Fathers Sermon Illustrations

Fathers Sermon Illustrations

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The Story of the Prodigal Father

A certain man had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the portion of thy time, thy attention, and companionship, and thy counsel which falleth to me."

And he divided unto him his living in that he paid the boys' bills and sent him to a select preparatory school, and to dancing schools, and to college, and tried to believe that he was doing his full duty by the boy.
And not many days after, the father gathered all his interests and aspirations and ambitions and took his journey into a far country, into a line of stocks and bonds and securities and other things which do not interest a boy; and there he wasted his precious opportunity of being a chum to his own son.

And when he had spent the very best of his life, and had gained money but had failed to find satisfaction, there arose a mighty famine in his heart; and he began to be in want of sympathy and real companionship.

And he went and joined himself to one of the clubs of that country and they elected him chairman of the house committee and president of the club and sent him to Congress, and he would fain have satisfied himself with the husks that other men did eat, and no man gave unto him any real friendship.

But when he came to himself, he said, "How many men of my acquaintance have boys whom they understand and who understand them, who talk about their boys and associate with their boys and seem perfectly happy in the comradeship of their sons, and I perish here with heart hunger? I will arise and go to my son and will say to him, Son, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight; I am no more worthy to be called thy father; make me as one of thy acquaintances."

And he arose and came to his son, but while he was yet afar off, his son saw him and was moved with astonishment, and instead of running and falling on his neck, he drew back and was ill at ease.

And the father said unto him, "Son, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight! I am no more worthy to be called thy father. Forgive me now and let me be your friend."

But the son said, "Not so, I wish it were possible, but it is too late. There was a time when I wanted to know things, when I wanted companionship and counsel, but you were too busy; I got the information, and I get the companionship but I got the wrong kind; and now, alas, I am wrecked in soul and body, and there is nothing you can do for me. It is too late, too late, too late."

"The saddest words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: it might have been."

A boy has a right to more than food, clothes and correction; he has an undeniable right to a father.—Dr. Joplin.


Sentence Me

The most tragic and heart-rending cry in the Old Testament is the cry of David when he received the news of the death of his foolish and traitorous son, Absalom. A careful study of the relationship of Israel's great king with his son reveals that Absalom's errancy could in no small measure be laid at David's door. The poignancy of David's cry carries with it the sense of his own personal responsibility: "O my son Absalom, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (II Sam. 18:33).

"Sentence me!" a modern father said to the judge before whom his son stood to receive the sentence for a crime he had committed. "I have been so busy all my life making money, going through the chairs in my lodge, serving on boards and committees, I failed to concern myself with my boy. I alone am to blame." Undoubtedly, many a youth, serving a sentence in prison or reformatory, could point an accusing finger at his father who spent all his spare time on secondary matters to the neglect of his high responsibility of fatherhood.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.


A Father's Awakening

"One night after my fifteen-year-old boy had been sent home for insubordination to college authority for the second time, I slept but little. Then next morning after breakfast I cut a good switch and rehearsed to my boy his course of disobedience. I told him to take off his coat. He replied, 'I won't do it.' I looked him in the face and said: 'My boy, I am your father; you are my son. I promised God Almighty on my knees last night that I would control you, and I will whip you here this morning or you and I will die in this woodland. Take off your coat, sir.' He saw in my eye for the first time in his life the spirit of authority. He drew his coat in a moment, and I gave him a sound thrashing, at the conclusion of which I said, `Now kneel down with me.' We knelt together, and I told God of my own neglect and of my boy's sinful conduct, and promised God in the hearing of my boy to be faithful to my duty the remainder of my life, and prayed God's blessing on my wayward child. When we arose, he put his arms around my neck and his head on my bosom. We wept together for a long time. Then he looked up and said, 'Father, I will never give you any more trouble.' And from that day to this I have never had a care about him. He has been the most obedient son a father ever had. He is married now, an official in the church, and no truer, nobler Christian man walks the earth than my precious son."Christian Life.


A missionary was crossing the River Godavari from Narsapur to Nagaram Island in a boat, setting out on a preaching tour. Equipped with gospel tracts, he handed one to each of those on the boat who could read. Opposite him sat a Brahmin gentleman who politely accepted a tract and, after scanning it through, began to question the missionary, asking what his native country was, how long he had been in India, where he resided in this land, what was his business and what business was taking him across the river. Then followed questions about the missionary's family. Was he married? Had he any children? When he heard that the family consisted of a wife and five sons, he said, 'God has certainly blessed you: you are a very rich man.' Then came the inevitable question, 'What salary do you receive?'

It is very often good to answer a question by asking one, so the missionary said, 'May I ask you one or two questions?' Certainly,' said the Brahmin. 'Are you a married man?' On receiving an affirmative reply, the missionary next asked what family he had; and he replied, telling him he had sons and daughters. 'Then what salary do you pay them?' asked the missionary. `Me,' said he, astonished, 'I don't pay them any salary. I provide them with food and clothing, educate them and meet their marriage expenses when the time comes. Isn't that sufficient?' he asked. 'Of course it is,' said the missionary. 'And you know?' he added, 'I am in the very same position as your children are. My Father provides me with food and clothing, equips me for my work here, and meets all my expenses as they arise, so that I don't have to look for a salary either.' You must have a very rich father' was the Brahmin's reply, as he looked the missionary up and down. 'Yes, indeed I have,' said the missionary. `This great river belongs to my Father, and all the fruitful fields and fruit-bearing trees, and that sun shining down upon us and giving us light and warmth; yes, and the sky over our heads, and the moon and stars with which it is studded at night-all these belong to my Father.' I see,' said he, 'God is your Father.'

(Matt. 6. 32; Luke 11. 2, 3; 1 Tim. 6. 17)


A director of one of the great transcontinental railroads was showing his three-year-old daughter the pictures in a work on natural history. Pointing to a picture of a zebra, he asked the baby to tell him what it represented. Baby answered "Coty."

Pointing to a picture of a tiger in the same way, she answered "Kitty." Then a lion, and she answered "Doggy." Elated with her seeming quick perception, he then turned to the picture of a Chimpanzee and said:

"Baby, what is this?"

"Papa."

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