Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who’s Your Daddy, Now?

Matthew 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

John 8:44a  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.

Happy Fathers’ Day!  Having a great dad is truly a blessing.  And having a not so great dad may not necessarily be the curse we assume it to be.  Think about today’s title.  The phrase is a slang phrase that doesn’t seem to have any good intent.  Whether it be in sports or in life, the idea is that one person is overpowering another, forcing them into submission. It expresses a worldly attitude that’s growing in popularity.  Not a very pretty picture of “daddy”.  So, let’s think with God on this one and look at the contrast in today’s verses.

We’re all familiar with the “Lord’s Prayer”.  But that first line embodies some interesting concepts.  One of the popular catch phrases of the day is to “take ownership” of something.  And the first sentence of the prayer lives in that concept:
  1. take ownership of your relationship with the Father,
  2. because of that ownership, feel free to openly talk to Him,
  3. His Name is reverenced, holy because of who He is,
  4. heed His thoughts because His name (being) is revered, holy, sacred, trustworthy.
In direct contrast to that, John 8:44 describes ownership of a relationship to a different spiritual father.  A father who taught his offspring the wrong things, guided them into a continual wrong direction.  Whose spiritual genetic heritage predisposes his children to follow in his footsteps.  Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?  But it’s not.

The difference between spiritual and physical genetics is that we get to choose whose genes we take our spiritual heritage from.  I can start taking my cues from the devil, come to my senses, switch to the other spiritual kingdom, and become 100% a child of God.  But you ask, “what about my past?”.  Use it for your own spiritual benefit, with God’s help.  Whether the most immediate “daddy” is our own past behavior, familial ties or past relationships, we can still benefit from those.  When Romans 8:28 says “all things”, it means just that.  No matter what happens in our lives, we have a choice of letting it be of Godly benefit to ourselves and others.  Or we can live in the devil’s accusations that we started terrible and that can’t change.  And no matter how deeply we attach ourselves to all things of God, we can be sure that Satan will accuse us of not ever having the possibility of being the Godly father or son, so why not live in that mire?  And he’s wrong.  God’s genes are stronger than the devil’s.

On this Fathers’ Day, we can be grateful for our past and our past relationships.  God will use those, too, to draw us to Himself and to allow us to be better prepared to do His will.  No matter whether it was our earthly father or us, it doesn’t matter what the past was as long as we allow God to redeem it for His glory.  So, no matter who the father and no matter what the issues, thank God for all of it.  Because we wouldn’t be who we are in Christ without God’s foreordained path to get here.

We’re still praying for Russ, Columbia, Jimmy and Betty. Curtis, Peggy, Joyce, Dana and Libby.  And their families.  And, of course,  our International Convention begins Monday.  I’ll repeat that the theme is “Anointed to Serve”.  We’re expecting great things from God.  So, keep that in prayer, too.

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