A man with Authority and Under Authority

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Matthew 8:5-13 kl
How many of you enjoy being a dad? Go ahead, raise your hands!
Thank you for being honest! And, for those of you who raised your hands, we will have a time of confession after the message.
Seriously though, isn’t it great to be a parent?!?
There are so many great things about being a parent!
Sometimes in the moment of raising our kids, we lose focus on our purpose.
We sometimes get distracted from the mission.
We are sometimes kind of like Peter when he was walking on the water.
We are doing great as long as we keep our focus, but when we get distracted by the wind and the waves, we begin to sink.
And that leaves us with no option, but to cry out “Lord help me!”
As a parent it is so easy to be distracted by the many things that we need to do.
It is so easy for us to justify away the time that we don’t spend with our kids!
There are a few things that I want to challenge you with this morning!
The first is:

1. Be present with your children

One of the things that I struggle with is a mobile game. For a long time, I would spend any free moment on the game.
It was an escape from the busyness of life.
And you know, I could justify it.
I have spent a whole day at work and with people.
I just need a break.
And so, I would play my game.
Sometimes for a lengthy bit of time.
And then God convicted me.
He reminded me that He gave me three beautiful blessings that I could spend that time with.
I feel like I heard Him say to me “I have given you way more entertainment in those three kids than any video game can give you! And you are missing our when you use a video game as your entertainment.”
Now, I’m not saying video game are bad. Maybe that is a way you can connect with your kids. Use it!
But for me, it was a way to escape from my kids, and not be present with them.
Those that know me, know I enjoy wrestling. I grew up wrestling, wrestled in high school, and have coached some since then.
Because I was so invested in wrestling, I never took the time to play basketball.
Nothing against the sport, but it is just not my favorite thing to watch or play (even though I have coached that too).
My daughters are not wrestlers and probably won’t be. Not sure yet if Peter will be.
Thus, I resolved to hoping they would take to doing something cool, like learning to play the piano, like their mom, or learning the violin.
I also think if they did gymnastics or play softball, that would be cool.
A few months ago I asked Peter if he is going to wrestle and he said no. I told him I hope he plays baseball…because I like baseball too...
Last year Tasia really took a liking to basketball in PE.
She was so excited about basketball that she even spent some of her allowance money to buy a new basketball.
The wrestler in me took a bit of a blow to the stomach. I thought, well maybe it’s a phase that she will grow out of.....Doesn’t look like it.
This year we went to a few HS basketball games and she is really starting to actually pay attention and ask questions.
We’ve gone to the park a few times and played basketball.
I remember one day, I went to the school to pick her up.
Lacy, came walking up to the car, but I couldn’t see Tasia…So, I pulled up a little further and looked out.
Sure enough, there was Tasia playing basketball in her school clothes with her backpack on.
She’s invested in this sport apparently.
You see, I’m not a huge basketball fan. But, I am a fan of my daughter.
And, if that is what she wants to do, I will help her as much as I can.
I was hoping that she would pick something that I enjoy more so that I could connect more with her.
But she didn’t, so now I have to make an effort and get out of my comfort zone to connect with her.
We need to be present in the lives of our children! And that means, sometimes being invested in somethings I don’t like, because I am a fan of my children.
The second tip that I have is:

