A Tale of Two Cities…is a legendary novel by Charles Dickens. It is about London and Paris during the French Revolution. The social and economic events during and prior to the Revolution are somewhat parallel between the two cities. It reflects abject poverty, appalling starvation, rampant crime, ruthless capital punishment, and aristocratic greed. This book was required reading at my high school. It also became a movie.
As I have been reflecting on the events in our nation and elsewhere over the past several years, especially the last six months, I was drawn to the stark contrast set out in Galatians. The Spirit through Paul reveals a manner of belief and manner of life as it relates to God and his Kingdom. Look at the comparison. I have simply broken them into two tales, so to speak.
Tale 1: Absence of God in the society or culture. According to Galatians 5.19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.”
Tale 2: Presence of God in the society or culture. According to Galatians 5.22,23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”
So, what allows the Presence to replace and overcome the Absence? JESUS CHRIST!
Galatians 5.24 is quite clear. “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The battle is not a political one in our nation, it is a spiritual one. Change the heart through Christ, you change the culture.
Disciple your children
Dads, you have been provided the authority and privilege to disciple your children for the gospel of Christ. Which is: “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead”. (I Cor. 15.1-5) Save them from destruction, both in their earthly lives and for eternity. Works of the flesh versus works of the Spirit is an ongoing battle. What are you seeing in our society today? They will be exposed to and influenced by every form of fleshly deceit. I was, so were you, and so will they! Discipleship begins in the home. Don’t leave it to others. Trust God’s word. Apply it in your life and help them to do the same.
Equip your children
And then, with confidence in your heart, you can say—“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 Jn.1.4). You can’t protect them from evil, but you can equip them to withstand and overcome. That’s my take on the two Tales that I see today in families in America and elsewhere. The choice is simple—the flesh or the Spirit? Joshua challenged Israel with the same question and declared his stand. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24.15b). Which Tale will it be for you and your precious family?
The ministry of Abiding Fathers and Padre de Corazon is being used by God to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, one dad at a time. Join the movement.