Fathers' Day

Hear – Paul Anka’s song dedicated to fathers:

Father after God’s own heart: From Virtual Preacher

Sermon: A Father after God’s own heartImage: Damián Bakarcic


Although we meet many noteworthy fathers in the Bible, only Joseph was given the privilege of being the father to the only child the Bible calls holy. Scriptures don’t talk about Joseph much. But I am convinced that he was a “Father after God’s own heart.” Join me tonight to find out the characteristics that made Joseph deserve that title and how we can become fathers worthy of being called the same.

1. He was a righteous man
Read Matthew 1:18-25
A. The first characteristic that made Joseph who he was is that he was righteous.
B. Mary’s explanation sounded blasphemous if not unbelievable. But Joseph decided to leave her in secret instead of disgracing her.
C. Later he accepted the Angel’s message by faith. God always credits faith as righteousness.

2. He was a reliable father

Read Matthew 2:13
A. The second characteristic that made Joseph who he was is that he was a reliable Father.
B. Satan depended on Herod to destroy the child. But God could depend on Joseph to protect a child that wasn’t even his.
C. “Men who are not fathers is the biggest problem in America today.” – Nick Vujicic.

3. He was a loving husband

Read Matthew 2:15
A. The third characteristic that made Joseph who he was is that he loved Mary his wife.
B. Apparently Joseph supported her for better and worse, in sickness and health – until death did them apart.
C. “One of the best things a father can do for his children is to love their mother” – James Dobson


A. Children are a gift from God. He depends on us to look after them. Let us be fathers that God can depend.
B. Let us love our wives despite their flaws just like Christ loved the Church and gave his life as a ransom for His Church.
C. Being a righteous man starts not with us. It starts with God when we obey him in faith.

Sermons for Father's Day

2 Corinthians - A Word for Christian Fathers
Mark 4:35-41 - Finding Calm in the Storm
You are familiar with the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy's marriage was a saga of bitterness. His wife carped and complained and clung to her grudges until he could not bear the sight of her. When they had been married almost a half a century, sometimes she would implore him to read to her the exquisite, poignant love passages that he had written about her in his diary forty-eight years previously, when they were both madly in love with each other. As he read of the happy days that were now gone forever, they both wept bitterly.

Is there anything sadder than to look back over a lifetime of neglected opportunities--wasted years when love could and should have been nurtured--and regret that you "blew it?" Some of you know what I am talking about.

This is Father's Day. Dads don't get the respect that they used to. Remember "Father Knows Best"? For many fathers, those were the good old days. A few years ago, a college professor conducted a careful, two year study that asked children aged four to six: "Which do you like better, TV or Daddy?"

Forty-six percent of the youngsters indicated that they preferred television.

I like the story about the ten-year-old boy who answered the doorbell at his home one day. When he opened it, there stood a strange man on the porch. The man said, "Son, you don't know me, do you?" The young man said, no, he did not. The man replied, "Well, I am your uncle on your father's side." To which the young fellow replied, "Well, I am glad to meet you, but you are certainly on the losing side."

Dads don't have it as easy as they used to, perhaps. But how important Christian fathers are! A study of church attendance sometime back showed that if both Mom and Dad attended church regularly 72 percent of their children remain faithful to the church. If only Mom attended regularly, only 15 percent remained faithful. So the church is thankful for Christian fathers. And so are Christian mothers, needless to say. The number of young women having to raise children in a single parent household nowadays is startling. Of course, it is not always the mother who is raising the children. Again, we can be thankful for Christian fathers who take on their share of responsibility for nurturing their young.

I do not believe that St. Paul was directing his statement in II Corinthians 5; 17 only toward fathers, or only toward men in general. If he were writing today, I believe that he would have written, "If any PERSON be in Christ, he is a new creation . . ." This great text is for single men and single women, and married persons, and widows and widowers, as well as father and mothers. But in light of this special day, I hope that the fathers will take note...
It is not easy being a father. One cynic, speaking from his own experience, noted that children go through four fascinating stages. First they call you DaDa. Then they call you Daddy. As they mature they call you Dad. Finally they call you collect.

