COLOR: WHITE OR GOLD
SUNDAY JUNE 16TH 2019
TEXTS: ROMANS 5: 1 – 5
THEME: THROUGH IT ALL THERE IS HOPE
Before we turn to our text for the day allow me to lift a few thoughts today in honor of all the fathers here and those who are absent.
This special day comes every year and I know the card business gets busy selling which right they come with touching messages. Many get in touch with their father’s this way which is good. Being a Father’s Day some in these room may have stories to tell about their Dads. Some of the stories became a life lesson while others we have never understood them but either way like mothers every father has an obligation to meet when it comes to their children. I have said this before and I like to say again, I have a small sticker on the front passenger side of my car that reads: “A Man’s success is not how much money he has made but what kind of family he has brought up.” Like the Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a special time when we also remember those people who though they were not our biological fathers, they acted in such a way that we owe them love and appreciation. I know there are those of us here who have had bad experiences with their fathers and to them I want them to know that all fathers are not like that. Most fathers would go to any length to make sure their family is cared for, provided, and sheltered from all dangers. Though Father’s Day is not a religious holiday we gather here to remind ourselves how important fathers are in the family system. We realize in the today’s world there will be those who will like to have children without involving a father figure while many men have fathered many children who they have not been a father to. I would like to first share a little about the role of fathers that sometimes we fathers take for granted. Many fathers today are struggling to balance between family and career and sometimes it is not always easy. Father’s role is:
- To connect with God: The bible has many examples of what we call church fathers. Names like Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses come to mind. Today we need to remind all the men in worship service that their primary responsibility is to connect their family with God in such a way that they (fathers) become the faith pillars for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. All men therefore are reminded that they have a spiritual responsibility to their family. Statistics show that when a father is committed to God there are higher chances of his family being committed to God too. What we are simply saying is that fathers have to take a lead on the faith journey. As we connect with God we get to connected with the church. It is through this connection with the church that we create another circle of family called the Church family. This family (Church) is made up of people who we are related through the blood of Jesus Christ and goes beyond the color, race, and nationality. We therefore become brothers and sisters in the Lord.
- Connecting cord within family: This responsibility as a family cord will involve all kinds of responsibilities. This calls for: sacrifice: A father is called to sacrifice many things on behalf of the family. Sometimes the sacrifice calls for a father to take a real risk in life on behalf of the family. Almost every father will take risk on behalf of the family. Presence: In being present to our family it tells them that what matters in life is: people not objects, patience not judgment, love not anger. A father’s responsibility is to faithfully care for those who are entrusted to him especially children and grandchildren and the list goes on. Our role as father is to make sure we complete the journey faithfully. We are a family where love, respect, and care for one another are experienced.
- A Father is a Teacher: In a sense we are put in a position where we teach by our action, presence and example. Fathers teach their children to fish, hunt, drive, camp and the list can go on. As a teacher, fathers have to learn to listen, to discern, be patient, encourage, as well as to help explore. We become the sounding board as well as a place of safety at the time of challenge. A father love cultivate trust as well as respect.
Let turn briefly to our text for the day. We know Paul was writing to the church from Corinth before going to Rome about 57 A.D as he was preparing to go to Jerusalem. The Roman church was mostly Jewish though there were good number of gentiles. As you read through this epistle you quickly find that Paul is telling his faith journey in a more organized way. We can say that we find most of Paul’s theology in this book and his personal views of many contemporary issues that the church was faced with at that time. We should not forget that by this time the church of Jesus was under persecution and Christians were be sought by the persecutors. There were all kinds of persecution that were taking place then. Paul is encouraging the people of faith then and reminding us of the following lesson:
- Endurance produces character: We live in a world where sometimes trouble shows at our backyard. Though many will try very hard not to get in trouble we realize that the reality of life is that not all trouble can be avoided. This is because trouble comes in all formats, shapes, and unexpected moments. When we make sure that trouble does not overwhelm us, we learn quickly that as we overcome each obstacle in our life, we get better prepared for something similar showing up down the road. In the process of dealing with life obstacles they quickly shape who we are. The bible reminds us to endure all these challenged of life and in doing so we are building character. As we endure the pain and suffering that come our way, we get to be overcomers. We stand up and get counted. Let us not give up the fight of doing what is right for in fighting we are building character. We have to let the world know where we stand when it comes to different issues in life. The great bible hero went through tough times but by keeping close to God they became victorious. Think of the man called Job in the bible and what he went through.
- Character produces Hope: One thing we have to always remind ourselves when going through a difficult patch in our lives is that we are not alone. We read the other day when Paul and Silas were thrown in jail they were not alone. The Angel of God was with them. At the middle of the night while praying and singing after the shaking of the jail building their chains fell of and the prison door were open. This was a God thing no human being could have pulled this. This omnipresent God gives us hope. There is hope for us who are faced with these challenges because we know that we serve a living God and we are victorious. When Christ was faced with death he did not run away or give excuses. God the father saw him though. We are a people of hope who believe in the sunrise even when we have experienced a sunset. We hold on to the hope that God has proved to be faithful over and over again.
- Access Grace through Faith: As Christians we know that we are not saved by our works. We are saved by the grace of God though faith. Therefore, we come to God knowing that it is not by our strength that we become overcomers but by the grace God given to us by Jesus Christ. It is not in understanding everything that we become overcomers but in knowing that even when we don’t understand the grace of God will see us through. We read from Paul when he talks of having a thorn in the flesh and prayed many times for God to remove it. God’s response was that his grace was sufficient. “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect I weakness.” (2corinthians 12:7-9a) God walk with his people started from the time he created them. We read in the book of Genesis. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid from God among the trees of the garden, But the LORD God called the msn, ‘Where are you?” (Genesis 3: 8-9) that he used to come in the garden every afternoon to have some fellowship moments. As we face difficulties in life, we have to believe that the grace of God will take us through.