OUT OF THE PASTOR’S PEN

 

 

Be encouraged by Pastor Tom’s weekly blog post! Share with your friends!
 

Rosh Hashanah & the Secret of the Bridegroom

This Wednesday at church we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year 5778, with a dish to pass, a little teaching, worship and dance.  Why?  First, because it’s a Biblical festival, given in Leviticus 23:23 and Numbers 29:1, where it is called a day for blowing trumpets, or shofars.  Ancient Israel used shofars to rally to go to war and to mark important celebrations.  On Rosh Hashanah one hundred blasts of trumpets called the people to a time of introspection and repentance before the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the holiest day of the year that comes exactly ten days after Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:27).
 
On the Day of Atonement the high priest entered the Holy of Holies in hopes God would forgive the people of Israel for their sins.  The ten-day period leading from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur was a time to examine the Scriptures, repent and return to God in hopes He would forgive and write the person’s name in the Book of Life.  Israel had to do this every year but we have Jesus, our Great High Priest, who covered our sins once for all by the shedding of His blood on the Cross.
 
Shofars are made from goats’ horns and they also reminded ancient Israel of the goat God gave Abraham to sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son, Isaac—the Old Testament story Jews read most often.  One day all Jews will realize this story foretells Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross as a sin offering for everyone who receives Him!  For Christians, every time the shofar is blown, we are reminded that God gave us Jesus like a ram in the bush, as a substitute to die for our sins.  Blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah calls us to awaken from spiritual slumber and make room for the breath of God, Holy Spirit, to blow afresh in our lives!
 
There’s also a secret hidden in plain sight in the symbolism of Rosh Hashanah, which is celebrated on a new moon, when the moon is concealed.  What is concealed on Rosh Hashanah?  The fetching of the Bride!  In ancient Israel, weddings consisted of two parts, the betrothal, or engagement, and the actual marriage ceremony which came later.  The betrothal marked the contractual agreement between a groom and bride, committing each other legally to their union, but the conjugal union was not celebrated until as much as a year or more later—after the groom returned to his father’s house to build a place for his bride.  Only the groom’s father could say when the new place was ready, at which point the groom was released to go fetch his bride.  The bride’s duty during this time was to gather her dowry and prepare herself to go with her groom when he appeared.  Because she didn’t know the day or hour of his appearance, the groom’s approach was heralded by the blowing of a shofar!  Thus, blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah foreshadows the day Jesus will return to earth to receive His Bride, the Church, heralded by an enormous sounding of trumpets.  1 Thessalonians 4:16 
 
Some Jewish followers of Christ believe Jesus will actually come again on Rosh Hashanah.  Whether or not this is true, remember this, referring to the wedding supper of the Lamb, Jesus said: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  
 
Come, join us this Wednesday to celebrate the promise of Christ’s return and the coming days when we will reign with Him on earth!  Better yet, learn to allow the Holy Spirit to “blow through you” now, so you can reign with Him today, releasing heaven on earth wherever you go!

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Normal Christian Life

We often think of the end result of Christian life as what should be “normal” for all Christians: things like not swearing, smoking or doing drugs, living in sexual purity, not living selfishly, and not automatically reacting in anger or taking offense at things people say or do.  Many times people feel so pressured to produce these results that they slide into faking them, acting one way at church but quite another way at home, school or work.  This is the kind of hypocrisy that drives people away from church life.  God is not just concerned with end results.  He’s equally concerned with how we get there—and don’t you know He has a wonderful way of exposing fake results?!
 
The “normal” Christian life is all about the process of being transformed from living self-centered lives to living as God calls us to live.  Aren’t the happiest families ones that learn how to encourage each other to do their best rather than criticizing each other for falling short of expectations?!  That’s certainly how God is with His family. God knows it’s a process. 
 
The Bible says make every effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love. This passage, 2 Peter 1:5-8, continues: “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Making efforts and acquiring godly traits in increasing measure are words that describe a process, not a performance.
 
