A Loving Father

A Loving Father

What was your first memory of your father? Was he a good, kind, loving father, or was he cold, unloving, and abusive? My father was away from home a lot, and when home, he was all too often in a drunken rage. When I was a small child, we moved into the Projects, Duggan Park, at Paige Boulevard and Godwin Street in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. The buildings had been erected in the fall of 1951, mostly for veterans returning from World War II and who had little income.

Like many such housing developments, crime, drugs, and appalling violence pervaded Duggan Park. I remember the first week after we moved into our place: Our next-door neighbor hanged himself in desperation. We never went to bed hungry because Dad brought home food that he had scavenged from the local dump. He was working there at the time, and when food was thrown away, he would collect it.

My father did not believe I was his son and violently abused me, two times almost killing me. The second time, I awoke in a fetal position covered in my own dried vomit and crying out, “Why was I born?” My first thoughts of God were exactly the same as those of my earthly father: an angry, mean, judgmental entity whom I could never please and who would just as soon cast me into hell as not. When you have no memories of a good father, how can you embrace Father God and trust Him to be a Good Father?

Hopefully, you have not endured the physical or emotional pain that I have. You may, however, have experienced rejection and been wounded. It may be difficult for you to view God as a Good Father. My prayer is that God will open your eyes and spirit to how beloved and cherished you are.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. —1 John 3:1-2

Resurrection Power

Resurrection Power

When Carolyn and I started out our life and ministry together almost 50 years ago, we lived in a tiny mobile home that God gave us. We were so thrilled to have it. But the ceilings were six feet high, and I’m 6 feet, 6 inches tall.  I called that trailer the world headquarters for our ministry to Israel.  One pastor laughed at me and called me delusional, but I believed God was going to do something amazing.

After we had lived in that trailer for several years, I felt the Lord say, “Believe Me for a house.”  We started looking and found a little house for sale on Dream Lane. The asking price was $10,300.  We met with the owner, and he agreed to finance $7,000 if we would put down $3,300.  This was on a Friday.  He said, “Do you have the money?”  I said, “Yes. We’ll give it to you on Monday.”

When we walked away, Carolyn looked at me.  She knew as well as I did that we only had $100 in the bank.  I told her, “I am pregnant in faith with the money.  It’s in my spirit, it just has not come forth yet.”  There was a tidal wave of faith rising up in my heart.  I was completely convinced that God had picked out that house for us, and so I was completely convinced that we would have the money.  I didn’t lose a moment of sleep to worry that weekend.  We didn’t have the funds, but I believed that the answer was already on its way.

On Monday I went to the mailbox, and there was one envelope inside.  It didn’t have a note or a letter or any explanation.  The only thing in that envelope was a check.  I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it was for exactly $3,200!  I went to the owner rejoicing and paid the down payment on that beautiful little house. God provided.  The man’s name was Charles Capps, a cotton farmer in England, Arkansas.

I hadn’t told him what we needed.  In fact, I didn’t tell anyone about our need except God. I didn’t have any resources or expectation apart from Him.  But He is always more than enough for every need, and those who trust Him find Him faithful.

I thought about that story when I looked at the calendar and realized that Easter is not far away.  My beloved friend and partner, we serve a living, powerful, victorious, and overcoming King!  All of the power of death, the grave, Satan, and hell could not hold Him.  He was dead, but He is alive forevermore.

            Up from the grave He arose

            With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,

            He arose the victor from the dark domain,

            And He lives forever with His saints to reign;

            He arose, He arose, Hallelujah Christ arose!

There is no challenge that you face today that exceeds God’s ability to meet it.  You have all the resources of heaven at your disposal when you act in faith, and today I’m inviting you to join us on an incredible faith journey.

As I am writing this, I am hearing the Spirit of the Lord say to you, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).  When God’s resurrection power begins to work in your life, nothing will ever be the same again.

Breaking Generational Curses

Breaking Generational Curses

Jesus said, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). God can make your past life up to you. King David declared, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5). David was rejected by his own father when Samuel asked Jesse to bring all his sons to stand before him. He had been rejected by his own brothers.

