Bruce Collins. I am an evangelist and teacher of the Bible. I
became a child of God by faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus
Christ on November 24, 1963 and have tried to serve the Lord in various
capacities since then. I am presently an itinerant minister of
the Gospel. I do not work for an organization but I try to
serve the Lord in the best way that I can wherever He leads. That
means that my wife and I have our financial needs met by the Lord as we do
not have a salary from any church or organization. We believe
that the Gospel is free so we have never made a charge for our services.
am available for Bible studies, conferences, Gospel meetings, children's meetings
and camp work. I have traveled throughout much of the United States
and Canada in my service for the Lord. My wife helps me, and
we attend the Bethany Bible Chapel in Cedar Falls, Iowa. They have encouraged us
by commending us for this work.
wife, Geneva and I live in Waterloo, Iowa. We have four children.
One of them is married and has provided us with two grandchildren.
web site has a weekly meditation that I hope will encourage you. It
has links to literature and organizations that I think are helpful.
You can also listen to my weekly radio program here.
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There are a number of things that I have been
thinking about since the world tells us that Sunday is (or was) Father's
day. Now every day should be
Father's day, just as every day should be Mother's day, Children's day,
Family day, etc. But since
we are talking fathers, let us think about some things that fathers
should do. If we fathers did
these things, likely our children would honor us although that is not
always true. The best Father
in the world had rebellious children.
Isaiah the prophet records the words of Jehovah who said, "I
have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against
Me (Isaiah 1:2 NKJV).” Many of the verses I am thinking about deal
with sons but I think we should think sons and daughters when we
consider these verses.
best Father in the world publicly honored His Son.
At the Lord's baptism which identified Him with sinful Israel, we
read, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).'”
Obviously, the Lord was not a sinner or the Father would not have said
what He said. Sometimes we
Fathers are quick to criticize our children to others when maybe a
little public praise would have been better.
the ten commandments we read that a father's rebellion affects three or
four future generations. The Lord says, “For I, the LORD your God, am
a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to
the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NKJV).”
Now we know that nationally sins committed by fathers affect
those who come after them and often children end up in wars, plagues,
and natural disasters that are the result of decisions made by their
fathers. But in a personal
way this verse seems to indicate that Father's teach rebellion, and it
can affect three or four generations following them.
Thank God, the next verse talks about mercy and loving kindness
to many who do not follow in the “iniquity” of their fathers.
But Fathers do greatly affect the attitudes of their children,
and their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren.
a Father cannot Function as a Father
associations greatly affect our behavior.
When we who are saved are yoked with unbelievers, normally they
don't start thinking like the believer, instead the believer starts
thinking like the unbeliever. As
a result it makes it impossible for God to function as a Father to those
who have become children of God by faith in the Lord Jesus. Before we
are saved, we are sons of disobedience and children or the offspring of
wrath according to Ephesians 2:2-3.
After we are saved we become offspring or children of God
according to John 1:12. But
when we are allowing the unsaved world to counsel and “father” us,
God cannot function as the Father that He wants to be.
We need to free ourselves from the wrong company so we can enjoy
the blessing of having God “Father” us by teaching, disciplining,
and nurturing us.
of the Functions of a Father
12:7 says, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom a father does not chasten (Hebrews 12:7 NKJV)?”
The passage says that if we don't endure chastening as Christians
then we are sons without a father, that is, we are not really saved.
Now chastening or discipline has to do with correction and with
conditioning and not with the judicial penalty of sin.
Payment for sin in the sense of judicial punishment has been
taken care of at the cross. But
we still need the correction of a Father.
And sometimes we need to be disciplined in a positive way so that
we are prepared for the race that we are to run with patience in this
Father's Open Door
Father of the prodigal son in Luke 15, waited patiently for His son
“to come to himself” that is, to start thinking clearly.
When this son who had done so much to offend His father came
home, the Father was waiting for him with an open door and with a feast
and with joy. Whether we
have departed from God as believers or whether we are among those who
have wandered away in unbelief, the Father has an open door policy and
wants to welcome the prodigal home.
wonder how many of us as fathers can say that we have used the best
Father in the world as our model and guide?
This world would be a better place if we all had Fathers like the
Lord had and like true believers have.
Wrath and anger would be a thing of the past.
Punishment that makes children “pay” for their sins would be
gone forever. Correction
would be administered with love. Lessons would be learned through
careful thoughtful discipline. There
would still be some rebellious children but at least they would know
that they had a father who loved them.
They would also have a proper concept of who God is, because a
father represents God to his children.
for the week of June 17, 2018
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