The process of being transformed by the renewing of our hearts and minds includes letting God know what we’re going through.  God is merciful and gives us peace in place of anxiety as we learn to walk in His ways: “But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!” Jude 1:20-21, The Message Bible.
 
Philippians 4:6-7 adds: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 
 
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to give us peace along with resurrection power so we can directly experience God’s love as we’re being transformed.  Embrace the process and you’ll find that He who has begun a good work in you will faithfully continue that process until the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
 
God values who we are more than what we do, even though He has goals and expectations for how we are to live.  When you learn to enjoy the adventure of transformation and growth, you have the key to happiness for living a normal Christian life!
 

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Why Identity? Why Now?

The word “identity” is not found in the King James Bible, only in a few modern translations. This makes some people wonder if focusing on our identity in Christ is unbiblical or just a passing fad.  Well, just as the Bible describes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit without using the word “Trinity”, so too the Bible speaks about the process of forming a new identity in Christ without using the word identity.  Over the centuries this process has been called discipleship, Spiritual formation, and sanctification.  The bottom line is we receive a new identity when we pursue Jesus.  

To receive our new identity in Christ, we must go through a very active process of putting off old habits of mind and heart and putting on new habits. Ephesians 4:22-24.  It’s not automatic.  We are called to engage pro-actively in the process of learning to live like Jesus.  We are called to pursue our new identity in Christ!

The Latin root of the word “identity” means “the same over and over.”  What we do over and over again represents our true identity—i.e., not simply what we say, but our actual behavior!  The central question is where do the things come from that we end up doing over and over again in our lives?  Do they come from the world or from God?  Are the patterns you see in your life birthed from pain and abuse, or from love?  If you find yourself being anxious, fearful, angry or always feeling like you have to dominate others, you know you’re not yet walking in the identity Jesus died to give you.

Jesus said rivers of living water will flow from within whoever believes in Him. John 7:38.  One measure of our new identity in Jesus is the degree to which the Spirit flows from within us to bring life to ourselves, our families and others.  If your words and actions don’t consistently produce newness of life in others, you know you have a great opportunity to put off the old man and put on the new.
 
Uniquely among world religions, Christianity teaches that the pattern for what works best in our lives comes from the strength of our relationship with Jesus and our Father in Heaven.  As we connect with God and draw closer to Jesus, we discover deep truths about ourselves and acquire integrity in our identity as Christians.  We are empowered to become the same person over and over again, speaking more and more and behaving more and more like Jesus, whose life teaches us what the Spirit of God looks and sounds like in human form.
 
Here’s a secret of Christian life that modern science now confirms.  Putting off the old and putting on the new is also called renewing the mind.  (See Romans 12:2).  We renew our minds much faster and more effectively when we focus on practicing new habits of thought and belief rather than focus on fighting against old habits, which often only reinforces the old patterns rather than strengthens the new.
 
To learn more about how to put off the old man and put on the new, join us for our new fall quarter of

Finger Lakes Ignite.  We’re studying Wendy Backlund’s new book, Victorious Emotions, to proactively pursue walking more fully in our new identity as followers of Jesus.  It will be the best investment of two hours a week you may ever make!


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Ignite Your Faith This Fall

“Is what you’re living for worth what Jesus died for?”  my friend Jarrod Stevens asked this week.  It’s a question we need to consider every day.  We could also ask: “Do the habits of my life, my usual routine, look like the Way Jesus made for me?”  Or, we can simply ask: “Does what comes out of my mouth glorify God?”   I don’t know about you, but these kinds of questions challenge me to become more of who God made me to be.  They challenge me to ignite my faith!

You have a good opportunity to ignite your faith too this fall when the next session of our school, Finger Lakes Ignite, begins.  This quarter we’re focusing on activating our identity and inheritance in Christ.  We’ll be studying Wendy Backlund’s newest book, Victorious Emotions, and every week we’ll do spiritual exercises that activate our faith and challenge us to enter deeper than ever before into the life God is calling us to. No matter what your level of faith is right now—beginner to experienced—there’s always more available to us in Christ Jesus!

