Matt Hall: Fatherless children of God

Published 9:40 am Friday, January 11, 2019

I’m reaching a point in my general and professional life where I’ve got some time under my belt.

I’ve been fortunate to live 33 years of this life, and the majority of that has been in this town.

I’ve also been lucky to serve all of my ministry career thus far in one church, my home church that I’ve attended since I was 6 years old.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of amazing conversions — drastic conversions even.

I’ve served alongside a lot of folks, and I’ve been privileged to disciple some great young people.

With all of this history I’m beginning to accumulate, I’m noticing some trends — one in particular.

Lots of folks from a diversity of backgrounds have trouble letting God be their Father.

I think most everyone would agree letting God be our Father sounds great when Dad (through Big Brother Jesus) made a way out of hell for us.

When it comes time for Dad to be a true Father and challenge us in our behavior or our conversation, many people —  dare I say most people — don’t do as children should and accept correction.

I have a great dad in this life.

He’s my hero and a great mentor.

Even he had to, on occasion, a few times, get into my business and challenge my thought patterns, decisions and actions.

He used to tell me what was acceptable for this branch of the Hall family and what was not, even when other Christian parents let their kids do otherwise.

“You’re my son, not theirs, and we don’t do that,” he would say.

I didn’t like it then, but man, I appreciate that now.

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT) reads,  “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

Many, many Christians reject God’s discipline.

He speaks warnings to us through scripture, instructions through pastors, and wisdom through elders, yet time and again, many of us reject his correction.

What soon follows?

Discipline.

In my experience, when people do not heed God’s word, the consequences God warned us about come barreling into our lives.

Most people are shocked.

Many cry out to God, “Why have you allowed this?!”

Others still accuse God of hating them or failing them.

We claimed to be his while ignoring what he said.

The fact is this, friends, he is our Father, and we are his children.

He knows us because we came from him.

He knows life because neither end nor beginning limits his perspective; he sees it all.

Yes, God loves you.

He loves you so much that he’s got something to say about how you live.

He even knows how to whip you on occasion. Just as my dad used to tell me, God says, “You’re mine, not theirs! We do life like this…”. Don’t be a fatherless Christian. Let Dad delight in you, even through discipline.

Matt Hall is the youth pastor at Church of the Living God in Winchester. He can be reached at revmatthewthall@aol.com.