Numbers 26,27; Luke 1:1-20

“And he will go on before the Lord in power of Elijah, to turn the heartsof the fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of therighteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”  Luke 1:17

 Not long before our first child left home, I wrote an article which gave advice on giving our children’s roots.  As I think back on that assignment, I am sure that there was a lot of wishful thinking mixed into my writing.

Any Christian parent worth anything holds deep concerns about their children’s faith beyond the safety of the nest.  Now that our children are grown and now nurturing children of their own, I am fairly sure of what I suspected.  I was not a perfect parent.

The Old Testament closes with these words.  “See I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.  He will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”  Mal. 4: 5, 6

Reading this prophecy concerning John the Baptist gives one a sense of the profound role he was to play. Often we think of John as a colorful evangelist employing unorthodox wardrobe choices and who ate a diet of locust and wild honey.

A closer look at John the Baptist, however, reveals the true intent of his role.  John was a true prophet.  There was not a lot of give in his theology. He did not see his world in technicolor.  For him things tended to be black and white.

 “John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers!  Who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath?  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not begin to say to you, “We have Abraham as our father.”

Clearly John called his audience away from “easy believe-ism.”  Repentance which did not exhibit the fruit of changed lives was unacceptable.  In other words, repentance had to be shown by a change in conduct.

According to both Malachi and Luke, the deepest call of John the Baptist is that of turning the hearts of fathers to children and turning hearts of children to their fathers.  The most significant legacy of a Christian father is to make sure that the baton of faith is passed to the next generation.

A recent issue of Leadership magazine offered  six reasons young people leave the church.

  1. Isolationism:  One fourth of 18 to 29 year olds say church demonizes everything outside church, including the music, movies, culture and technology that define their generation.
  2. Shallowness:  One third call church boring, about one-fourth say faith is irrelevant and Bible teaching is unclear.  One fifth say God is absent from their church experience.
  3. Anti-science:  Up to one-0third say the church is out of step on scientific development and debate.
  4. Sex:  The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental.  For a fifth or more, a “just say no” philosophy is insufficient in a techno-porno world. Young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non churched friends, and many say they feel judged.
  5. Exclusivity:  Three in ten young people feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age.  And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.
  6. Doubters:  The church is not a safe place to express doubts say over one-third of young people and one-fourth have serious doubts they’d like to discuss.

If there is a modicum of truth to this poll, then what does it indicate.? How do we respond?  I fear that we parents have left the salvation of our children in the hands of the church.

In response, I hear the call of John calling for the kind of repentance that will bring spiritual awakening to our families, the kind of repentance that will yield the fruit of biblical holiness.


About jnordstrom4864

I am the Director of Spiritual Care at Christ Community. I enjoy reading, travel, and family. I also find great satisfaction in walking with people through all of life's transitions. View all posts by jnordstrom4864

2 responses to “ROOTS AND WINGS

  • Laura Grimmer

    Awesome! Yes, we must be broken and walk in repentance daily before God. To the world today it is just my little problem or no one is perfect attitude. We need to come clean and say “This is sin”! Oh, Our God is mearciful, but we must not use the grace of God to sin. God loves us, but he does not condone the sin. God is for us, but not for our disobediace. To many churches are sweeping the word of God under the rug and playing the part and then going right back out the same door they just came in never being changed! The church leaders must stand strong before the people as a walking example of who Jesus Christ was and still should be in each of us today. preach repentance, preach forgiveness, preach love, preach obediance, preach the cross! but preach truth! Jesus is the only way! people ( Christians) must get set free in there homes first. then churches. the world will see the change in use and the power within us and be propelled towards Jesus! Revival will come if we do these things. Send the fire! God bless you brother.

  • Doug Cherry

    Powerful word, John. Let’s do it! (Wake up and parent with authority and anointing!)

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