This is Chapter 49. And we’ll be reading verses 28 through 33. And if you’re able to, please stand and honor the reading, formal reading, of God’s word. Genesis chapter 49, verses 28 through 33. Scripture says,
All these are the 12 tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them every one with the blessing appropriate to him. Then he charged them and said to them, “I’m about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought, along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah. There they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah — the field and the cave that is in it purchased from the sons of Heth.” When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, and he breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
You may be seated. Let’s pray.
Lord, in the quietness of this time, we want to focus on you. As we think about fathers and fatherhood and the things that come or the things that are necessary for fathers, Lord I pray that that this time will be beneficial for all of us. I pray that we will sense the leading of the Holy Spirit, and that as we continue throughout this day, and we think about our fathers — fathers, both good and bad — that Lord we would recognize that that they were put there for whatever reason by you, and that, Lord, we can therefore be thankful. And so Lord, I pray that you would just help us in that and help us as we think about our fathers and, and as we, those of us who can, contact our fathers, we pray your blessing on this time we pray that you more than anything would be blessed by what we do here. As we give glory to you, thanks for loving us. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray. Amen.
There have been, excuse me, a lot of different fathers that have been talked about on, you know, they’ve been portrayed on television and other places. Everything from “Father Knows Best” to, to more modern times with fathers and, and one that I remember more than anything else was the father who was on a television show called “Home Improvement.” How many of you remember “Home Improvement”? Yeah, that was one of my favorite shows back then. It was about a man by the name of Tim Taylor, who had a local cable TV show that he called “Tool Time.” And so on the TV show he was Tim ‘the tool man’ Taylor. And he was always- It was about the various missteps and things that he would do wrong with the tools that he had. And it was always I mean, his his favorite line when he was talking about tools, because he was always looking for something bigger and better was, “it needs more power.” If you want to be reminded here
[“Home Improvement” YouTube clip]
Oh, Tim was always getting in trouble with his wife Jill. Um, one of the things that when I was a kid, you got dads one of three things. You either got him a tie, or you got him some barbecue equipment. Or you got him some sort of tool. And just like this, you know, you always, I always leaned more towards tools, I’d buy my dad some, some cheap rinky dink little socket set or a new set of screwdrivers or something along those lines, you know, even though he was a pastor, he liked ties but but you know, I just always kind of leaned more towards tools and sometimes the BBQ stuff, but more towards tools. And today we want to give some tools to our dads for Father’s Day. Now one of them is
the book that you got today it’s called The Blessing written by a man by the name of Gary Smalley and John Trent. I’m not familiar with John Trent. But Gary Smalley has done a lot of relationship things over the years. I believe he was the one who was the author of the five love languages. And and [Ben Geho] was gonna come up and say something about it. But Ben obviously can’t be here because he doesn’t have a voice. And so he wrote it down for me to read.
We were going to do something we did out in in Nebraska when he couldn’t talk one time and he faked sign language and I was able to interpret it for him. But he couldn’t stand up here long enough with just being able to talk without coughing. And so it says:
“Someone recently asked me if I recommended any book that would be appropriate for Father’s Day. I immediately thought of the book The Blessing by Gary Smalley. The author addresses the thought of a father blessing his children and this is not praying that God the Heavenly Father would bless his children, which in and of itself is recommended as well, but that the earthly father would bless his children. So when all our daughters were still at home, I decided to do just that. I gathered them together in Brazil, with the express purpose of giving them my blessing, I blessed them individually, one by one. In the book the author mentions five elements of the blessing. I did four of them. Although I could have done all five, but then again, getting caught up in a certain ritual is not what’s important. It’s more of the intention in one’s heart of what is to be accomplished by his blessing. The first element is what he calls a meaningful touch. I laid hands on them. The second element is a spoken message. I briefly told them why I was doing this and prayed out loud for them, while laying my hands on them. The third element is attaching high value to the one blessed. I told each one how deeply I loved each one of them and that I was proud to be their father. The fourth element is picturing a special future for the one being blessed. I did not do this one. This would be somewhat like saying I believe God has gifted you in a particular way. And I hope you will examine how best to use this gift. The fifth and last element is an active commitment to fulfilling the blessing. That is, I determined that I would continue to pray and do whatever else I could as their father, throughout my lifetime, to help them fulfill the blessing. My days on Earth are drawing to a close and I am now in my 80s but I can think of no better way to go home to my wonderful Heavenly Father then by knowing that all four girls love the Lord Jesus. That doesn’t mean they are perfect, nor am I, but it does mean that our wonderful Lord has a special place in their lives. I hope all the men present today appreciate the special gift that the ladies have prepared for you.”
Thus ends the word of Ben Geho. No, but it’s very good and I’ve actually I’ve had heard of this book before actually heard the teaching of it.
