Commissioning Angels – Angels on Assignment!

For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.

n

The Rough and Tumble of LIFE

As I read this mornings saga of Jacob and Laban, I am reminded of a sermon I heard from a man named Andy Justa, so many years ago at ‘The Searchlight’ a Christian coffee house we used to run, entitled ‘God’s got a Laban for you’. Must have been a great sermon, because I still […]

rough

As I read this mornings saga of Jacob and Laban, I am reminded of a sermon I heard from a man named Andy Justa, so many years ago at ‘The Searchlight’ a Christian coffee house we used to run, entitled ‘God’s got a Laban for you’. Must have been a great sermon, because I still remember it over 15 years later.

How people who are liars, cons, sneaky, got great game:

have an appointment with the sultan of swing, their particular Laban.

Jacob ended up working 20 years for Laban, and he changed his wages 10 times, until finally, broken, he fell at the feet, wrestled with an angel to finally receive what God has all along, the blessing of God, and royal rank and privilege in the kingdom. His name and his nature was changed from Jacob (his name means ‘swindler’) the con, to Israel (prince before God). As I watch the Jacob’s of this world, I know, as Paul Harvey describes: ‘The rest of the story’.

If you are a liar, manipulator, and con:There is a Laban coming.

You will either break before God, truly repent, or you will be destroyed.

Matthew 21:44

And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder

 

God is not threatened by wicked people, although in our day to day world, it is sure frustrating for us who have to deal with these sneaks. In business, they are malicious predators who would bankrupt you without conscience, claiming ‘It’s just business’.

Jacob learned that it is the blessing of God that will prosper you. Laban was a thief, his brother Esau a murderer, and he was in between a rock and hard place. Keeping working for a thief, or go home and get killed by your brother.

Twenty long years!

I believe He could have cried out to God right up front, and been delivered, but how we love to run….

In Ps 73, king David had the same lament before God:

For I envied the proud

when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

They seem to live such painless lives;

their bodies are so healthy and strong.

They don’t have troubles like other people;

they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.

They wear pride like a jeweled necklace

and clothe themselves with cruelty.

These fat cats have everything

their hearts could ever wish for!

They scoff and speak only evil;

in their pride they seek to crush others.

They boast against the very heavens,

and their words strut throughout the earth

 

He had had enough, and was pouring out his heart to God, when suddenly he saw his life, and theirs from heaven’s perspective:

16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.

But what a difficult task it is!

17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,

and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.

18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path

and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.

19 In an instant they are destroyed,

completely swept away by terrors.

It is always payday, someday and those who think they are running their particular show, have an appointment with God, that they will keep. My hope and prayer is always they make the appointment before they die, for we all will appear before Him upon the hour of our death, and if we have not got right with Jesus by then, it is too late:

https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/02/27/do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven/

 

To you child of God, I feel impressed to tell you this from the heart of God this morning:

‘There is help for you from the Sanctuary!’

To you who are challenged by the antics of wicked people, know their day is coming, but your day is today!

His name is ‘I AM’ and He is your ever present help in time of need.

NOW is the time to cry out for help.

Jesus really does love you, and will deliver you out of their hand, if you cry out to Him, today.

Psalm 18:6

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.

Hebrews 4:16

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most

 

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, HELP! You see how these wicked people rip me off, oppress me, and steal from my family. How hard I work, fighting my fight of faith, while they walk in pride, mocking me, and You, and all that I stand for! Send Your power, Your grace, Your peace, Your revelation, Your provision, Your blessing, Your strength, Your courage to me and my family, NOW, in the name and authority of Jesus, I come. AMEN’

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Be Healed – Jesus wants you strong!

Originally posted on chrisaomministries:
Be Healed! Some Like to Read, some like to listen: Many of you know my testimony, of how I was healed of epilepsy when I was 15 years old at a charismatic healing service, and able to obtain my driver’s license. Many of you know of my more recent gradual healing…

Seems I am to deliberately pray for your healing today!

chrisaomministries

Be Healed!

healing

Some Like to Read, some like to listen:

Many of you know my testimony, of how I was healed of epilepsy when I was 15 years old at a charismatic healing service, and able to obtain my driver’s license.

