Calistoga JailYesterday my pastor, Dr. Larry Pabiona, noted that many fathers go home discouraged rather than inspired after listening to a Father’s Day sermon in church. Instead of celebrating the joys and blessings of fatherhood, they focus on their shortcomings, and therefore, feel guilty. Is the preacher responsible for guilt tripping fathers on this one day of the year when they are supposed to be extolled?

I don’t think so. Personally, I believe that any sense of conviction one experiences during the preaching of the Word is usually the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. Fathers, we feel guilty because the Spirit is pointing out our sins, and He calls us to acknowledge and confess them to Him.

Let’s look at, for example, the Jews who participated in the wrongful conviction of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate did not find evidence to convict Jesus of any crime. Yet, the Jews forced Pilate’s hands and secured the permission to execute Jesus. Pilate washed his hands and declared, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

All the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!” (Matthew 27:25).

Can you imagine how many fathers took responsibility for murder that day? Aren’t you appalled by  the audacity of these fathers who included their children as witnesses against the holy Son of God? History shows, and the Bible affirms it, that these fathers were on the wrong side of truth. I just hope that when Jesus rose from the dead, these fathers had the opportunity to repent of their sin and to lead their children to trust in Christ as their Savior.

Phil McCutchen quotes Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, in reminding us that:

What’s true or right is NEVER determined by popularity or polls. The right thing is often unpopular since it’s harder to do. In eternity, having been on “the wrong side of history” won’t matter. What’ll matter is were you on the wrong side of truth?

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that one of our responsibilities You have given to me as a father is to lead my children to believe the truth about You and Your mission. Grant me the grace to fulfill this responsibility and to be found on the right side of truth, for the glory of Your name.

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