This Transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on Dec. 7, 2021. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Joe Green: Greetings. I’m Joe Green, and I will be your host today here on Stand in the Gap Today Radio. Joining me today is the honorable Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network. We are joined with our very special guest, the Kendrick Brothers. The Kendrick Brothers Films was founded in 2013, in Albany, Georgia by Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick and Shannon Kendrick. And we have the honor of having Alex and Stephen with us today.
Originally the filmmakers of Sherwood Pictures, after releasing several increasingly successful faith-based movies with Sherwood Pictures, including Flywheel, Facing The Giants, Fireproof and Courageous. The Kendrick Brothers was formed as a production company to step beyond Sherwood and expand their film making ministry.
With the new company subsequently releasing War Room, Overcomer and Show Me The Father. Show Me The Father features true stories and provides a fresh perspective on the critical role of the fathers in today’s society. The film invites people to think differently about how we view our earthly fathers and how to personally relate to God.
We want to welcome Alex and Steven to the program, and we just thank you, it’s such an honor. I just want to briefly read their bios, I don’t want to go into too much and take up too much of time cause we definitely want them to talk, to hear what they have to say. Alex Kendrick has dedicated his life to following Jesus Christ and making his truth and love known among the nations.
After serving in church ministry for 20 years, he now writes, speaks and produces Christian films with his brothers, Stephen and Shannon. Alex directed and co-wrote the movies Overcomer, War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, Facing The Giants and Flywheel. And in 2021, the Kendrick Brothers have two films releasing, Courageous Legacy edition, a remastered film with added scenes to mark the films 10th anniversary.
And Kendrick Brothers’ Show Me The Father, their first feature length documentary for which he served as executive producer and writer. Stephen Kendrick, after serving in church ministry for 20 years, Stephen, now writes, speaks and produces as well. And of course, he works with his brother on these tremendous films. And I have to say that personally Courageous is one of the most inspiring and one of my favorite movies.
Every time I see it, I hate to admit it, but I get a little teary-eyed and a little emotional because it has such a depth and such a great, great theme to it. First I’ll ask you Alex, tell us about your new and first documentary Show Me The Father, and what was the inspiration behind this film?
Alex Kendrick: Well, we had finished the movie Overcomer a few years ago, and Stephen came to me and he said, “Hey, I’ve got something that’s really on my heart, pressing on my heart.” And it was about us relating to God as the perfect father. Yes, he’s God, yes, he is the ruler, the creator, but he’s also father. And it’s from his example that earthly dads are supposed to get our example.
So we found these five powerful true stories that we put together in this movie, Show Me The Father, from different vantage points. A good dad, a dad that wasn’t there, a bad father, adoptive father, et cetera. So that everyone who watches this is going to relate to one or more of these stories. Each one of them, and they’re so powerful, natural twists and turns.
And each one of them point back to God as the perfect father. Whatever your story is, whether you had a good dad, a bad dad, you can relate to God as a perfect father. A matter of fact, when Jesus was asked by his disciples, “Show us the father,” he said, “When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father, his characteristics are my characteristics.”
So when we get to know Jesus Christ, it’s through him that we get to know God the Father, and he wants that relationship with us. And so we put together this movie, Show Me The Father. Though it’s a documentary, it kind of plays like a movie, and people are just engaged, and they’re surprised at some of the twists and turns.
And at the end of it, what we love hearing from audiences, and we are hearing it regularly, is that people say, “I have a deeper understanding of God as Father and that he does truly love me.” And that’s what we were going after. So it was a joy, and it turned out better than we thought, just to make Show Me The Father. And the fact that it’s out on DVD and streaming today, we just want people to know about it. So we’re very grateful for what the Lord’s doing through it.
Sam Rohrer: Well, Alex, it’s so great to have you and Stephen with us. And again, all those movies that you have done, I know as I’ve watched them and my wife and my children, I’ve got a lot of grandchildren. I think all of them have seen the real life aspect of dealing with real people, real life and going to the heart biblically and pointing people to Christ. And all of these is what makes it so powerful.
Now, Stephen, in the story, you talk about your daughter Mia, and through the adoption there, relate to that a little bit, because obviously as Alex just mentioned, all of us, if we know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we’re all adopted. So adoption is something that’s pretty familiar, should be to all of us. Talk to us about your experience.
