Father's Day 2016

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Father’s Day

June 19, 2016




It’s Father’s Day. Congratulations to all fathers on being a father. It’s a privilege to be a father, but it’s also an awesome responsibility.


Life is made up of a lot of choices. Sometimes these choices are good, but sometimes they are bad. Some choices were even made for me, so that I had no say in the matter.


We need to be careful of the choices we make. As we make choices in our lives, we influence those around us regarding the choices they will make in their lives.

We see that there are –



There are a lot of things in my life so far over which I have had no control. I did not get to choose certain things. If you can believe it, God never even bothered to consult me about many things in my life which He alone determined for me. My guess is that He also never thought it necessary to consult you about many things in your life, either.


We need to accept these choices which have been made for us.


I did not get to choose the day on which I would be born, did you?


I did not get to choose my skin color, did you?


I did not get to choose whether I would be a boy or a girl, did you?


I did not get to choose the country into which I would be born.


I did not get to choose the family into which I would be born.


I did not get to choose my parents.


I did not get to choose my parents’ religion. Some parents are Muslims, some are Buddhists, some are Shintoists. Some are theological liberals, and some are Bible-believers. Some are saved, but some are unsaved.


I did not get to choose whether I would have good or bad parents.


I did not get to choose whether my parents would keep their vows and stayed married for life or whether my parents divorced and remarried multiple times. I did not get to choose whether I would have a stable home life.


I did not get to choose my brothers or sisters or how many of them there would be.


I did not get to choose the abilities I would have or not have.


I did not get to choose whether I would be tall or short, big boned or small boned, athletic or non athletic, highly intelligent, of average intelligence, or below average in intelligence.


I did not get to choose the economic conditions or social conditions in which I would be raised.


I did not get to choose whether I would grow up in a big city or on a farm or in a farming community.


I did not get to choose my educational opportunities as a child.


I did not get to choose my teachers or my fellow students. I would never have chosen some of my teachers – you know, the old crabby ones who made me do what I didn’t want to do! Really, they might have been old: but I might also have presented quite a challenge to them by my policy of non-cooperation.


I did not get to choose my neighbors or my neighborhood.

We also see that there are –



I should not choose –








Unfortunately, we all chose to involve ourselves with sin.


Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.


Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next, we see that there are –



I should always choose to –


Do my best at everything I do

Stay out of trouble

Be honest and trustworthy

Eat a balanced and healthy diet

In addition, there are some –



I must choose to –

Be saved


Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


Romans 10:9-139 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Acts 16:30-3130 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.


I Corinthians 15:1-41 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.


I must choose to –

Be surrendered to the Lord


Romans 12:1-21 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


I must choose to –

Put the Lord first in my life


Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


I must choose to –

Pursue after the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength


Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.


I must choose to –

Be living for the Lord


II Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.


I must choose to –

Study and obey the Bible


II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


I must choose to –

Be faithful in a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching local church

Finally, there are –



Think back about choices you made in your life. They shaped what you are today.


The choices some people have made have ruined their lives. Our prisons are full of people who have ruined their lives by bad choices they made.


Some of your choices may have been made as an unsaved person. Some of the choices may not have been so good. Others have brought you to where you are today. I suspect that every one of us has some things we chose to do or chose not to do which we have lived to regret, things if we had it to do over again, we would choose to do differently.


It is important that we make the choices God wants us to make. The Israelites chose to rebel against God at Kadesh Barnea. As a result the entire nation spent 40 more years wandering in the wilderness rather than entering into the promised land. They did this while waiting for all those 20 years old or older to die in the wilderness.


I don’t know what many of the choices are which you have made in your life. I can only speak of myself to illustrate how these things work. God led me to make the right choices all along the way, and He has done or will do the same thing for you. Unfortunately, I also made some bad choices along the way. God did not lead me to make any of these bad choices. I am guessing that you may also have made some bad choices in your life. Bad choices are made every time we choose to disobey the Lord or not put Him first in our lives.


Psalms 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.


Basically, I chose to obey my parents as a child. Occasionally, I chose to disobey them; but this never worked out very well.


I chose to do well in school, i.e. starting in the 8th grade I chose to do well, but not until the 8th grade.


I chose never to use tobacco products, to drink alcoholic beverages, to do drugs, or to hang around with those who did. As a result, I never had to quit or harmed my health by using them.


I chose to play sports. I loved football and chose to play. My mom wanted to teach me how to play the piano, but I wanted to play football. I made the choice not to learn how to play the piano when I think I had the talent to do well at it. If I had it to do over again, I would have learned both how to play the piano and to play football. I could have done both. I chose instead only to play football. Without bothering to consult me (if you can believe it), God chose to help direct my life by allowing some football injuries. I never intended to get hurt playing football, but God had a better idea. These injuries turned out to be some of the best things that ever happened to me in my life because they woke me up and taught me that I needed to get serious with the Lord and start studying my Bible.


So, I chose to study my Bible seriously. I found that I really enjoyed doing it.


The more I studied my Bible beginning around my 15th birthday, the more I chose to pursue after the Lord with all my heart.


I chose to dedicate my life to the Lord and to live for Him with no idea where this would eventually take me.


I chose to be faithful in all the services of my local church. Until then I only went Sunday mornings and did not attend the evening service or prayer meeting. This was my dad’s practice at this time in his life, but it was not helpful to me spiritually. After I was married, he began attending all the church services like he should have been doing all along. He was a great father for me, but he had some spiritual growing to do just like I did.


I chose to serve the Lord with my life.


Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


There was a young lady named Donna in my home room at high school. I chose to invite her to church with me. Although, when I was still 13 years old, my first words to her were turn around and shut up, I began to take an interest in her. I chose to begin dating her at age 15. As a result of her attending our church services, she heard the gospel and got saved. I thought she had been saved previously, or I would never have dated her.


I chose to be honest and always do the right thing.


I chose to go to college. It was with the intention of training to serve the Lord.


I chose to study Greek to aid my understanding of the New Testament. I thought I would become a Bible translator on the mission field, but God directed me into the pastoral ministry. I had no idea God would use the study of Greek to make an expository preacher out of me, nor to make a Greek professor out of me, nor to enable me to write New Testament commentaries. At that time in my life, I did not even know what expository preaching was. All I ever heard in my church was John 3:16 . I thought that was what church was all about – just a place where you could invite your unsaved friends so that the pastor could preach the gospel to them. I thought that’s what witnessing was.


I chose to marry my high school sweetheart.


I chose to have children.


I chose to go to graduate school after graduating from college.


I chose to obey God’s call for me to be a pastor.


I chose to teach Bible to my church people and not to be an entertainer.


I chose to become a Bible college professor and administrator.


I chose to write my understanding of the books in the New Testament for my own benefit so that I could recall things I had studied and how I had explained them. I had no idea that they would ever be helpful to others and had no intention of ever publishing them. Again, God had other ideas, ideas which never occurred to me.


Eventually, I chose to pastor the Central Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach; and I am so thankful for the opportunity to do so.


We cannot go back and undo some of the choices we have made in the past, nor would we want to; but we need to determine that as God enables us, we are going to make the right choices throughout the rest of our lives in accordance with God’s will for our lives, regardless of where they may lead.



Are you really saved?


Are you really living for the Lord?


Men, the greatest gift you can give to your children and wife is to be a saved, godly man, living in the center of God’s will for your life, and providing godly, spiritual leadership for your family.


Why not make this a special Father’s Day and determine to be the sort of man God wants you to be!