Osceola Sermon Courageous Call: It takes Courage to Fight for my family. June 3rd, 2012: (Pastor Bob Vale) Joshua 1:1-9 / Communion Sunday Biblical Focus: Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Scripture Lesson: Joshua 1:1-9 “After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country-to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. JOS 1:6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Traditional Service: (Communion Sunday) Hymn of Praise: # 514 Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus Prayer Chorus: # 328 Surely The Presence of the Lord is in this Place. Prayer of Confession: Solid Praise Service: 11:00 a.m. Solid Praise Contemporary Service: Opening Song: Hear Our Praises 2. I See The Lord Scripture: Psalm 22:25-28 3. We Bow Down / Jesus Draw Me Close to You
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Focus Points: God wants to bless you: Joshua 1:4 God is with you always: Joshua 1:5 Be strong and courageous: Joshua 1:6 Obey God & His commands: Joshua 1:7-8
Open the sermon with the video clip of the father having his car stolen and he chasing it to get his baby daughter back. Close sermon with the video clip of the father agreeing to run with his son: After viewing that video clip you can see he definitely had something to fight for. A father will do some life threatening things for his family. Father’s we certainly have something to fight for! 1. We need to fight for our children & Families. 2. We need to fight for our integrity as fathers to do the right thing. 3. If we are grandparents, we need to continue to help our adult children parent their children for the betterment of your grandchildren. 1. I remember one time I went to an amusement park with my family in North Carolina. It was called Ghost Town in the sky. Our family went on a lot of rides at the park and took in all the sights. It was a great day for our family. There was a ride on the park that was inside a building. They had the ride inside the building so they could turn out the lights during the ride to make it more suspenseful. My young son Joshua was only about 8 years old and rather small at the time and asked if we could go on the ride together. We stood in line and walked back and forth until it was our turn to get
into the riding metal compartment that slung us around in a circle.. This was one of those rides that went around and around, but also took you inside the circle. The ride was so fast and it ended up throwing your body against one side of the other of the car we were riding in. Unfortunately the side of the car that forced our bodies against the car had little Joshua between me and the car. The strong centrifugal force was pushing my body weight against Joshua, to the point that it was hurting him and he could not breath. For five or six minutes I pushed with everything I had against the wall to keep my weight off of my son. I continued to yell at the operator, who could neither hear me from all the other screaming and the darkness of the room. It was amazingly frustrating. I really thought I was going to crush my son from that ride. I fought and fought the centrifugal force the entire ride, to not hurt my son. That ride seemed to go on forever. As a father I was fighting for my son not to get hurt. Dad’s I have a message for you today: 1. You need to strive to be the best father you can be. 2. God will help you. 3. Your church will help you! (Programs for kids; Sunday school to teach them about God and the Bible, Kids Choir, Christmas Musical, Wed. night kids Clubs, Youth group meetings and activities, Day care when you go to work, Vacation Bible School, Summer Camps for children and teens. (We made a promise to help you when your child was baptized.) Congregation we are in a fatherless epidemic across our nation with absent fathers. So many times we have heard; one of the problems with America is the breakdown of the family over the past many years. I would tend to agree after reading some rather alarming
statistics. There are so many men who are just not doing their job. I know I am preaching to the choir and many of the men in our church are doing a wonderful job raising their children. However, listen to these American statistics. According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes. In 1960, only 11% of children in America lived in fatherabsent homes. From 11% to 33% in 50 years; what will tomorrow hold? SOURCE: U.S. Dept of Health: 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That’s 5 times the national average. SOURCE: Justice and Behavior: 90% of all runaways and homeless children are from fatherless homes. That’s 32 times the national average. SOURCE: Justice and Behavior: 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes. 14 times the national average. SOURCE: Center for Disease Control: 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes. 20 times the national average. SOURCE: National Principals Association Report: 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. 9 times the national average. SOURCE: Rainbow’s for all God’s Children: 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. 10 times the national average. SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Justice: 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. 20 times the national average. Children with involved Fathers are more confident, better able to deal with frustration, better able to gain independence and their own identity, more likely to mature into compassionate adults, more likely to have a high self esteem, more sociable, less likely to show signs of depression, less likely to commit suicide, more empathetic.
