Dads: Set the Right Example for Your Family  (Acts 16:16-34 )



I have a Chicago Cubs baseball cap

               that I've worn a good bit.

In 1949 when I turned 13 ....

               (Don't bother to add it up, I'll be 62 this year.)

In 1949 when I turned 13

               it seemed like most of my friends in 8th grade

               were closely following major league baseball,

               and especially during the world Series.

That year, the New York Yankees would win the World Series

               That year they began a winning streak of five years in a row.

But they were already big winners

Between 1936, when I was born, and 1949,

               the NY Yankees won right at 60% of all the World Series.

The Yankees were overpowering.

               I thought they won far more than one team ought to win.

               I was not a Yankees fan.

In 1949, I didn't know much about the Chicago Cubs

               probably because their record just wasn't very good.

As a matter of fact,

               it hasn't been all that good since then either

Beginning with 1949

               until the beginning of this years baseball season,

               the Chicago Cubs lost 4120 games

               --that's more losses than any other major league team.

I guess that accounts for a teenage girl who saw my hat at camp

               and said "The Cubs?!"

Now I know there are a lot of things that make the difference

               between a winning team and a loosing team,

               But I have a much greater appreciation now

               for the importance of a good manager.

Well, Imagine someone was hired to manage the Chicago Cubs.

               But afterward, he doesn’t go to very many of the games.

               He only shows up on the weekend; and even misses some of those.

When he's at the game,

               he offers no help or direction to his players.

               He doesn't do the things that a good manager should do.

               He never makes decisions about strategy.

               He never gives signals from the sideline

                              you know, those signals to the pitcher or batter.

               He never decides to use a pinch-hitter?

               He never signals the batter to bunt

                              in order to advance a man on base runners?

               He never signals a man on first or second

                              to try to steal a base?

               He never signals the batter to make sacrifice fly

                              to permit the man on third to score.

The players look to the manager for leadership,

               but he sits in the dugout, watching cable TV.

"Do whatever you think is best,"

               he tells his players.

               "I made sure you have plenty of bats and baseballs;

               The lawn here in Wrigley Field is all trimmed,

                              and you've got brand new uniforms.

               I did my job, now go out there and win."

Then when they finish the year with a losing record,

               the manager bursts into the owner’s office and says,

               "This is all your fault!

                              How could you let this happen to me?

                              What did I ever do to you?"

With a manager like that team wouldn't stand much of a chance.

Sadly, that's how many men manage their team—their family.

               Many do not live up to their responsibility to their families,

               and as a result, their family suffers as a result

                              maybe even falls apart.

The Bible makes it clear that the husband and father

               is to be the spiritual leader of his family.

               The Spiritual Leader.

                              That doesn’t mean he’s a bully, or dictator, or despot.

               He is to be spiritual,

                              and he is to be a leader.

Now I know that nobody's perfect.

               and being a husband and father

               is a very difficult role.

But it can be done,

               even when you start from scratch.

Let's look in the Bible at how a man became

               the spiritual leader in his household.

He did it leading by his own example.

               The result was joy for him

               and his whole family.

Acts 16:16-17  Paul and Silas were preaching in Philippi

16 And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”


When Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her

Vs. 19 says "her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone,

               they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them

               into the market place before the authorities,

Verse 22 says,  "the chief magistrates tore their robes off them,

               and (ordered) them to be beaten with rods.

               23 (giving them) many blows

               (then) they threw them into prison,

               24 ... (where) the jailer ... threw them into the inner prison,

               and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Vs 25 goes on,

25 about midnight Paul and Silas were praying

and singing hymns ...

and the prisoners were listening to them;

26 and suddenly there (was) a great earthquake,

... immediately all the doors ... opened,

and everyone’s chains (fell off).

Vs 27 "the jailer (woke up and saw) the prison doors open ...

he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,

supposing that the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul cried out

“Do yourself no harm, ... we are all here!”

29 And he called for lights and rushed in and,

trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 ... (and) said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Verses 31-34

 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus,

and you shall be saved,

you and your household.”

32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him

together with all who were in his house.

33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds,

and immediately he was baptized,

he and all his household.

34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them,

and rejoiced greatly,

having believed in God with his whole household.




Here are four examples the jailer set for his family

               that helped him be the spiritual leader of his home.

If you want to give your family the leadership they need

               —if you want to coach a winning team—

               these are four examples your family needs to see in you. First...

1. Take an honest spiritual inventory of yourself

Matt 6:33 Jesus said,

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.


Where do the things of the Lord fit into your priorities?

"What must I do to be saved?"


"Where do I stand spiritually?

What is my relationship with God?"

Some men leave religion to their wives and children.

Some parents send their children to church

               and Bible school

                              to learn good Christian values

               but the lessons lose their impact

                              if the c