Be a Father Worth Following

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Be a Father Worth Following

Mark 5:21-43

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 17, 2012


*Happy Father’s Day again, Dads! -- This morning, let’s look at an inspirational dad from the Word of God. His name is Jairus. That means "enlightened by God," and we can learn a lot from his life, so please open your Bibles to Mark 5:21-43.


*Dad’s we thank God for you! -- And we thank you for all of the good you are doing in your family, our church and our community.

*The longer I live, the more I appreciate my dad. My dad helped raise his two little sisters when his father abandoned the family. He went off to war to help save us from the Nazis. And just like Prince Charming, he rescued my mother from a horrible home.

*My dad was compassionate and kind, hard working, funny, and full of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so looking forward to seeing him again. But until that day, I want to be a father worth following. And you can be a father worth following. Jairus shows us how.

1. First: Seek the Lord.

*This is what Jairus did in vs. 21-23:

21. Now when Jesus had crossed over (i.e. back to Galilee), a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.

22. And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet

23. and begged Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.''

*Jairus was in a desperate situation in these verses. His only daughter was near the point of death, and Jairus couldn’t make her well. Sometimes our loved ones will be hurting. And there will be nothing we can do to help them on our own.

*Jairus shows us exactly what to do in a situation like that: Seek the Lord! Take your troubles to Jesus! Go to Jesus humbly, boldly, passionately, and expectantly. Go to Jesus.

[1] Seek the Lord for His help. Call on the Lord! Throw yourself at Jesus’ feet. Throw yourself on the compassionate mercy of God. In Psalm 145:17-18, King David said:

17. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.

18. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

*Then in 1 Chronicles 28:9, speaking as a father to a son, King David said: "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever."

*David told his son, "If you seek God, He will be found by you."

-We need to seek the Lord for His help.

[2] But also seek the Lord for worship.

*Matthew 9:18 tells us that when Jairus came to Jesus, he worshipped him. We all need to worship the Lord. But dads, our worship is especially important for us to be the fathers God wants us to be.

*Pastor Arlen Payne urges us to see that Jairus fell down at Jesus’ feet without reservation. And notice that Jairus went himself. He did not send his wife. He didn’t send a servant. He went to Jesus himself.

*Our society would be infinitely better off today if dads would seek Jesus without shame, if we all would be the spiritual leaders in our homes. Our nation is in the mess it’s in partly because dads are out seeking golf balls on Sunday morning instead of seeking God. They send the wife and kids to church. (1)

*Dad’s, let your kids see YOU seeking the Lord in worship: Taking them to church, reading the Word of God, praying together, living for Jesus. May God help us all to be dads who will faithfully seek the Lord!

*Jesus promises that if we seek, we will find.

-And you can be a father worth following if you will seek the Lord.

2. But also stand-up for your children.

*Take a passionate stand for your children. There is no question that Jairus dearly loved his daughter. We see his love in the way he came to Jesus in vs. 22&23:

22. . . When (Jairus) saw (Jesus), he fell at His feet

23. and begged Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.''

*Jairus was passionate about his little girl’s well-being. And God wants us to care like that. This is crucial for our children. The liberal media will tell you that having a dad in the home doesn’t matter. Don’t you believe it! We need to realize the tremendous impact that dads have on children. Dad, your children need you desperately.

*Listen to some statistics from a 1995 book by David Moore:

-Fatherless daughters are 111% more likely to have children as teenagers.

-Fatherless daughters are 164% more likely to have an out-of-wedlock birth.

-Fatherless daughters have a 92% higher divorce rate than girls raised with Dad at home.

-Fatherless sons are 35% more likely to experience failure in their own marriages.

-Fatherless sons are 300% more likely to wind up in state juvenile institutions.

-And fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of high school. (2)

*These are terrible statistics. And the numbers are also bad for dads who are there in body, but not in heart and mind. That’s why God wants us to be passionate about the well being of our children. You matter, Dad.