The Good Father can break generational curses. God has taken into account everything you have not received and every person who has wronged you. The Good Father is watching over you and has designed a plan for wounded men and women. God will send the right people to make it up to you, the same as He did for me.

Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t become bitter. Don’t be a victim. You are a masterpiece; people could not stop your destiny. God is taking everything into account, and He does have favorites—hurting people are His favorites. He will make the Enemy pay. The Most High God, the Good Father, is for you. The most important revelation I have received is the affirmation of the Good Father. God has a good plan for your life.

Let me tell you about a dream my father had just a few days before he died—a dream about black stones and white stones. In the dream, his grandfather handed his father two black stones. In turn, his father handed those stones to him. But when he tried to hand them to me, I wouldn’t take them. Instead, I showed him two white stones already in my hands.

“What does that dream mean?” he asked me. I told him that the black stones represented a curse that had been on our family for generations…a generational curse of anger and pain and bitterness and destruction. Then I told him that the white stones were a symbol that curse was broken and would no longer have power over us!

The Friday after my father died, our grandson Michael David Evans III was born. He will never know that curse…he will know the blessing! It is a bloodline blessing that is passed down from parents to children through the generations.

This blessing is not just for my family…it can be a blessing your family experiences for years to come as well.

 

The Good Father

The Good Father

My childhood was a nightmare. I honestly did not expect to live to even reach 20 years of age. In fact, at one point, I told a teacher that reaching 20 was my main goal in life! My father horribly abused me, beating me at the slightest provocation. Twice he almost killed me. He treated my mother horribly…and as you’re about to read, he treated her even worse than I knew. He treated my brothers and sisters horribly…again, far worse than I knew at the time.
 
In the past few months, God has revealed things about my life that have given me a new appreciation for what it means to have a Good Father. It may be that you were blessed to have wonderful parents who loved God and affirmed you and helped guide your steps in the paths of righteousness. It may be that like me you still carry scars from your upbringing.
 
Whatever the case, you have a Good Father who loves and cares for you. He has a wonderful plan for your life and wants to bless and favor you. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because of two events that happened regarding my own family. You see, I was not alone in being treated horribly by my father, and so I was not the only one who needed the healing hand of God.
 
My father beat up my uncle, my mother, and my siblings as well as beating me. He even got in a fist fight with a police officer in one of his drunken rages. I never heard him say, “I love you” or even call me by my name. Instead, it was “moron” or a curse word. Yet despite that, he still claimed to be a Christian and went to church week after week.
 
But there was much more that I didn’t know about at the time. I got a very unexpected phone call from a lady named Ann Marie whom I’d never met, in fact, never even heard of! You can imagine my shock when it turned out that she is my half-sister!
 
When Ann Marie was 40 years old, she found out she had been adopted. As many people do, she started looking for her birth family using DNA test results. Her search led her to a man named Robert Evans, who test results identified as her father. Of course, he was my father as well. As it turns out, though her birth mother never married, she had three children with my dad.
 
I had never heard the story until recently, but apparently at one point, Ann Marie’s brother found out that my dad was also his father and went to his home. My father came out of his door with a shotgun in hand and screamed, “Get off my property, or I will blow your head off. Your old lady is a whore!”
 
Like me, Ann Marie never heard the words from her father, “I love you. I’m proud of you.”  Perhaps you can imagine the emotions I was experiencing, as I began to share my testimony with Ann Marie on the phone! I talked to her about the Good Father. I told her that our father did not believe I was his son and violently abused me, two times almost killing me. The second time, I awoke in a fetal position, covered in my own dried vomit and crying out, “Why was I born?” 
 
I shared with Ann Marie that God has taken everything in our lives into account. He can make everything up to us. Our mess can be turned into a message and a miracle. We don’t have to be defined by what we’ve been through.  I told her that she was a child of the Most High God, that our loving Heavenly Father wants to affirm us and bless us. The same is true for you. No matter what you have experienced, you have a loving Heavenly Father who will never forsake you.
“I Don’t Even Have a Kite”

“I Don’t Even Have a Kite”

When I was very young, I experienced bigotry and attacks because my mother was Jewish.