When Israel was wandering in the desert, they had to rely on God for the miracles of manna and water every day.  But when they entered the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, God stopped providing manna because now Israel would learn to sow, harvest and prosper on their own as long as they remained faithful to God.  In like manner, many of us rely on miracles to get us through the challenges of our lives, but God wants to bring us into a place of prosperity, where we can reap well because we have learned how to sow well  God’s way.

Finger Lakes Ignite will help you discover and arrive at the kind of prosperity the Father wants for His children.  You’ll learn your identity is not determined by your past, but by who God says you are.  You won’t just learn this as a concept, but specifically as it applies to your particular past and who God has called you in particular to be.  He has a greater inheritance of spiritual gifts and purposes for your life than you have yet to experience.  They’re yours for the asking, but you have to pursue Him faithfully.   Seek first His Kingdom and he’ll provide everything you need!

So consider joining Finger Lakes Ignite this fall, beginning Sunday afternoon, September 10th through October 22.  It’s one class a week, Sundays, from 2:15 to 4:30, plus a little reading each week.  You’ll experience more of God’s presence through anointed worship and prophetic prayer and you’ll connect with believers from other churches to share what you’re learning and encourage one another. There will be plenty of opportunities to give and receive prayer and to practice moving in God’s supernatural giftings. And we’ll do outreach to the area during the quarter. 

We look forward to seeing you at Finger Lakes Ignite!


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Understanding Righteousness

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 

2 Corinthians 5:21  

 by Pastor Dino

 

There is a lot of misunderstanding over the definition of “righteousness” today. Many believers associate righteousness with a list of things that they have to do, and if they fulfill this list, they feel righteous. Conversely, when they fail in terms of their actions or behavior, they feel unrighteous. But this is the wrong definition and understanding of New Testament righteousness.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:21 again. We are not right just because we do right. We became righteous because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. “Righteousness,” therefore, is not based on our right doing. It is based entirely on Jesus’ right doing. Christianity is not about doing right to become righteous. It is all about believing right in Jesus to become part of His righteousness.

Do you realize that other religions in the world are all about doing right? Other religions are based on a system of merit whereby you need to fulfill certain requirements to attain a certain state of righteousness,such as giving sacrificially to the poor, doing good to others, and caring for the underprivileged. It all sounds very good, self sacrificial and appealing to our flesh, which likes to feel that our good works have earned us righteousness. But God is not looking at your goodness, sacrifice or good works to justify you. He is only interested in Jesus’ humility at the cross. He looks at his Son’s perfect sacrifice at Calvary to justify you and make you righteous!

Attempting to be justified by your good works and trying your best to keep the law to become righteous is to nullify Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. It is as good as saying “The Cross is not enough to justify me. I need to depend on my good works to make myself clean and righteous before God.”  In the New Testament Paul says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ has died in vain.” Consider carefully what Paul is saying here. He is saying that, if you are depending on your good works, you’re doing, and your ability to keep the law perfectly to become righteous, then Christ died for nothing. That’s what “in vain” means, for nothing.

So let’s not set aside God’s grace in vain. Let’s believe His word and truth, that we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. And let us now believe that He lives in us and we live in Him. By his spirit that is now at work in us, let us be led by the power of His love into all the good works that He has already planned for us to walk in. In Christ. May His blessing be in all the earth!


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God’s Goodness Is Sure to Follow

This past Sunday was a glorious day, made all the more glorious when we baptized six people at Flat Rock in Fall Creek.  Tears of happiness on some of their faces brought joy to everyone watching, including strangers who commented on the amazing spectacle of witnessing the name of Jesus being lifted up at a baptism in a local river.  

