Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV) 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Proverbs 4:26-27 (NIV) 26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
To be a legacy dad and a follower of Jesus Christ, your life will bear the fruit of the Spirit no matter what. As an Elder of my church and the men's ministry leader I can honestly tell you that you can look at Christians and know them by their fruit, which is not to say that we will know whether or not that they are saved by Jesus Christ as that privilege will only be known between God and them. The fruit of the Spirit, though, cannot help but overflow from that person's life if they truly are saved.
There is a transformation, a change, a repentance to go the other way. That person is no longer guided by self-indulgence, rather, they feel the presence of the Holy Spirit who guides them in which way to go. Does this mean that we will always get it right? Of course not! Does this mean that we will stop sinning and making mistakes? Of course not! The one thing that will be is their fruit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
When you get to be as old as I am (48 and counting) you can be honest with yourself and say that the Word of God (the Gospel) does offend! The Gospel tells us that Jesus is the only way. When you read the Bible (honestly read, and study and meditate) then you will come upon three expressions to your spirit and walk with God: 1) The Word will reveal truth and encouragement and the path that you are taking and you will feel a WOW moment and know that you are on the right path and that you are not grieving the Holy Spirit. 2) When you read, like me, and come across a key verse or passage and are immediately convicted by the Spirit and have un-confessed sin and/or are angry with a brother or sister you are left with a feeling of WHOA, then you know that the Spirit is guiding you in the way that God wants you to go. 3) When you are reading, studying and reflecting on the word and you are immediately given the feeling of WOE and you know that your life is completely out-of-bounds and out of God's will for your life, then you are given two choices: A) Continue to wallow and sin or B) Repent. Turn. Go the opposite way and ask for God's forgiveness.
I think the problem with culture and society is that they are no longer prone to Biblical truth and that their ears become itchy with truth and the way that God calls us to go. Honestly ask yourself how can a holy God tolerate sin? Why did God send His only begotten Son to die for our sins if society (and culture) keep re-writing what's right and what's wrong? How can we say that we need a Savior if there is nothing to be repenting of? Seriously ask yourself what is right (having a biblical lens on culture and the world) and what is wrong (and sinful?)
1 John 2:15-17New International Version (NIV)
On Not Loving the World
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Psalm 1New International Version (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
There are two things that we cannot avoid without punishment: 1) Death and 2) Taxes. Whether you deny the truth and embrace sin or whether you accept truth and trust God remains to be seen in the fruit in your life. But ask yourself this question: Would I rather error on the side of the World or the side of God? As for me and my house, we will choose to serve the Lord.
So what are my responsibilities as a Legacy Dad and a disciple of Christ:
- Love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength
- Love my neighbor as myself.
- Speak truth in love
- Testify to God's truth.
- Leave judgement up to God (we are not to judge - especially harshly
- Lead my family
- Be prophet, priest and king of my wife and kids
- To be above reproach
- To bear the fruit of the Spirit
- To have integrity.
Dare to take this step, trust God and lean on him and not the world's understanding of right and wrong. Speak truth (by reading the Bible) and show the love of Christ to your neighbor!