Many of you know of my more recent gradual healing from a stroke and high blood pressure…

Many more know of the divine healing ministry granted to me by the Lord Jesus Christ, how, after losing eight of my family members to various sicknesses and diseases, I went on a 40 day fast, one meal/day, and prayed almost day and night for answers, as to why the ministry of divine healing appeared to be sometimes hit and miss.

How God brought me from my home country Canada, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to sit at the feet of Kenneth E. Hagin, and attend both Rhema Bible Training Center, but to also…

View original post 4,830 more words

The Press and the Process – NO COMPROMISE!

The Press! Sometimes in life, you just gotta go for it! Been thinking about this particular season of transition in my life, as I have gone from being a moving and shaking businessman as a contractor, to becoming more and more obedient to the heavenly call in full time missions these past years, to now, […]

The Press!

pressed

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go for it! Been thinking about this particular season of transition in my life, as I have gone from being a moving and shaking businessman as a contractor, to becoming more and more obedient to the heavenly call in full time missions these past years, to now, carefully balancing construction as a part time superintendent, to staying aggressively in the face of God to maintain my place in the office and the call….

‘As the things of earth, grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace’ the song goes..

The years of brutally hard work, and then before that the grueling schedule needed to survive my college degree, while maintaining national level fitness in the sport of triathlon, have come back to remind me, that the disciplines that must be in place, to be a champion.

Knowing my passion and drive, I have learned that I must come under the tight rein of the Holy Spirit, desperate for His presence, His voice, His leading, or the self imposed disciplines I would apply to myself, would bury me.

Yet, when we determine to settle for nothing other than the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, without compromise, and hunger for truth, and power with God, seems about every human relationship feels the test of the call.

press

In the natural, I have given it all. There is no financial seed left to give…in order to merely live each day, Jesus HAS to provide, there is no plan B.

And day by day, challenge by challenge, He has proved Himself faithful.

Has it been brutal? Yes!

Has it been rewarding?

To see the nations changed in prayer, the multitudes moved through my intercession, the experience the radical intimacy and fulfillment that only He can give, I must say, ‘YES!”.

Though I have nothing financially left, I get alone with Him, having stood upon His promises, and I look at the stars in the heavens…He made them!

He will reward this particular stand of faith, and He will not only restore everything I have given, and given up for Him, but will multiply it, and prosper me with not merely heavenly riches, but I will see wealth, and prosperity again, here, in the earth, in my life, supernaturally, by His hand.

prosperity harvest

To say I have been misunderstood, criticized, etc, would be an understatement, but I am consumed with One who totally satisfies, and I find myself loving people more and more, yes caring less and less whether they love back, or understand…

His voice, His presence, His Word come alive, are more than enough….

Certain things though, are only ‘as He wills..’

His timings, His gifts of the Holy Spirit, His appointments into public ministries, and His financial provisions and breakthroughs, we believe we receive them, and fight for them in faith, daily, yet, if the day ends, and it has not happened yet, then we roll the care of it over upon Him, and deliberately trust that He is faithful, that which He has spoken, that which we have believed we received, will surely come to pass.

faith

In moments of weakness, I have heard Him say, ‘Are you still willing?’, and repeatedly, I have said, ‘Yes, Lord, strengthen, equip me to the responsibility before me, give me grace to survive the brutality of the savage unbelief, and contest of wills around me…;

Some days, I reread, Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

The brutality, the attempted tyranny of the ungodly expectations of people, who are not hearing, seeing, experiencing what is screaming inside of you…

I understand the heart of Paul, when he exclaimed…

Ac 26:19  Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

Hab 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

I am not a Calvinist, believing in the great sovereignty of God, like we are some fluff in the wind of the cosmos.

No, I am a son of my heavenly Father, and a man of faith, passion, authority, passionately standing upon His promises, that He must fulfill, for He cannot lie.

What does faith look like though, when each day, as you believe, that which you have prayed for most definitely does not come to pass? When it feels like the heavens are brass, and that our faith confessions seem to hit some kind of metal dome over our heads, unheard by God?

In our anguish of soul, comes the comforter, the great One in the earth, the breath and voice of God, and He brings words of encouragement, that nothing on this earth can compare to…

Simple words, like ‘Child, I love you, and I hear your heart, your quietest whispers in the night, and I am with you, and am bringing to pass that which you have believed, for did I not promise and commission these things to you?’