The great importance of fathers going to church: If both the mother and father attend church regularly: 33% of the children will end up attending church regularly as adults. 25% of their children will end up not attending at all as adults. If the Mother attends church regularly, but the father does not attend at all: Only 2% of their children will end up attending church regularly as adults. 60% of their children will end up not attending at all as adults. These next two statistics are “Huge” to fathers and illustrates the huge impact of spiritual leadership a father can provide in the home! If the mother is the first to become a Christian in the household, there is only a 17% chance that everyone else in the household will follow in becoming a Christian. If the father is the first to become a Christian in a household, there is a 93% probability that everyone in the household will follow in becoming a Christian. There is a current trend in America among both Christians and non Christian. Let’s not get married, but let’s simply live together and raise a family. Birth Statistic: 25% of all births are with couples who are living together and not married. Christian marriage has diminished greatly in the past two decades. When God tells us in the book of Genesis 2:24“the two shall become one flesh”: That is not talking about a man and woman becoming a couple for a fun game of Euchre. It is talking about the man and woman becoming one in marriage and physical union to begin a family. When the Apostle Paul made the statement in I Corinthians 7:9 “It is better to marry than to live in passion.” He was talking to both men and women, telling them that sex is for the sacredness of marriage.”
In my opinion, we are in a mess and it only appears America is going to get worse and not better in the years to come.
What can we do as a church? 1. 2. 3. 4.
We can stress the spiritual importance of the Christian Father in the home. We can sponsor sermon series about being a good Christian father. We can hold Bible studies about how to be a good Christian father. We can have activities that support and sponsor Christian marriages and families. 5. As your pastor, I can offer counseling to couples in need. 6. We can have strong family activities all through the year. To do nothing would only add to the problem; and our church would eventually die. By the way, there are two United Methodist Churches across our country who are closing their doors every day. First UMC of Elkhart) Although there are a hundred reasons why these churches are closing their doors, I would suppose many years ago the congregation simply stopped reaching out to young families. They stopped doing difficult and dangerous things.
Our scripture lesson today helps us understand what Fathers can do to become great fathers.
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God wants to bless you: Joshua 1:4 God is with you always: Joshua 1:5 Be strong and courageous: Joshua 1:6 Obey God & His commands: Joshua 1:7-8
Let’s see what the scriptures have to say: 1. God wants to bless you: Joshua 1:4 “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west.” A. Just as God wanted to bless the Hebrew people with fertile land; God also wants to bless faithful Christian father’s with the following. 1. A loving and supportive wife. (If it is part of God’s will) 2. The blessing of wonderful children. (If it is part of God’s will) 3. The Abundant Christian Life.
2. God is with you always: Joshua 1:5 “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” A. This is a wonderful promise. God is with us through good times and bad times. B. Fathers: Can you say the same to your children? Can you tell them; I will never leave you or forsake you. (Remember our stats from earlier) C. There is a wonderful Father’s Day Poem from a child to his father called, “Slow Down Daddy.” Please listen as I read it to you. Slow Down, Daddy! "Slow down, Daddy, I just can't run that fast!" The little voice calls out to you, as you walk on past. "Wait for me, Daddy, I'm trying hard to follow you..." Walking closely in your footsteps - where are you leading to? "Hey Daddy, hey Daddy, come take a look at me!" The call goes on unheeded; too caught up in your thoughts to see. "Come over here, Daddy, can you stop a minute and play?" The little voice laughs aloud, but you are distracted by your day. "Oh Daddy, guess what we learned in class today. Jesus loves me, this I know. And then we knelt to pray... Tell me Bible stories about Jesus - I really love those parts... I got saved today, Daddy, Jesus now lives in my heart!" "I love you, Daddy, I thought of you all day long... We had so much fun - but I miss you when you're gone. Good night, Daddy, it's been a long, long, day. I'm so sleepy, Daddy, but I love it when you pray." "Come play with me, Daddy," the words echo in your ear, As you gaze upon your sleeping child, the one you love so dear. "It's been so long, Daddy, I was waiting for you to come home to me." And you vow to be there tomorrow, to be the Daddy you need to be. For Father's Day / May 30th/06 / Jerry Bouey
It seems to me we have too many men in America not taking their fatherly role seriously. Even when their children are crying out to spend time with them. They are “Underemployed Fathers.” We also have a lot of men who take their fatherly roles very seriously. They spend time with their children. They read to them, care for them, bring them to church. I thank the Lord for those kind of fathers. What kind of impact would it make upon our children, if they knew we were always going to be there for them? We would never leave them in their times of trials and troubles. It would be huge! Illustration: There was A young man was to be sentenced to go to prison. The judge had known him from childhood, for he was well acquainted with his father--a famous legal scholar and the author of an exhaustive study and book entitled, "The Law of Trusts." "Do you remember your father?" asked the magistrate. "I remember him well, your honor," came the reply. Then trying to probe the offender's conscience, the judge said, "As you are about to be sentenced and as you think of your wonderful dad, what do you remember most clearly about him?" There was a pause. Then the judge received an answer he had not expected. "I remember when I went to him for advice. He looked up at me from the book he was writing and said, 'Run along, boy; I'm busy!' When I went to him for companionship, he turned me away, saying "Run along, son; this book must be finished!' Your honor, you remember him as a great lawyer. I remember him as a lost friend." The magistrate muttered to himself, "Unfortunately his father finished the book, but lost the boy!" 3. Be strong and courageous: Joshua 1:6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” A. God is asking us to be courageous. (Dad’s Step up!)
