Program Air Date Ė 3-10-13



Paul once said, ďI press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Ē Do we strive to follow this great admonition?

Thank you for joining us for the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lordís Day morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.

Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God, through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Wonít you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, letís begin our praise to God in prayer.


Itís now time to join in our first Hymn of the morning. Wonít you do your part as we sing together the beautiful old song, ďTrust And Obey.Ē

(SONG # 1)


We often hear the word contentment used, in relationship to religious things! In fact, the Bible often talks about contentment as a requirement of a faithful child of God. However, I think we sometimes get physical contentment confused with spiritual. Yes, in the book of Philippians, Paul said that we should learn to be content in whatever state we are, but he was referring to the physical. So, can we ever become too content spiritually?

If we look around in the religious world today we find that many have confused this concept of contentment with the spiritual. Many try to convince us that there is no reason to grow or improve because we must be content with who we are and where we are spiritually. Actually, just the opposite is true when it comes to religious things.

In Philippians 3:12-14 we read, ďNot that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Ē Notice what Paul says here! He says he had not yet laid hold on perfection and none of us have either.

How many today would hold themselves equally up to the faith of Paul. What a great man of God he was. However, it is this great man of God which said he was still reaching for that goal, that perfection.

As Christians, it is important that we remember that being a good follower of God is a daily process that we must work at. Satan is around tempting us and trying to get us to fall from the grace of God, but if we are continually growing we will be able to withstand the evils of this world better. You see, when we grow and mature in the faith, we also grow closer to God and when He is on our side, who can be successful against us, Romans 8:31.

In fact, isnít everything in life a growing process? When we learn to walk, and talk, doesnít it take time? Or when we learn to ride a bike or play sports, again, it doesnít happen overnight. Think about that first time you went to an amusement park? You start out on the kiddy rides but eventually you move up to the big ones - like the roller coasters. Everything in life is a process to improve ourselves; to help us better accept and deal with the things of tomorrow. However, we must also realize that true perfection was only found in one man, Jesus Christ, but we all can strive for it, and give Him our best!

So in summary, letís realize that yesterday is a foundation that we are building on, but we must move forward toward tomorrow, forgetting the past to put all our energies on making today and tomorrow the best they can be.

This morning we will again consider a lesson from our series on the Christian Home. Our specific topic of study today will deal with ďThe Mans Place, As A FatherĒ So please stay with us through our next song and after that our guest speaker of the day will return with this study from Godís Word.

As far as our guest speaker, we are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us today. Brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us.

Now itís time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, ďVictory In Jesus.Ē

(SONG # 2)


By Jerry Sullins

Iíd like to welcome you again to The Living Word Broadcast. Iím so thankful that you have allowed us to come into your home this morning and to deliver messages from Godís word so that you will have an opportunity to study with us and we can all come to an understanding of what Godís will is for us in this day in time. Weíd like to invite you to come to the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ who has sponsored this program for over thirty five years and the many brethren whom you will see at the end of this program who help promote this word. We are appreciative so much of individuals in congregations who give so that we can offer this program to you every Sunday morning and have done so for years.

We are in a discussion of the Christian home and the responsibilities that people play and the roles that they play in the home. The home is under a great what we might say threat in our society today. Now we have mentioned this but you may not have been a part of the program up to this day. I think that you realize also that we have a serious problem today in the United States of America and that problem begins in the home, that is the institution that God instituted from the very first. Where He said a man shall leave his father and mother, shall cling to his own wife, and the two shall become one flesh. It has always been that way in the mind of God thatís Godís design for the home and so many of us today are a part of what we refer to as the Christian home. We call it the Christian home because we try to direct what is in our homes according to the plan that God has laid out for us in the New Testament.