At one of the various conferences that I tend to go to as a pastor, and so I was doing some of my own research and I wanted to do, to give some some tools as well that can be used, well, along this line of Father’s blessing.
And all of these come from Scripture, and I think that they will be helpful to the fathers that are here. And by the way, that includes grandfathers stepfathers,
just somebody who’s who’s in the child’s life, even if you’re not a father, if you just have influence over a young person, these are things that can help in doing that when we think about a Father’s blessing. And the first one actually is one that that Ben mentioned, and I had this outline done well before I read this, and that is the tool of the power of an encouraging word. There is- there’s little that is as important to children as the power of an encouraging word.
The apostle Paul oftentimes thought of the churches that he was dealing with as his children and so many, many times, when he would write to them, he would write an encouraging word. Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, he said, but only such as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment.
You know, when we’re dealing with kids, especially now, I mean, I think this is important for everybody for when we’re dealing with anybody. But when we’re dealing with kids, especially, we need to check what is coming out of our mouths.
One of the primary ways of blessing our children is how we speak to them. And not just during that time of formal blessing, like Ben was talking about and this book talks about, but just in general, as we talk to our kids, our grandkids, our nephews or our nieces or, or whatever they may be in our lives. It’s important for us to remember that we are blessing them in how we speak.
Proverbs 15:1 says a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. And again, many times it’s not even just what we say but how we say it. And and I know this has been, this has been a battle that I don’t know about you as guys, but this is a battle that I fight that I have to really stop and check what I’m saying before it comes out of my mouth. And I’m not always good at the checking part. You know, sometimes I get started and it just, I mean, I get angry and stuff comes out. One of my favorite comedians when I was growing up, was Buddy on the Dick Van Dyke Show. And he was always- he had a sarcastic response to everything. I mean, somebody would say something and boom Buddy would come back with something that was sarcastic. And unfortunately I learned from that
It served me well, when I was a police officer, not so much as a dad and kind of somewhat as a pastor. But it’s just one of those things that, that we need to take time as men to think about the blessings that we’re going to be in the lives of other people to take that in check. And it’s taken me I haven’t been a police officer now since 2001. And it’s taken me this whole time, 18 years, to get out of my head that, just to spout things off, and I still catch myself doing it from time to time, I still catch myself, you know, not taking the time to think about the gentle answer that turns away wrath.
So when we think about this idea of blessing, we need to think about it, that when we bless our kids and our grandkids again, for that matter, that we need to begin with an encouraging word. Encourage your kids and grandkids and the kids in your life in what they’re doing.
You know just you know when it when a kid starts a job and let’s say or you know for the first time he goes out and he knows your lawn and he does it without being asked which that in itself would be an encouraging word. But he goes out and he mows your lawn but he doesn’t get the lines straight.
And if you’re one of those guys that really loves your lawn and you want to have, like, however they get those crisscross things on on baseball fields, I have no idea. I think they might have a special blade that cuts both ways at one time. I’m not sure. Don’t quote me on that. But I don’t know how they do it. But if you’ve got something and you like it, man, it has to be perfectly straight. But your kid got out and did it. And he did it without having to be asked and he mowed it and those lines aren’t straight and give him any encouraging words. I really appreciate you going on the line.
Just sit on that that the thing all but the lines are straight. Who cares?
On the grand scheme of things, when the Lord returns, is it really going to matter if you had straight lines on your on your lawn or not.
Give an encouraging word.
Maybe your kid comes home and they don’t have the greatest report card of all time, but they’ve, but they’re showing improvement, they’re working hard. You know, you don’t have to focus on the C or the, or the C minus or the, even the B that they got, you know, just talk about how great they’re doing and encourage your kids.
That’s one of the greatest blessings that we can do when we talk to our kids — a word of encouragement.
Secondly, another tool that we can use as a word of acceptance, and affection.
I mean, think about it. Think about how many kids grow up out there. And this is why every time I do a children’s program when I’m running it when I’m doing whether it’s a camp or no matter where it is. I always at some point in the camp. I look at this group of kids. And I say, maybe nobody your life has ever told you this before. But I want to tell you that I love you.
And I care for you.
And you might not have anybody else in your life. Your kids need to hear that they that you love them and that you accept them. You don’t have to accept them for everything that they do. Here’s what the Lord said, when he went to the nation of Israel. The Lord appeared to him, thinking of Jeremiah from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, I have drawn you with loving kindness. See God was making sure that he told Israel two things. Number one, I love you.
And there’s all these other nations around here and all these other things that are taking place. And that’s not the message that you’re getting from them. He’s saying that you are- he’s giving them worth because of those words of affection.
These again, are things we need to say to our kids. They need to know how much we care for them? Oh, yeah, we can show it. And that’s great and, you know, bring home presents. But I want to tell you something, that what a kid really wants overall is not a thing.