Have you ever noticed that every time God brings people in the Bible through a process of immersion, something new and amazingly good follows.  Following the Flood, after Noah set foot on dry land again, Scripture says: “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.'” Genesis 9:1. When we are baptized in Jesus, God’s eternal plan to prosper our souls and release increase in our lives becomes our inheritance also.

Some 1400 years after Noah, Moses led Israel through the waters of the Red Sea.  When they reached the other side, they were set free from slavery to meet God firsthand at Mt. Sinai and receive His instructions for living lives God could bless.  “You will be my treasured possession,” God declared.  Ex 19:5.  When we are baptized in Jesus, we too become God’s treasured possession, able to experience God’s presence and blessing in powerful new ways.

After 40 years of immersion in the desert, Joshua led Israel into the Land of Promise.  God caused the Jordan River to part so they could pass through to miraculously defeat Jericho without a fight.  Time and again God brought victory to Joshua and Israel, as long as they followed God’s lead and obeyed His commandments.  When we are baptized in Jesus, God leads us in victory again and again over the things that beset us—as we learn to listen, follow and obey our loving Father!

When John the Baptist came baptizing people for remission of sins, he prepared them for the One who came after him.  Then Jesus arrived proclaiming Heaven is at hand, healing  and teaching people to relate to God as their Heavenly Father.  When we are baptized in water in Jesus’ Name, we experience a new sense of wholeness as we enter into a direct personal relationship with our good Father in Heaven, who tells us again and again, “With you I am well pleased.”  Indeed, we emerge into life so radically different the Bible calls us “New Creatures in Christ.”  2 Corinthians 5:17.   Often old friends tell us, “You’re not like you used to be.  What happened?”  It’s a great opening to share our testimony of Jesus.
 
Finally, after Jesus’s resurrection, He released another amazing immersion experience: Baptism of the Holy Spirit!  Acts 1:5.  Following this baptism, we receive new gifts of the Spirit that enable us to overflow with God’s love, goodness and healing for others. No longer do we simply believe in Jesus, we begin to believe like Jesus empowered by Holy Spirit.
 
So,when you feel immersed and overwhelmed by the trials of life, turn again and again to Jesus confident that He is bringing you faithfully into something new and better.  Purpose to put off your old self and put on your New Self in Christ every opportunity you get.  Then the world will know that “God has re-created you all over again in His perfect righteousness, and you now belong to Him in the realm of true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

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Immersion

Baptism Sunday is August 13th.  Baptism means “immersion.”  When we surrender to God’s love and mercy and are baptized in water, we immerse ourselves as a sign of dying to our old life and emerging in our new identity in Christ Jesus where He becomes Lord of our life. This amazing supernatural transformation begins a whole new adventure where our Creator releases in us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  Christ in us becomes our hope of living lives that have lasting value! 
 
Baptism confirms that God cherishes us as His own children and will never separate Himself or His love from us, even throughout eternity.  It’s the best deal on the planet!  Everyone who repents and is baptized rises from a life of dead works into a purposeful life filled with joy and hope led by the Spirit of God.  We are set free to enter into the abundant life Jesus promised to all who receive Him.
 
Even Jesus got baptized to model for us the right thing to do.  God Himself spoke when Jesus was baptized, saying He was well pleased with His Son!  Likewise, God is well pleased and angels rejoice when we get baptized.
 
I love the symbolism of water baptism, which is all about the washing away of our broken and sinful past and emerging into a fresh and hope-filled new life in Christ.  Romans 6:3-7 describes this process:
 
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were…buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
 
In Biblical history water baptism recalls Israel’s deliverance from Egypt when they had to pass through the parted waters of the Red Sea before beginning their new life in the Land of Promise. Jewish customs recall this event in the mikvah, or “baths” described in scripture for purifying oneself before entering the Temple where the presence of God dwelled.  Now we understand that we are the temple of God, living stones brought into the presence and promises of God through union with Jesus that begins when we repent and are baptized. 
 
