A Father’s Final Words
1st Chronicles 28:9,10

June 16, 2002
Bruce Grice

Good morning!

*To borrow Dan’s expression, “It’s a great life when you love the Lord!”
*We received an e-mail from Dan. He & Bill Grant are doing fine.
*Our Vacation Bible School begins in the morning. If you haven’t pre-registered your children, please do so today. Enrollment cards are in the foyer.
*4 young ladies will be leaving tomorrow to take part in a “Let’s Start Talking” campaign in Numazu, Japan. They will be gone for 6 weeks. Crystal Jones, Erin Schwope, Andrea Shipman, & Ashley Womack.
PRAYER (Crystal, Erin, Andrea, Ashley; Dan & Bill; VBS)

A. Today is Father’s Day.

1. A day of cologne. A day of hugs, new neckties, long-distance telephone calls, & Hallmark cards.

2. We certainly wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads here this morning. *One little boy said, “Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the gift.” *Bill Cosby wrote, “Now that my father is a grandfather he just can’t wait to give money to my kids. But when I was a kid & I asked him for 50 cents, he would tell me the story of his life. How he got up at 5 am & walked miles to milk the cows. All for 5 cents. The result was I never got my 50 cents. But now he tells my children every time he comes into the house, ’Let’s see how much money Granddad has for his wonderful grandkids.’ And the minute they take money out of his hands I call them over to me because that is my money.”

B. “The World According to Dad” records words that most dads have said at one time or another to their children: *This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. *Don’t forget to check the oil. *I’m not made out of money. *You are going, and, you will have fun. *Who’s paying the bills around here, anyway? *If you break your leg, don’t come running to me. *Keep your eye on the ball. *We’re not lost! *No, we are not there yet. *I was not asleep. I was just resting my eyes. *Just wait till you have kids of your own. *Because I said so that’s why.

*Someone described his dad this way:

Like a warm fireplace in a large house, he was a source of comfort. During the turbulent years of my adolescence, Dad was one part of my life that was predictable. He was always there. And because he was there life went smoothly. The car always ran, the bills got paid, and the lawn stayed mowed. Because he was there we kids never worried about things like income tax, savings accounts, monthly bills or mortgages. Those were the things on Daddy’s desk. We have lots of family pictures without him. Not that he wasn’t there, but because he was always behind the camera. He made the decisions, broke up the fights, read the paper every evening. He didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do – be there. He taught me how to shave & how to pray. He helped me memorize verses for Sunday school & taught me that wrong should be punished & that rightness has its own reward. He modeled the importance of getting up early & staying out of debt. He comes to mind often. When I smell “Old Spice” aftershave, I think of him. He had a copyright chuckle that always came with a wide grin & arched eyebrows. If I ever wanted to know something, all I had to do was ask. And I knew if I ever needed him, he’d be there. Like a warm fireplace.

A. An excellent training film for fatherhood is It’s a Wonderful Life: *It’s the story of an ordinary man who becomes an ordinary family hero. George Bailey lived his whole life in Bedford Falls, a small town in America. He never realized his dream to travel the world. He gave it up for civic & family obligations. His only reward seemed to be a growing sense of frustration. Then, when he was threatened with scandal & the possibility of jail because of his uncle’s mistake, despair took over. George was saved from hopelessness by Clarence, his guardian angel, who allowed George to see what the world would have been like if he had never been born. Without George, his mother was bitter & suspicious, his wife never married, etc. George was a hero not because of great adventures, but because he did everyday things with family & friends, regardless of the problems.

B. Most men grow up with grand ideas of accomplishing great things.
1. They have a hungry ambition to be a hero who shapes the future.
2. Dads, that’s just what you are. A hero who shapes the future. We honor you today.

C. Your heroics may not be recorded in a best-selling novel,a classic movie, or on the cover of a magazine.
1. But your actions are recorded frequently in the hearts & minds of your children.
2. They record your simple, but heroic, deeds every day:
*The smile you gave that communicated how proud you were of them.
*The times you wiped tears from their faces & offered words of comfort.
*They review pictures of scrimmages in the yard, dates for dinner, visits to school, unexpected gifts, & loving hugs.
*They remember you praying beside their bed & life-changing instructions that came from your lips.

A. You live on the front page of the hearts of those you love the most.
1. Speaking of life-changing instructions, open your Bibles to 1st Chronicles 28, and, listen to one father’s final words to his son:
And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work. 1st Chronicles 28:9,10
2. What finer words could a father leave with his children.
3. More than anything else, David wanted his son to:

(Lots of things we want our kids to know. We teach them how to blow a bubble, changing the oil in the car, how to tie their shoes & ride a bike, where to turn to for advice, who to trust, etc.) But the most important thing we share with our children is to know God & serve Him. We pray for you dads in this effort.
4. David wanted Solomon his son to know God.
5. Not just any god, but his God.
B. Thank you, dads, for showing your children that: God is personal
1. He is not a topic to be discussed. He is not a fictional character.
2. He’s real. He’s your God.
3. He is someone with whom you have relationship.
*You talk about Him:
On family camping trips . . . While hiking through the woods . . . Beneath a star-filled sky, you share with your children the words of Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hands. God is personal. *You talk to Him: One boy recalled the most vivid memory of his father was seeing him kneel in prayer—When the father thought the child wasn’t looking.
C. Thank you, dads, for showing your children that: God is powerful
Another boy remembered the open Bible beside his father’s chair . . .
*A man came home from work discouraged. His business was experiencing financial losses, while at the same time serious illness was afflicting his family. His 5 year old daughter, sensing her father’s mood, gave him a hug & said:
Yesterday in Sunday school, my teacher said that God raised Jesus after He had been dead for three days. It takes a great big God to do something like that. Just how big is God, daddy?
*I wonder how many of our sons & daughters are asking: Just how big is your God, daddy?
A. David knew his God was big:
The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine. 1st Samuel 17:37 1. I wonder if David ever shared that story with Solomon?
2. Sharing spiritual victories illustrates God’s power.
3. Know that God is personal & powerful.


