Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 6 June 2014
Page 5

For Fathers

Robert JohnsonFather’s Day is a day set aside for honoring fathers, whether present or only in memory. It is appropriate to consider both the role and importance of dads, especially in today’s society. The past few years have brought confusion regarding the role of fathers, whether their role is essential or not. Despite those who clamor for a merging or elimination of traditional mother/father roles in the family, they are fundamental to the well-being of the family and of society. Statistics indicate over 80% of juveniles in trouble (at school, with authorities, etc.) come from single parent homes, or homes with someone other than parents as primary caregivers. Being a father is an essential responsibility for healthy families.

In a very real sense, fathers should serve as examples of our Heavenly Father, demonstrating genuine love, discipline and concern for their children. This is what Paul encouraged when he wrote, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). To bring up children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord implies the need of fathers to be committed to the Lord and His will for their lives. Such fathers are by no means perfect, but in realizing God’s love for them, and how He works all things for their good (Romans 8:28), they seek to exemplify those same qualities for their children’s sake. Such fathers are worthy of respect and honor (Ephesians 6:2).

These qualities of fatherhood were seen in Abraham. Like all of us, Abraham had his faults, but he loved God and his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2, 12), which speaks volumes about him seeking the best for his child. Regarding this, God Himself testified, “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” (Genesis 18:19). When a father seeks this kind of attitude, he will offer his best for others because he offers what comes from God, the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Thank God for such fathers, for they are essential for our children’s future. May we honor such by seeking to put the spiritual first in our lives, exemplifying what life is really all about.


Encouraging Others!

The dictionary defines encouragement as, “The act of inspiring others with renewed courage, a renewed spirit, or renewed hope.” Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 14:19, Hebrews 10:24-25 and 2 Timothy 4:2. How can we add value to others through encouragement and meet an important human need in their life?

Encourage One Another Daily

The writer of Hebrews admonishes us with these words, “But encourage one another daily”(Hebrews 3:13). In other words, encourage others on a regular basis. Take advantage of every opportunity you have because the need is always great. You don’t have to go very far into the day to find someone in your network of people who needs a word of encouragement.

Encourage Others without Delay

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say, “…while it is called today”(Hebrews 3:13). Why are we to encourage one another without delay? Go back to Hebrews 3:12 for the answer, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”(Hebrews 3:12). Delay can be deadly for the person who needs to be encouraged. Why? If Christians do not exhort one another daily, they will be in danger of being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Therefore, it should be the great concern of everyone to encourage himself and others to beware of sin. “Without delay” is to act upon encouraging someone immediately.

Application

Here are five ways we can encourage others.

  1. Become aware of what encourages you and do the same things for others. Knowing what a big difference encouragement makes in your own life will help you help others when the going gets tough.
  2. Encouragement goes straight to the heart. In fact, the word itself comes from a combination of the prefix “en” which means “to put into” and the Latin word “cor” which means heart (2 Corinthians 4:16).
  3. Encourage other Christians with a reminder of Christ’s coming. It redirects our thinking to an eternal perspective and ultimate deliverance from sin and death. Encourage other believers with a reminder of Christ’s coming. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words”(1 Thessalonians 4:17b-18).
  4. When you see someone making positive changes in his or her life, affirm them. “You seem to have a really great attitude about…” “It may be that I’m just starting to take notice, but I see that you’re…” “Do you think that you are becoming more…?”
  5. Write someone a note to say that you’re praying for him or her. Tell what you’re praying. You can pray specific Scriptures for individuals such as Romans15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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