It’s you. And it’s your affection.
And I’ve known kids that have not lacked for things.
And they’ve been some of the most miserable people that I’ve ever met in my life.
But if you’ve got a mom or a dad,
who takes the time to say I love you, and I care for you.
It means everything.
He was also telling them that his love was everlasting.
He was letting the nation of Israel know that even though they were being punished, just keep in mind, where were they going? They were on their way to Babylon.
They were going to be in some of the worst positions that they’ve been in as a nation. They’re not even going to be in their own home, they’re going to be in a foreign country. They’re being punished by God because of the things that they did. But he says, I will always love you. Discipline is important in a family. And you’ve got to understand that there are rules, and there are consequences for breaking the rules. But we have to be able to tell our kids, even when you’re being punished, even when things are happening, and you may not like it, I love you. And I will always love you, because our kids are going to do things that disappoint us. They are going to do things that we’re going to look at. We’re going how, you know, we think in our minds, how could you do that?
But we always have to let them know that we will never stop loving them, even when we’re in the middle of having to discipline them. You see they need to hear that our love is more, again, than simply bringing home a paycheck.
It’s about following through. It’s about saying Hey Mike, I’m proud of you. And I love you. Or hey Mariah, you’re always going to be my special girl. Always. No matter what happens, you’re gonna be my baby girl.
And I’m gonna tell you as an almost 60 year old, kids of all ages need to hear that from time to time.
I love you
and I will always love you.
The third tool in our tool bag today is a word of appreciation
Kind of goes along with that word of encouragement.
Again, Paul, consider these churches that he helps us to to plant as his children and he would often open his letters to them with a word of appreciation. In Philippians chapter one verses three to five. He says, I thank my God, in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all (he must have been from the south) in view of your participation in the Gospel from the first day until now.
Paul realized how important it was to show appreciation for others how important it was to show appreciation for those that in The Lord he considered his children. And so, this is no less important for our own children.
Again, consider how much better you feel when you do something and at work or wherever and you get you get that attaboy, appreciated the job that you did.
You can you can motivate a lot more people just by saying great job than by criticizing something. Again I go back to thinking about that that lawn mowing thing or or this example I read a story, apparently true story, about a lady who moved into a small town back in the early 1900s. And she went to the only local store you know, back in the day in small communities there was one store.
But she thought that the service there was absolutely awful and, she didn’t know what she was going to do. And so she knew a neighbor of hers, friend of hers who knew the shop owner. And so she complained to her in hope that she would inform the owner about the bad service. Well, the next time she had to go to the store, she went in there and the owner was there, had a huge smile on his face, and wanted to know how he could help her and is there anything that I can do, and he went out of his way to assist her with whatever she needed.
Later, when she talked to her friend, she, the one she complained to, she asked if she had told the owner about her complaints. And her friend said, Well, I hope you don’t mind, but instead, I told him how great you thought the store was in the excellent service that you thought it provided.
See that word of appreciation, instead of a word of complaint, changed this guy’s outlook, totally.
Our encouragement our appreciation for people can help someone improve far better than any criticism we could ever come up with.
So we want to encourage our kids with words of appreciation.
If the cake isn’t perfect when they make their birthday cake for you, it’s fine.
Tell them how much you appreciate what they did.
Appreciate the fact that they went out and they did whatever it was that they did.
Our fourth tool is a blessing of a loving touch, again, touched on by Ben.
It’s important to give a loving touch when we’re talking to our children. In 1 John 3:18 it says little children let us not love in Word, or with tongue, but in deed and in truth. Now I want you understand this verse is not saying that we don’t need to say I love you or that, you know- We’ve already looked at how words are important. But what it is saying is that we need to let our expression of love go beyond simply saying words.
It’s one thing to say I love you, but to come up and demonstrate that is so different, especially with kids – to give that loving touch,. You know, when we husbands when we want to show affection for our wives, we tell them that we love them. But we also want to give them a hug, or we hold their hand and we want our you know. First of all, it’s great if you can do that and your kids can see that taking place.
But we do that and that’s part of showing that we care for people, that we care for our wives. That loving touch. Well, it’s just as important for our kids.
In the Old Testament, again, the blessing that was given, if you go back earlier in Genesis chapter 49, you’re going to read where it says that Jacob placed his hand on each one of his boys one at a time, as he gave that blessing.
And as he imparted that to them,
it’s a way I get a showing that love that goes beyond simply using words.
You know, dads, don’t be afraid to hug your kids.
Don’t be afraid to to put your arm around them and say, you know, Hey, that was a great job.
I love you.
Touch them on the head.
But hopefully not with a closed fist. Just touch him on the head. Walk by every once while and just and just put a hand on their head or a hand on their shoulder and just say, Man, I really appreciate that.