*One daughter remembered this about her father:
When we moved & I was having a hard time adjusting, you taught me how to stick out the tough times. When I was having trouble with my math grades, you encouraged me to do my best. Your relationship with Mom has taught me faithfulness & how to have a successful marriage. All these lessons were important, but teaching me about priorities was perhaps the most important. You always taught me Jesus first, others second, yourself last. You have taught me this mainly by being an incredible example.

B. Dads, you may live to regret many decisions in life, but serving God wholeheartedly is one decision you will never regret.
1. Having your heart attuned to His will.
2. Putting God first. You won’t regret that.
C. David didn’t.
1.The decision he made concerning Bathsheba, he regretted that: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1
2. David’s final words reveal a choice he never regretted. A decision he never wished he could change: Knowing God & Serving Him.
*When life tumbles in, what matters most?
*What matters most when your world falls apart?
Knowing God & Serving Him
After all,
Nothing is hidden from God
A. Adam & Eve tried; Jonah tried. All 3 failed.
1. You can’t “pull the wool” over God’s eyes.
2. At the same time, God never misses the good you do for your family.
3. To Him, you are one who shapes the future. You’re a hero.
Seek Him and you will find Him

B. God is no mirage in the desert. He is no optical illusion. He is not too good to be true.
1. You will find Him in His Word; His World; the smile of a little baby.
2. His Spirit is within you as a Christian . . . helping you pray, etc.
3. Know God & Serve Him.
4. In Him you find: Hope, peace, comfort, direction, mercy, love, etc.
Do these words really work?

C. Jacob was the son of Isaac, and the grandson of Abraham. Two of the godliest men in the Old Testament.
1. Yet, Jacob was also one of the sneakiest characters in the Bible.
2. Back in chapter 27, Jacob deceived his father & cheated his brother, Esau, out of his inheritance.
3. In chapter 32, Jacob is going home when he receives word that Esau is approaching with 400 men.
4. Talk about scared:
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed (Genesis 32:7).
5. In desperation, Jacob did something that he hadn’t done for a long time – he prayed:<
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ’Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you.” I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. For you said, “I will surely treat you well, and make your descendents like the sand of the sea . . .” Genesis 32:9,11
A. Jacob’s prayer reveals some of the questions our children have asked or will ask:
Daddy, is your God big enough - to deliver us from danger . . . to forgive our sins . . . to keep His promises?
1. As a father, Jacob wrestled with these questions.
2. So do our kids.
B. After all, their world is filled with danger: pornography, drugs, war, & the threat of wars, personal doubts, temptations, struggles that no one else knows about but God
1. Their world is filled with conditional love & broken promises.
2. “I’ll love you if . . .”
3. “I know I said I would do that, but . . .”
C. In the midst of this often chaotic, stormy world, shines the truth that you share with & live before your family . . . God is big enough to deliver, forgive, keep His promises.
1. Believe it, dads.
God forgave Jacob, changed him, and made him the father of a mighty nation . . . because God was big enough.
2. God bless you as you lead your family to know this God & serve Him wholeheartedly.
3. We thank you dads.
*One of the most quotable parents of our age is Yogi Berra, the baseball player, who often butchers both language & logic, but somehow always makes sense. On one occasion he said: 90% of baseball is mental. The other 1/2 is physical. Yogi can’t add, but his observation is correct. Much of life is mental:

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
4. R<i>ead & meditate upon David’s final words to his son:
And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 1st Chronicles 28:9.10

*A little child was walking with Dad through the woods. They’d been walking for several hours, and the end of the woods was nowhere in sight. There were no signs of civilization. No houses. No cars. Dad playfully asked, “Which way should we go?” “I don’t know, Dad, I’ve never been this way before?” “Are you saying that you’re lost?” asked the dad. “How could I be lost?” the child responded. “I’m following you!”
A. No matter your age, dads, there will always be younger legs trying to walk in the imprints you’ve made.
1. Leading your family is not as lonely a job as it may seem.
2. There is One who has gone before you to show the way.
3. Your family can confidently follow you, as you follow Christ.
B. So lead on, Dad.
Model your faith before them.
Ignore the whispering voices that urge compromise, and stand strong on your convictions
. 3. Fall to your knees in prayer when your family stumbles through the valley.
4. Feed your soul & the souls of your family with His Word.
5. Focus your eyes on the peak & push ahead through the rocky canyons.
Your family has never been this way before, but they won’t get lost as long as they follow you & you follow Him.
*In London, there is a church in West Ham which has ministered for over half a century to the down & out. Over the entrance there is an unusual sign. It says, “Men Made Here.” Through the years, thousands of men, women, and, families have learned the meaning of that sign. Within those doors, they found the way to have their lives remade by Jesus Christ.
1. What a motto for the home!
2.What a motto for the church!
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2nd Corinthians 5:17

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