Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

June 13, 2014

PASTOR POPHIN: A good father is hard to find


Mineral Wells Index

— By PASTOR TOMMY POPHIN



There is an old blues-turned-pop song-turned-country based on an old short story by Flannery O’Conner called “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

Of course, the song advises women that if you find a good man, hang onto him. Even rarer, though, is that “A good father is hard to find.” One difference is that children have no say concerning who their father will be. But fathers do get to decide what kind of dad they will be.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let’s think about “a good father.” The Bible has some great examples of good fathers. There is one father in the Holy Scripture that has always impressed me above all others. He is Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. There are just a few accounts of Joseph’s life, but each one is impressive. I’d like to share them with you.

First, Matthew 1:18-21 says, “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”

Second, Matthew 1:24-25 says, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.”

Third, Matthew 2:13 says, “When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’” he said, “‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’”

Finally, Matthew 13:54-55 says, “Coming to His hometown, he (Jesus) began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. They asked. ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?’”

What is the significance of the above scriptures? Let’s discover that together.

First, in Matthew 1:18-21, we discover that Joseph was willing to sacrifice his reputation for the will of God. Even the name Jesus was not the one Joseph would have typically named his first son. Just like many fathers today, the first son was always named after the father. Instead he gave Him the name Jesus. Also, Joseph should have left Mary because she was not carrying his son.

Second, in Matthew 1:24-25, we find Joseph was obedient to the Lord and showed self control. Third, because Joseph was a godly man, he put his family first and provided protection from evil. Finally, Joseph gave Jesus an identity and taught Jesus a trade. The trade was that of a carpenter.

Good fathers:

• Put Jesus first.

• Obey God above all else.

• Protect their families from evil and harm.

• Provide for the needs of the family before seeking personal success or pleasure.

If you are a father, you are reading this article and feel like you fall short in these areas, then probably you are doing better than you think. However, if you really feel like you are falling short, confess that to Jesus and start living the life He wants you to live.

God Bless you! Have a great week! Participate in church this weekend! Honor your fathers!

Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church. You are invited to join him and the congregation on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m. for Sunday school and 11 a.m. for worship. The church is located at 350 Beulah Lane at Fox Road in Millsap.