Transcending Eden | Part 8
The Stewardship of Fatherhood
Genesis 1:28; Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Welcome back to our series: TRANSCENDING EDEN
We have been in the Epic of Eden (the 1st three chapters of Genesis), particularly in the Creation account
We have seen:
1.) God is the eternal – perfect – all powerful – glorious Creator of all things.
2.) All of life, all things that exist, find their beginning in God.
3.) And all things created find their ultimate purpose in their Creator.
4.) On Day 6, God created humanity. And when God created humanity – male and female special.
5.) Unlike the rest of creation, God created you in His image: YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – “Imago Dei”
a.) You have a BEGINNING because of God
b.) You have BEAUTY because of God
c.) You have BLESSING because of God. With this blessing of being made in the Imago Dei comes responsibility
6.) In fact, as God blesses the first male and female, He gives 5 Specific Imperatives/Commands that transcend Eden to Us today…
a.) Be fruitful
c.) Fill the Earth
d.) Subdue [the earth]
e.) Rule over [the earth]
7.) Now, we took the first three commands together:
(1) Be fruitful (2) Multiply (3) Fill the Earth
Another way to phrase these first three commands is to make, multiply, and magnify the name of God to the ends of the earth
- Is not simply a call to have babies
- Rather God is calling every follower of Christ to make and multiply image bearers of God – SPIRITUAL CHILDREN OF FAITH – in order to magnify the name of God to the ends of the earth
- Responsibility of both the CHRISTIAN and the CHURCH
Stewardship as Image Bearers of God
Like the first three commands, the last two go together
The last two commands are this:
(4) Subdue the earth (5) Rule over the earth
“Rule over” = to have dominion over, to exercise authority over
But notice in v26 that God said,
… “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
“Let Us” … “let them”
God is saying, “Let Us create mankind in Our image and then as the pinnacle of Our creation, let Us give them representative authority over all the other parts of Our creation.”
This DOES NOT mean that creation belongs to us
Ownership was not transferred, STEWARDSHIP has been granted.
What does it mean to be a steward?
- Steward/stewardship is not a regular everyday word that we use today
- Steward = stewardess/flight attendant – NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT
- Steward (generally) = a person who manages another’s property or affairs for the owner’s benefit
- Steward (as an official office in a kingdom) = a person who is appointed by the ruling king to represent Him in a country, to manage the King’s property, to do the King’s bidding, and to govern in His name
- God – the One True King – created you in His Image
- As His image bearer, He has appointed you to represent Him on earth – to REFLECT His image and REPLICATE His image throughout the earth
- He has also created you in His image that you would subdue the earth and rule over it – that you would MANAGE His creation – not to your ends but to His
So, according to Scripture, EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD
Therefore, everything that you have, you have because God has permitted you to have it for a while
And He has given it to you, not for you to own BUT FOR YOU TO MANAGE
In other words, IT’S NOT YOURS, IT’S GOD’S
- Natural Resources – to subdue it, rule it, creation serves man but we must care for it and not abuse it
- Personal Resources – those things that are tangibly “yours”
ALL OF THESE ARE GIFTS. AND ANOTHER GIFT IS YOUR
- Your family is God’s gift to you
(Psalm 127:3,5) Behold, children are a gift of the Lord…How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…
All of these.., they all belong to God, and you have been graciously given the opportunity to manage them well for the glory of God
The Stewardship of Fatherhood
Today, on Father’s Day, I want to show you from the Bible the Stewardship of Fatherhood
- I know that everyone here is not a dad, but let me help you apply these truths to your life.
- Single, young ladies – Pray for your dad to steward his fatherhood well. Pray for discernment. Treasure these things in your heart and look for them in the life of the man you date.
- Single, young men – God is calling you to “man up.” As God’s man to prepare to be the father God has designed you to be. Even now to be a spiritual father in the faith where God has given you influence.
- Wives – Pray for your husbands. Through positive encouragement, help foster these things in your husband’s heart. Recognize them. Cherish them. Pray for them.
- Dads – apply these truths whatever the cost. It will cost you to follow God, but it will not cost you something that God hasn’t already prepared you to pay.
1.) Stewardship begins with SURRENDER – Deut 6:4-6
Stewardship of Fatherhood = God has given you a family so that you would give them back to Him
- To give them back as an offering by leading them to glorify God with their whole person
- To give your family back to God by leading them to live a life of complete surrender to Jesus
Stewardship of Fatherhood begins with Surrender
- You are made in the image of God but your sin has separated you from Him
- Sin confuses your heart, clouds your vision, your sin separates you from God
- Without His vision in your heart, without His direction in your soul you cannot lead your family to Him
- You cannot lead your family to follow God when you are not following Him
That’s the bad news, BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS GRACE..
