On a day like today, much is done through the media, through the marketplace, both secular and Christian, and it leaves one wondering just what the fuss is all about. Isn’t today, just another Sunday? Is it just a gimmick foistered on us by popular culture? Should we not celebrate fatherhood, and motherhood every day, not just on a particular day?
Add to this all our own particular issues, wounds, hurts, rejections, and all manner of things from our childhood, and the imperfection of our parents, who no matter what we may have thought at the time, the bottom line is our parents did the best they could with whatever lot in life they had, very much the same way each of us have had to do with our own lives and families. It all comes to a compounded place where, our lives were never as perfect as we thought as children, and never as bad as we may have experienced. In each case life could have been better, and certainly could have been worse.
This is the building that is our character, built on the foundation of what was modeled by our “dads”. I find comfort that much like erecting a building, sometimes there needs to be work done on the foundation, in order to save the rest of the building that may not be so tragically flawed. But when the damage is severe in a foundation, no matter how great the building that was erected upon it, the whole building, foundation and all will come crashing down, if the that same foundation is not repaired and rebuilt.
Our lives, in the eternal purposes of God have at their heart, the essence and nature of God, His image and character are stamped upon the hearts and minds of men. When we come to saving faith, we come to the recognition of a new beginning, and this beginning initiates the process of character development, renewal and transformation. For God so loved us, in our miserable estate, of dysfunction and sin, that He not only gave us His Son Jesus, but God is so loving, that He is not content NOT to leave us where He found us and saved us. As soon as we are redeemed and justified, whenever God deals with us, He sees only Jesus, and not our sins, our issues, or any of the crap that has yet to be dealt with. He only sees Jesus.
God is so loving that He has given us not only the comforter, His Spirit, but has commanded us to love one another, and embrace God’s abundance in daily living, and to become friends with Him and with one another (cf. John 10). Jesus addressed the disciples in this passage and shared how He was laying His life down for His friends. Laying down has more to do with laying down all that we are in and of ourselves, our wants, our desires, our abilities, our wants, our talents, our agendas and our purposes, to the serve and benefit others. In other words, it is forsaking our own lives, our own selves for the benefit of others.
In 1 John 3: 13 ff., the writer used the same language to describe how we are to lay down our lives for each other, modeling what Jesus spoke of in John 10. This same passage addresses the whole issue and need of our day for men, and that is to walk with Jesus AND other men, and to daily lay down ourselves and all our issues, and serve Jesus, and serve each other.
This is how we best celebrate our manhood, and the essence of fatherhood. Walking with Jesus and other men, and living accountable transparent lives, where we are in each others corner, and we walk with arms locked together, knowing God has intended us to walk with Him as friends, and to be friends one with another.
My hope for you today is that you not walk in isolation from relationship with God alone, but with God and with other men, TOGETHER! Enjoy your life in Christ, and enjoy the friends God has given you, and go and love and embrace and celebrate family with your wife and children, and thank Him for the gift of friendship and fatherhood.
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January 2018
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