Much had been accomplished – high school graduation, college education, good career, money in the bank, pretty wife and wonderful kids. The pressure was on to perform in the job but he could handle it. The travel was excessive but he could handle it. Church attendance was intermittent but he could handle it. When the pastor challenged him to read the Bible, he thought he could handle it.
The pastor’s instructions were to start with Romans and read all the letters, then the gospels and Acts. After that, he was to go back to Genesis and read all the way through the scripture. He put his plan together and started an early morning routine to do the reading. Eight chapters into Romans he realized the life he was leading was indeed as a slave to fear - fear of failure to provide for his family, fear of being like his father. Fear had led him to some degree of success from a worldly perspective but he hungered for the Spirit of sonship Paul spoke of, to know the love of Abba, Father, and to have that love reflected in his family.
Step Forward: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” – Romans 8:15-16. Paul stepped forward in the Spirit of sonship and he charged all to not walk in fear. Rather Christians are expected to walk in the victory Jesus provided by walking out of the tomb, appearing to the disciples and ascending to His Father. As the Heavenly Father’s representative in the home, a dad’s ministry is to step forward boldly in the power of the resurrected Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. By example he is to provide a clear path in relationship with Jesus the Christ for all in the immediate family, in his circles of influence and beyond. Stepping forward to be a Kingdom influence in this world is the legacy dads are called to leave.
Twenty years after the challenge to read the Bible was accepted, the dad has taken significant steps forward in his personal, passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ. The word of God has provided the foundation for becoming the man, husband and father the Lord is calling him to be. Today he has groups of men that hold him accountable in his walk with the Lord; his kids know him and they know the Lord; and, he enjoys his marriage to the full, learning to love more every day as Christ loves the Church.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and for guiding me through worldly priorities grounded in fear. Through Your word I have come to know You as my Father by way of Your Son. The Spirit of sonship lifts me up in this world and empowers me to step forward in the face of fear and frustration. As an heir of You and co-heir with Jesus the Christ, I am not a slave again to fear. Help me step forward boldly in the Spirit of sonship to be a Kingdom influence where You have me in family and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father steps forward in the Spirit of sonship to be a Kingdom influence in this world.