Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be an Example by Your Work

For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.  I Thessalonians 2:9 

The loss of identity and role has led to passivity rather than a responsibility to fatherhood has deeply endangered our nation.  Men have retreated to their "man caves".  They will find, however, that God is there when they become still enough to listen.  Men today need to finish the job with their children.  They need to be back in place where they can make a difference.  This week we are going to look at being a father by example by looking at the life of Paul – a great biblical father by example.

There is much in scripture about the value of work.  Work is a God-ordained aspect of our living.  Work is not a curse in the Bible, but an opportunity to serve God and others.  We are called to do our work, whether for pay or not, as service to the Lord. Work done as service to God brings dignity to all of life.

The Message sums it all up for us in Proverbs 26:13-16 Loafers say, “It's dangerous out there! Tigers are prowling the streets!‟, and then pull the covers back over their heads. Just as a door turns on its hinges, so a lazybones turns back over in bed. A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie, but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth. Dreamers fantasize their self-importance; they think they are smarter than a whole college faculty. (MSG) 

Men, for the most part, find their value in what they do.  A young man or woman who learns to do their best will find doors opening throughout their lives to new opportunities and success.
According to Jewish custom, a father had a dual duty.  It was the duty and responsibility of the father first to teach his children the laws of God, and secondly to teach them a trade.  An old rabbinical saying states, "He who does not teach his son a trade, does the same as if he taught him to be a thief.”

 A great gift to a child is a work ethic that teaches them they can take care of themselves.

Be an Example by Your Walk
Paul's walk was an example for the Thessalonians because it was consistent.  His walk is characterized by holiness, righteousness and blamelessness. He didn't act or live one way before the believers and another way before unbelievers. This is seen in the phrase, "You are witnesses, and so is God." A father needs to set an example by his walk by living consistently for Christ and following Christ.

You cannot talk your way out of the way you live
Some fathers live by the philosophy, "Do as I say, not as I do."  However, if there is no model of the proper method, they will naturally resort to what they “saw and experienced” from their father.

  • This means that a father should not just tell his children to pray, but he should show them how to pray by his own life.
  • A father should not just tell his children that they need to attend church, but he should take them to church himself.
  • A father should not just tell his children to give of their finances and study their Bible, but rather, He should show them how it is done through His life.
Everything you say and do, and all that you allow to be said and done in your presence reinforces or undermines the credibility of your messages.  A conviction is not something that you discover; it is something that you purpose in your heart and convictions on the inside will always show up on the outside, in a person's lifestyle, in a person’s walk.  Father – be careful to be the example to your children that you want to see in them.  Lead by example in everything you say and do!

Scripture to Claim:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.  Ecclesiastes 9:10

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