There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in His majesty. Deut. 33:26 (NIV)
Family is God’s idea and He has created the family unit, complete with a father and a mother. When a family functions the way God intends it to function, the family is nurtured, healthy and fruitful. Because we live in a fallen world, we don’t really see a perfect family model—other than, of course, God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Most people who’ve had a bad childhood would say they are envious, even jealous of people who’ve had an amazing childhood. If they’re truthful, they would say they even struggled with bitterness and rejection because of the way they were raised at some point in their lives (mainly by their fathers). An intentionally present father in the home makes all the difference. (I’m not excluding the importance of the mother). Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today.
Statistics and numbers don’t lie—they paint a very real picture. These are just a few of the many statistics for the United States: 85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home. 39% of students from first through twelfth grades do not have a father in the home. Children without a father are 4 times more likely to be living in poverty than children with a father. 1 in 3 children do not have access to their father. It gets worse…Fatherless homes make up 57% African-American, 31% Hispanic , and 20% Caucasian/White households. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2011, that 44% of children the homes headed by a single mother were living in poverty, while just 12% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty. The National Center for Fathering states that 72% of Americans believe that a fatherless home is the most significant social problem and family problem that is facing our country. The NCF also states that more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent. If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.
Good and functional families produce amazing children, as dysfunctional families produce children who struggle with identity and values. The opposite can be true, although rare. The Bible says in Matt. 7:17, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” The problem is actually in the ROOT of the tree. Luke 3:9 says “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees, Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” What this scripture is NOT saying is a blanket statement that all the bad trees just need to be cut down and burned! The Passion Translation says it like this: Even now God’s axe of judgment is poised to chop down our barren tree right down to the roots! The word root is a metaphor of offspring; progeny, a sprout, a shoot. It’s what we produce; the offspring that comes out of our own hearts. The axe of judgment is poised to cut it down, but what changes whether the tree (we) will survive or not is by our repentance. God wants to change the root that produces the bad tree/fruit. Repentance breaks open the heart and changes our attitudes toward God and others. Repentance means: a change of mind.
One can only see the destructive behavior of someone who has been raised in a fatherless home, or in a society that tells them they’re not good enough because of their education or the color of their skin. There have been centuries of abuse, hurt, and injustice. This grieves God as it should every person who calls on the name of Jesus. We, who belong to Christ, are all children of God our Father and part of His family. If we have been born-again, our past and our upbringing does not define who we are as born-again believers. Through Christ our path in life changes, starting with the fact that we now have the the most perfect and greatest Father in the universe and is carried out by our personal choices. The Bible says we (Christians) are no longer of this world, but citizens of heaven. We are saved from this world’s systems, but the truth is, we still live in it.
God is our true Father, who is perfect, kind, loving and gracious, plus every other positive adjective we can think of. We, as His children, can approach the throne of grace with confidence that He will never stop loving us as a perfect father loves his child. Since so many people don’t know what a perfect father is, we find it hard to relate to God as Father. There are people who have had horrible fathers and can’t seem to relate to a loving Father we call God. Unfortunately for them, God is feared as a harsh task master; coupled with the fact that He’s invisible to our earthly eyes. It would be great if we could actually see God with our physical eyes and talk face to face with Him. The Religious people in Jesus’ day thought that as well and said, “Show us the father”. Jesus replied, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14:8-9)
God would that all repent and be saved, He doesn’t want anyone to perish. (2 Pet. 3:9) What is the deciding factor here, if not us? If it’s God’s will to save everyone, why aren’t we all saved? I truly believe that for every problem, God has a solution if we would turn to Him for the answer. You may not be able to change everyone else in your life, but you can change your own life through the power of Christ’s shed blood. Jesus has the answer, because He is the answer. Every person has a destiny in this world—we all count. God did not make you by mistake—He made you with intention and with a purpose. It’s our job to find out what that purpose is. It starts not by just accepting Jesus into your life, but by actually surrendering your life to Him. Dying to yourself is the only way out of this fallen world.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son he loves? Col. 1:13 (KJV) I love how the The Passion Translation states this verse: “He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of His beloved Son.”
We were born into a fallen world—it has problems. Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He had gained legal right to usurp this world’s order…only until we are born again and find out who and whose we really are! All authority has been given to Jesus and we (believers) are IN HIM. (Phil. 2:10, Luke 9:1, 2 Cor. 10:8, If all authority has been given to Christ, that means the devil has none!
How many people in hell are forgiven? The answer is; all of them! Christ died for the sins of the whole world. We are the ones who choose to believe on Jesus or not. God leaves the decision up to us. Mankind has always been accountable for his own choices and actions.
My whole point is that God wants us to be reconciled to Him as our Father. Romans 5:10 says, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” It’s the great exchange—your life for His life. Your subjected truth to His objective truth. It all starts with God as Father. God did not create us to be lost, orphaned and confused of our identity and purpose. Be reconciled to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)