Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 | Listen to Message
Check Your Commitments
Our culture’s idea of a good family man is someone who’s committed to providing for his wife and kids – especially one who provides material things and fun experiences. If your garage is overflowing with bikes, scooters, skateboards, and skis, and your basement is piled high with toys and dvds, and every weekend’s adventure looks like a photo shoot straight out of Outside Magazine, you’re probably in the running for “The World’s Greatest Dad.”
Somehow, somewhere along the way, Christian fathers bought into this definition of successful fatherhood. And we don’t seem to recognize that we’re training our children to glorify consumption instead of Christ. We don’t seem to notice (or care) that our kids can sing and dance to every song on the radio, can snowboard in the winter and wakeboard in the summer, and can text 100 words per minute, but have no idea how to study the Bible or pray with a sense of awe.
Where did we go wrong? Maybe it started us, dads. Maybe we’ve been reinforcing the wrong priorities by displaying our own dedication to the wrong things. Maybe, in a thousand ways, we’ve been telling the next generation…
- “I’m committed to my career above everything.”
- “I’m committed to money and materialism.”
- “I’m committed to pleasure and having fun.”
- “I’m committed to my reputation and popularity.”
- “I’m committed to being right all the time.”
- “I’m committed to having my best life right now.”
Dads, it’s time we check our commitments.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, the Apostle Paul says to a group of believers, “Like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and you’ll notice three things that Christian fathers everywhere ought to be committed to:
1. Commit to the Gospel.
You and your family will find salvation only in the free grace of Jesus Christ. His willingness to offer himself for the forgiveness of sins is your only hope in life, your only comfort in death. Not education. Not money. Not your career. Not a good reputation. Only Jesus. So fall in love with the Gospel of grace over and over again. Dedicate your life to receiving it by faith and to sharing it with other.
2. Commit to being a God-pleaser.
Stop being that shallow, selfish, hypersensitive creature you are when you’re being a total people-pleasure. Stop getting pushed around by what others think of you. Stop manipulating circumstances to get people to like and respect you. Dedicate your life to honoring, obeying, and enjoying the Savior who gave everything for you.
3. Commit to the local church.
What does it say about the condition of the American Church that Father’s Day is the least-attended Sunday of the year? When younger generations leave the church in droves, we’ve got nothing to complain about: we have mentored them to believe the church isn’t worth investing in – not when there’s a round of golf to be played, or a boat to be driven, or a campground or trail or new brunch restaurant to be explored.
C’mon, dads! God has called you to love Him, to cherish His bride, and to use your strength to serve and protect others who are less advantaged. Can you even imagine what God might do if we lived this way – if Christian fathers committed themselves to the same things as the heavenly Father, and let Him work through them?