Today we salute fathers. Dads, we love you. The role of a Christian father is more important in today's world than ever before. It is a different roll than in earlier generations. In most households today Dad is called upon to play more of a nurturing role in caring for children. If Mom works outside the home, Dad must take a more active role in doing household chores. Dad is no longer "lord of the castle." Hopefully, however, he has not been reduced to being another of the vassals. 

Today's father needs to be nurturing of his children, supportive of his wife, and yet at the same time provide the spiritual leadership of the home that the Bible accords to fathers. It is a rare man, a special kind of man, who can combine all three of these qualities. We salute Christian fathers this day. Your family needs you more than ever before.

The most common image that Jesus used in describing God was that of "Father." It makes me think that Joseph must have been a very special kind of father. We center much of our attention on his mother, Mary, but Joseph must have also combined those very special qualities of strength and gentleness that we associate with Jesus. Jesus had a very keen knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures. In the Jewish home it was the father who had the primary responsibility for his son's religious instruction. Of course we know that Jesus had an unique relationship with God. Still, I have to believe that Joseph, though barely mentioned in the Gospel narrative, was probably an influential role model for Jesus. Why else would Jesus have chosen the imagery of "Father" to portray God?

In Matthew 10: 29-31 we have one of the most important Scriptural reminders of the love of our Heavenly Father for His children. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?" Jesus asks, "And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." What a moving testimony to the very intimate love that God has for each of us. 

1. Sparrows Do Fall from Skies
2. Life's Problems are Not Punishment for Our Sins
3. We Never Fall Beyond the Watchful Eye of the Father.
Bringing the Grain out Strong

"We never know the timber of a man's soul until something cuts into him deeply and brings the grain out strong."

It might be the first moment a father holds his child.  It might be the first time he has to say 'no' to his child.  It might be the first time his child refuses to listen and does just what he or she pleases, even though it is dangerous or risky.  For every parent, there are countless moments when our children challenge us and force us to feel the responsibility of raising them.  We constantly ask ourselves, "Are we up to this task?" 

We can ride along in life and think we know ourselves, but the daily challenges and rewards of parenting bring into focus all of our strengths and weaknesses.  We hope to react with patience, reason, and love.  We sometimes react with impatience, frustration, or fear.   

As the love for your children cuts into you and shows what you are really made of, remember Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:16-20)  

In our relationship with our children, strive for the grain of your character to show Christ and be the best ambassador for him you can be.  

Staff, quote from Freckles, Gene Stratton Porter.
 The Patience of a Father

I remember reading about a guy who stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. He wandered around aimlessly for a while searching out the needed groceries. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart. 

The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn't hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, "Now, Billy, this won't take long." As they passed in the nest aisle, the 3-year-old's pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, "Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute." 

When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, "Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here." The Dad and his son reached the check out counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of losing control. The boy was screaming and kicking. Dad was very calmly saying over and over, "Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK." 

The bystander was impressed beyond words. After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, "Billy, we're done. It's going to be OK." He tapped the patient father on the shoulder and said, "Sir, I couldn't help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were amazing."

Dad replied, "His name is Wesley. I'm Billy!" 

Roger W. Thomas, A Father's Faith

A first-grader asked his mother why his Dad brought home a briefcase full of material each night. She explained that he had so much work to do that he couldn't get it all done at the office. The youngster pondered this soberly, then asked, "Well, why don't they put him in a slower group." 

Parents, remember this. If you can't say no to some claims, your life will drip away like a leaky faucet. You won't make much of a splash anywhere. 

Bill Bouknight, Collected Sermons,
What Are You Passing On? 

At the first church that I pastored, I had the job of mixing feed to supplement my income. For a period of about two weeks, each day that I came home from work, my two boys, ages 2 and 3 would look at me, smile, and would say, "Boy, dad, you sure are dusty!" I would reply, "Yes, I sure am dusty." Then I would get cleaned up.  

I didn't think too much of this until I was washing my car and saw my oldest son doing something very strange. He was picking up the gravel and stones that were in our drive and rubbing them into his pants. I asked him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I want to be dusty like you dad!"

I realized that if a child would look up to his father for being dusty and want to copy his father, a child could look up to his father and follow him for anything. What are you passing on to your son?

Jerry L. Steen
Is God Like Daddy? 

