Sermon:  Fatherhood from the Eyes of Paul

Summary:  Paul's relationship to Timothy gives a picture of fatherhood that is beneficial for 
fathers at all times.  Fatherhood involves praying for and with the children, it involves blessing 
the children, and it involves empowerment given to the children so that they can grow as 
faithful servants of God.

Know:  Fathers need to be committed to their children in prayer and godly, positive 

Feel:  The desire to honor fathers and/or be good fathers

Do:  Reflect on the characteristics of fatherhood as taught in the scriptures, and on the character 
of God as a model father, and how the relationship between God and his children instructs us 
in our father/child relationships.

Text:  2 Tim 1:1-8

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 103:8-14

1.  Happy Father's Day - Thinking about my Father, looking at some old photos
	a.  I used to love looking at family pictures at Grandma's
	b.  Point? Father's impact last for generations
2.  Text - 2 Tim 1:1-8 - Looking at ways Fathers make a godly impact
	a.  Paul uses Father image to describe relationship 
	b.  Get a picture here of how Father's impact their children

I.  (v.3) Fathers pray for their children
	A.  Paul always prayed for his children
		1.  His letters always began with prayer
		2.  Whether to congregation he was a "father" to
		3.  Or to a disciple he had "fathered"
		4.  Prayer was always the first order of the day
	B.  This is very, very powerful
		1.  Because God is very, very powerful
			a.  We often talk about the "power of prayer"
			b.  But the power of prayer is really the power of God
			c.  God can move Heaven and Earth when asked
				- Josh 10:11-14 - Joshua prayed for the sun to stand 
				   still, and it did for a whole day
				- 2 Kng 20:1-11 - Isaiah prayed for God to make time 
				   go backwards
				- Jas 5:17-18 - Elijah prayed it not rain, and God held 
				   the rain back three years, then he prayed it rain, 
				   and God sent rain
			d.  So yes, when pray, God can make great things happen
		2.  Because a child gets a look at who you are
			a.  One of the most intimate and vulnerable times is prayer
			b.  Not talking about "public" or "canned" prayers
			c.  Here is what a child sees
				- Your frailty, and the power of God through it
				- Your heart, and how God has been shaping it
				- Your submissiveness, and how Jesus is your Lord
				- Most of all, will see the Lord in you
			d.  Father is never taller than when he stoops to pray with his 
	C.  ILL:  Years ago one of my boys had bad day, gotten in so much trouble
		1.  Long lecture, then grounded to his room
		2.  Went upstairs to pray with him - planning on a “lecture prayer”
			a.  Lecture prayer is where you are praying, but it is really 
			     directed "at" him
			b.  I had done the lecture prayer before, and he knew it was 
			c.  He was so crushed, he couldn't even look at me
		3.  Suddenly, I changed my mind.  
			a.  I prayed - "God I am so thankful that this is my son, I 
			     know he had a bad day, but it is over and it doesn't matter 
			     now.  I am proud of him, and he is so important to me.  I 
			     am looking forward to many more good times with him."
			b.  I also prayed, "God, I am not always the best father and 
			     don't always do the wisest thing, so I ask that you help 
			     me be the best father than I can to my son because he is 
			     so special to me."
			c.  I honestly poured out my heart to God in prayer then 
		4.  Looked at me with disbelief, then hugged me
			a.  Said, "I'm sorry Dad, I love you."
			b.  Weight was lifted off his shoulders…and mine
	D.  Prayer with your kids is so powerful 