Stephen Kendric…: Absolutely. Well, my wife and I had four biological children and I was actually on an airplane spending time reading scriptures with my wife on a trip. And the Lord spoke to me very clearly through his word, and that I needed to be open to adoption. And I didn’t realize that my wife had been praying for me for two years for God to turn my heart towards adoption.
So we filled out the paperwork, and about two years later, they started sending us referrals. And we knew it was going to be a girl from China, and we knew she was going to have special needs. But the first four referrals that they sent, these precious little girl, there was no peace. There was this heaviness, like God was saying, “Not yet,” or “This is not the one.” And it says in Colossians 3:15, that we should let the peace of God rule in our hearts.
And so we were struggling, but we turned down the first four referrals, wondering what was going on. And on the fifth one, she had a worse medical condition, half of her heart was not working. But it said she was born on 2/14/2011. And my wife said, “She was born on Valentine’s Day with a broken heart.” But we had a total peace about it.
And so we said, “Yes, we’re going to adopt this little girl.” And a few weeks later, I went back and I looked in my Bible, and I had dated the day that God spoke to me, and it was 2/14/2011. The same day that God spoke to me on that airplane was the day that she was being born in China. And it was like the hair was standing up on the back of my neck, and the Lord just was making it clear that he was about to teach me something about our own spiritual adoption, and something about his role as our heavenly father.
So we feature that story in emotional detail in the movie Show Me The Father as one of five of the stories that are there. But it really opened my eyes to the book of Ephesians, that talks about our identity in Christ. That when we place our faith in Jesus, people don’t realize that God permanently adopts them into his family.
He becomes our perfect father, he blesses us with every spiritual blessing. He gives us a home in heaven, empowers us with his holy spirit and gives us access to his throne and his heart. And Paul prays in Ephesians three that God will open the eyes of believers so that they would know the width, the length, the depth, the height of the love of the father for them. And so that’s one of the things we pray for, for Show Me The Father is-
Joe Green: That is tremendous.
Stephen Kendric…: … people will have an encounter with God.
Joe Green: Hold that thought. We’re going to come back after the break. And we’re talking with Stephen and Alex Kendrick, and we just have so much more to cover. So stay tuned after these important messages.
Joe Green: And we’re back with the Kendrick Brothers, my name is Joe Green, of course, and I’m here with the honorable Sam Rohrer. And we are talking about, actually two films that the Kendrick Brothers have released.
One is Show Me The Father, and the other one is Courageous Legacy, which if any of you are familiar with the first Courageous film, it’s the 10th anniversary of that. And so they have added to an already great project. Before the break, you were talking, Stephen, about your adopted daughter Mia. And I thought it was so powerful how you tied in the adoption to your daughter, to believers being adopted as children of God.
And one of the things that was very unique with Jesus’ ministry is, they knew about God, Israel knew about God, but now he comes with this new concept and he starts calling, in a very personal way, God the Father. And so now we all can call God our father because of being grafted in or adopted into the family of God. Alex, can you tell us exactly, what does the word fatherhood mean to you exactly?
Alex Kendrick: Well, the word father itself means source, it can mean chief, creator-
Stephen Kendric…: Leader, founder.
Alex Kendrick: Yeah. Leader, founder, the word father comes from those other terms. And if you think about what God is and does, those describe him as well. He is our creator, he is our father, we come from his creation, his idea, his hand, his love. And so a father is also to guide and to protect, to provide.
And so as a dad, I have six kids, Stephen has six kids, it is my assignment from the Lord. My kids in one respect, are homework assignments. You are to love them, to protect them, to provide for them, to raise them and guide them to honor God the Father. And so I am to reflect the characteristics of God through Christ as best I can to emulate and walk with the Lord and teach them to do the same thing.
So the problem is that dads in our world do not adequately represent the holiness of God or of Jesus Christ. And so what we have to do is learn to say I’m sorry when we fail, learn to ask for forgiveness. But ultimately to say, “I am a temporary representation of father, but God the Father is permanent, eternal and loves you even more than I do.” So it’s my job to teach my kids that.
