I find this FATHERS DAY to be very difficult to speak. My heart is pained by the spirit that is working in our culture today. We are pushing through the hardships of the Virus with months of home quarantine and isolations. As soon as the restrictions are being eased we have killing and violence in the streets. People protesting the injustice, but also the destructive side of rioting, looting and hurting innocent people.
I understand racism a little bit. I grew up in the south. I was neither white nor black, but brown. I went through a lot of stuff. Growing up and traveling the world and getting God’s Perspective I see things a bit differently.
Racism is the fruit on the tree in our world. The fruit is what everyone sees but you can’t change the fruit by focusing on the fruit. The fruit is produced by the seeds of the root. What’s under the surface most people do not see. The root is Prejudices.
Prejudices means: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics. An unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.
Prejudices is the root of much of the dysfunction in our world. Prejudice leads to separation, segregation, division, hated, bigotry.
The word bigot means: disapproving : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. A person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group).
We see prejudices between different colors and races. We see it everywhere. Not just in the black and white communities. The Mexican, the Native Americans, the Asians on and on we can go. We see prejudices between rich and poor. Each group looking down at the other because of their economic status.
I remember by a large house in an affluent neighborhood. My father-in-law and I were taking a walk in our new neighborhood. A man walks out to greet us and he says, “Do you know what the neighbors are saying about you?” I said, “no.” He said “They think your apart of the Mexican Mafia.” Because we were the only brown owners in the neighborhood. I was laughing. My father-in-law said, “Aren’t you going to tell them you’re a pastor?” I had my reasons for not speaking yet.
When I did say I was a Pastor I got the other side of prejudice. People are prejudice about things they do not know or understand. You see the hate between non-Christians and unbelievers. You see the prejudices between different religions and different practices.
We see prejudices between blue collar and white collar workers. We see prejudices between employees and owners. We see prejudices in our different parties Republican, Democrats, and Independents. We see prejudices in West coast and East coast living.
We see prejudices between male workers and female workers. We see prejudices in our sports, news media.
We see prejudices between working women and moms and stay-at-home moms. We see prejudices in different denominations of churches. Prejudices from mega- to mini-churches. Prejudices in the way churches are run. You see it in worshipping, preachings, etc.
I said all that to say this. For Fathers Day here is our hope and gift.
Our world is being attacked. From the inside. The enemy wants to DIVIDE AND CONQUER. THE WORD SAYS A DIVIDED HOUSE, CHURCH, FAMILY, NATION CAN’T STAND.
The pledge of allegiance says, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Love is the only force capable of making an enemy a friend.
This is my prayer for fathers.
Martin Luther King Jr. said,
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance], so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse [of complete destruction]. Malachi 4:6 AMP
God says He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
God is about turning the hearts back to Him and each other. As a young boy growing up I longed for a father. A father to hold me, love me, show me how to do things. A father who would build me up and develop my abilities. A father who would teach me about life, God, values, my fears and concerns.
I did not get that from an earthly father. But I did get it from my Father God. I cried out to Him in my despair and He picked me up. He poured His Spirit into me filling me with power, confidence, and purpose that would change the course of my life.
In our world, cities and homes hearts are turned away from God, love and each other. The turning of hearts back to the father and children is described as a reconciliation produced by repentance.
Reconciliation means: the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.
Reconcile means: to restore to harmony, make friendly again.
How? Reconciliation produced by REPENTANCE.
This act of reconciliation brings people who have been separated or divided back into relationships.
REPENTANCE MEANS: to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right. It means to see your going in wrong direction for your life and you stop and change directions to go in the right direction.
If did or said something that is not right, I repent to God and those I hurt or affected. Example my children or grandchildren.
RECONCILIATION PRODUCED BY REPENTANCE.
THE THOUGHT OF RECONCILIATION CAN ONLY COME FROM LOVE.
Just as a father loves his children, So the LORD loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence]. Psalms 103:13 AMP
LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE WORLD NOT HATE. HATE DESTROYS, LOVE BUILDS UP AND STRENGTHENS AND SUPPORTS.
I am a father, grandfather and the Spiritual Father of this House. Fathers have responsibilities to their children.
For you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you just as a father does [in dealing with] his own children, [guiding you] to live lives [of honor, moral courage, and personal integrity] worthy of the God who [saves you and] calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 AMP
EXHORTING: to try to influence (someone) by words or advice : to strongly urge (someone) to do something.
ENCOURAGE: to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. To make (someone) more determined, hopeful, or confident.
IMPLORE: to make a very serious or emotional request to or for.
As the Spiritual Father of DCI. We should all who are mature spiritually see the need of fathers in our world and in our church.
GUIDING YOU IS THE KEY. GUIDE BY WALKING AND LIVING THE SAME WALK. JESUS SAID FOLLOW ME. Paul said follow me as I follow Christ.
Fathers guide. Example a tour guide. They take you through life and experiences together.
I remember as a young man in the beginning of boot camp for military. They had one objective was to train me for what was in my future.
Guide your children to live lives of honor. Honor: high moral standards of behavior.
Moral courage is to do what is right by God in spite of the culture.
Personal integrity is you are who you are hear or away. You are true to yourself and your God. Keep your word.
Verse 12 MSG: With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God, who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life.