“Men of Faith”
June 19, 2016 (Father’s Day)
Happy Father’s Day to all of you who are fathers!
Today is Father’s Day, the day when we honor the men who helped give us life and have nurtured us through our lives. A lot of times fathers do not get the respect they deserve, so we have this day to honor and give praise to God for our fathers, but I want to expand on that some today. On Mother’s Day we honored all the Godly women of Edgewood for all the work they do to make sure God’s work is accomplished here at Edgewood. Today, on Father’s Day, I want to expand our focus and talk about all the men of Edgewood who do so much for your families and the Church. You are the men that I call Men of Faith.
What is a man of faith? A man of faith is a man who strives to live his life in God’s ways and show God to others in what he says and what he does. I want to touch on several of the roles God has for a man who strives to be one of the Men of Faith.
The first role I want to touch on is that Men of Faith are leaders. If they are fathers they strive to be leaders of their families, leading their wives and children in God’s ways. If they are married but do not have children, they lead their spouses in the ways of God. If they are not married they can help others discover God’s ways and God’s will for their lives. In the community the Men of Faith can devote their lives to showing God’s love to others. In the Church the Men of Faith are the ones who get involved in every aspect of our work to make sure God’s work is done through us here at Edgewood, in this community, and in the world.
In Joshua 24 Joshua has been strengthened by God to lead the Israelites into the land God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. By God’ s strength and Joshua’s leadership, they had taken the land God had promised them, and now Joshua was calling on them to choose to follow God instead of the idols that others followed. Joshua gives a clear call to make a clear choice. “Choose this day who you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Men of Faith lead their households and those around them in the ways of God. At Edgewood our Men of Faith live lives that lead all of us in God’s ways as they get involved in the life of the Church and show us all what it means to be God’s faithful people.
A second role God has for Men of Faith that I want to touch on is that they are to be men who teach others God’s ways. If they have a family they are the ones who teach their families, who teach their children, the ways of God. If they do not have a family they can teach others God’s ways, and here at Edgewood the Men of Faith can be the ones who take a role in teaching classes and individuals about God and God’s ways.
In Ephesians 6:3 Paul writes: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” I believe that we have spent too much time cautioning fathers against provoking their children and too little time emphasizing the second half of that verse in which the fathers are encouraged to teach their children about God. In Proverbs 4:1 it says: “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.” If Men of Faith properly instruct their children, they can reasonably expect a certain outcome. And in Proverbs 22:6 we read “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We need to understand that this is a general statement that has a lot of exceptions. Just because a man is a good parent does not mean that his children will always “go the way he should go” , but the principle stated in Proverbs 22:6 is generally true. If you teach your children about God while they are young, they are more likely to follow God as adults.
So, Men of Faith are leaders. They are also teachers.
A third role I want to touch on that God has for Men of Faith is that they love others. If they have a family they love them. They love their children if they have children and they love their wives. In all cases, they love others. One way that Men of Faith show love is by showing compassion. The psalmist in Psalm 103:8 compares the compassion of God with the compassion of a father. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” In their compassion, Men of Faith support and have compassion for all people. Men of Faith also show love by providing for their families and helping others. In I Timothy 5:8 we read: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” Men of Faith work to provide for themselves and their families, and work to help those in need.
Men of Faith are men who lead others in God’s ways, teach others God’s ways, and show love to others by showing compassion and providing for their families, as well as helping others.
We desperately need Men of Faith today. We desperately need Men of Faith now. We desperately need Men of Faith here. We desperately need men who have faith in God. We desperately need men who are committed to be leaders in God’s ways and examples of how to serve God. We need men with a commitment to God’s things in a world where it is not popular to do so. The world, the Church, our families, the community, all need men who will be Men of Faith.
How about it, guys? Are you one of the Men of Faith who will lead us in the ways of God? Are you willing to stand up for God’s things in the world, even when it seems no one else is? To be a man of Faith, you will need to make a stand for God’s things, especially when it seems that no one else is willing to do so. Remember the old saying – if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
Guys, I implore you to be a part of the Men of Faith. Have a conviction for the things of God. Be a leader in God’s ways. Teach others the ways of God. Love others with God’s love. Stand up for the things of God and don’t let your families or the Church or the community or the world fall to the things that are not of God.
Looking over this congregation today I see so many men who are Men of Faith, men who are leaders, teachers and who love others and love God. You can tell who the Men of Faith are here at Edgewood. They are the ones who continually work on their faith. They are the ones who come to Sunday School and Worship on a regular basis, not so they will be seen by others but because they know they need times to learn more about God and be strengthened in their faith. The Men of Faith here at Edgewood are also the ones who seek out fellowship with other men, because they know that God did not put them in this place to try to live the faith filled life on their own but God put them here with others who they can learn from and be encouraged by. Men of Faith know that others need them and they need others. The Men of Faith here at Edgewood are the men who serve God, the community, and the Church in any way they can.
I give praise to God for the Men of Faith here at Edgewood, but I assure you that we need more Men of Faith here at Edgewood, here in this community, and in the world. We need more men who have a strong faith, who are willing to lead and teach others God’s ways, and show God’s love to others.
Men, on this Father’s Day, this day we are honoring our men here at Edgewood, I pray that you will be one of the Men of Faith we have here at Edgewood. Be one of God’s faithful men, and make a difference for God’s glory. Amen.