The Spirit of a Real Father

June 16, 2002 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Father, we thank You today for who You are and for what You do. Father, as Your Word goes forth today, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And dear Lord, as I decrease today, I do ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Oh Lord, You are my strength, and you are my Redeemer.

Father, I thank You that every principality and power is bound today and forbidden to operate. There’s no room for you in the inn. So you must be gone in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that the saints of God would be able to hear the Word and receive it with the intent to obey. In Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

And the men and women and children of God said amen.

When we define what a father is, Webster says that a father is a male parent. It’s one that’s able to produce offspring. It’s one that bears seed on the inside of him.

But just because I’m able to reproduce does not make me a real father. You don’t hear me yet. Just because I have organs of reproduction and I’m able to bear seed and plant it into a woman, and there’s a child that may come forth does not make me a real father.

When we look at the book of Ephesians chapter six and verse four, it said, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

When you define what a father is, it’s one that brings his children up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.

And when we look at that word “nurture,” it means to supply them with food, to educate, and to provide room for them to grow.

When we look at that word “admonition,” it means a gentle but serious warning. Today we’re talking about the real fathers, the fathers that God has called after Himself. You don’t want to talk to me today. I’m not talking about the coming in and the going out, fathers. I’m not talking about the fathers that just say they’re the fathers. I’m talking about the real fathers that have the proof that they are fathers.

Fathers, ones that look after their children. Not the ones (glory to God) that say, “This is too much for me and I got to go.” You don’t hear me. I’m talking about the fathers that’ll stick with the children through thick and thin. You don’t want to talk to me today, but I’m trying to draw you closer to God. Because God is our father. And He said, “I’ll never leave you, and I’ll never forsake you.”

We’re talking about fathers today, those that bring their children up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.

When we look at Proverbs twenty-two and verse six it says that he is one that trains up his children. It says, train up a child in the way that he should go. And when he’s old he won’t depart from it.

When we talk about that word “train,” it means to direct them, so that they can grow, and to give them instruction. A father gives his children instruction. He doesn’t just give them everything they want. But He gives them instruction so they would be able to go out into this cold and cruel world and make a living for themselves.

We’re talking about fathers today. You see, you may not want to talk to me. Because you may have been in a situation where your father wasn’t there for you. Don’t worry about that no more. It’s time for you to be delivered. You don’t hear me. It’s time for you to be set free. It’s time for you to know that you have a Father that sits up high and looks down low. He trains His children. He gives them instruction.

When we look at the book of Second Corinthians chapter twelve and verse fourteen, it says that He is a provider. Behold, the Bible said, “The third time I’m ready to come to you.” This is what Paul said. “And I will not be burdensome to you. For I seek not yours but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.”

The parents are not to seek provision from the children. But the parents are... The parents are there to provide for the children.

We’re talking about fathers today. In the book of Malachi chapter four and six He said He’s going to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children.

You want to know why (glory to God) there’s so many of us blacks in jail? Because we don’t have enough qualified fathers. You don’t want to talk to me today. We got folks that are able to plant seed, but they’re not able to take care of the seed. It’s tight, but it’s right.

We’re talking about fathers today. You say, “I got a vendetta against fathers.” I don’t have one against them. But I’m praying for men. Because just because I’m a man does not make me a father. Just because I spent time with that woman. I laid down, and I produced something (glory to God) that’s supernatural. It does not make me a real father.

A real father teaches his children about the Word of God. And he doesn’t just talk about how hard his way is. He talks about how good the Lord is.

We’re talking about fathers today. In First Timothy chapter three and verse four it says that the father is in control. It said that he’s one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. In other words, he’s a disciplinarian.

You see, his children are not out there doing any and everything, robbing and cheating and stealing and... Oh, you don’t hear me today. But he’s one that’s able to rule well his house.

Remember the Bible said train up a child in the way he should go. And when he’s old he won’t depart from it. He’s going to come back home. And he’s going to ask for forgiveness. And he’s going to want to do the things of the Lord.

Look at our Bibles in the book of First Samuel. Go there with me today. There was a father there. And though he was good priest, he wasn’t a good father. And his name was Eli.

Go with me to First Samuel. Go to chapter two first. Let’s look at what’s going on here. In verse twelve through verse seventeen it said,

12. Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; (in other words, they were wicked) they knew not the LORD.

13. And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

14. And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.

15. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.

16. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

17. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

When we look at Eli, he was one Old Testament person with a very modern problem. He did not know how to discipline his children. His children were a part of the priesthood. And they grew up in the house of the priest. And they were to learn all of the things that the priest was supposed to do.

But instead of them learning what the priest was supposed to do, they learned what they wanted for themselves. And they began to take what was not theirs. And God told them not to eat the fat that was on the meat. But they said, “Give us that, even before...” You don’t hear me today. They wanted to do what they wanted to do in the house of the Lord.

You see, when I’m a Godly man, when I’m a Godly father, I’m going to teach my children the way of the Lord. And if they do not obey, the rod of correction is going to cause them to understand that God is God. And I am their father. And they will do what I instruct them to do. You don’t want to talk to me today.