Stewardship of Fatherhood begins with Surrender
- Without an inward transformation (v6) you will never make the declaration of v4, 5
- Begins with an inward transformation that’s wrought by the Word of God
(Rom 10:17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
(Mt 16:24-25, Jesus said) “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Stewardship begins with Surrender
2.) Steward Your INFLUENCE – Duet 6:7a
We are in a day where it is commonplace to abdicate the raising of our children to the institutions of our culture
- Education to the schools
- Free time to the sports
- An hour or so of their raising up in the Word and Wisdom of God to the church
It is not enough to take your children to church, you have to teach them at home
You are your child’s greatest influence
In almost every case, as the father goes, so does the family
Fathers you must lead your family in your home to love Jesus and to love His Word
(Ps 78:5) For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should teach them to their children
You are called to be one the greatest influencers of your family
- Surrender your passions to God and your children will have the same passions
- Surrender the pattern of your life to God and your children will adopt the same pattern
Steward your Influence
3.) Steward Your TIME – Deut 6:7b
You have to be present in order to lead your family to glorify God
Our problem: we put too much in our buckets
You can make a lot of things, but you can’t make time. And once it’s gone, there is no going back.
Illustration: Don’t fill your bucket with more than you can carry
Abbey (3) at the beach filling a sand pail and it was too heavy for her to carry without dropping it
Risk: “I’m going to stop serving so much at the church.” One of the first places people cut is not their hobbies, not their overtime, it’s their service to Jesus through the church. Serve with your children. Serve as an example to your children.
What you put in your bucket, is what is important to you
(Deut 6:5) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Steward your Time
Steward your Influence, Time, and…
4.) Steward Your EXAMPLE – Deut 6:8
“bind them as a sign…” — Visible witness, an example
(Prov 20:7) A righteous man who walks in his integrity — How blessed are his sons after him.
Your walk must match your talk.
Illustration: The Greatest Demonstration of Jesus in the Home
The greatest example of Jesus in the home is the way you love your wife
In part, God created marriage to reflect the love and submission of Christ and the church
Within your marriage is the place to show Jesus to your children
Men, God has called you to love your wife, “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph 5:25).
Jesus loved the church. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jesus showed the greatest love to the church by the sacrifice of his own life. He shed his precious blood for the church to demonstrate how deep and abiding his love was, to purchase our forgiveness – our greatest need – no matter the personal cost, and therein leaving us the greatest example of love this world has ever known.
Men, we must follow the example of Christ in the way we love our wives in order to demonstrate the love of Christ to our children.
Love is more caught than taught. Be the godly leader, worthy of respect, that as a husband God has called you to be.
Consider your wife your closest friend and love her even to the sacrifice of your wants, desires and even your very life.
Steward your example
Steward your Influence, Time, Example, and…
5.) Steward Your LEADERSHIP OF YOUR HOME – Deut 6:9
Pictures the Passover (c.f. Ex 12)
The lamb was slain
The blood was applied
The statement was being made, “We belong to the One True God
What does your home say about you?
Is Jesus “on the doorposts?”
Is Jesus “on the gate?”
Would God say, “They belong to me.”
Be the dad who says, “It’s not getting in this house if it’s not of God.”
I read where Billy Graham wrote: “In the home, character and integrity are formed, values are made clear, and goals are set. These last a lifetime. And if they aren’t formed correctly, that, too, will result in patterns – bad patterns – that last a lifetime, if God doesn’t intervene. Today, Satan is attacking the family as never before. But what are our defenses against such attacks? As always, our best defense is the Word of God. Have family devotions. Pray for one another by name.”
Fathers, you are the leaders of your home
Leadership requires setting a standard
Living that standard – you mirroring the character of God
And holding each other accountable to that standard with grace
(Eph 6:4, NLT) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
It is OK to share that you struggle too. It’s important. Your kids learn grace from your failures, when you repent and ask for forgiveness.
And your family will learn grace from the way you restore them after their failures.
Paul Tripp: “We have fallen into the trap of believing that our calling is to enforce Law when in fact God has chosen for us to restore awe.”
Steward your Leadership
(Joshua 24:15) “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Today you must decide.
Are you going to lead your family to serve the Lord?
Are you going to steward your fatherhood as a gift of God that He has given you to give back to Him?
You will never finish something you do not start.
Surrender, Repent and with the Holy Spirit start today.
But notice, even in Joshua’s declaration – “…as for me … and my house…” – your decision to lead begins with you, your decision to surrender your life to Jesus..