And we damage them when a dad steps out of the picture, it’s almost like a bus driver with a bus full of people. And as it begins to go, he opens the door and hops out himself. Well, what happens to the rest of the people on the bus? They’re going to end up at a ditch or worse. And so we have that occasion too often in our culture where dads are not stepping up.
Either they’re not a part of their children’s lives or they’re not leading them. And so this movie, Show Me The Father, and for that matter Courageous Legacy, both reflect the struggle, but ultimately the goal of a dad to honor the Lord and point his children to God.
Sam Rohrer: Alex, that’s super. And I’m listening to you talk, but I didn’t know that both of you had six children. God’s blessed my wife and I with six children as well, so we got some commonality there. And you know what? I’m thinking as you’re talking I’m about that, I’m saying, “Yeah, absolutely, it is tough.” A father’s got a lead, but a father has to say, “I’m sorry. And please forgive me for sinning against mom or the children.”
These things happen, that’s the way it is. When you put this film together, because you’re talking about some practical aspects here. In your words, when you wrote this film, you know that fatherhood in this country is in big trouble. You’ve already said very few fathers can actually emulate, and probably even the best of fathers, we know we don’t even then emulate Christ as we should.
However, in this film, if there are a couple of different particular relational issues that are existing in fathers and sons, fathers and daughters in this country that you’re hoping to address by this, what are they?
Alex Kendrick: Well, it’s hard for me to answer that because there’s so many, but I’m going to give you one quick one, then I’m going to hand the phone to Stephen and let him answer as well. One thing that is a thread through each of the stories in Show Me The Father, and for that matter, it’s a thread through Courageous Legacy since both films deal with fatherhood.
When I love my children and they do not question the fact that I love them, it is easier for them to receive what I teach them because their heart is open. If I am not loving them, even if what I am academically teaching them is correct, their heart is closed, and so they’re less likely to receive it.
In other words, if you want your children to listen to you, they need to know that you love them. We tend to listen to the people that we believe love us the most. So if your child in his teen years, even 20s is deferring to his peers or her peers, listening to other people, you need to question, “Does my child truly know that I love them?”
So academically, it is super important that I present truth and information to them, but just as important, they need to know that I love them. And again, the same thing is true spiritually, when our heart is open to God, then we will receive what he has for us. When our heart is closed or callous to the Lord, we tend not to receive truth from him. And so that’s one thread that goes through both films. I’m going to hand the phone to Stephen, and he’s got one as well.
Stephen Kendric…: Well, Ephesians three says that fatherhood on earth came out of the fatherhood of God, and that he created it as an introduction to who he is. And so there are seven roles that dads play, are supposed to play in the lives of their kids. And those are parallel to the seven roles that God the Father plays in our lives. And as the leader of the Trinity, you always hear the father mentioned first as the source of the will.
Jesus said, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of the Father. I came to represent the Father, I came to show the love of the Father, the power of the Father, bring glory back to the Father.” It is so important that an earthly father step in as an introduction to the roles of God. And the last verse in the Old Testament says, “God wants to turn the hearts of fathers back to their children and children to their fathers.” Or he says, “The earth will be cursed.” And that’s what we see.
If you look at the culture, the number one common denominator of people in prison is not race or socio-economic level, it’s fatherlessness. The number one common denominator tying kids that are on drugs, or get pregnant out of wedlock, or they drop out of school, or they’re suicidal or depressed, fatherlessness is the common denominator.
So when we point people back to God as father, when we help them to forgive their earthly fathers, it says in Psalm 78, “Don’t be like your stubborn, rebellious fathers on earth, let God be your father in a sense.” And so when we learn to do that, it brings incredible breakthrough in our lives. Because so many people are living out of the woundedness of trying to prove their dad wrong, or earn his love because it’s a performance based love.
And the scripture says that God loves us, not because we’re lovable, but because he is so loving. We’re the prodigal coming home and his heart is to run off the front porch and embrace us, and show us compassion and mercy and pull us into a relationship with Him. So Show Me The Father the movie, we’ve been praying that people will have an encounter with the gospel and with God as they watch this film. And that’s what we’re seeing happen.
It was given an A plus cinema score, it’s given incredible reviews on movie websites. Because it’s entertaining, it’s emotional, but more importantly, people are hearing the truths from the mouth of Jesus and about the fatherhood of God in a new, fresh way through true stories.