Eli was a priest. The recognition and respect he earned in public did not extend to him handling his children.

Let me tell you something about children of preachers. You know, preachers have what they call children with the PK syndrome.

But let me tell you something. I refuse to be a pastor, a preacher, a prophet with the PK syndrome going on in my house. I’m going to cause my children to learn what the Bible says about what they say and what the Bible says about what they do. I’m going to train them up in the way that they should go, so when they get older that thing that was planted on the inside of them is going to take root and begin to grow.

You see, now days we have become afraid of our children. And not only are we afraid of our children. We want our children to be our friend. Your children is not supposed to be your friend.

See, because when you try to tell a friend something and they don’t want to hear it... You don’t hear me today. They’re going to rise up at you and say, “What you say?” I done heard too many children tell their parents, “What you say?” They’ll rise up at them, won’t they?

Because you got to keep a little bit, yourself a little bit higher than them. Because if you try to pretend and you try to make yourself, and you try to make them like they’re on your level, they’re going to disappoint you.

Your child is not your friend. Your child is your child. And your child should not call you by your first name. You don’t hear me. What is a child doing calling their father Chris? What is a child doing calling their mother Adrienne? Do you hear what I’m saying today? They got to know their place. They got to know their position.

But it’s up to us as fathers. You see, because a mother can only teach a child so much. And my hat goes off to them, the ones that labor with all of these children all by themselves, trying to be the mother and trying to be the father at the same time. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t.

There’s got to be a praying house. Do you hear what I’m saying? She got to stay on her knees even when she gets off her job. No matter how long she’s worked she’s got to gather them children together and grab hands and pray.

When my father had passed away, my mother would call me and my brother in on Sunday mornings. And she would tell us to grab hands. And me and my brother would look at each other and say, “What’s going on now?”

But she knew what she was doing. She knew the task at hand. And she knew that if she was not the mother and the father that we would go astray. She had to take on that role, even though that was not the role that God intended for her.

If you are a father in here today, you be the best father you could possibly be. Don’t worry about what nobody else got to say. Just trust in what the Word has to say. Do the Word. Because the Word is what works.

Eli had these sons. And they knew how the sacrifice was supposed to be performed. But they rebelled against their father and against God.

The Old Testament in the book of Exodus said that if a child would do such a thing he should be put to death. We thank God that we got a new covenant, don’t we? But every now and then your child need to know that you going to half kill them if they don’t do what you tell them to do.

You want to know why? Because if you don’t half kill them, the police, the drug pusher, all of them going to kill them. See, you worried about that look on their face. I ain’t worried about their look. I rather get them straight than for somebody else to have to get them straight.

In first Samuel chapter two, and around verse eleven, there was another young man. And his name was Samuel. Samuel was the result of prayer. Because his mother, the Bible said was barren. But she went into the temple and cried before the Lord and said, “Lord, just give me a man child. And if You do, I’ll dedicate him back to you all the days of his life.”

And so not only was Eli’s natural sons in the temple, but his other son was in the temple. The one that didn’t come from his loins was in the temple, the one that he was looking after. But the Bible said that the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord. And the Bible said that he grew in favor with men and with angels. He grew in favor.

Don’t tell me that I can take care of somebody else’s and I can’t take care of my own. You don’t want to talk to me today.

Too many times we find fathers that’ll take care of somebody else’s, but they won’t take care of their own. Oh, you don’t want to hear me. How you going to tell me that Samuel was in the same surroundings as the other young men? But I can bring him up to be one of the greatest prophets (Do you hear what I’m saying?) in the Word of God. But my own, I don’t have enough gumption in me to correct them.

You can’t tell me that I can raise your son and I can’t raise mine. Somebody needs to hear that today.

Eli knew what they were doing. He knew what was going on. Then over in chapter three, that’s when it talks about what they were doing in the temple.

And then it said on that when the women would come into the... Around verse twenty-two it talked about when the women would come to the house of the temple, they would try to lay with the women at the door. And the Bible said that Eli knew all of this was going on.

How am I going to call myself a man of God when I know my children are doing things in the house of God (glory to God) that they’re not supposed to be doing. In other words, if I know you out there. You my son, and you out there sinning, and you out there living any kind of way, I’m not going to let you come up in this house and do what you doing out there and try to do it up in here. I’m not going to let it happen.

Doing whatever they wanted to do. Living how they wanted to live. And so since this happened the Bible said that God allowed Eli’s family to have a curse. You see, when you know to do right and you don’t do it... See, when you know your children are doing wrong, but you won’t say nothing, see, He going to hold you accountable.

Don’t let that child get before the Lord and say, “Well, my mother and my father never taught me that. They never told me that.” Stop trying to be so cool with your children. But teach them the things of the Lord.

Eli had a problem. He reacted to the problems. But he didn’t solve the problems. He lacked the two most important qualities needed for parental discipline. Eli responded to situations father than solving the situations. And I’ve been guilty of it myself, reacting to situations instead of solving situations.

