When we think of dad's, we often picture them as fishing, teaching us to ride our bike, cooking at the grill, giving piggy-back rides, and teaching us to drive the car. But for some people, such images may
■be blank because dad wasn’t part of the picture.
■may not be happy, but might be painful memories.
■Regardless, in Psalm 68:4-6 GOD HAS PROMISED TO BE THE FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
Three Familiar Fathers Figures who offer Negative Examples of Fatherhood:
■The Irresponsible Father “I’ll get around to it eventually.”
■The Dictator Dad – “King of this castle” (Irritable, Impatient, Inflexible)
■The Absent Dad – “Where’s dad? …hiding behind the newspaper, or out with his friends
A Good Example of Fatherhood from Scripture with 3 Crucial Characteristics for being a good father can be found in Luke 15:11-32. Though this is often referred to as the story of prodigal son, it really should be called the story of the loving father.
1. Great dads have AN OPEN HAND – They are TOUGH ENOUGH TO RELEASE
This Tells us something about the Father’s Relationship to His Child
Remember that this is a parable that illustrates God’s love for us.
■He had an open and honest relationship with his son.
■He Had a mature and Secure Relationship with his son
AS PARENTS WE KNOW…
■There are times when we need to hold on to our children.
■There are times when we need to release our children. (Tough Love)
■Letting Go will not be easy to do.
■The Son’s Rebellion was severe – painful
■The son’s rebellion was severing – departed
■HE HAD SOMETHING TO REBEL AGAINST!!
■Apparently there were rules, standards, expectations
■Consider Adam and Eve and the rebellion in the garden
2. Great Dads have TWO OPEN ARMS – They are TENDER ENOUGH TO RECEIVE
Notice some things about the Return of the Son
■The Son walked Home
■The Father RAN to Greet him.
■The Father’s Response Demonstrated
■Compassion – moved when he saw his son
■Passion – RAN to meet him
■Expression – Ordered a Celebration
3. Great Dads have AN OPEN HEART – They are TRANSPARENT ENOUGH TO REVEAL
■We do alright at showing Strength
■We need to work at showing sensitivity
■We do alright at showing displeasure
■We need to work at giving praise.
What does all this mean to us? God invites us:
■To Know the Father’s Heart through Salvation
■To have the Father’s Heart through Discipleship
■To Share the Father’s Heart through Evangelism
NOTE: this sermon outline was adapted from an original post by Pastor Dave which can be found at: http://networkedblogs.com/juPEp