Think of a four-year-old coming home one Sunday after a lesson that taught about God as our Heavenly Father. Sound theology would quickly note that God is neither male nor female, but youngsters do not concern themselves with theological niceties. A four-year-old hears "Father;" the only father he knows anything about is the one that lives with him and says, "Pass the biscuits, please;" so he asks..."Is God like Daddy?" Wow! What a heavy load! But a good load to consider on Fathers' Day...and a good one to consider when we realize that what Daddy is can become a role model for our children's concept of God.

David E. Leininger, Collected Sermons,
This Is Not a Race 

Clovis Chappell, a great preacher of a previous generation, used to tell the story of two paddleboat steamers. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, crew members made disparaging remarks about the slowness of the other boat. Words were exchanged. Challenges were made.

And the race began. The competition was keen as the boats roared down the Mississippi. One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising crew member took some of the ship's cargo and tossed it into the ovens. Their boat began to catch up, so they made fuel out of more and more cargo. They finally won the race, but in the process they burned their cargo, the very material they had been hired to transport.

Parents, our primary mission is not to win a rat race, but to faithfully care for those persons entrusted to us, especially our children.  

Bill Bouknight, Collected Sermons,
Someone Who Loves You

In his book, Disappointment with God, writer Philip Yancey relates a touching story from his own life. One time on a visit to his mother--who had been widowed years earlier, in the month of Philip's first birthday--they spent the afternoon together looking through a box of old photos. A certain picture of him as an eight-month-old baby caught his eye. Tattered and bent, it looked too banged up to be worth keeping, so he asked her why, with so many other better pictures of him at the same age, she had kept this one.

Yancey writes, "My mother explained to me that she had kept the photo as a memento, because during my father's illness it had been fastened to his iron lung." During the last four months of his life, Yancey's father lay on his back, completely paralyzed by polio at the age of twenty-four, encased from the neck down in a huge, cylindrical breathing unit. With his two young sons banned from the hospital due to the severity of his illness, he had asked his wife for pictures of her and their two boys. Because he was unable to move even his head, the photos had to be jammed between metal knobs so that they hung within view above him--the only thing he could see. The last four months of his life were spent looking at the faces he loved.

Philip Yancey writes, "I have often thought of that crumpled photo, for it is one of the few links connecting me to the stranger who was my father. Someone I have no memory of, no sensory knowledge of, spent all day, every day thinking of me, devoting himself to me, loving me . . . The emotions I felt when my mother showed me the crumpled photo were the very same emotions I felt that February night in a college dorm room when I first believed in a God of love. Someone is there, I realized. Someone is there who loves me. It was a startling feeling of wild hope, a feeling so new and overwhelming that it seemed fully worth risking my life on."

King Duncan, Collected Sermons,
Not Now, Honey 

I am going to read a quote to you first and then tell you who said it: A small child waits with impatience the arrival home of a parent. She wishes to relate some sandbox experience. She is excited to share the thrill that she has known that day. The time comes; the parent arrives. Beaten down by the stresses of the workplace the parent often replies: "Not know, honey, I'm busy, go watch television." The most often spoken words in the American household today are the words: go watch television. If not now, when? Later.  

But later never comes for many and the parent fails to communicate at the very earliest of ages. We give her designer clothes and computer toys, but we do not give her what she wants the most, which is our time. Now, she is fifteen and has a glassy look in her eyes. Honey, do we need to sit down and talk? Too late. Love has passed by. 

The person who wrote these words was Robert Keeshan, better known to America as Captain Kangaroo. 

The Flip Side of Love

A lot of damage can occur in a family. Parents can be hurt. Children can be hurt. But there is always hope in a home where forgiveness is present. John R. Aurelio, in his book Colors!, gives us a beautiful portrayal of this side of God.

On the sixth day, God created Father Adam and Mother Eve.
On the seventh day, as God was resting, they asked Him if He would give them something special to commemorate their birthday. So God reached into His treasure chest and took out a sacred coin. Written on it was the word "LOVE."

On the eighth day, Father Adam and Mother Eve sinned. As they left the Garden of Eden, they asked God for an assurance that He would not abandon them.

"You have the coin," He told them.

"But, the coin says LOVE," they answered. "We have lost love. However will we find it again?" ...