II.  (v.4-5) Fathers bless their children
	A.  In these verses, Paul is "blessing" Timothy
	B.  What is a blessing anyway?
		1.  Words
			a.  Heb:  barak, baruk - To bless, speak well of, empower
			b.  Grk:  "eulgogia" - to speak well of
			c.  Latin:  "benedictus" 
		2.  To have God's blessing is a powerful thing
			a.  Means you are in favor with God
			b.  Means long life, good crops, large family, prosperity
			c.  Those who bless the blessed will be blessed
			d.  Those who curse the blessed will be cursed 
		3.  Having the blessing of a father was also powerful
			a.  Ultimate blessing from God…
			b.  But priests as God's representative would bless
			c.  Fathers and Patriarchs also blessed
			d.  Still a powerful thing
	C.  Gen 27 - Jacob stole Esau's blessing, the one meant for oldest son
		1.  (Gen 27:27-29)  Look at what this blessing entailed
			a.  Dew of Heaven, fatness of earth, abundance of grain
			b.  Peoples serve you/ nations bow down to you
			c.  Be master over your brothers
			d.  Cursed be those who curse you, blessed be those who 
			      bless you
				- Jacob later became Israel
				- Father of God's people, had blessing of God
		2.  (v.37-40) - What about Esau?
			a.  Esau would become strong
			b.  v.40 - Esau would get past this
			c.  Gen 33:9 - Esau had plenty, he had a good life
		3.  Isaac had blessed both sons, and it had a powerful effect on 
	D.  When fathers bless their children, has a life long impact on them
		1.  Gary Smalley and John Trent identified elements of a blessing
			a.  Meaningful touch
			b.  Spoken words
			c.  Expressing High Value
			d.  Picturing a Special Future
			e.  An Active Commitment
		2.  Fathers have opportunities to give small blessings every day
			a.  I am proud of you, you are doing great, you can do it
			b.  Anything that empowers, builds up, is a blessing

III.  (v.6-8) Fathers Empower their children
	A.  Paul gave a gift to Timothy
		a.  He doesn't specifically identify the gift
		b.  It could have been miraculous, or the ministry Paul commended 
		     him to 
	B.  Whatever the gift was, Paul focuses on the “effect” of the gift
		1.  Not a spirit of fear, but power, love, discipline
		2.  Fear vs. Power.  How did Paul instill “power?”
			a.  Embraced his own weakness and relied on God
			b.  Always focused on the power of God in him
			c.  Paul was an example of the power of God in weakness
		2.  Fear vs. Love.  How did Paul instill love?
			a.  Paul loved people
				- Often referred to disciples as his "children"
				- Referred to himself as "father" to church plants
				- Willing to spend and be spent (2 Cor 12:15)
			b.  Love is always stronger than fear
		3.  Discipline, or Sound Judgment/Discernment.   How?
			a.  Paul was a man of the word, quoted it often
			b.  Paul was a man of prayer, as his letters show
			c.  Prayer and the word were foundational for him
	C.  I can remember how Dad empowered me
		1.  Included me in what he was doing
			a.  Visiting bus riders for the bus programs
			b.  Bible studies using Jule Miller
			c.  Planning for Youth Devotionals
			d.  Area Men's Fellowships
		2.  Never talked down to me
			a.  Never came across as "I know more than you"
			b.  Yet had a way of causing me to look up to him
			c.  He was honest and real with me
		3.  Empowered to grow and move forward on my own
			a.  I eventually started to do things on my own
			b.  I studied with friends and in some cases their parents
		4.  Remember when I got speeding ticket
			a.  Some in the church made a huge deal of it
			b.  John was a junior leader in Youth Group, and he got a 
			     speeding ticket!  What kind of example is that?
			c.  I went forward to repent, my Dad got up afterward
				- Said he was proud of me, always proud of me
				- Mentioned how much I have grown, how much I do 
				   for the Lord
				- Said I was an example even to him!
	D.  Fathers empower their children
		1.  Do so by praying with them
		2.  Do so by giving the gift of the blessing
		3.  Do so by being with children and being an example

1.  We should honor our Father, God instructs us to Eph 6
2.  We should honor the ideal of fatherhood - by praying, blessing, empowering
3.  Remember who the model father is - It is God himself
	a.  There are many good books on parenting
	b.  The best is God's book
	c.  I try to look at God as the model, not selectively, but look at everything
4.  God, THE father loves you (invitation)