And the end result is people saying, “I’m ready to give my life to Christ,” or atheists saying, “I’m ready to go to church now.” Or, “I’m open to now believing the God that you believe in because I’m realizing how much I need him in my life.”
Joe Green: That is incredible. I really appreciate your perspective on that. And if we really start to look at God as the Father and understand the message of the gospel, I think that tears down a lot of the lies and the deceptions that the enemy has used to try to put down the church, or put down people in the body of Christ.
One of the things I’d like to ask you guys is, you have some incredible, very powerful stories throughout this documentary. And I’ve asked you, Stephen, is there a particular story that stands out to you?
Stephen Kendric…: Well, we have the number one most responded true story that was on ESPN’s E60 between a coach and a player. But they don’t talk about God’s involvement, and we feature how God was involved every step of the way. It’s an incredible story in Show Me The Father. But I love the story of Jim Daly, who’s the president of Focus on the Family.
People don’t realize that he grew up fatherless and with a horrible relationship with his alcoholic dad, and the brokenness that was in his life. And you watch him with quivering lips, walk through what it was like to grow up without a dad. But then you see how God stepped in and sent a father figure into his life to introduce him to Christ and for him to learn how loving God is.
It’s just a beautiful picture of the redemption that God can bring to our broken lives. And so I would say that’s one of my favorite stories, and it is one of five that you’ll be able to see in Show Me The Father.
Sam Rohrer: All right, Joe, I know you’re about ready to wrap it up. Guys, I tell you, we’re at the end of the break here already, and it has gone so very, very fast. Let me just say from all of us here at Stand in the Gap and American Pastors Network. Thank you so much for your faithfulness to the scripture, and your faithfulness in producing films that are truly godly, and are theologically sound and everything about them.
I tell you, I really mean that, you have done a great work through the Lord by wanting to honor him. You’ve done a great work for the people of God in this country and around the world.
Joe Green: Absolutely.
Sam Rohrer: So God bless you so much. Thank you guys.
Joe Green: Absolutely. And I want to just tell you guys, you guys are our answer. Hollywood has given us a whole bunch of other things, you guys are our answer to excellence in film from a godly perspective. And we thank you for joining us, please, we hope that we’ll have you again. When we come back after the break, we’ve been talking to the Kendrick Brothers, Show Me The Father, Courageous Legacy, go see it now.
And when we come back from the break, me and Sam will talk a little bit more about the importance of fathers in the lives of their children.
Joe Green: And we are back here with Stand in the Gap Today Radio, I’m your host, Joe Green. I’m co-hosting with the honorable Sam Rohrer, the president of the American Pastors Network.
The last two segments we’ve had the honor and the privilege of speaking with the Kendrick Brothers, who have this year released two films. One is, Courageous Legacy, which is a follow-up of the film from back in 2011 called Courageous. Just a tremendous film, I was just so blessed by watching that.
And also, they just recently released Show Me The Father. And both films as of today are available DVD and streaming platforms. And I would encourage you to not only watch it, but watch it with your family. It’s just such a blessing, such tremendous stories. The documentary film, Show Me The Father, talks about fathers and personal stories about fatherhood and how important it is in the lives of their children.
And like they mentioned, and I’ll give you some statistics in a second. But that is the biggest issue that we’re facing in America, I believe is fatherlessness. Aside from turning away from God in many realms, but fatherlessness. So let me give you a couple of statistics and then me and Sam, I just want to get some feedback from you Sam.
According to the US Census Bureau, 18.3 million children, one in four live without a biological, step or adoptive father in the home. Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today. That’s according to the US Census Bureau of 2020. Living arrangements of children under 18 years old, 1960 to present.
And just a couple of things that statistics show that the absence of fathers in the household, the crisis of the National Fatherhood Initiative, and here’s some of the results that they talk about. Pew reports also say that only 11% of American children lived apart from their dads in 1960. Today, of course, that number is almost tripled, at 27%.
And studies have found that children raised without a father are at a higher risk of having behavioral problems, four times more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime, twice as likely to never graduate high school.
Seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy, more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and twice as likely, which is interesting to me, to be obese. Sam, what is your take on those statistics in the current of fatherlessness in America?