*The National Center for Fathering conducts “Father of the Year” Essay Contests. In 2005, over 100,000 school children submitted short essays on the topic, "What my Father Means to Me." Some of these are funny, and some have a note of sadness, but all of these show how important you are, Dad.

-A first grader wrote, "My dad is the best dad ever. I would kiss a pig for him."

-A third grader wrote, "The dad in my life isn’t really my dad. He’s my Grandpa. But he’s been like a dad to me since before I was born. I hope that as I get older Grandpa will teach me all the stuff he knows about wood, and first-aid, and everything else he knows about. My Grandpa isn’t my father, but I wouldn’t trade him for all the dads in the world."

-A fourth grader wrote, "Sometimes as a joke I’ll put my stinky socks in his briefcase, so at work the next day he will think of me! He’s always at the concerts and plays that I’m in, even though he lives about an hour away."

-A fifth grade girl wrote, "You know what else my dad does? He braids my hair. I’m the only girl I know whose dad braids her hair. I think that’s a perfect dad. He already is the world’s greatest dad to me. I just wanted everyone to know that." (3)

*You matter, Dad. In all kinds of ways we are vitally important to our children, so be passionate about your children’s well being.

*Jairus obviously cared, and one of the best ways he showed it was by inviting Jesus to his home. In vs. 23 Jairus said: "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.''

*Jairus invited Jesus home. There is nothing better you can do for your children than to bring Jesus into your home. As Arlen Payne pleaded, "Oh, that God would give us Dads who would bring Jesus to the house; Men who would stand with Joshua and declare to the world, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord;' Men who would lead their families in prayer at the table; Dad’s who would invite Jesus into the home by reading His Word." (1)

*We must invite Jesus into our homes. Nothing is more important for our children. Children need to be connected with Jesus! In this case it was for a miraculous physical healing. But in our case it’s for something infinitely more important: spiritual healing. We don’t just want our children to live. We want them to live forever!

*We want our children to have everlasting life, and they can only get that from Jesus. On this Father’s Day let’s remember that the Heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to take the punishment for our sins. Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again, so that we might be forgiven and live with Him forever. So the most important thing we can do for our children is help them know Jesus Christ in a personal way.

*But Dad, how can you do that if you don’t know the Lord yourself? -- Jairus had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It was a brand new relationship where he had personally met the Lord. And in this relationship Jairus talked with the Lord, trusted the Lord, and worshipped the Lord.

*This is the kind of relationship God wants to have with all of us: A relationship that saves our soul and changes our life. Christian author, pastor and former atheist Lee Strobel gave this great testimony:

*"How can I tell you the difference God has made in my life? My daughter Allison was 5 years old when I became a follower of Jesus. All she had known in those five years was a dad who was profane and angry. I remember I came home one night and kicked a hole in the living room wall just out of anger with life. I am ashamed to think of the times Allison hid in her room to get away from me.

*But five months after I gave my life to Jesus Christ. That little girl went to my wife and said, 'Mommy, I want God to do for me what he’s done for Daddy.' -- At age five!

*What was she saying? She’d never studied the archeological evidence (on the truth of the Bible). All she knew was her dad used to be this way: Hard to live with. But more and more her dad is becoming this way. And if that is what God does to fathers, then sign her up. At age five she gave her life to Jesus! God changed my family. He changed my world. He changed the eternity of my daughter." (4)

*God wants to change us too! So put your trust in Jesus. Bring Jesus into your heart and home. This is the best thing all of us can do! And Dads, it’s the best way to stand-up for your children.

*You can be a father worth following if you will stand-up for your children.

3. But also stay close to the Savior.

*Jairus ran into an unexpected hold up in vs. 24-35. Jesus had agreed to come home with Jairus, but along the way, a very sick woman touched the Lord and was healed. It was a wonderful miracle. She had been seriously ill for 12 years, and no one had been able to help her.

*But the delay had to worry Jairus, and then the situation seemed to turn hopeless. In vs. 34 Jesus told the woman: "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." But in vs. 35 while Jesus was still speaking, some came from Jairus’ home and said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?"