I vividly remember making my way home from school and complaining to my mother because some of the older boys had called me a “kite.” (At least, that’s what I thought they were saying.)  I said, “I don’t even have a kite.  Why do they call me that?”  I was too young to understand the racial slur, but I knew something was wrong.  I saw people throw things at my mother or call her names when she went to the store.

Looking back now, I understand why when I was just four years old, she told me, “Christians hate Jews. Christians kill Jews.”  Her grandfather perished inside his synagogue in what is now Belarus.  The Jews of the town were herded inside, the doors were nailed shut, and the building was set on fire.  The people outside celebrated as the screams of the dying filled the air.

Many years later, Israel’s 9th president and my dear friend Shimon Peres talked to me about that event.  His family was from the same little village as my mother’s family.  He had researched the tragedy there and discovered that his grandfather perished in the same fire as my great-grandfather.  They were rabbis together, and they died together. He told me that day, “Mike, we are family.”  It was an amazing connection, but one born in great sadness and pain.

The bitter reality is that most Jewish people have never seen an act of kindness or love from a Believer.  They really do think that Christians hate them.  Because so much persecution and death have been carried out by those who claim to be following Jesus, they think that Christianity is opposed to them.

I grew up experiencing a divide between Christians and Jewish people.  I heard the slurs and name-calling and saw the prejudice in action. I heard from my mother the stories of her family members who perished in the Holocaust.  God has given us the privilege of sharing a different story, the reality that true Christians MUST love and care for His Chosen People.

Made in God’s Image

Made in God’s Image

God created you in His image for a purpose. Jehovah God wanted to have an intimate relationship—friendship—with you. There is a DNA component of God that is within us. When He is magnified, this mysterious “X” factor activates His Word. The Bible says in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

Are you increasing in favor, or are you decreasing? I wear a bracelet inscribed with the words Living in the F.O.G. I’ve been asked repeatedly what that means. F.O.G. is an acronym for Favor of God. What is God’s favor and how can you live in it? Favor is “unmerited grace; regard shown by another, especially a superior; an act of kindness; a token of love; effort on one’s behalf.” Because you are His child, God, in an act of kindness and as a token of His love, extends unmerited grace and works tirelessly on your behalf. Not only does He bestow favor on you, He also blesses you with favor and affirmation from those around you. God acknowledged His Son when He said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:17).

Living in the F.O.G. will help you reach the place in life where you can turn the head of God, touch the heart of God, and move the hand of God, a place where you can gain affirmation from the Father and His Word rather than from those around you—at home, at work, wherever you may be. You can learn to refuse to allow people and problems to define you. The one thing that has the power to release emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial success in your life is “F.O.G.”

To have the Favor of God in your life, you must focus on the image of God and not your own. Any image that comes before His is a graven image. When Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel, the second one was: “Thou shalt not make thyself any graven image, or any form of what is in the heavens above, or what is in the earth beneath, or what is in the waters under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).

The Bible says we were created in God’s image. What does that mean? God emotes; He hears; He sees; He feels; He has personality. He created you for friendship, relationship. Knowing that, how can you live in His image? First, surrender your life to Him. Then, you magnify His image in four ways that represent His DNA. The Favor of God means that He will give you the resources you need to develop His image in your life, to do what He has called you to do—whether it is to be a missionary or an evangelist, a pastor or teacher, a salesman or chief executive officer, a doctor or a stay-at-home parent ministering to your family. Whatever you need, He will supply, and all because of the Favor of God.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

When you magnify the image of God, you are manifesting the DNA of God in your own life. Then, and only then, can you live in the Favor of God and activate the Word of God. What is DNA? I could give you a long, scientific explanation about deoxyribonucleic acid, the molecule that contains your genetic code, but I like to use the definition, “Divine Nature Acquired.” Paul wrote that “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I know this is true because it happened to me, and I know that once you experience God’s favor, your life will never be the same.