2. Be a man and be the example

As we read in the passage a bit ago, this centurian says:
Matthew 8:9 NIV
9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Indicating that he knows what it means to be an example..
We too, should be an example for our children...
There are few areas where I think that men in our culture have dropped the ball.
One is, men have apparently forgotten what it means to be a man.
Listen guys, you were created with intention.
You, intentionally have, gifts, talents and abilities.
One of the things that men have forgotten is that we are different than women.
I know, culture tells us that you can be whatever you want to be.
But, here is what I am saying: you were created with intention.
Men, we need to stop being passive.
We were created with authority to lead our children
We need to be a leader and we need to set an example.
Now, I am not telling you to lord over your house and make all the decision with power an authority. Ruling with an iron fist.
If you are married, it means loving your wife, giving honor to who she is!
She was created with intention and purpose as well!
Are you lording over her, or are you honoring her?
Are you putting her down, or treating her with the grace and dignity that she deserves?
As a man, be an example!
Love your wife and honor her!
Love your kids and honor them!
Love the Lord and honor Him!
The centurian was a man with authority, but he was also a man under authority...
He knew that Jesus has authority over sickness..
Matthew 8:8 NIV
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
He knew that Jesus could just speak a word and the servant would be healed....
He places himself under the authority and power of Jesus..after all, he is at his beckon call
To be an example to our children, we place ourselves under the authority of Christ...
He leads we honor...
Just as we expect our children to
Ephesians 6:4 NIV
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
If you are going to be a man, set the example for your kids.
How is your relationship with Jesus?
If you want to be a good father, have a relationship with Jesus.
Create a culture around Jesus in your house.
Pray with and for your kids.
Tell them about God and what He as done for you.
Teach them scripture and how to love Him!
I do some pre-marital counseling.
We talk about several things including church attendance.
I have hear people say several times that they don’t really attend church, but that they want their kids to.
It is important to them that their kids be in church!
I agree with them that their kids should be in church, but what if you created a culture of “church” in your home?
A friend of mine named Hal Perkins has planted several churches and written several books.
He has talks about the culture of Jesus in their home.
They treat Jesus as if He is another member of their family.
They talk about Him and to Him so much, He is just another person in their house.
He says: “telling me that Jesus does not exist is as real as if telling me one of my own kids doesn’t exist.”
Dad’s create a culture of Jesus in your house! Be the man, use the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has given you to serve your children.
And, be the example.
Don’t be a hypocrite! Don’t tell your kids that its important that they go to church and you don’t!
Don’t tell them it’s important to pray if you don’t!
Don’t tell them it’s important to learn scripture if you don’t!
None of us like to follow a leader that doesn’t do what they demand that we do!
So, why would we do that with our family?
Deuteronomy 6:4–7 NIV
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Create a culture of Jesus in your home!
Submit yourselves to the authority of the Word…and exercise your authority over your kids by being the example as well as encouraging them to do the same!
Proverbs 22:6 NIV
6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
This is the good news! Plant the seeds of the Word of God in your kids. And when you do this, God will keep them and water the seeds!
He will help them to grow!
As we wrap up here, I want to end with talking about your children specifically.
The thing about kids is they grow up!
Eventually they will hit their wonderful teen years if they aren’t already.
Often times, teen years is accompanied with attitude and rebellion.
The best way for these years to go smoothly is to have a relationship with your kids!
Get to know then!
Love them, and Cherish them!
Lead them!
If you aren’t doing these things, I guarantee you someone else is!
Someone else is getting to know them and cherish them and leading them.
And the thing is, no matter how much protection you mean to offer them, they will be influenced.
And if it’s not you, you can’t always choose who is!
So, get to know them! Build a relationship with them! Build trust with them.
And, set the example for them!
The way that you treat her and your wife (or husband) (if you’re married) is going to impact how your children view marriage!
Do you want your kids to marry someone who is passive? One that doesn’t do anything? Doesn’t lead?
Or someone that is overlording with authority? Thats abusive physically or verbally? Someone that constantly loses their temper when they get upset?
Someone that doesn’t know God? Maybe doesn’t have a moral compass?
Or, do you want them to marry someone who loves them? That cherish them? Compliments them? Someone who loves Jesus and has a heart for righteousness?
Because now is the time, dads, to be the example!
It’s not too late! If you have messed up and your kids are a bit older, it may take more work, but you can still be the example!
Be present with them!
Be the man that God has created you to be!
Be the example!
I would like to close with a moment of prayer.
Maybe this morning you have been challenged…maybe you haven’t placed yourself under the authority of the Lord...
Maybe you aren’t follow of Jesus at all…that is simple...
share Gospel...
Maybe you are a follower and under His authority, but you haven’t exercised your authority in the way that you should...
The good news is you can ask the Lord for guidance!
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