“Are Fathers Raising Their Children?”

The study of genetics provides evidence that each of us has behavioral traits that can be traced back to our ancestry. We are the product of many centuries of cultural attributes and evolving modifications of cultural norms. It is easy to accept ourselves as we are and expect others to do the same if we are completely satisfied ourselves and see no need for change. Can we be blamed for what dwells within us as a part of our lineage? Our desires and passions form our emotional frame and our personal agenda, the things that we pursue in life. The propensity towards a particular thing, if we research the history, will be discovered within a relative who was of the same persuasion, even if the trait was expressed differently. The origin of our genetics generated from first cause. The word “pater” in Latin means first cause or brought forth from. From this word we have paternal or father. Our first father, Adam sinned against God which set in motion a course of rebellion against Him. His rebellion was not part of his original formation but was introduced to him by another in whom it originated. Satan, who rebelled against God, appeared in the form of a serpent who deceived Eve and his rebellion incubated in the heart of Adam. When he validated the deception of his wife by deliberately yielding to her offer, he set in motion a course of sin for every successive generation. Sinning is an insult to the Father whose intentions are for the good of His sons and daughters. It is a statement through actions that speak of wisdom in contradiction to the instructions and disciplines originally provided. Yielding to words spoken from another source changes the genetic structure of the individual. The renouncing of father is the entryway of adopting another as father instead. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You are of your father, the devil.”

The good in the psyche of an individual, even before he or she is spiritually converted, is the result of training and discipline. Laws and prohibitions had to be established and enforced unless the hearts of rebellion inbred within the souls of men would run unrestricted. Their inhibitions would lead to self- destruction without parameters or the setting of standards. Sin is a reproach, or leads to God’sdispleasure and rebuke, but it also leads to death. God historically spoke to fathers through the prophets because the fathers were the closest to the children as authority to which they could identify. The fathers were given the role of instructions and discipline to their families. They were also held responsible if their assignments were neglected. Today the need for good home training is desperately wanting. Families need someone to speak what is right and wrong so that the line is drawn in the sand. For fathers to rightly instruct their children oftentimes it requires them to reach beyond the ways in which they were trained. Permissive fathers allow their children to literally raise themselves. They allow the popular opinion of a degenerate society, expressed through the media and the miseducation of a corrupted educational system, to determine their course. To raise our children rightly, the objective must be to set a higher standard than the one that was set for us, not just in the area of career choices, but including all the true essentials of life. Many of our children have lost their purpose for living while endlessly trying to make a living.

The original intent of the Father from which all fathering originated was to relate to His family inclusive of us. His desire remains to father through us. This is why He sent His only Begotten Son that through Him the order for life that never ends can be restored. God has given every father a job far greater than bringing home the bacon. We are to know the Lord and make Him known for the sake and safety of our children and our children’s children. Then generations can be restored as the path is paved by and through the testimonies of godly fathers.

Meditation: May 2

“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1Timothy 4:10). 

Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent than speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift to the world so that others who would come to believe that Christ suffered for a reason. That reason being the very ones who do not understand. 

“The World Stands at Attention”

“Blow the trumpet…. Sound the alarm!” (Joel 2:1) The whole world is currently hearing a singular sound. When the unexpected happens and shakes the entire planet earth, fera, doubts and questions grip peoples’  hearts. The insecurities were not created by the crisis, but more people became aware of them when the unexpected happens. What about the future, if there is to be a future? How widespread is this dilemma and are there other occurring tragedies to follow after this one? This pandemic, the coronavirus, has required the entire population of the planet to be quarantined. It is as if all the world has been placed on house arrest. When motion is restricted the economy suffers loss. When the economy suffers loss, necessities that sustain life are in limited supply. Where there is limited supply the demand is greater, crime increases. Safety and security are compromised, leaving people vulnerable to every vice known to man. 

 The alarm has been sounded. The prophetic Word of God is being fulfilled. The prophet Joel further says, “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand!”  The quality of character is being exposed among both the righteous and the ungodly. When the Lord Jesus Christ was born, the prophetic words of Simeon were spoken over Him. He said to His mother Mary, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35) The closer we are to the return of Christ the clearer we see ourselves as we really are. The objective of the prophetic Word was to build confidence in the hearts of those who would believe on Jesus once He was presented to them. His objective in coming was to redeem them from their sins and direct them on the path leading to eternal life. The beginning of His journey was to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, the father of faith. Then from those who are of the seed of Abraham, every nation on the face of the earth was to be blessed. But the majority of those to whom He was sent rejected Him. They considered what they had already attained as being sufficient. Their hearts were filled with pride because of their possessions and their misunderstanding of God’s promises.  His coming was a disruption of their peace. It was as a sword to them, an erupting disturbance that needed to be put in its place. Therefore, they put Him in His place. It is called the Cross.  

The decisions and positions of this generation as a whole are no different or perhaps even worse than they were. At least in the past, many were religious, while today Christ, along with religion in many arenas, is completely rejected. Unbelief and disbelief do not change the Truth of God’s Word. There are those who do not know the Truth, and others who would not retain the Truth in their knowledge for the sake of expediency, often for social and poltiical reasons. The alarm is sounding to call the world to attention. It is a call to prepare for judgment. God, the Righteous Judge will judge all creatures both rich and poor, according to what resides within the heart. What we see today are merely the symptoms to alert us all that an adjustment towards correcting the error of humankind is inevitable. If the very purpose for which the Lord came as a Child to the earth is to be completely fulfilled, He will have to bring about radical changes first among those who are grafted in, then He will make known to the children of Abraham His original intent. The earth is trembling at the sound of His Word through the clarion call of the trumpet. The Lord is coming soon. May all the peoples of the earth make room for His return!

