400 years of silence broken...

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Malachi 4:5–6.

This the last verse of the Old Testament, written around 400 BC.

Then John the Baptist was born and he set the standard for living in light of God's promise in Malachi

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Luke 1:16–17.

John the Baptist prepared people for the coming of Christ, by pointing to godly relationships between fathers and children, because

- God is our Father to those who believe in Christ Jesus as Lord

- We are his children

- The physical and spiritual are not separate, but one, and broken relationships between fathers and children here wreak havoc on our understanding of God.

- we are to prepare others for God's love by pointing to our innate desire to be loved and approved by our fathers

- we are to prepare others for God's love by illuminating the necessity of godly parents

- we are to focus on how the "heart" the whole being, the whole person - both temporal and eternal are aimed directly toward a perfect image of God the Father

-we should recognize that Jesus taught us to pray, "God our Father"

- we should elevate the standards of fatherhood, and build all systems, culture, politics, arts and entertainment around honoring the perfect Father and those who emulate Him.

What would happen if the cultural fabric of a community were founded upon the reality of "God our Father?" Was this not the foundation of America? "In God we trust." Is this not still the foundation of many people? Can we as a nation live out the gospel message of love from a perfect heavenly Father and let go of our political agendas for power, false gospels, false authority, misinformed policies and the like?

A prayer:

Our Father, who are in heaven, HOLY HOLY HOLY are you!

Let our culture be shaped around the ideals of God Almighty

Let dads spend more and more time and energy on their children

Lest the fabric of lives be further torn apart by materialism, hate, the sexualization of everything, me-ism, and all that a fatherless world creates

God, our Father, come, come fulfill us in your presence

For the glory of Christ Jesus, Amen

Simple steps to knowing the freedom of a loving heavenly Father and becoming a conduit of that love for your kids :

  1. Strive every day to accept and give forgiveness to the measure God has given it to you. Imagine Christ Jesus, dying on the cross, giving his life for you, and the love of God to send him, for you, imagine it, believe it, trust it.

  2. Coach your kids sports teams, and really engage their hearts and character as well as their skills and accomplishments.

  3. Join a parent/child activity or event and seek the presence of Jesus in the moments

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