Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 16:13-28
Today is Father’s Day. If you are a father, one of the serious jobs that a father has to do is to pass on our fathers’ faith to our children. If you have a father, one of the serious jobs that s child has to do is to share your faith with your father before it is too late. The faith that we want to share has two elements in it: A confession that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of the living God; Willingness to take up the cross and follow Jesus.
Some people are willing to confess that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of the living God but unwilling to bear any cross! They ask Jesus to do things for them and to bless them. To them Jesus says this: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Pretty harsh! We do not want to be criticized by Jesus like that!
The only way to avoid such harsh criticism is to read the Bible and live accordingly. Today, we have a privilege to have a man who serves God through the Gideon International. His name is Rich Bartlett. He would share some stories how reading the Bible and living out the biblical faith helps all of us.
Rich will share two testimonies: One is a testimony of a man who became a good father after giving his heart to The Lord and the multitude of people who have been blessed through this man, his son and grandson. The second testimony is of Ravi Zacharias, the Christian Apologist, who had a father that was so hard on him that he tried to commit suicide at age 17, but while he was recovering in a hospital in Delhi, he and his mother received a Bible from the Gideons and that was the beginning of their seeking the One True God and giving their lives to Christ. Even today as Ravi discusses his father and how hard and unyielding he was, he still respected and honored his father and was one day able to lead him to The Lord. The point being that we are asked by God to honor our father whether or not he is a “good” father.
Let us also bear our crosses and follow Jesus. May God bless our fathers who are willing to take up their crosses and follow Jesus! Amen!
- Are you a father? Then how would you pass on your faith to your children? What are the practical ways that you are using?
- Do you have a father? How did/do you honor your father and respect him?