So this morning we are going to be discussing the home as it relates to the father. Before we get to that I would like to discuss some of the threats against our homes today. There is a great moral decline today in our society in fact our children are taught in our public schools not to respect the design that God has made for the home today. They believe that there can be two parents who are of the same sex, in fact in seven states or more now and I believe Illinois is about to do the same corrupt ungodly thing to sanction same sex marriages which would allow them to take children into their home and raise them in that situation which is certainly not right in the sight of God. So we see a moral decline in our nation along with that because of the moral decline over fifty percent of our marriages end in divorce. How sad indeed that is because Jesus said except a man divorce his wife for the cause of fornication or anyone do that except for the cause of fornication they commit adultery and the one who marries that person who is put away also commits adultery. Divorce is something as we refer to even in this series of lessons as something that God certainly hates. We have a problem now with everyone in the family working and that gets to the situation or causes that situation to arise in the home where the children are not really cared for by their parents but some outside influence maybe a nursery or something somewhere that is sponsored by some congregation or church, maybe by the government itself and they lose that opportunity to be trained as they need to be trained by their loving parents. Also there are so many other things such as parents that just are not very attentive to the fact that they are parents. To the fact that they have brought that precious jewel into the world and have been given that blessing and they treat it just like they would treat anything else. They really arenít concerned about that child; they bring that child into the world. If this is not the case with you then may God bless you. But as we see the home breaking down and children in despair even more and more each day in our society there is something wrong in our homes. Now the reason for this broadcast is so that we might bring your attention to some of the things that need to be done to properly bring the home back, especially during this series of lessons, to where it needs to be in Godís sight.

Well letís look for just a few moments to why it is that homes are not succeeding in raising their children properly. Well, it seems at times that parents are not producing the healthy homes that they need to produce. They have certain attitudes that they have that have contributed to this. You know if you look around in our society today it seems like parents are literally scared to death of their children, they do not want to tell their children no, they do not want to instruct their children as to how they should or should not be doing or saying whatever they are doing or saying. It seems like they are afraid of them. Well, certainly this is not the pattern that God placed in the home. How are those children going to learn if those who brought them into this world with the help of God are not attentive to their needs to the point that they are willing to say ok here is what is right in the sight of God, and here is what is not right in the sight of God, and discipline them when they need to be disciplined. They are so afraid of losing the childís love; they say they donít want to hinder their childrenís spontaneity that means just allow my children to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it. They fail to see in anyway where the action that their child is doing is wrong because they thought well basically the child has a right to develop their own moral standing, so maybe we should not teach them and just let them grow. Yeah just let them grow like a weed, and we know what a weed is, something that is not nurtured properly, and something that grows up to be a plant that is destructive of those plants that have been planted and nurtured so that they will bear forth good fruit. That is what happens too many of our children.

Letís look at the parental responsibility in the home and where does it rest because that is the subject of our lesson this morning. Now many fathers are not going to enjoy what Iím about to say in this section of this lesson because it is a direct instruction to you from Godís word. I call your attention to a simple verse that is found in Ephesians 6:4. I say it is simple because anyone can understand it and it says simply this, ďAnd you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.Ē Now I want to ask you something, how much time to do you spend with your children each week? Well, do you realize that the average time that a father actually spends with his children each week, Iím talking about quality time where he talks to that child, where he nurtures that child, he disciplines that child, he trains that child five minutes or less. No wonder our homes are falling apart because the fathers have not realized first of all their responsibility before the Lord. Now you might notice here that is says and you fathers do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the discipline and the training of the Lord. Whose final responsibility is it before God, who will answer to God for the way their children are raised? Let me say this, and I say this and I donít want to insult anyone here this morning, but you must understand fathers that it is your responsibility. Now can you delegate some of those responsibilities to your wife, yes, because she has a role to play as far as the children being raised, instructed, and disciplined she has her role to play. And she can assist you in those same areas where you must also be involved. But you canít do what a lot of fathers do and say well Iím bringing in the bacon and the beans each week and Iím leaving the raising of the children to you. No Iím sorry that is not what God wants of you. He wants you to be an intricate part of the raising of your children. Another statement that is made in Colossians 3:1 it says, ďFathers provoke not your children to anger lest they be discouraged. Now we donít need to be as men who walk in on maybe a daily basis or maybe every other day but we have all heard that this happens and he is tired and he doesnít want to even fool with anything. He just wants to maybe sit down and maybe do his own thing, go to sleep or whatever and he just sort of treats his children like that. ĎWell, I donít want to bother with you now you go play or get on your cell phone, whatever I have provided for you, play your game,í and sometimes they even insult their children and discourage their children because those precious souls are looking to their father for instruction. Those precious souls want to be disciplined because it is vital to their being raised in such a way that they will respect not only their parents, but respect the community, and first of all respect their God. Without respecting their parents they will never respect their God. Without respecting their father, that is their physical father, indeed they will never unless they are exceptional children they will probably never respect the God of heaven. Thatís how vital and how important your role as fathers in the raising of your children. You have the responsibility, it takes time and it takes effort for you to do your job on a daily basis whatever it might be, it takes your time and it takes your effort. Your responsibility before your children is to take time and make an effort to bring them up in the discipline and training of your Lord.