Remember it is Joshua who says this to all the other fathers among the Hebrew clans. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Some of the Hebrew people at the time still wanted to worship Baal and other Egyptian gods. Joshua stood up as a leader and father of his own household. A. Fathers: I believe God is still asking you to be strong and courageous. 1. I believe God is asking us to get our priorities in line. (God, Family, Work, Pleasure.) 2. I believe God is asking us to be the best dad’s and grandfathers we can be in this life. 3. I believe God wants us to be strong and courageous and be the spiritual leaders in the home. Do you know if your children or grandchildren have been saved? Ask them!!! 4. I believe God wants us to be strong and courageous with our integrity: Your taxes, your everyday dealings with people, your life is an open book to your children. Morally your children will become an image of you. (That is not always the case; but for the most part.)
I remember two different times in my life when I took my two sons on a professional fishing charter. Once off the coast of California and the other on Lake Erie as we fished for perch. Both charters have a tradition of gathering up a collection of money for a game of chance on who will catch the biggest fish and who will catch the most. The winner at the end of the trip gets all the collected cash. In both cases my boys were young and I passed on the opportunity. Both times my sons asked why I chose not to participate. I told them I don’t believe God wants me to play around with money through betting and gambling. The interesting part of both experiences was this: In California my three sons and I caught the most fish for the day and I caught the biggest fish on the boat. The same thing happened on Lake Erie, with me catching the biggest perch for the day. What message would I have sent my sons, if I had participated and won that little bit of money on the boat.
The message would have been loud and clear. It is ok to gamble with your hard earned money. Trust me, it takes courage to be different. It is quite easy to go along with the crowd and be the same as everyone else 4. Obey God & His commands: Joshua 1:7-8 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Fathers: It is your responsibility for the Christian Education of your children. As Christ loves the church you are to love your family and help them know of God’s word. Deut. 6:5-8 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, i
with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 "And j these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 k "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 l "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Let me remind you a bit of the statistics I mentioned earlier about fathers being the spiritual leader of the home. The great importance of fathers going to church: If both the mother and father attend church regularly: 33% of the children will end up attending church regularly as adults. 25% of their children will end up not attending at all as adults. If the Mother attends church regularly, but the father does not attend at all: Only 2% of their children will end up attending church regularly as adults. 60% of their children will end up not attending at all as adults.
These next two statistics are “Huge” to fathers and illustrates the huge impact of spiritual leadership a father can provide in the home! If the mother is the first to become a Christian in the household, there is only a 17% chance that everyone else in the household will follow in becoming a Christian. If the father is the first to become a Christian in a household, there is a 93% probability that everyone in the household will follow in becoming a Christian.
The great track star and Olympian, Carl Lewis grew up in a Christian home with a father who raised him in the church and loved him very much. He taught him well the honesty of hard work, Christian ethics and integrity in living his life. Not long after Carl Lewis won a gold medal for the 100 meter race at the 1984 Olympics, his father died. At his father's funeral, Carl Lewis placed his 100-meter gold medal from the 1984 Olympics in his father's hands before the casket closed. (Knowing he would never see it again.) Placing the gold medal in his father’s hand was a way of honoring his father for the relationship they had together. I guess Carl figured he would not have that gold medal, were it not for a father who loved him and taught him well the lessons of life. Knowing it was his only Olympic medal for that race, Carl told his surprised mother, don’t worry mom, I'll get another one." A year later, in the 100-meter final at the 1988 games, Carl Lewis was competing against Canadian world-record-holder Ben Johnson. Halfway through the race Johnson was five feet in front. Lewis was convinced he could catch him. But at 80 meters, he was still five feet behind. It's over, Dad, Lewis thought. As Johnson crossed the finish, he stared back at Lewis and thrust his right arm in the air, index finger extended. Lewis was exasperated. However, Carl Lewis noticed Ben Johnson's bulging muscles and yellow-tinged eyes, both indications of steroid use. "I didn't have the medal, but I could still give to my father by acting with class and dignity at the loss," Lewis said later. He shook Johnson's hand and left the track. But then came the important announcement that Johnson had tested positive for anabolic steroids. He
was stripped of his medal. The gold medal went to Lewis, a replacement for the medal he had given his father. Close sermon with the video clip of the father agreeing to run with his son: Dad’s: Please spend time with your children. Grandfather’s still spend time with your children and grandchildren. Let’s Pray,
Pastor Bob’s Sermon Notes Scripture Lesson: Joshua 1:1-9 Focus Points: 1. God wants to bless you: Joshua 1:4
2. God is with you always: Joshua 1:5
3. Be strong and courageous: Joshua 1:6
4. Obey God & His commands: Joshua 1:7-8