A Dad’s Words

June 19, 2011

It’s Father’s Day and as fathers and men we have known since we were little boys our purpose in life was to please women. Our mothers, our wives and our daughters. And we all know the rules. But there are things that men would like their wives to know, but they are scared to mention them. So guys as my Father’s Day gift to you today, here are “Ten Things Men Want Women to Know.”

#10 Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

#9 Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work. Strong hints do not work. Obvious hints do not work. Just say it!

#8 Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.

#7 “Yes” and “No” are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

#6 Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

#5 Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all past comments become null and void after 7 days.

#4 If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

#3 If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

#2 ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

#1 When we say we are thinking about “nothing” we are thinking about “nothing”.

 You’re welcome.

 What do you remember your father saying to you? Were they words of wisdom and encouragement or perhaps just the opposite. Perhaps these sound familiar (video, Memories of Dad, Produced by: Soul Refinery. Can be purchased from sermoncentral.com )

This morning we are looking at the words of King David to his son Solomon. David has come to the end of his rule and his life and as he prepares to finally meet his God he begins to put his earthly house in order. And so he assembles the leaders of Israel together so they can witness the transfer of leadership to his son, Solomon. Now not only is David giving his son the responsibility to rule Israel, but more importantly David holds out his dreams for his son to embrace.
Isn’t that the way of Fathers? Don’t each one of us hope that children will do what we couldn’t do, achieve what we couldn’t achieve and be what we couldn’t be? And so on this Fathers Day we may not be able to transfer our kingdoms, thrones and riches to our kids but we can give our children a taste of our dreams.
David had dreamed of building a temple for God and for various reasons that wasn’t going to happen, and so more important than the Kingdom he gave to his son was the vision for the kingdom that he gave to his son, and the challenge that he presented.
So who was Solomon and why for did he get the Kingdom and the dream? The who is easy, perhaps you remember the story of David and Bathsheba, I spoke on it a couple of weeks ago. Solomon was the second son of David and Bathsheba, it is recorded in 2 Samuel 12:24-25 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child. . .
Why was it specified that God loved Solomon? I don’t know, but it kind of explains why Solomon was the heir to the Kingdom instead of one of David’s older sons. The actual point that David was informed about who would follow him came in 1 Chronicles 22:9-10 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. He is the one who will build a Temple to honour my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
And we are told in 1 Kings 3:3 Solomon loved the LORD . . .
So the Lord loved Solomon and Solomon loved the Lord, sounds like a good combination to me. Just to kind of finish off who Solomon was let’s take a look at the defining moment in Solomons life, it is found in 1 Kings 3:5 . . .That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
What a great offer. I heard a story that a Pastor and his staff were out one day and an Angel appeared to them and made the same offer, well what he actually said was “You can have anything you want, you could be the most famous pastor in the world, your church could have incredible wealth or you could have immense wisdom and be the smartest man in the world.” Well the pastor thought back to what happened with Solomon and said “I’ll take the wisdom” The angel replied “Ok it’s as you asked”, and he disappeared, the associate Pastors gathered around to hear this new found wisdom of their leader and one of them said “well, what are you thinking” and the pastor looked up and said “I should have taken the money”
Well that isn’t what happened to Solomon, instead in 1 Kings 3:9 Solomon says “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
And that was the right answer because along with that wisdom God gave Solomon incredible riches and fame as well as a long life, pretty good deal.
And so to this son, who would become the wisest man in the world, who would through peace eclipse what his father had done through conquest, to this son David gives advice that every one of us as fathers should give to our sons, and to our daughters.
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
Know God Notice that David tells his son to Know God, not to simply know of God but to know God and there is a world of difference here. I know of Willie Nelson, and if I wanted to I could research his background and become intimately acquainted with his life and his habits. I could know his favourite foods, his favourite colour, what time he gets up in the afternoon and what time he goes to bed at night. But as much as I knew about him I still wouldn’t know him. Hey, you pick your heroes and let me pick mine, ok?
Many of you folks know of my dad, you’ve heard me speak about him, from time to time you hear me quote him. But you don’t really know him, you don’t know what makes him tick, you can’t wrap your arm around his shoulder and say, “Sit down Burt and tell me what’s on your mind.” You really just know about him. But David had a very special relationship with God. As a matter of fact in 1 Samuel 13:14 David was called a man after God’s own heart. If you were to read through the Psalms it doesn’t take very long to discover that David knew God, he was on speaking terms and more than that they were friends.
But David doesn’t assume that just because he knew God that his son would automatically know God. It would seem that some people think that just because they raise their kids in a Christian home that they will grow up to be Christians. That somehow they will absorb God’s grace through osmosis or that their kid’s will make it to heaven riding their coat tails.
You may be going to heaven, and if you are it is because you are one of God’s children, but your relationship will only save you, cause God has no grand-children just children. Every generation that accepts the Lord has the possibility of being the last generation of Christians if they don’t pass it on.
We need to show our kids our God, and we need to introduce them to our God and we need to encourage them to know our God. Have you given your kids the opportunity to accept Christ as saviour? You say “well no Denn that’s your job as pastor, or Jennifer’s job in the nursery, or Marilyn’s job heading up the youth ministry or Jason and Matt’s job in the youth group. No parents, it is your job, and if you wait for someone else to do it then there is a pretty good chance that you will lose your kids.
But not only does David tell Solomon to know God he adds to it: 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
Know Him Well David’s taking it a step further by saying, “Son, know God, but that’s not enough because we also must worship him and serve him.” Ok, so how do we go about serving God? Good question, the answer is you gotta give up your career, sell your home and go to Bible College. Then God will lead you into the deepest darkest jungles or into the pastorate, sometimes they are hard to tell apart. Because everybody knows that you can’t serve God unless you’re in full time Christian service. Right? Wrong, you see nobody can actually tell you what God expects of you, except God.
There are basics that God requires of all his children, read his word, talk to him in prayer, attend services at his house, support his work with your finances, tell others about him, touch a dying world for him. But some of the how tos need to be worked out between you and God. Regardless of what you do there are certain conditions that are set on your service. The first is that you serve him with your whole heart. Judas Iscariot served Jesus, but not necessarily with his whole heart. To take Jesus Christ as a fire escape from hell, while still worshipping at the shrine of self is a tragic mistake to make. The old adage still holds true, “If he isn’t Lord of all, he isn’t Lord at all!” So why are you here today? Are you here to serve God by worshipping him and praising him or are you here because it’s the thing to do, and because of what people think.
Are you here worshipping and serving God with your whole heart or because going to church one a week never hurt anyone and besides it keeps your wife happy or your parents off your back. Is your primary loyalty today to Jesus Christ or to yourself? Good question, have you got a good answer?
But it goes on, speaking not only of your whole heart but also with a willing mind. You don’t serve God because your parents want you to or your spouse wants you to, you do it because you want to, not reluctantly or with a forced heart but with a willing mind.
David could have ordered Solomon to serve God; he could have put a condition upon the throne that stipulated that if he didn’t serve God he’d lose the kingdom. Technically Prince Charles will become the head of the Anglican Church when he assumes the throne but really.
I’ve met people who are in the ministry because Aunt Bertha called them or Mommy wanted a pastor in the family, and now they just keep plodding along because they can’t do anything else.
I love what I do, seriously I do it because it’s what I have been called to do, I do it because this is part of how I serve God and I do it willingly. But I don’t do it because I have to, as a matter of fact I don’t think I could do it just because I had to. And I couldn’t be a Christian just to keep from going to hell. You can make a person go to church, but you can’t make them know and love God, they will have to do that themselves.
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
Know Him Now A while ago I asked the question: why are you here today? Why are you in the service at Cornerstone this morning? And if I were to wander down into the seats asking that question to each of your individually; “Excuse me sir, or madam, why are you here today?” I’d get all kinds of noble answers. And Denn would never know if those were the real reasons or not. But the Bible says that God knows why you’re here. And so regardless of the reason you give me for being here today, God knows the truth.
He’d know that some of you men would prefer listening to Denn nag you in church then listen to your wife nag you about going to church. He’d know that some of you are here out of habit, that you got up this morning and knew that it was Sunday, you got dressed and here you are without much conscious effort or thought. He’d know that some of you are here because you figure people would talk about you if you weren’t here. And he’d know that the majority of you are here because you wanted to be with the people of Jesus and you wanted to worship his name.
Isn’t it refreshing to know that regardless of how we rationalize, justify, or explain our actions, whether good or bad, that God always knows why we done it? Or just plain scary. And there is a reason why David was so concerned with Solomon getting it right.
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
. . . These are pretty harsh words, listen to them again
if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. There’s a Warning. Not for a day or two, not a week or two, or a month or two, or a year or two, if you forsake him then he will reject your forever. And forever is a long time. This is our life, and from here to the back of the worship centre is forever, except it keeps going.
And when the Bible says that God will reject you that means that you will go to hell, and contrary to popular opinion hell is not going to be a picnic, it’s not going to be a party time with your friends. The Bible vividly describes hell as a place of torment, a place of despair, a place of loneliness.
You see everything in this life that is good, everything thing in this life that is beautiful, all the kindness, and all the love is tied to God. Remove God from the equation and you remove beauty and goodness, kindness and love. And when you are rejected by God then you lose all the perks as well.
And regardless of your reasoning there is a hell, and it’s not going to be a fun time and there is no way to avoid hell without God. Someone once said that “Your denying hell won’t make it one degree cooler or one second shorter.” And people ask “How can a loving God send people to Hell.” But let’s go back to what David told Solomon: If you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Did you catch it, it begins with you, it is your decision, your choice. If you forsake him.
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
There’s a Promise If you forsake God he will reject you, but friends that’s not the good news. The good news is that if you seek God you will find him. This isn’t a game of hide and seek, God’s not trying to stay hidden. This is the promise of the word of God, if you seek him, you will find him. That is a powerful statement. Whenever you start looking for God, wherever you start looking for God, why ever you start looking for God, he will be found by you.
And so the question today, June 19, 2011 is this “Are you seeking God today?” Are you looking for him, because if you are, you will find him.