“Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” That was the question posed so powerfully by Dr. Del Tackett in Focus on the Family’s lecture/study series called “The Truth Project”. From the first Easter morning to Pentecost, as Jesus appeared to the apostles several times, they began to really believe what had been so hard to fathom from His teachings just weeks before.
He did not just appear to them. He talked with them, walked with them and ate with them. The Light began to shine through the darkness that had enveloped the apostles at Jesus’ crucifixion. In “The Truth Project”, Del Tackett used the analogy of his grandson opening a hallway closet door to illustrate how the darkness of the closet did not overtake the room but that the light of the room shined into the closet. The Light of Christ was shining into the heart and lives of the apostles.
“He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” – Luke 1:14-17. The son of Zacharias and Elizabeth was born to set the stage for the Lord. His birth was pretty miraculous itself but his life of obedience indeed made “ready a people prepared for the Lord.” John is known for baptizing Jesus but he continued the mission to call out the “disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous” even when it required rebuking those in power. For this, Herod, the Roman ruler of Galilee at that time, imprisoned and eventually killed John.
Lent was about reflecting on Jesus’ last steps on this earth. You were charged to give up something or take something on to experience a small glimpse of what Jesus gave up - His deity, and what He took on – the sin of man. Now it is time to lead in the Way, to boldly step forward in this world understanding all is not always popular or politically correct. John the Baptist set the tone, Jesus went the distance and His apostles led boldly in the face of extreme persecution and death. These are the examples the Lord has put before us. Now He expects us to lead boldly in family, church and community.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the example provided through John the Baptist. Wearing camel hair and eating locusts met the qualifications of a nonconformist in his day and earned him respect “in the spirit and power of Elijah”. I am guilty of conformance to the pattern of this world by striving for status and success. Forgive me. Strengthen me as a nonconformist in the spirit and power of Elijah to lead boldly in family, in church and the community under the influence of the Holy Spirit to turn hearts of fathers to their children and hearts of children to their fathers. All by Your grace and for Your glory. Amen.
A faithful father leads like he really believes that what he believes is really real.