World's Greatest Father
Written by Tom Ayers
Thursday, 12 February 2009 03:10

World's Greatest Father

(Galatians 4:6) “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father”.

Good Morning, I would like to thank Jay for giving me the opportunity to bring the lesson today while he is on vacation. I am happy to stand before you this Lord’s Day and on our Father’s Day. As a Father you have no greater joy than to be able to demonstrate your love for God, your family and friends. Hopefully through this lesson I will be able to give examples of what it means to be a father and what it means to lead by example. Being a father is a challenging but mostly rewarding process.

Becoming a father is filled with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and maybe even a little fear thrown in for good measure. On the plus side, we get the opportunity to hold a newborn baby. On the down side, we might end up having to change the newborn babies diaper or in my case find someone to change the diaper for me. On the plus side, we get to teach this child all the things we think that are important. On the down side, we will eventually have to help them do their homework. But when you weigh everything out, the good side will always far outweigh the down side to parenting. It is absolutely incredible what God has made possible for us to do.

There is one Father, however, who doesn't always get a lot of honor, even on Father's Day.  That is the REAL "World's Greatest Father,” the Heavenly Father.  The verse of our text reveals a lot about Him that we don't often emphasize.  As children of God, we cry out, "Abba."  Vine tells us that Abba is the word framed by infants, and shows blind trust.  It is a word of love, endearment, and closeness.  It was the child's first attempt at calling his father, as we know in our day as 'dada".

God is our spiritual Father, active in all parts of our lives.  It is He that we lean on in times of pain and hurt; it is He that we call on in times of need; it is He that provides for us in all ways - practically, emotionally, and spiritually.  This being so, let us take this Father's Day to honor Him, the REAL "World's Greatest Father."


A FATHER'S DECLARATION - Malachi 1:6 “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour...”  Our culture has degenerated to the point that fathers do not get the respect that they once did.  Many fathers do very little to inspire respect from their children.  But our Heavenly Father is perfect, commanding the respect and honor that other fathers cannot!

As a father, I have made numerous mistakes in discipline and caring for my children.  I have incorrectly assessed situations and handed out unfair punishment and restrictions.  No child of God can charge his Heavenly Father with such wrongs.  He has complete knowledge and perfect wisdom in dealing with His children.  So why do we not honor Him as a perfect Father?  Why do we think little of His care and concern for us?  Like Israel, we may take Him for granted and fail to honor Him as a Father.

A FATHER'S DEVOTION - Luke 12:29-30 – “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things”.  Almost thirty years ago my life changed forever.  On October 17, 1978, at 12:40 AM, I became a father for the first time and that is when my son Paul was born. I became a father for the second time with Brittany on August 20, 1985 and became a father for the last time on June 14, 1990 when David was born. It is hard to believe that David turned 18 yesterday. I also have the pleasure of being a grandfather and am honored to have some of my grandchildren and children here today. On the day that I first became a father, I remember looking out the hospital window and thinking how my life had just changed.  I was now responsible for a new life that God had entrusted me with.  Thus began a journey in which I am learning more about my own limitations as a Dad and a Grandfather and the complete perfection of my Heavenly Father. Our Father is devoted to meeting all our needs.  We think of ourselves as self-contained individuals, knowing what is best for us.  But God sees us as children, not always understanding our own needs.  He must sometimes protect us from ourselves.  We must trust Him!  The child cannot always understand the dealings of the Father.  We must believe that He works for our own good in things that we do not understand.  In Luke 11:13, Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” We must learn to trust Him!

Let’s look at A FATHER'S DEMAND - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 –“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”. One of the duties of the father is to provide the proper atmosphere and environment for the growth and nurturing of his children.  There are certain characteristics that are desirable in children and the father must cultivate them. 

Now let’s look at A FATHER'S DISCIPLINE - Hebrews 12:6-9 –“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.   If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you, as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”

  Many Christians seemingly have never grasped these verses.  They live their lives in constant turmoil and suffering, never understanding that their lives are displeasing to God.  Discipline as we teach our children is a form of corrective action. So is the discipline that we receive from God. You love your children and use discipline to correct them just like God loves us and uses discipline to correct us. God's correction and chastening is purely a personal matter.  "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth...” God is not mean and hateful in His discipline.  He is loving and kind!  He sees the totality of our lives and knows what we need.

Let’s look at A FATHER'S DESIRE - Ephesians 5:1-2“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour” Every child at some time imitates his father.  Every parent remembers fondly when their toddlers try to walk in their shoes. God wants us to imitate Him.  Christ is our earthly example.  We all would love to live as pure and sin free as God and keep that relationship with Him, just as natural as the little boy walking in his father's shoes.