Sam Rohrer: Well, I almost said Isaac, I was thinking about Isaac here, one of the co-host. Joe, when you cite numbers like that, to me having been in office for a long time, I say, yeah, that’s exactly right. Because those numbers come up all the time in matters of policies that are made, laws that are made, they tie into judicial system. All of that, are all affected by the very things that you talked about.
The thing that’s amazing to me is that, no matter who you talk to, whether they are on one side of the aisle, the other side of the aisle, or left coast, or the right coast, whatever you may want to call it. This issue transcends location, this reality is everywhere in this world almost.
Where there is not a biblical worldview, the principles of what scripture talks about actually put in place. And whenever a nation or a society, the further they move from a relationship with God vertically, the more these things that you talked about here, these horizontal indicators that drive societal problems, which all these things you just mentioned are, the more they occur.
And my point, Joe, is that no one will dispute that, but they come at it from different angles. And here, what we’re talking about is that, “Yes, this is real, but there is an answer.” And that’s the thing I was talking about, Stephen and Alex, in what they’re doing and what they’ve done with Show Me The Father is that, yeah, they’re saying there is a reality, what just said, but there is a solution.
And that solution is when we get back and recalibrate our thinking and our hearts with the God of heaven. When that’s done, then all of a sudden the fatherlessness is fixable, you can fix these things. That’s the great thing about it. These things are fixable when you come back and you focus on God as Father and start from there.
Joe Green: Absolutely. And you know what? I want to just throw a couple things out there. I do recognize and deal with a lot of broken families, single mothers, dads who have been absent in the household. And this is not to put down or to insult anyone who is in that situation. What our goal is to, not only to just reinforce the importance of those things in the lives of the children.
And how important it is for families to have fathers in there because God designed children to be raised by mother and father. But also as Sam said, how do we fix things? Even if we’re in a broken place right now, or if we’re in a place that we made wrong choices, or however that played out, the goal is to understand what God’s intention was. How do we restore those things? Because I believe, Sam, and you can answer this, how you feel about this.
I believe that even if we have gotten to a place of brokenness as single mothers, broken families, absentee fathers, I believe that we still can restore things and fix it. And move things into a place God’s grace moves us back to the place where he wanted us to start and he can heal, he can restore, and he can reconcile things.
But we have to first acknowledge that this is God’s intention for us, that he wanted fathers to be in the household. Mothers are important as well, but fathers are the key piece to restoring the families, I think, and reconciling communities, families and a nation.
Sam Rohrer: Joe, I couldn’t agree with you more on that. When I think through the entirety of the word of God. And it’s interesting, the first verse in the scripture that actually uses the father is Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave onto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
That’s the first reference to father in the Bible. And it’s interesting, I like to go to the last one. Because the last reference in the Bible, is Revelation 14:1. Now, this is at the end of the age, that’s when this time was said, very beginning of creation, now to the end of the age. 14:1 says, “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion.” Now that lamb is obviously Jesus Christ, Lamb of God.
“And with him 144,000, there’s 144,000 witnesses that will yet come during the tribulation period and will be testifying of God and Jesus Christ.” But here’s this interesting thing, this 144,000 says, “Having his father’s name written in their foreheads.” That’s the Lamb’s father, that’s God the Father, name written in the foreheads of the 144,000.
That’s the last reference of father in the entire Bible. And when I look all the way through, and there’s 700 and something references of father. Every one of them, Joe, speaks about a relationship. Some relationship, from that first one, a man leaves his father and his mother relationships, cleaves to his wife relationships. And from them come children relationships.
And then all the way to the end, it really puts it down, the relationship that counts is a relationship to God the Father. And do we bear his mark on us? Well, we should. And when we align with God’s plan through the scripture, then we find out lo and behold, God’s blessings follow. Deuteronomy six, God says, “Fear me, keep my commandments, and blessings will come upon you, so many you won’t be able to handle them.”
But here’s the thing, fathers teach your children about the ways of God and who I am. And then teach your grandchildren, and bring them into continual connection with who God is as the giver of life, the giver of blessings. And when fathers model that, then you have families, ultimately you have a nation that God can bless. It’s not a complicated plan, it’s a profound plan though, because it’s God’s.