You see, when you react it’s just for the moment. But when you solve it, you solve it. You put a period at the end of it. And you said it. And you meant it. And if it happen again, you going to have to deal with me.

Fathers, fathers. God pointed out their errors to them. But Eli did little to correct them.

I’m a spiritual father in this house. And therefore as your spiritual father, those that are under my tutelage, when God gives me the spirit of reproof or rebuke for you as one of my sons or daughters, you have got to get to a place where you’re able to receive it. For the Bible says the Lord chastens them that He loves.

If I don’t love you that means I’ll never chasten you. That means that I’ll always tell you it’s all good. Okay. Well, yeah. When it’s really I know that you’re causing warfare. But if I continue to let you satisfy you, then the Kingdom of God is going to go lacking and suffering.

Correction and instruction go hand in hand. Hand in hand.

The boys brought grief on their father.

Children need to learn that both words and actions go together. When I say what I’m going to do, I need to do what I say I’m going to do. If I say you’re on punishment, you need to stay on punishment until I take you off punishment. If I say I’m going to whip you I need to go on and whip you. Oh, we’re all guilty.

Eli’s sons were taking part of the sacrifice. They were eating the meat before the fat was burned off. They were sinning while making the offering. They were taking advantage of their positions to fulfill their own lusts.

See, if you don’t watch it and I don’t watch it, our children will take advantage of their position. You see, they’ll play one parent against the other parent. They already know that mama said no. But they going to come to you and not tell you what mama said. And then they going to go ahead and do it. And then when mama say, “I told you no,” they’ll say, “Daddy told me yeah.” They’ll use their position to their advantage.

It’s in the house of God also. As a spiritual father I can have children that will use their position to their own advantage. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. I’ve got to make sure that they understand that God’s house is His house. And we are to reverence God’s house as we reverence God.

They took advantage of their position. They took advantage of it. We love our children. And they have a dear place in our hearts. But sometimes we allow them to abuse us. Hello, somebody. We allow them to suck the pacifier too long. We allow them to stay on the (let me say) bottle too long.

And when they should have been weaned a long time ago, all they got to do is holler and here we come. And they just be sucking, all content. And we knowing all the while that what we’re doing is not going to allow them to grow.

It’s in the natural and it’s in the Spirit. If I don’t train them and discipline them, I’m going to stunt their growth. And though they think they know what’s best for them, they really do not. I need to say that again. Though they think they know what’s best for them, they really do not know.

When you have a good father, when you come to a certain age, you got to let your father know how you appreciate him. Oh, you don’t want to talk to me today.

When I look at some of my friends and I see the fathers that they have, and they’re good fathers... I’m not talking about the ones that used to beat up on, you know, everybody in the house, and drinking and cussing and, you know, coming in at any time. You know that song, “Papa was a Rolling Stone,” and all of this and carrying on.

But I’m talking about the one that brought their children up in the Lord. At some point you need to tell daddy, “Daddy, I know you used to whip me. But I understand why. I know that you used to correct me. But I understand why. I know you gave me instruction. And sometimes I didn’t want to hear it. But now I understand why.”

Show your father some gratitude. Don’t just tell them, “Oh, I love you.” He say, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Love is an action word. And you got to put some action to that love for it to be real.

Training up a child, training them up. Train them up. In Proverbs ten and verse one it says, “A wise son maketh a glad father.” In other words, a son that has learned the lesson that was taught will bring his father joy.

But Proverbs seventeen and verse twenty-five says, “A foolish son is a grief to his father.” Because he may have tried to give it to them, but they just would not listen. Look at your neighbor and say, “I ain’t hard-headed.”

See, hard-headed children are going to bring grief to their fathers. But see, a father that’s a real father is going to keep on praying for them anyway.

Today, no matter what happened in the past, don’t cause your relationship that you had with your father, if it was not a good one, dictate your relationship that you have with the heavenly Father.

Because too many of us get into the mode that when father wasn’t there. And then we start to go through something. Instead of trusting Him, we automatically have this stigma in our minds that He’s not going to be there. But He will be there. And He is there right now.

Jesus said in John eight and twenty-eight, “But as My Father has taught me I speak these things.”

A father makes deposits into their children. And so what comes out of them is what has been deposited in them. Jesus said, “I speak what My Father has taught me to speak.” You see, what has been taught to us as children must come out of us.

Fathers, we must mentor our children, that as we continue to mentor them, it will continue to be a flow from generation to generation to generation.

I went through for a long time, because I didn’t have a father. There was a void right here in my heart. And it was real big. And sometimes I would go to my partner when I lived in Atlanta before I got married. And I would go into my room. And I would just begin to cry. Because I wanted a father. But then God delivered me.

“Why you saying this, pastor?” Because there are people in here today... I don’t care how old you are, you still have a void in your heart. And from time to time you hurt. But you don’t want anyone to know about the hurt. See, I can talk about it because I experienced it.

Every head bowed, and every eye closed...

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