Yes, Easter is a day we celebrated a couple of weeks ago, the most significant day of the Christian faith. Easter is also a season, from Jesus’ resurrection through Pentecost. And Easter is a state of mind, an understanding of how Christians are to live in this world while not being of this world. Having an Easter state of mind is standing firm against cultural winds.
Leading by example is the best means of teaching for a dad. Reflect on the last time you stepped forward on a controversial issue. Recently, a church was facing division around scriptural teaching. There was much prayer, heated discussions and more prayer. The whole congregation, including youth, were engaged in the process. While it was indeed controversial, the dialogue was informative and healthy.
“You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22. Jesus gave His disciples a heads up on what they were to face. He was encouraging an Easter state of mind early and often. They were to stand firm in the light of His resurrection and ascension. The world is going to be the world. Jesus’ charge is to stand firm and reflect His light well. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified but Whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation can be found in no one else,” … When they saw the courage of Peter and John, and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:8-11. Having an Easter state of mind requires the courage of Peter and the boldness of John. That is Luke’s charge to dads today, to show courage and boldness in a culture not that dissimilar to the first century church. Make note that the disciples were well schooled after three years with Jesus, the word become flesh. They also waited for the Holy Spirt that Jesus had promised. Only then did they speak with the authority and clarity as men of God. Dads must do the due diligence through Bible study and daily time in prayer and Scripture to truly comprehend Easter. Then the charge is to live by, and empower the next generation with, an Easter state of mind.
The church was divided in its understanding of Scripture. There was a push for adopting a more progressive interpretation of the word of God in order to adapt to the culture. A line became clear for the congregation, the line between operating under the authority of the word of God or operating as an authority over the word of God. The church reflected an Easter state of mind when it chose to stay under the authority of the word of God.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for Your Church. I confess that my state of mind has been focused in the world. Going along to get along provided a path of least resistance. Forgive me. I want to honor You, glorify You and point to You in all I do. Grant me the courage of Peter and boldness of John to stand firm against cultural influences of this world. Help me live by and empower my family with an Easter state of mind. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father lives by, and empowers his family with, an Easter state of mind.