Next let’s look at A FATHER'S DESIGN - 1 John 3:1-2“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.   God has a purpose for His children, a grand design.  We are --right now  --the children of God.  We do not outwardly appear to be any different than the non-believer.  Our actions though should definitely be different than what you see in any man. God knows His own!  We are His! God has a purpose for His children.  He has a design for us.  Let us renew our allegiance to God, our Heavenly Father.  Let us honor Him on this Father's Day as truly the world's greatest Father!

Now let’s look at A FATHER’S LEGACY - Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Are you a father who accepts the joyous responsibility of building a legacy? The commitment I want you & I to come to today is not whether you & I will build a legacy. WE WILL BUILD A LEGACY!! The issue is WHAT KIND OF LEGACY WILL YOU BUILD? And this command from God to us as fathers shows both sides clearly. We either build a legacy of an angry child or we build a legacy of a child who was reared in the atmosphere of God. That's the choice. Not rather or not you'll build a legacy, but what kind.

The first step in the pattern of a legacy is not what kind of a parent I am; it is what kind of a person I am? Parenthood begins with personhood.

Personhood is the first & most vital issue. The very first application of your personhood is where? It's the way you treat your spouse. The way you treat your wife. For those of you fathers who never got passed the text "wives submit", there is a following text that's quite important. "Husbands love your wives" Do you realize that one of the great needs in a child's life, is how dad is treating mom. Paul said, "Love your wife as Christ loved the church" Do you know what that means? Let's try some words on for size. It means with sacrifice, meeting her needs, sacrificing my own dreams, time & agenda. Let's try the word sensitivity. Being sensitive to her needs. Try on the word, unconditionally. That means that even when she rides thru the window on a broom you will still love her.

Never forget the importance of just being a dad. It is easy to get consumed in our jobs but we need to realize that our children do not care what is on your business card, who you know, how much money you make but they do care if you have time for them. The first thing that will impress your children is if you have time for them and pay attention to them. What discourages your children the most will be when you are too busy for them. How many of us have had your children ask you to do something with them and you respond, “I am too busy”. I know that at times my family has considered me to be a workaholic. A workaholic doesn’t have time or they are too busy for the one’s that need us the most. Take time to build a good legacy with your children.

If God the Father is not too big for me, if He climbs into my world & meets me where I am, MUST I NOT DO THAT FOR MY CHILDREN? Take them by the hand & slowly play with them, & walk with them all the way through each season till they go to their own world, & carry the legacy with them. TOO BOTHERED, We should hope not.

Worry about how good a dad you are. Leave that strong legacy with them. Leave them with wanting to emulate you as a father. Know how to choose your issues carefully. Address these issues with love and guide them to always wanting to do the right thing.

Do you know that God is never too busy? My Lord is never too busy. My Lord is never too big. He comes and meets me here. And my Lord is never too bothered.

There is a great need in our day for fathers to live up to their God-given tasks.

One of the reasons that the church is as weak as it is is because fathers are not fulfilling their spiritual duties. One of the reasons that many of the youth of our day are involved in drugs, premarital sex, gang activity, and a host of other sinful things is because fathers are not fulfilling their responsibilities.

It is time that we as fathers and grandfathers realize the awesome responsibility we have in molding our children’s spiritual lives.

It is time that fathers do more with their children than just play ball, watch TV or just plain ignore their children. It is time for fathers to act like spiritual giants in the family and become the fathers that we all need to be.

Let us take a look at 2 kinds of fathers:

The kind of fathers not needed and the kind of fathers desperately needed.


We do not need fathers today who will pitch their tents toward Sodom, as did ancient Lot.

When time came for the separation of Abram and Lot, Lot clearly made a choice indicating his materialism.

Genesis 13:10-13 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.  But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly”.

Sodom was not a prosperous place for the raising of a family. Do not cast your tents toward Sodom.

2 Peter 2:7-8 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:  8For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds…”

If righteous Lot was tormented day by day by the wickedness surrounding him, just think about the effect this would have on his family.

Genesis 19 seems to indicate that some of Lot’s children choose to remain behind - and not leave with Lot. All too often fathers made many of life’s decisions with materialism as a dominant factor

NEXT we do not need fathers today who will not restrain their children like the Eli of old.

Reading in 1 Samuel 2:12, 17, 24 12. Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD”. 17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD”. 24 “Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD's people to transgress”.

The reason they were so wicked - Eli “restrained them not” (1 Samuel 3:13) For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not”.

Ours is a permissive age. Many boys and girls grow up and never see daddy set out a boundary line for their actions. They never hear daddy say NO to their demands. These children lack in guidance and do not worry about punishment. Fathers who are too permissive are one of the greatest enemy of a child.

Proverbs 29:15, 17 -15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame”. 17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul”. Fathers must discipline his children. Structure and discipline in a child’s life will set the foundation for their youth and adult life.

NEXT we do not need fathers today who practice theft, deception, and dishonesty, as did Achan in Joshua’s day.