*It would have been so easy for Jairus to run away in despair, but he stayed close to the Lord. Jairus stayed and in vs. 36 he heard Jesus speak these strong, encouraging words: "Do not be afraid; only believe."

-When unexpected problems crop up, stay close to the Savior.

-When other people seem blessed and you seem forgotten, stay close to the Savior.

-When your situation seems hopeless, stay close to the Savior.

*We need the same attitude we see in the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk. In Habakkuk 3:17-19, the prophet declared:

17. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,

18. yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.

19. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

*Christians: Even when things seem worse than ever, stay close to the Savior.

-And Dad, you can be a father worth following if you stay close to the Savior.

4. But also smother your fears with faith.

*Of course Jairus was afraid. In vs. 35 he heard those crushing words, "Your daughter is dead." And things didn’t look a bit better when they got to the house. Listen to vs. 38-40 from the Living Bible:

38. When they arrived, Jesus saw that all was in great confusion, with unrestrained weeping and wailing.

39. He went inside and spoke to the people. "Why all this weeping and commotion?" he asked. "The child isn't dead; she is only asleep!"

40. They laughed at him in bitter derision, but he told them all to leave. . .

*Of course Jairus was afraid. But back in vs. 36, Jesus had told him: "Do not be afraid; only believe."

*Many of us have been where Jairus was that day. All of us will be there one day. You thought things were bad, but all of a sudden they got worse. The storm turned into a tornado. Time has run out for you, and the situation looks absolutely hopeless. What can we do in situations like that? -- Smother your fears with faith. Keep believing in Jesus!

*In vs. 40-42, Jesus came through for Jairus in a miraculous way:

40. And they ridiculed (Jesus). But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.

41. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."

42. Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

*Jesus came through in a miraculous way for Jairus. And He will always come through for us. No, we will not always see miraculous healing in this world. But Jesus Christ will always come through for us. So smother your fears with faith! "Do not be afraid; only believe."

*Trust in the Lord!

-Trust in His Word and His work.

-Trust Him when you get the most disastrous news.

-Trust Him when others are laughing in disbelief.

-Trust Him to do the most amazing things in your life.

-Trust Him even when the miracle doesn’t come through for you.

*Be a dad who believes that all things are possible with God. Overcome your fears with faith!

*Martha Hickman told about a time when she went through a series of medical tests. Martha was fearful about the results and went swimming at the local "Y" to pass the time. At the pool she noticed a dad carry his son over to the deep end. Still holding his child, he dove into the deep water.

*A few seconds later they surfaced. The son laughed and brushed water from his eyes as his father guided him safely to the pool's edge. Right then, Martha realized that she might have to go through some deep water. But God would carry her all the way through. (5)

*Martha Hickman smothered her fears with faith, and so should we. It will help us to be a father worth following.

*We can all be people worth following. We can all be friends, neighbors and family members worth following, if we will follow the Lord.

-So seek the Lord.

-Stand-up for children.

-Stay close to the Savior.

-And smother your fears with faith.

(1) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Jairus (Fathers Day)" by Arlen Payne - Luke 8:40-42 - added 07022002

(2) "Lies" by David T. Moore - Tyndale House Publishers, 1995 - p. 89-90 - Source: SermonCentral sermon "Men Behaving -- Godly!" - by Jerry Shirley - Father’s Day - Psalm 112:1-10

(3) - Cited in Preaching Now - Source: sermon "For Those Who Have Received Much - Father's Day 2008" by King Duncan - Matthew 9:35-10:8

(4) SermonCentral sermon "A Call to Fathers" by Jason Freeman - Psalm 78:1-8

(5) Martha Whitmore Hickman, "Heart to Heart," Today's Christian Woman - Source: "Bible Illustrator for Windows" - Topic: Trust - Subtopic: In God - Index: 1214-1218 - Date: 12/1997.1797 - Title: Taking the Plunge

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