Joe Green: Absolutely. And like I say all the time, with a lot of biblical concepts, it’s not easy, but it’s simple. And I love what you said, Sam, because Genesis one, it just talks about this kind of impersonal thing, God said, “Let there be light. Let there be this.” He created this, created that. And then Genesis two, when he really began to manifest his true nature and essence, it was husband and wife.
The union between husband and wife, and then the procreation, which you start to have children. And it was God really revealing his real essence in nature to humanity, that he’s a covenantal God. And he’s a God who looks to, not only have his children, but to nurture his children, and the loving God and those type of things. All those are things that we see through God the father, and no other religion based on my understanding of them talk about that.
It doesn’t talk about the agape love of God to the extent that the Bible does. It doesn’t talk about the commitment and the covenant that God is. Because just like it says, “Husbands, love your wives,” and you lay down your life for your family basically. And we know that we have a God that loved us so much, he manifested that and demonstrated his covenant connection and dedication and commitment to us.
That Jesus came and died on the cross so that we could be grafted in and adopted as children of God. And I think that we missed that a lot of time in the churches because to me, Sam, that’s what the world is looking for. The world is looking for love in all the wrong places. If they can embrace the Father’s agape love, I think it changes everything. It changes from an individual basis, and it changes us from the whole human experience.
Sam Rohrer: Amen. All I can say to that is amen, Joe. God’s model is perfect, it heals, there is no broken relationship. That a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ cannot heal. What a profound thought that is.
Joe Green: Absolutely. And we’ll be back after the break. This is Joe Green and Sam Rohrer, and when we come back, we’re going to talk about some personal experiences with our own fathers right here on Stand in the Gap Today Radio. So please stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
Joe Green: Welcome back. My name is Joe Green, I’m hosting with Sam Rohrer.
And the first two segments we had the Kendrick Brothers that talked about their two new film releases, the latest film releases, I should say Courageous Legacy and Show Me The Father. In the last segment, we talked a lot about the importance of fathers and how the Bible demonstrates the true nature of father who is demonstrated through God the Father.
In this segment, we want to get a little bit personal. From educational, to personal health, to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two parent household. A 2017 Heritage Foundation article reported that routine family bonding activities like reading bedtime stories and eating meals together have a profound effect on children’s educational development and psychological wellbeing.
Simply put, “Dads we need you.” I often reflect on Jesus as the son of God when he was baptized. The first voice that was heard from heaven was his heavenly father telling everyone, “This is my son in whom I’m well pleased.” Fathers play a role in helping to mold and to shape the children, they help to mold worldviews on healthy relationships, self-identity and self-esteem as well. They help to identify purpose in the life of the children.
The Bible tells us that we are to raise up a child in the way that they should go. The implication is not only do fathers instruct their children about God, but they also help to direct them on their life purpose. My personal story is that my mother and father separated when I was very young. Later I had a stepfather that was a very violent man at times. He struggled with substance abuse and was in and out of prison.
And although he found the Lord and really turned things around later in life, there was a lot of rough years growing up in my household. My biological father and I would reconcile when I was in my early 20s. And we developed a close relationship before he passed away several years ago. I was blessed however to have my papa, that was a godly man.
He was a deacon in the church, and a great provider and role model. He was my inspiration about what a biblical manhood look like. And I can only imagine that if it were not for him, I wonder how my life would’ve turned out. That’s my personal story, and everyone has a personal story. And Sam, if you’d like to share just the importance of fathers in the household, and maybe share your personal story about your father.
Sam Rohrer: Joe, I can. I’ll just say that before I even share what my situation was like, is that everyone listening to us, that’s a great thing about when we’re talking about fathers, mothers, everyone has one. Everyone’s got a father, everyone has a mother. But what varies is, what we remember about them and what they built into our lives.
If someone is totally gone and absent from the beginning, well, then someone has to fill in. There is something that fills a father’s role. That’s what my experience has been over life. And something will fill that mother’s life. Some children, obviously, their mother died in child birth or something happened. So they never ever knew their father, through no harm, no fault of their own, they never ever knew their mother or their father. Well, someone had to step in, and that’s where adoption comes from.
And so many listening to the program now have been adopted. And if you were adopted by a loving father and mother, it’s a biblical model, you are blessed. Many didn’t have that. But when you’re talking about fathers today is that, when we think about our spiritual relationship with God our Father, all of us can be adopted children of God our Father.