Now, by the way, when I say not with a closed fist, because some of us are a little more physical than others, and I mean, I’m not saying that wrestling with your kids or something like that isn’t important as well, especially when they’re little and you can still beat them.
When they get to that older age group, it’s not so much fun when they’re starting to beat you. And so I just, you know.
But no, put your hand on their head. You don’t have to be overly public about it. I mean, you don’t want to, you don’t want to embarrass them in front of their high school or anything like that, you know, come up, and, you know,
make make a big production out of it and in public and, and make them blush, you know, but let them know that you care by a simple touch as well as verbally telling them
And that’ll go a long way with your kids, I want to say, just a gentle touch.
The fifth tool I want to give to dads today is the blessing of a father’s faith. That video that I shared just as the offering was being taken, was about that whole, this whole theme of a father’s faith and how it can affect years into the future. Joshua was a great example of that. Where in Joshua 24:15, in front of the entire nation of Israel are all the leaders of Israel. He gathered and he had his family near him and he said, choose for yourself, whom you will serve, whether the gods of this land or God, Jehovah,
but you make that decision, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
Joshua lived out his faith in front of his family.
Joshua understood that the word true blessing comes from is showing your children how important God is in your life, and how important the God of the universe should be in their lives.
Pass on your faith to your kids faith in Jesus Christ.
I would say, personally, that this is probably our main responsibility as dads to our family is to model and to pass on our faith.
But I want to tell you, you can’t pass on faith that you do not have.
You’ve got to have faith first. And you’re only going to pass on what faith you do have.
In other words, if your faith is staying home on Sunday morning and not going to church, so that you won’t miss the kickoff, that’s the faith you’re going to pass on to your children.
If your faith is not going to church because of, fill in the blank — golf, fishing, whatever it may be — that’s the faith that you’re passing on to your children.
There’s a lot of people that don’t understand why don’t my kids go to church?
And you didn’t model it in the first place. And I know, I know many, many families where mom did her best and mom was there at church. But guys, I want to tell you something. There is nothing that will impact the lives of your children, both boys and girls, as YOU coming to church and modeling your faith in front of them.
God has given us as men in the family, that responsibility and that’s why for grandparents, it’s important for us to model that as well. When my kids come over, they know Sunday morning (well, it helps that I’m the pastor here) but Sunday morning, we’re going to go to church.
But I’m telling you, when I would go and visit my grandmother — and my grandmother passed this on too — it didn’t matter who traveled from how far away. If they were visiting, and it was going to go over Sunday morning, her response was, well, you can sleep in if you want to, but if you want to visit me, you need to go to church with me.
And there was no two ways about it. My dad was the same way.
Even after he retired from the ministry, if people came to visit, you came to church. Now just because the family doesn’t go to church, that’s up to them. That’s up to that dad.
But it’s important to set that example for our kids
And dads, God has given us that responsibility of setting the example of what we’re going to pass on.
Joshua passed on his faith. And Scripture tells us that as he passed on his faith to his kids, and the other elders saw Joshua modeling this, that it wasn’t until Joshua died, and a couple other generations passed that, had moved on and died, before the nation of Israel began to fall away from the Lord.
And maybe it’s because they didn’t get that example further on of being able to really show your faith in front of your family. I don’t know.
But I know it’s extremely important for us as dads to model our faith and to pass on our faith in Jesus Christ to our children.
There are many examples of a lack of blessing causing problems. Just look around in our society, as we see young people killing other young people, because we haven’t passed on our our respect for life and our respect for each other and, and our expect respect for God.
What would have happened to this young man who was just arrested for murdering two kids and shooting two others if his dad had given him an encouraging word, or words of appreciation and affection or a loving touch or a firm faith in Jesus Christ.
How would that have changed that outcome?
I’ll be honest.
At this point, we don’t know. Because again, we could pass on our faith as best we can, but it’s still up to the individual as to whether they’re going to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. But we do what we can.
Many lives could be changed forever, by a blessing from dad, or granddad even.
So we as men, who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, need to pass on what we know and what we have to the next generations that are coming up — our children, our grandchildren, for some of us great grandchildren and beyond.
Let’s take this seriously.
This idea of the blessing.
You know, there’s almost no bad time to gather your children around and offer a blessing.
For Jacob, it was at the very end of his life.
His kids had grandkids by that time.
When he gathered them together, said I want to offer a blessing on you.
We’ve got the tools.
Let’s make it a priority – to think about blessing our kids, our grandkids and so on. Let’s pray.
Father, as we think about that, we think about bringing a blessing to our children and our grandchildren, and those that we have some say over. Father, I pray that you would just prompt us in that, prompt us to give a blessing. We thank you so much for the very deep, deep love that you shared with us so long ago. We pray now, Lord, that You would bless and be blessed. And what we do in the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai