Lighthouse Notes 06 19 2011 (Pastor Joey Rountree)
A striking feature of the history of Israel is that it seems she was always on the brink of being just one generation from total eradication. A quick survey of the Old Testament reveals they were ever just as described; hard-hearted, disobedient, and unfaithful. Their checkered history begins in the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then Jacob’s twelve sons see the beginning of four-hundred years of captivity in Egypt, until one day they cry out to God for deliverance. Moses is raised up to deliver the people from their bondage. He leads them to the borders of the promised land only to hear God’s rejection of this people for their unbelief. Seventy years pass before Joshua is allowed to bring the next generation into the land of rest. Victory is short-lived as the next account of their history is described in the book of Judges. There we read,
“So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who has seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel. Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died when he was one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Heres, in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:7-10
In one generation, Israel is now described as a people who do not know their God, and do not know His works.
Thesis: It is possible to know and experience the blessings of God and yet, fail to pass our faith along to the next generation.
We live in a society on the brink of an internal collapse. God has blessed the nation of America. The churches in America have been blessed equally so, and yet the world suffers because the church is not what it is supposed to be.
Question to consider: If Lighthouse Baptist Church disappeared today, would the community know it was gone?
The church isn’t what it is supposed to be because families are not what they are supposed to be. The family is not what it is supposed to be because fathers are not what they are supposed to be. Dad’s are the element that must be used to change the world; to glorify our Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, too many fathers have turned over their responsibilities to their wives.
What’s the answer? First, men must have a relationship with God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Second, men must live by faith, under the control of the Holy Spirit.
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
This text can be used to ward off the acceptance of drunkenness by believers, but Paul wants his readers to hear much more than just that. He wants his readers to grasp a picture of someone under the influence of alcohol. He wants them to see how the mind and body are controlled when a person is drunk. He wants them to understand that is how the believer should be filled by the Holy Spirit. We’ve heard the statement, “It’s just the alcohol talking.” That is Paul’s point. A person led by the Spirit of God is under the Spirit’s control. How do we know if we’re being controlled by the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23)
Statistics show that children are more likely to have the faith of their father. The best way to improve our children is to improve ourselves. A great fear every dad should have is that they only allowed their children to see the church, not Jesus. Jesus should be our North Star. We may waver, but if He is our North Star, we will always remain on course.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Ephesians 5:25
Husbands are to be the leader by God’s sovereign design and a lover by an act of will. We are the stewards of our wives and we are accountable for them. It is not a dictatorship. Biblically, our love for our wives is not something we feel, it is what we do. As Christ loved His church. He gave Himself for her.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Kids watch their dads. They know what we’re sincere about. If we are different at church than at home, they recognize it. Sunday is not enough. The children and youth ministries were not designed to replace dad.
One child said, “I don’t need church, it didn’t help my dad — it might make me like him.” Our children need more; we are giving them less.
Points for how to help pass our faith to our children.
1. Love my wife. Unconditionally
2. Spend time with kids. Stuff is fun but temporary. Kids spell love – T I M E
3. More is caught than is taught. Inconsistency breeds hypocrisy.
4. Show affection – slobber all over them.
5. Pray for them. One man asked his child if there was something he could pray for in their life. The child responded, “You pray?”
6. Discipline. the goal is to build up. a child needs to learn authority, because one day the Heavenly Father will hold them accountable. Love them enough to say “no.”
7. Love your kids. Enjoy them. Give up something for them. Sell what’s in the way. It’s just stuff.
Let’s not be a generation like the one recorded in Judges chapter two.