Our legacy is at stake

Exodus 1:15-17 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

What exactly was the king up to in this passage of scripture? We know from the previous verses, he was upset that the Israelites were becoming too numerous. He was afraid that if a war broke out, God’s people would turn on him. He wanted to preserve himself and his people, so he turned on them. The method in which he turned on them was the most disturbing – he went after the babies. Specifically, he went after the baby boys.

Now why would he do that? On the surface, it appears that his concern was reproduction. But it would be 20 years until these boys married and had babies of their own. Besides, he let the girls live. Weren’t they the ones that would someday carry the babies? Couldn’t older men take them as wives and get them pregnant? Here’s the thing – I think the king of Egypt was after more than just babies; I think he was after legacy.


Legacy. It was the boys who would someday carry on the family name. It was the young men who would build upon the trades of their fathers. It was the fathers who would someday impart the ways of the Lord to their families. It was the elders who would impart wisdom to the next generation. Legacy. If the king could eliminate the carriers of legacy, then he could eliminate God’s people altogether. 

We live in a culture today, in which there is a real enemy that is standing against the legacy of God. That enemy takes on the form of political correctness and tolerance. It takes on the image of pointing fingers toward the faces of Christians, yelling “bigots!” Here’s the thing, the enemy isn’t really after universal love and acceptance. He isn’t after tolerance in the name of inclusiveness. He is after our legacy. He is commanding that the Spirit of Christ be crushed in our children and in our young adults, and even in our own hearts. But we must be like the midwives who fear God more than we fear the king. Because, our legacy is at stake. Who will take a stand against the plans of the enemy? Will you? It’s time for us to rise, church! It’s time for us to get purposeful about the legacy which we are to carry.


Looking like daddy

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

fathersonI have four children, three of whom are adopted.  When my oldest son was about 4 years old people started commenting on how much he looked like me.  Now mind you he is adopted so looking like me isn’t something that I would expect to hear.  I remember bringing him to work one day and my coworkers commented how even his mannerisms were like mine.  It isn’t because we share DNA, it’s because we had spent so much time together.  Yes, my son resembles me.

Do you know something?  We were made in the image of God.  Now of course we don’t look like God – he isn’t a person with flesh and blood.  We can’t resemble His greatness, but we can bear His image.  He created each one of us with a purpose, and that purpose begins with resembling Him. He desires that we not only know Him, but shine for Him in this world.  I wonder how much I resemble my Father in heaven.  When I walk into a room, do people notice that I look like Him?

They won’t unless I spend time with Him.  As I hang out with Him, I will start to pick up His mannerisms.  I will start to say things that He would say.  Most important, I will know His heart.  For when I know His heart, I can begin to fully live for Him.  I can align my steps, my plans, my dreams, with His.  But I must be in His presence.  I must search Him and know Him with all my heart.  He created me in His own image. Will I live like He created me to be?

*I want to look like Daddy.  Do you?

Oops, I did it again

Luke 15:21-22  “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

Oh man, I blew it again.  I can’t believe it.  Will God really forgive me?  I don’t feel like I deserve it.  Have you ever been in this situation? No?  Okay, check your pulse for me, I’ll wait…   I think it’s safe to say we can all identify with those thoughts.  We’ve all made mistakes and at some point feel unworthy.  What is God’s response to that?  What is His response to our sin?

Forgiveness.  What we see in verse 21 is a repentant heart.  We see a young man who completely messed up and he knew it.  His only option was to come back to his father and admit he was wrong.  He had to confess his sin.  He even expressed that he didn’t expect to be a son anymore.  Rather, he recognized his unworthiness.  But the father did something remarkable – he put a clean robe on him.   It was his best robe, too.  The father covered his filthiness.  He covered his mistakes and forgave him.  By putting the robe on him, he was symbolically saying that the son was made clean.  (Yes it is symbolic, this is a parable).

Secondly, the father put a ring on the son’s finger.  A ring is a symbol of dignity.  By putting the ring on his finger, he was telling him that he was restoring his dignity.  He was removing the shame of his mistake.  Third, he put sandals on the son’s feet.  Now you must know that the boy had plans to come back and be a servant.  Typically in those times, the servants didn’t have sandals.  They weren’t given to them.  Money spent on shoes was for the family, not for the slaves.  So by putting sandals on his feet, he was telling him, “I restore you as my son.”

It’s a remarkable parable, really.  Leave it to Jesus to be a good story teller.  In it, Jesus reveals the Father’s heart.  When we mess up, we can come to Him with a humble heart and confess to Him.  Do you know what He will do?  He will cover our filthiness and make us clean.  He will take away our shame and restore our dignity.  And He we remind us that we are sons and daughters.  He is a God of restoration and healing.  If you are still wondering and wandering, go home today.  Just go home.  He’s waiting on the road, ready to receive you.

How to be a good father

Ephesians 6:1-4 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I thought about writing on verses 1-3 today.  It was tempting, as I could get some good instruction in there for my kids.  But then I realized that my kids do not read my blog (the oldest is 9), so I guess I will go ahead and write on verse 4 instead.  Chances are there are some parents out there that will be reading.

As Fathers, we are told not to exasperate our children.  This word “exasperate” means to frustrate, irritate, or annoy extremely.  I am kind of bummed out by this verse, because sometimes it is fun to annoy my kids.  I’m talking about the stuff like dancing crazy in the car to embarrass them or asking them the same questions over and over again that they ask me.  It’s fun, but apparently I’m not supposed to do that.  Unless this verse means something else.

Good news – it does.  The second half of this verse gives us the context of exasperation.  There’s this pivotal word sandwiched between the first half of the verse and the second.  This word is “instead.”  In other words don’t do this, do the opposite of it, which is…   And the second part of this verse tells fathers to bring their kids up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  So I have two choices: I can either bring my kids up in the training of the Lord, or I can not do that and exasperate them.

So that’s what this means!  Exasperating my children is simply this: not giving them the ways of the Lord. It is failing to teach them and set moral guidelines for them.  It is forgetting to deposit truth and life into them.  Failing to do this will leave them confused and frustrated.  They will grow up and not have a compass to guide them.  They will get lost in the shuffle of life and swallowed up by the world.

Even though this is all true, fathers do not take the time to teach their kids the ways of God.  Instead, they either count on the Sunday school program to do all the teaching or they decide to teach the child nothing and say they are giving him the choice to decide for himself.  Either way, dads are relegating their responsibility to someone else. The latter method (letting them figure it out themselves) is especially destructive.  Why?  Kids want to know what their parents stand for.  Chances are, when the kids discover that their parents stand for nothing, it will create insecurity and mistrust.

So dads, how are you doing?  Are you bringing up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord?  You’ve got to ensure that this stuff is happening within the walls of your home.  Please, do not exasperate your children.  Choose the “instead” option.