Simple comforts like: ‘You have done my perfect will today!”

courage Jesus

These keep me going, like Joseph:

Ps 105:19  Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

There is a timing of a thing, and until that appointed time, I am aggressively reading, praying in tongues, after doing my faith confessions for the day, for I must keep my faith fed, strong, and I must fill my soul with good teaching, to grow, to press, to feed the raging hungers inside my heart!

Ps 17:3  Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

I fight to keep my words right, for this is the way of perfection, holiness, and as I allow the Word to grow and work deeper and deeper in my heart, this becomes easier and easier, for as my deepest desires are changed, as He takes His knife to my fears, my filth, my stinking thinking, a practical purity emerges. I don’t have to rigidly watch my confessions as much, for out of my transformed heart, my mouth speaks, and good things come out…

courage2

Ps 18:30  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

I trust in Him. He has spoken. I am sorely tried, but after it is all done, I shall be that vessal of honor described in the Word, purged, and fully fit for the Masters use…

Passionate love is worth the pursuit….

God is love….

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I know You, and I hear Your voice. May I not shrink back, or give up, but bring you great glory, in believing. Strengthen me to fully obey, without compromise or reservation, exactly what You have shown me. Comfort me daily, and equip me, for the responsibility of the call, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus.Amen’

Seven Harvests of a Fruitful Christian!

As Many of You Know Mac Gober, of CaananLand Minstries, went home to His eternal Reward, yesterday, May 5th, 2014. As I was going through some old sermons, I discovered one of pastor Mac’s sermons I had used to prepare one of my messages back in the ‘Preach six times/week’ season of my life where […]

Seven Harvests of a Fruitful Christian

As Many of You Know Mac Gober, of CaananLand Minstries, went home to His eternal Reward, May 5th, 2014.

As I was going through some old sermons, I discovered one of pastor Mac’s sermons I had used to prepare one of my messages back in the ‘Preach six times/week’ season of my life where for many years, I pastored two small churches, with a very difficult schedule. Hey Mac, if you are looking over the balcony, here’s one that helped change my life, Thanks!

Chris

Seven Harvests of a Fruitful Christian
Jesus looking for fruit

“You shall know them by their fruits…Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:16 & 20)

In the seventh chapter of Matthew, Jesus delivers a remarkable message about the Christian life. Like bookends, two similar statements sit on either end of this passage. In both verse 16 and verse 20, Jesus declares the importance of “fruit” as the measure of ministry and spiritual maturity.

In between these two bookends, the Lord elaborates on this important truth:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

In many different parts of the Word of God, a tree is used as an analogy for a human life. For example, in the very first Psalm, the man who delights in the law of the Lord is described as “a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” This is precisely what Jesus does here.

He is telling us that we can know some things through the evidence of fruit. In fact, there are some vitally important judgments you can only make by examining fruit. Judgments such as: What is authentic ministry? How do you identify valid ministry?

These are important questions because you don’t want to associate with or submit your life to ministry that is not born of the Spirit of God and that will not impart life. Thus, you must have a way of measuring valid ministry.

As you discover when you read the next few verses in this passage, this is not the way people usually measure ministry. Verse 22 says:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The kinds of things most Christians use to measure valid ministry are spectacular, supernatural things — things such as prophecy, miracles or casting out of devils. Yet Jesus makes it clear here that this is not the way to evaluate the validity of a person’s ministry.

No, according to our Lord, you measure ministry by the fruit.

“But Mac,” you may be thinking, “Doesn’t the Bible say ‘judge not lest ye be judged’?”

Yes it does. But that command is referring to the heart of man. The Word says only God knows the heart of a person. You can’t judge that. But there are judgments you must make about who you’re going to fellowship with and under what ministries you’re going to serve.

Yet there is another area in which it is vital to examine and evaluate fruit. I’m talking about the realm of your own life.

Self Evaluation

As valuable as “fruit” is as an indicator of valid ministry, it is even more important as a way to check out your own walk with God. How important is fruit bearing in the life of a believer? Jesus gives us a pretty good indication in the 15th chapter of John:

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)

Notice that it doesn’t say bear “little” fruit, some fruit or “occasional” fruit. It says the Father is glorified when we bear “much” fruit. Only then will you be a disciple of Jesus and live a life conformed to Jesus’ example. Only then will you begin to experience the highest will of God for your life.

