Happy New Year! We have transitioned from 2016 to 2017! I am excited to be in the new year and a new season to see all that God is going to do. I am always excited to see a season with unseen things. God does great work in unseen situations! I will look to the kingdom of God and the tree of life in this season and not the kingdoms of the world!
When we were in the world, we lived with the justice systems of right and wrong. Although certain things are right and certain things are wrong, our standard of living is not meant to be ruled by the control of right or wrong. The rule of life in the kingdom of God is an empowerment and a motivation of life and love. This is more powerful than living by law or even mere conscience. The kingdoms of the world use those measurements as standards to live by. When we live by the standards of the kingdoms of the world this is the rule of life. Without realizing it, we decide what is right and what is wrong and we are always the ones who are right and everyone else is wrong.
In America, we just had a very controversial election. I have many Christian friends that were involved in the election and even among God’s people everyone has a measurement of what is right and what is wrong. Of course, everyone is right and everyone who is right knows that everyone else is wrong. Those who voted right are appalled at those who voted wrong, even to the point that they are ready to unfriend one another in the social media networks because there so called friends were wrong. This is not just the world, but even those who say they are the church. These are Spirit filled, tongue talking Christians. I conclude this, that sometimes as Christians we forget who we are and what it is that makes us who we are. Although who we are affects the kingdoms of the world we are not part of the kingdoms of the world. We are salt and light in the kingdoms of the world. We are part of the kingdoms of the world in the sense that we will bring light amid the chaos, but we must always return to the place where miracles can happen. It is the simple place with a foundation of knowing we have a Father who loves us and our sins are forgiven. I want to go to every believer and say look at your brother and sister now and see them how their Father sees them. They have a Father and He loves them so you can look at how they voted and forgive them.
In everyday life, we are facing the days, weeks, months, and years ahead of us. We are facing a lifetime! What are we going to be in this world? Are we going to be a human being that lives with a testimony of a culture of God’s grace? It begins with being a child of God. We have a Father and our sins are forgiven. The apostle John also addressed the goal when he wrote to fathers. He said, I write you fathers because you have known Him who is from the beginning. In the culture of the kingdom we should be able to find people who are fathers, we can include mothers. These are people who are mature in their character and they live as examples of what we are to become. Everyone of us should have a goal to increasingly become fathers and mothers for the sake of others. A father is someone who lives for the sake of the family. When we take on the character of a father, we no longer live for the sake of ourselves, but we live to give life, facilitate life, and see every family member become life. When we live as fathers we live for the sake of the nations and the generations. We live for the purpose of God’s kingdom in this world and to eternity. We are disciplers of people. Fathers live for those who are beyond their own lives. Fathers seek first the kingdom of God. They live for the produce that comes from their barns. They live for the purpose of the wine that comes from their vats. Fathers have a revelation; they weren’t born for the comfort zones of their own houses. Everything that we have been given and everything that we are is for the sake of others.
These are the attributes of fathers: I am a blessed business men for the sake of those who need employment. I am a blessed father in my home to raise my children to become who they are destined to be. I am a teacher in this school so all my students can rise to their highest call in life. I am a farmer of produce to provide the best food for those in need. It is real and practical, not just a spiritual reality in the church. Children of God want to be like God when they grow up and God is not a God who masters and lords over people. He is a Father who gives life, breath, and all things to all people. We must seek to do our part in helping others find God’s life, be expressions of God’s life, and bring God’s blessing to the spiritual and practical realities of their lives.
Ted J. Hanson