Meditation: May 1

“So, when you pray in your private prayer language, don’t hoard the experience for yourself. Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy” (1Corinthians 14:13 MSG). 

True love is never selfish. It takes pleasure in giving more than receiving. God has called us into deeper levels as our hearts are in sync with His own. Our thoughts and His thoughts become the same. Our passions and His passions align. Only then will our hearts soar beyond our intellect, or our abilities to articulate what is burning deeply within it. It is from the overflow of our hearts that a language that is not our own is given expression. Our prayers are in private and our language is privately expressed. Yet we are provoked by the Holy Spirit not to be ascetic with the pleasures of our private devotions. Pray that we may be able to share with others what we have privately shared with God. God is able to unleash within us the abilities to give expression to what He imparts so that all may benefit from the divine impartation. 

Meditation: April 30

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). 

The language of the Spirit of God rings differently in the ears of unbelievers than it does in the ears of believers. Those who have rejected God have an affinity towards things pertaining to the flesh. Any other message seems not to have any relevancy to them for their hearts are drawn in an opposite direction. When the Holy Spirit enters into one’s heart, He makes room for the truth. Only then can it become sensible and for passions to rise within him to embrace a level of teaching beyond what is commonly understood. What God has to say to us is uncommon to mankind therefore it requires more than mere common sense. In his natural state it is foolishness. But when the spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error, he will seek out teachers that will teach him things that he did not see because they cannot be seen without divine assistance. 

Meditation: April 29

“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near” (Matthew 24:32). 

One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and the zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.” 

Meditation: April 26

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (Philippians 3:10). 

There are continuing aspects of Jesus Christ made available to us. Our spiritual hunger to fully identify with Him qualifies us to know what was unknown. We have come to know that He is our Savior and Lord through His Word. We believe in Him and apply faith in all of His promises. Yet the more we know of Him, a fire is ignited within our hearts to experience Him. To share with Him in His experience of life is the grandest endeavor one could ever attain. The evidence that we have is that we recognize that there is much more to be known than what we have come to know. The height and depth of His love is to be explored throughout our lifetime. Oh the joy of knowing that it is Christ working in us and the sufficiency is not of us! We have been raised in newness of life. Now each experience whether it be painful or pleasurable, is ordered by our Master for a purpose far greater than any at this moment are able to see. “None of me, all of Thee; None of me, all unto Thee!” As portions of my self-life dies, I am attaining to the resurrection of the dead. 

Meditation: April 25

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius, and in this way He showed Himself.” (John 21:1-2). 

He makes Himself known in ways that are familiar to each person. He once came in human flesh and fully identified with the human experience, yet honoring the Father by not yielding to the temptation of sin. After He was raised from the dead, He continued to show Himself again to His disciples. In His resurrected state, He is still in touch with all things pertaining to us. They were fishermen before their encounter with Jesus. Now that He had been crucified, they returned to their former professions. Their lack of success was challenged by His question, “Children, have you any food?” They had toiled all night to no avail. Jesus then gave them instructions that they could either follow or ignore. But when they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, they could not contain all that was in their nets. The resurrected Christ makes His presence known again among His disciples. He is the same Jesus but now raised in newness of life as the first-born of many brethren. It is His Spirit speaking that brings us to change our mode of operation. Our obedience to His Word will produce what we strain at doing alone.

Meditation: April 24

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6). 

He is absent from the place to which He had been carried. His lifeless body lay in a tomb without the strength to either participate or resist. There He was carried and placed by others. But on Resurrection Sunday, the grave was robbed of its victory. The empty tomb served as a witness that He was no longer there. His was not the result of being carried away, for many are absent because they have been carried away by something or someone. “He is risen, as He said.” His Word was confirmed by action. His promise was fulfilled thus giving even greater validity to all that He ever said. The evidence was presented, thus allowing every skeptic and naysayer to see with their own eyes His power to defy death, hell, and the grave. The angel invited them to come inside and see the very place that He once laid. Where a body once laid, and empty tomb reminds us of our own destinies. As we are in Christ Jesus, we too shall be made alive by the same Spirit and power that raised Him from the dead. He is not where men placed Him. For He is risen from the dead! 

Meditation: April 22

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1Corinthians 1:18). 

The question is how can something be foolish to some but so necessary to others? There are some who believe more in their abilities and strength rather than the strength that is ours through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We were once without strength, dead in trespasses and sins, but Christ died for us. Now as we believe on Him and in His Name, the power of God works within us to the saving of our souls. Both categories have to do with one’s future state of being. On one hand, there are those who are perishing, and on the other hand, there are those who are being saved. The seed of destruction is imbedded in the hearts of those who do not believe as it was in us all. Jesus died for sinners before they recognized their need for redemption. Those who reject His offer are perishing. But those who are being saved are in the process of living. The body of sin will perish, but just as He rose from the dead, we too shall be raised in newness of life. Jesus died on the cross that we might live. But there had to be a cross to bear leading to ultimate victory over death, hell, and the grave. Without the cross there can be no crown.