Israel has just crossed the swollen Jordan River and plans were made to capture Jericho … Joshua 6:2And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour”. The Lord made it plain that all the spoils belonged to Him … Joshua 6:17-19  “And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD”.

After Israel defeated Jericho, they travel next to conquer Ai, but Ai defeated Israel - Joshua asks God why? … The answer was that there was sin in the camp.

Joshua 7: 11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff”.

Someone had taken that which belonged to God and all of Israel was suffering the consequences. Achan was the guilty party … (Joshua 7:20-21And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it”.

Achan’s entire family suffered for these sins and deception. These verses portray the punishment that Achan and his family were given as a result of Achan’s sins.

(Joshua 7:25-26) And Joshua said, why hast thou troubled us? The LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.  And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day”. The practice of dishonesty marches rampantly throughout the land today. How can fathers who practice dishonesty be good fathers? 2. When children see … tools taken from the job / towels from the Holiday Inn / bragging about short changing the local merchant, and on and on – your children will be influenced. Is this what we want to teach our children?

NEXT we do not need fathers today such as Jeroboam was to Nadab

Jeroboam was the first of 19 kings of the northern kingdom, and had the opportunity of setting a righteous tone for his government and for his successors, one of who would be his son Nadab - but instead he choose to walk by his own sinful stubbornness.

Note (1 Kings 15:25-26) And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin”. Nadab did not have a righteous father to emulate and walked in sin.

NEXT we do not need fathers today who rear their children in the speech of Ashdod.

Such was the case in Nehemiah’s day. (Nehemiah 13:23-24) In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:  And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people”.

The root of the problem was that Jewish men made the wrong choice of women, and it was affecting the purity of their speech

Making spiritual application to this - we are getting further removed all the time from the language of sound doctrine. Many of our young people no longer call Bible things by Bible names and are not doing Bible things in Bible ways. Fathers are many times to blame for unfit language. Fathers need to teach their children the Bible.


We need fathers today who will emulate Enoch

(Genesis 5:21-24) “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:  And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:  And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”.

Reading further in (Hebrews 11:5) “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God”.

(Jude 14-15) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him”.

These verses picture Enoch as a father who walked with God, a man of great faith, and a man who was not afraid to speak out against ungodly speech and conduct. Are we as fathers, leaving this kind of example for our children? Are we as fathers willing to stand up for God in every situation?

NEXT we need fathers today who will emulate Noah.

(Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.

Peter called Noah a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5) “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

(Genesis 6:8-9) “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God”.

Noah stood the test of faith. He was a believer and pleased God. Noah was a noble father. Noah was concerned about the saving of his children. He taught them. He walked with God leaving his children with a great example to follow.

NEXT we need fathers today who will emulate Abraham

(Genesis 18:19) “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him”.

He (trained the way they go) (Proverbs 22:6) “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

If Abraham would have failed as a father it is doubtful that he would have had the title “father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:”

NEXT we need fathers today who will emulate Joshua.

Joshua trusted in God when others would not (spies … promise land) … what a great example to leave his children!

(Joshua 24:15) “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”.

Joshua didn’t care what other fathers were doing - he and his family were going to serve the Lord. Joshua made the decision to lead his family in serving the Lord. Have you determined that you and your family will serve the Lord? If not, you need to begin earnestly serving the Lord today!

NEXT we need fathers today who will emulate Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:5-6 “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.  6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”. Zacharias was a righteous man. These are high commendations for a man. He acquired these qualities before he became a father. He choose a wife with the same qualities. Godly preparation for fatherhood is imperative. Men need to excel in the keeping of Biblical commands if they are going to succeed as fathers.

Today is Fathers’ Day, a day that we remember and give respect unto our fathers - a day that we say thank you. But let us also use this day to evaluate our fatherhood. Are we being the kind of fathers that will be of spiritual benefit to our children? Are we being the kind of fathers that are pleasing unto God? Fathers, let us work harder in our obligations as the father of our children. In a modified Red Green, “I am a Father; I can change, if I have too! For my Family and Father in Heaven”

Our relationship with God our Heavenly Father should be the most important part of our lives. Shouldn’t you consider this Father’s Day as a great time to become a child of God? If you are a child of God then he is your “Heavenly Father”. If you have not followed through with becoming a child of God you can do so this morning. You must hear the word of God Romans 10:17, you must believe the word of God (not parts of it but all of it) Mark 16:16. You must repent of your sins Luke 13:3 and confess that Jesus Christ is the “Son of God” Romans 10:10. And to complete the steps to becoming a child of God you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. Acts 2:38 after being baptized into Christ you should live faithful to God your “Heavenly Father”, the remainder of your days. Titus 2:11-12

If someone is here this morning that is a child of God and something is wrong in their life, and wants to make that right with God please use this opportunity today, if anyone needs the prayers of the congregation or wants to become a child of God please come forward while we stand and sing.