IV. FATHERS MUST BE SELF-CONTROLLED LIKE JESUS.
Every father must develop self-control.
Proverbs 25:28: A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
A city whose walls are broken is vulnerable to attacks.
If we don’t have self-control, we will be without defense before Satan and our flesh.
Cain didn’t have self-control and he committed the first murder in human history.
David didn’t have self-control and he committed two terrible crimes—adultery and murder.
But Jesus had self-control.
Though he was tempted for forty days and forty nights, he did not yield to Satan’s temptations (Luke 4).
In Luke 4, we can see that we can defeat the temptations of the enemy through fasting and prayer, the Spirit, and the Word of God.
Fathers, please practice the spiritual discipline of fasting.
It will break the power of sin and flesh in your life.
Fathers must develop self-control which comes from the Spirit (Galatians 5:23).
V. FATHERS MUST BE GENTLE LIKE JESUS.
Many men think that meekness is a sign of weakness.
Angry macho men are projected as real men by the world.
But gentleness is Christ-like.
Matthew 11:29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Since Christ is gentle, he is able to offer rest for our souls.
Quoting Zechariah 9:9, Matthew (in 21:5) writes: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey.’”
We must develop the quality of gentleness in our lives (Galatians 5:23).
As leaders, we must not drive our families harshly.
Rather, we must lead our families gently.
Fathers must be gentle like Jesus.
VI. FATHERS MUST DISCIPLINE LIKE JESUS.
Jesus is not all about love, compassion, and gentleness.
He was also firm in disciplining.
Fathers must be gentle.
Yet, they must discipline their children as well.
Fathers must strike the balance.
When the disciples failed to cast out the demons from a young boy, he rebukes them and says, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” (Mark 9:19)
When Jesus predicts his impending death and suffering, Peter rebuked Jesus and said, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Matthew 16:22
And Jesus rebuked Peter in very strong words: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23
Fathers, listen to the words in Proverbs 3:11-12, which are quoted in Hebrews 12:5-6: 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
You will discipline your children if you love them and delight in them.
Fathers must discipline like Jesus.
VII. FATHERS MUST BE PRAYERFUL LIKE JESUS.
Jesus was a man of prayer.
In his book, Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders writes about the prayer life of Jesus.
He says, “Surely if anyone could have sustained life without prayer, it would be the very Son of God Himself. If prayer is silly or unnecessary, Jesus would not have wasted His time at it. But wait! Prayer was the dominant feature of His life and a recurring part of his teaching.”
Luke 5:16 (NIV): Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
My father was a man of prayer.
He would pray in the middle of the night for all his children.
And today, by God’s grace, all his children are blessed!
Fathers, your children will not be blessed if you merely provide for their needs.
Pray for your children.
Pray with your children.
Lead your family in prayer and Bible reading.
Be the priest and the leader that God has called you to be.
Fathers must be prayerful like Jesus.
Conclusion: CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: Fathers must imitate Jesus in their lives.
In this sermon, I have obviously not shared an exhaustive list of a father’s qualities.
A father has to provide for the family, teach God’s Word to his children, and fulfill several other obligations.
But we focused on the need of fathers reflecting Jesus through their lives.
Fathers, we are not perfect.
We are fallen beings in a fallen world.
The more we look to Christ, the more we will become like him.
He is our ultimate role model.
Even when you fail, run to Jesus and ask him to forgive you.
He will grant his grace and make you the kind of leader and priest he wants you to be.
Let’s imitate Jesus!