Fruit bearing is one of those over-arching Bible truths that embraces everything and helps orient our life properly. Everything hinges on our understanding of this vital subject. So, the question becomes, “What does it mean to bear fruit? How do we cultivate and produce a good crop of fruit in our life?” And most basically, “What is fruit?”

Your Fruit Is for Others

If you’re going to meaningfully measure your life by the fruit you’re producing, then you need to know what it is.

Here is my definition of “fruit” in a believer’s life: Good fruit is the product of the seed of God’s Word, sown in your heart, producing a result that is a blessing to someone else. Fruit is always for somebody else. Trees don’t partake of their own fruit. Apple trees give apples for others, not for itself.

Note that it is the seed of God’s Word sown in the human heart that produces fruit. The Bible, the revealed will of God for all believers, will produce the same types of fruit in everybody. Anyone that has the seed of the Word sown in their heart and properly cultivated, will bear fruit.

This happens as naturally as apple trees produce apples. No striving. No straining. (Have you ever seen a pear tree straining to squeeze out some pears?) No extraordinary efforts are required. It’s a natural byproduct of the processes and principles God has put in place.

What types of fruit will the Word produce in your life? At the most basic level, you can expect it to produce the “fruit of the Spirit.”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22,23)

Let’s examine each of the seven types of fruit.

The Fruit of Love
love-never-fails1

How’s your love walk?

When I say “love,” I’m not talking about the sentimental, mushy kind of feeling most people think of when they hear the word “love.” The Greek word translated “love” in this passage is agape. I’m sure you know this word literally means “the God kind of love.” It is love that gives. In fact, it’s the same word used in John 3:16 when it says, “God so loved the world that He gave…”

That’s what the fruit of love does. It gives. It gives when it’s not justified. It gives whether it feels like it or not.

When you’re manifesting the fruit of love, you find yourself choosing to serve somebody’s interest rather than your own.

You need to check out your love quotient by deciding to serve somebody that does not have the capacity, intellectually, socially, financially to do one thing for you in return. Can you do that? Can you do it on a regular basis? Can you do it with a measure of the compassion that Jesus had when He served? If so, you’re bearing the fruit of the love of God.

The Fruit of Joy

col-joy
Joy is a much-needed commodity in the body of Christ, today. Many believers spend half their days walking around on their lower lips, moaning about the circumstances they’re having to deal with.

When you are manifesting the fruit of joy, nothing bothers you. You can laugh at the Devil. It’s a supernatural force operating in the human life. And it’s simply a product of the seed of God’s Word being sown in your heart.

When I think about joy, I’m reminded of what James says about it:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Why should you produce the fruit of joy when you encounter a trial? Because if you don’t quit; if you keep standing in faith; if you keep on being consistent (which is what patience means); you can be assured that when you come out on the other side, you’re going to be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

It’s no coincidence that James encourages you to cultivate joy when facing hard times. It’s the fruit of joy that enables you to stand until you get the victory. But this has to be real to you. This seed has to be firmly sown in your heart. You have to have grown and cultivated it to consistently manifest the fruit of joy. And it’s infectious. You can’t be around somebody that is joyful and remain sad.

The Fruit of Peace

enemies peace
There is no substitute for peace. I’m talking about the peace of God that passes all understanding, that garrisons about your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The kind of peace that can bring stability and calm in the midst of a swirling conflict. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know how supernatural it is.

But the thing I want you to see is it’s a fruit that affects other people. This isn’t something that just touches your life. (Remember, the fruit is not primarily for us, it’s for others.) You see, like joy, peace is infectious.

The Fruit of Patience
faith + patience
The King James calls it “long-suffering,” but we know it better as a quality called patience. This fruit literally describes the ability to be constant in the face of changing circumstance. In other words, consistency.

No matter how much pressure is on you, you remain the same when you have the fruit of patience. You’re what the Bible calls “firmly rooted and grounded.” Not moved by circumstance.

This isn’t just a matter of sweating the situation out until the Lord resolves it for you. I’m not talking about hanging on by your toenails until there is a miracle of some sort. That’s not it. This is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s a calm assurance that God’s going to produce the answer in your life and you’re going to wait on Him until hell freezes over if necessary. Because only quitters lose in the kingdom of God.