Jesus described two other immersions that are part of our spiritual journey with Him: the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, John 1:33, Acts 1:5) and a baptism of suffering (Mark 10:38, Luke 12:50).  But the starting point for everyone is immersion in water for repentance of our sins to mark our new life in Jesus.
 
If you or someone you know is ready to embark on this amazing journey, be sure to join us Sunday, August 13th at 2 PM to be baptized.  You’ll always be glad you did.

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Where the Lord Commands His Blessing

Psalm 133 is the next to last of fifteen hope-filled “Psalms of Ascent” found in the Bible.  It begins: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” and ends with: “For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”  The word “bestows” is also translated “commands”,  “decrees” and “promises.”  Our unity as people of God provokes Abba Father to bless us!

The Psalms of Ascent were first sung at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, and later after Nehemiah restored the fallen wall of the Temple.  Over the centuries they came to be sung by priests as they walked up 15 steps in the Temple to begin ministering.  Jews making pilgrimage to the Temple marked their steps by singing these psalms as they ascended the mountains enroute to Jerusalem. 

All of these psalms encourage people to “step up” their faith as they draw closer to God in His dwelling place.  The first Psalm of Ascent, Psalm 120, begins with a cry to the Lord: “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Save me, Lord….”  The final Psalm of Ascent exhorts: “Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord… Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.”

Psalm 133 is particularly notable for linking unity among God’s people with receiving God’s blessing.  God’s idea of unity comes not only from personally stepping up one’s faith but also by focusing intentionally on coming to Him together with other believers.

Jesus advanced this message by declaring the world will know His followers by our love for one another.  Love connects, commits and unites.  The Apostles picked up the Lord’s theme again and again urging believers to humble themselves and live together in sacrificial love. 

First Corinthians 13 famously describes what this kind of love looks like.  Ephesians 4 depicts in detail the source of the unity that underlies Godly love.  Calling himself a “prisoner for the Lord,” the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1-6:

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Holy Spirit ultimately produces the fruit of love and unity.  What we cannot do through mere personal willpower, Holy Spirit enables us to do by God’s grace.  The brash and willful Apostle Peter gives perhaps the final word on how to “ascend” in the Lord: ” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”  Our unity with other believers is a blessing in and of itself that God bestows when we humble ourselves in His sight.  Be still and know the Lord, and He will lift you up!
 
Abba Father is calling us to step up in faith and unity today as a church!  Will you humble yourself and join us?

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Celebrating American Independence

The 4th of July is upon us again! This holiday reminds us to reflect on the uniqueness of our country and the promise of freedom America brings to the world.  Pundits refer to this as “American Exceptionalism“, definable as the unique character of America based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism, democracy, and economic freedom. 
 
Some scholars argue today that American Exceptionalism is simply a myth, but the facts on the ground remain that America is still the most remarkably free large nation the world has ever known.  At the same time, the Christian roots of American Exceptionalism point to a larger agenda on the part of God that is now impacting the rest of the world in exceptional ways that could well eclipse the American experience.  Let me explain.
 
First of all, there’s no debating the uniqueness of the American Dream.  As the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile once told me: “Everyone in the world wants a chance to experience the freedom and opportunity found in America.”  His view represents the attractiveness of the American way of life to countless people the world round.  Simply put, America embodies hope to millions and millions of people.
 
Still it is not difficult to see that Americans often misuse their freedom, and demand personal rights inconsistent with effective community morality and prosperity.  Many people end up caught in a web of confusion, abuse, pain and self-destruction.  Families are broken.  Addiction is rampant.  Law and order are threatened.  And freedom of religion is redefined by some as freedom “from” religion.  Even so, our foundational American belief remains that “all men are endowed by their Creator with the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as stated in our Declaration of Independence.
 
Amazingly, even secular humanists base their philosophy on ideals established by Jesus.  Those who deny Him still base their lives on the belief that everyone has an inherent right to freedom, something Jesus literally died to give to us.
 
