Good Morning Brothers…
Can you feel it brothers…? We have two more weeks before September and, as everybody knows, September is the beginning of the year for hunters. September is the month that life starts to make more sense again. September means structure. Our kids are back into a routine of school, football is played on every night of the week except Wednesday, and the hunting seasons dominate our calendars for opening weekends and closing dates. Life starts to make sense again because of the structure set by September. But…it is still two weeks away. What should we be doing right now?
Our preparation consists of many things. Between purchasing all of the odds an ends needed, we also service the equipment from last year, and practice our shooting, calling, and different situational skills for the upcoming seasons. For us dads, this is the time to teach those skills to the little ones that will follow us out into the woods, blinds, and waterways. How will they ever know how to set up a treestand if they don’t help dad hang one? How will they ever know how to call in a turkey if dad doesn’t teach them? How will they ever know how to hit a moving target if dad doesn’t throw clay pigeons?
The process itself reminds me of something Jesus said in John 5 verse 19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” It is hard for me to wrap my brain around Jesus needing to learn, but, according to this verse, it seems He did. The more I think about it the more it makes sense. Jesus was a man that understood who His heavenly Father was, and relied on His guidance so completely that He did not step outside the bounds of His Father’s will and desire. He did not make a misstep because He observed the steps of the Father and imitated them. This is a picture of discipliship from the Father to the Son. In verse 20, Jesus goes on to say, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.“
These two verses cause me to think about a couple things; the greatest commandment and the ‘sermon on the mount’. The greatest commandment says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” The Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father are clearly seen in the discipling relationship between the two. God the Father taught Jesus when He was sitting in the house, walking by the way, lying down, and when He was rising up. Jesus returned this love by surrendering to His Father’s will when he was sitting in the house, walking by the way, lying down and rising up. They loved each other with all of their heart, soul, and might. What strikes me is the duality of the ‘greatest commandment’. We are commanded to love the Lord in this manner because this is the way He ALREADY loves us. Wow…!
The verse in Matthew 5:16, which is a part of the ‘sermon on the mount’, says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus said that to us, however, He also lived that. The “greater works that will make us marvel” from John 5:20 (verse above) are so we will glorify our Father in heaven. The wonderful works of Jesus Christ were a result of the discipling relationship between Father and Son. Jesus did…because He saw His Father do. The works of Jesus reflect onto the Father and bring Him glory. Despite the miracles, despite the words of wisdom, despite the attention…Jesus liked to say things like this, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) And, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30)
We all know that the life of Jesus is an example for us to follow. However, it also provides a structure we often miss. We too, should walk around and say things like, “Not my will, but the will of my Lord.” To say this an actually heed it, means we are in a discipling relationship that points us toward Jesus as the answer to all things. Without adhering to the structure of discipliship, I can say I know how to hang a treestand…but I really don’t. I need my Lord and Savior to show me.