There is a way to hang in there gracefully through the fruit of patience.

The Fruit of Gentleness
gentle bird
Other translations render this word as “kindness.” This is a fruit I personally must monitor on a consistent basis. Sometimes when I get in a hurry, I can become a little abrupt or sharp with people. This is simply something I have to work on.

It’s not that I don’t have love in my heart for them. It may not even be that I’m in a bad mood. I might actually be joyful, but when there are lots of things to do, kindness and tact can quickly fall by the wayside in one’s dealings with other people.

That’s why I am so thankful that kindness is one of the things God’s Word will produce in our lives if we will cultivate it. And it must be there if you’re going to move into the will of God for your life.

The Fruit of Goodness
beneficence
What the King James translation calls “goodness” many other translations call “generosity.” The Greek word is agathosune and it literally means beneficence — which is a little-used word that means to give freely and liberally.

Generosity is a powerful fruit of the spirit. You could start out the stingiest old buzzard that ever lived, but once the seed of God’s Word is sown in your heart, it will change you. If you cultivate it, you will find yourself becoming a generous person.

Let me tell you, until you become generous you’re not going to move into God’s highest and best. You are simply not going to do it. That’s why it’s so vital to measure and monitor your level of generosity. It’s fruit that you must examine in your own life.

The Fruit of Faith
faithful over temptation
Most translations correctly render this word “faithfulness.” This isn’t referring to the kind of faith that comes from hearing the Word. This is faithfulness and it means: “committed to a task” or “loyalty.”

Can your wife or husband count on you? Can your kids count on you? Are you somebody that is committed to seeing the best, and you’re not going to give up no matter what? Are you loyal to a fault?

These are important questions because God honors loyalty. You see, it’s easy to be loyal to somebody when they’re a star. But when they fall on hard times, are you still going to be loyal? Will you still be available to minister to them?

Loyalty. Commitment. That’s what faithfulness is. Is that fruit evident in your life?

The Fruit of Meekness
fatherhood egg in vice
Don’t get the wrong idea about meekness just because it rhymes with weakness. They are very different concepts. Meekness is simply a reference to humility — a recognition of your fallibility without God.

A lot of people have the wrong idea about humility. It doesn’t mean groveling in the dirt proclaiming how unworthy you are. It is an acknowledgement that without God you can’t do anything worth doing, but with God, you can do all things. In Christ, you’re more than a conqueror through Him who loved you. This is what meekness is. It is a determination to give God the glory and others the credit.

There’s nothing good any of us can do without the Lord in our lives. When you are manifesting the fruit of meekness, you put no confidence in your own flesh but have all the confidence in the world in the Jesus who lives in you.

Check your meekness level by asking yourself, “Where am I placing my confidence?”

The Fruit of Temperance
self-control
Temperance literally means “self control.” This is a powerful and important fruit of the Spirit. To fulfill everything God has called you to do, you’re going to have to be able to say “no” to your flesh. Without the fruit of self-control being consistently manifested in your life, this is next to impossible.

Your flesh wants to run the show. It likes to be in the driver’s seat. Frankly, the place this is most evident for many of us is at the dinner table. Most Christians don’t have terrible problems with drugs or alcohol. But when it comes to other physical appetites such as food, sleep, comfort or sex — they have a real battle on their hands.

How much control do you have over self? Without the fruit of temperance, you don’t. It handles you.

You’ll Know by the Fruit

Each of the fruits of the Spirit can be used as a measuring rod for evaluating where you are in God. As we’ve seen, Jesus said, “you’ll know them by the fruit.” And this is your only reliable measure of whether or not you’re living a life that “glorifies your Father in heaven.”

If you’ve been wondering why things aren’t working out for you as you’d like. If you’ve been puzzled by the fact that your prayers aren’t getting the results you used to experience. It’s time to measure your fruit.

Because if the fruit isn’t there, nothing else will be. Make sure you’re reaping the seven harvests of a fruitful Christian.

need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood I am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are: Boyhood Manhood Fatherhood The Age of the Patriarch Today, we will look at fatherhood. We […]

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.

mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God

bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

need-prayer

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.
mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God
bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!