Now here’s an amazing fact. Faith in Jesus has exploded worldwide the last hundred years, resulting in over one billion new believers.  Author James Rutz calls this “the biggest megashift in history.” Never before have so many people eagerly changed their lives and loyalties in one generation, resulting in an overarching trend toward the complete transformation of entire nations—just as Jesus instructed in the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations.”  To cite but one example, there are now more Christians in China than Communist Party members.  Experts say that all people groups will be reached with the Gospel in their own language in the next 30 years or so.  God is re-writing history before our very eyes, even if many Americans don’t yet realize the extent of what He is doing.
 
So this July 4th, let’s remember that the ideal of freedom birthed in America is now and always has been something much bigger than America.  It’s ultimately not about American Exceptionalism but God’s Exceptionalism.  Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address (1863) that Americans have a duty to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  
 
As we celebrate our freedom again this year, let’s celebrate with gratitude the glory and power of our Creator and His great promise that there is no end to the increase of His  government. He’s still the only One who can truly promise freedom to all people!
 

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Abba Father, Here, Now

God made us in His image and likeness, “male and female” He made us.  There is both a mystery and a primal reality to the marriage relationship between man and woman, and within this the role of men as husbands and fathers is no less primal.  By primal I simply mean fundamental.  Dads are meant to play a fundamental role in shaping their households and their children.  Here are six aspects of the fundamental role dads have been designed to play in their homes as they re-present Father God to their children by “acting in His likeness.”

A good father creates a good home.  Just as our heavenly Father created a place for Adam and Eve to call home, so too earthly fathers are called to create a place to call home.  This involves making a physical space with our wives, with food, comfort and safety, but is much more than that.

A good father really connects with his family.  Our heavenly Father walked in the spirit with Adam and Eve, inquired about them, and listened to what they had to say. It’s incredibly affirming when dads connect with their children by actively checking in with them and listening carefully to what they say.

A good father sets important boundaries. Our heavenly Father was amazingly lenient in the first Garden, where Adam and Eve had total freedom except for just one thing: not to eat from Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil lest they die.  At first glance, it seems useful to have knowledge of good and evil, but God had in mind a test of obedience.  In God’s eyes “Knowledge of Good and Evil” comes through the experience of disobedience which removes God’s blessing!  Earthly fathers have a role in teaching and expecting obedience in order to convey their fullest blessing.  It’s not obedience for obedience’s sake.  It’s obedience to stay on the path of blessing and safety, just as highway rules make safe travel possible.

A good father restores to wholeness.  Amazingly, when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God’s simple instruction, God laid out a path to restore them and their children.  His judgment was framed in the blessing of His forgiveness, love and restoration.  Earthly fathers need to learn to always discipline their children not out of anger but out of love with the constant goal of restoring them to hope, joy and purposefulness.  The best path to this outcome is to affirm our children well before they taste the fruit of disobedience.

A good father affirms the value of their children.  God puts a measure of goodness in every child.  A primary mission of earthly fathers is to discover the gold in their children’s hearts and call it forth—even if, or especially if, their child has different talents than they have.  Each child is unique.  Earthly fathers have the adventure and joy of helping their kids discover their own unique sensitivities, talents, and inclinations, confident as Proverbs 18:16 says that “a person’s gift opens doors for him or her.”

Finally, a good father learns to love his wife first.  Ephesians 5:25 instructs simply and plainly: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  Jesus stepped down from His privileged place in heaven to humble Himself and establish His church household in love, kindness and times of refreshing.  Earthly fathers are called to step down off any high horse they may ride and immerse their wives in words and acts of encouragement, affirmation and life.  What you immerse your wife in day to day will greatly affect how your children grow up.
 
Every day is meant to be a blessed Father’s Day.  May these six reminders help it to always be so in your life.  If earthly dads fall short, remember God is a Father to the fatherless.  We all need our heavenly Father to perfect whatever our earthly fathers first began.  God is a faithful Father to us all, just as Jesus taught.
 
 

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