And therefore that makes every one of us who know him as Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters. Now that’s the beautiful biblical model. Joe, to me, that’s just, I call you brother Joe, and you call me brother Sam, or sister Susan, or whatever it may be. When someone truly the Lord, we truly are brothers and sisters, regardless of whether we know who our earthly father was or we don’t.
Now, in my case, my father did know the Lord as his personal savior. I grew up in a Christian home, and my father did love my mother, and my mother honored my father. And I could go very far in that but I won’t, but I will say one thing that happened in my life, was that when I was seven years old. I was sitting in church in a revival service, and the evangelist was preaching a hell fire and damnation sermon.
It was really the love of God, but he was laying out the ugliness of hell, the reality of hell. And I felt myself slipping right into hell. And because I knew I had not done anything to get off that track, I’m on that track from birth, we know that. And anyways, I raised my hand for salvation that I needed the Lord. And my father sitting beside me, put his arm on my shoulder and said, “Sam, do you want to go forward?” I said, “Yes.”
And so I went forward. And so my father and I knelt at the front of the church at the altar. And my earthly father led me to the Lord and led me into a relationship with my heavenly father that he already had. And I got it there, I look back at that and I say, “Wow, to me, that’s one of the most precious moments in my entire life.”
Joe Green: Yeah. That’s terrific Sam. And my praise report, the other part of that is I mentioned how I was estranged from my biological father, and I didn’t have a great relationship growing up with my stepfather. But once I really embraced the love of God the Father, I forgave both of them and was able to lead both of them to the Lord and pray with them before they passed, both of them are gone now.
But I think it was because I came to the realization and understanding that, my heavenly father, he loved me so much, he loves us so much. It’s not a performance base, he loves me because of his loving nature. I was able to accept that, and once you accept that, then you can share it with someone else. And so I think about what would’ve happened if I wouldn’t have accepted that. If I wouldn’t have come to the realization of God the Father loves us so much unconditionally, no matter if I’m good or bad, he still loves me, regardless.
Of course, we talk about repentance and those type of things, but ultimately he loves us regardless. And we have to embrace that message because that’s the true message of the gospel. And when we do that and we share it with others, it freed both of them up to receive the love of God as well. And like I said, I’m assured that both of them have entered into heaven because of our conversations, because of our prayers.
And I know that the last conversations I had, both of them before they slipped off into eternity, that they both acknowledge Jesus Christ in their lives. And so I would just encourage anybody out there that, if you haven’t truly embraced the message of God’s love, to do so today, you don’t have to necessarily formally walk down to the front like Sam and his father did.
Wherever you’re at, you can receive the love of Christ, God the Father through Jesus Christ and receive your salvation. And that’s on a spiritual level, receiving God’s love. But also in the natural level, we just want to encourage each and every one of you, fathers, if you sacrifice for your children, if you work to be involved in each, every day of your child’s life, we thank you.
Your children will always remember your involvement in their lives. I can tell you how many conversations I remembered of my papa, even when I was younger and some of the concepts that he taught me that I didn’t even remember then. Sam, I didn’t even realize that they were in there until they came out at the appropriate time.
But it was because of his voice that resonated in my spirit. And also fathers, if you’d like to do more, if you have a broken relationship, I would encourage you to make it a point, a priority to seek reconciliation and restoration and get back into the lives of your children because you are very important.
Even if your child is an adult. I heard a testimony not long ago, a 60 year old man said he heard his father recently for the first time tell him how much he loved him and how proud he was. And he said he didn’t realize how much he needed to hear that until that moment. He’s 60 years old.
So fathers play an important role in our lives, even if you weren’t there in the beginning or even if there were mistakes made. Sam, I think you alluded to the fact, none of us are perfect at all, but we serve the one who is perfect and his perfect love and his love can be perfected in each and every one of us.
So I would just thank you again. We want to thank the Kendrick Brothers for joining us. Sam, I thank you so much for being with me today and being with us today. And for those out there, just embrace the love of the father, especially in this season so that we can love each other in a better way. This has been Joe Green with Sam Rohrer for Stand in the Gap Today, until next time, peace and blessings. We love you guys, in Jesus name.