Now let me give you a few indicators that you might consider. And I hope you will consider these things as they are given in a spirit of love and try to change if you need to change. After all most of us have been fathers and we have had others instruct us before and if we are truly diligent in what we need to do and we are interested in doing what is right toward those souls that we have helped and assisted to bring into this world we listen so that we might be a better father. Is that the case with you? I hope so. Well consider this, what do your children really need? They need love; you need to love your children. How sad it was when someone came to me one day and this is as it relates to her mother she cried and she said, ĎI never heard my mother tell me she loved me, I never heard that.í Now this mother had just passed away, she was over seventy years old, and she never heard her mother say that she loved her. How many of you fathers have never told your children that you love them? Can I challenge you to do something today, the next hour, maybe even sooner than that go to your children sit them on your lap whatever give them a big hug and tell them that you love them. They need to hear that, they donít need to surmise that that may be true or maybe by your actions understand that it could be true they need to hear it from your own lips. Take the time spend the effort to do what is necessary in what you are doing to be with your children and to show them also not just by word but by deed that you actually love them.

Another thing might I suggest is that you train your children; it is not the responsibility of your church to train your children. They can help and assist but I want to say this that no matter what your church may do however you want to look at your church, no matter what your church may do your local congregation may do they can probably not overcome what is lacking in their home. So you need to be interested in training them. In fact that is what Paul said the message from God was to bring them up in the training and the discipline of the Lord.

That brings the third point; we need as fathers to discipline our children. They need to know what is right and wrong. You need to be aware of what is right and wrong and you need to express to them that this is right and this is wrong according to Godís holy standard. The Bible tells us what is right and what is wrong. What is in the Bible develops the moral basis for which we base our lives upon and so a child needs to be instructed and they need to be disciplined. When wronged they need to be corrected. The book of Proverbs, Solomon says Proverbs 22:6, ďTrain up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.Ē But yet that same author said in the book of Proverbs 13:24, ďHe who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.Ē So it is necessary, although it is very difficult sometimes when we see that little child, that precious gift from God before us, it is very difficult to discipline that child as that child needs to be disciplined. But we must if we want that child to grow up as that child needs to grow up before God.

Someone said this, ďToday God has lent us a soul, tomorrow we must return it prepared for eternity.Ē One of the saddest things I know is that we as fathers do not do what God wants us to do in raising our children and then someday we stand before His eternal throne and He is going to mention those things that we have done in our lives. If we have failed to present the proper example and to train our children as they need to be trained how sad it will be because not only probably will those children lose their souls but we will also. I plead with you look into Godís word and follow it.

(SONG # 3 - ďWe Have Heard The Joyful Sound!Ē)


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lordís Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about todayís lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

May we as men before God fulfill our role as proper Husbands and Fathers! Not only that we may please God, but that we may also set the president and standard in a truly Christian home before our God!

(Program closing)