Category Archives: Father

He commissions

The Father

Matthew 9:38  therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

We’re not only called by God, but we’re sent by Him as well.  He calls us to be what He wants us to be and He sends us to do what He would have done.  God can do anything He wants in this world because He is all-powerful, but He chooses to use people to carry out His purposes in most cases.  We have the privilege of bearing the commission of the Lord.

When considering what it means to be commissioned, it’s important that we realize it’s more than just being sent.  The word commission carries with it the authorization of the sender, and even the granting of power to perform the duties one is commissioned to do.  Our Lord does not just send us, He empowers us to accomplish every act and every goal. One who is commissioned acts on behalf of the one who sent them.

The one who sends us is the Most High God, the creator and sustainer of all things.  He holds the universe in balance and He is more than capable of giving us what we need to succeed.  If we make ourselves available to do what He calls us to do, He will send us and equip us for the task.  He will look after us.

He calls

The Father

1 Corinthians 1:9  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We like to make much of what we do for God and what we’ve done to change since becoming Christians, but we leave out how much of the work was done by God himself.  Much of what we take credit for was initiated by Him and we merely carried out what He called us to do.  Let’s step aside for the moment and consider His calling.

God calls us into fellowship with himself through Jesus.  He wants us to be His.  He’s a loving Father who adores us and would have us all follow Him in love.  He calls us into good works.  He wants to see us do something with our faith, not just believe but show our love for Him by serving others and serving Him.  We’re His vessels here on earth to do His will, but it requires us letting Him have control of the wheel.

He calls us to repentance.  God wants us to seek after Him with a sorrow for the things we’ve done to keep us from Him.  We can’t serve sin and God, so when it comes down to it, He’s calling us to genuinely give up the sin and follow Him.  He calls us to holiness.  We can’t be perfect, but we can be in a right relationship with God through Christ.  Holiness and righteousness are His in which to cloak us and we receive them when we follow Him.  He calls each of us to ministry.  Not all of us will leave our careers and become pastors and preachers, but we all have a ministry in which God can use us to expand His kingdom and bring glory unto himself.

He’s calling even now.  There’s something tugging on your heart that you know you ought to do.  You read something in God’s Word that the Holy Spirit emphasized in your heart.  You are being called and your response does not mean that you are doing anything on your own.  Your answer to the call is out of obedience.

He created

The Father

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Any discussion of God the Father has to begin…in the beginning.  God existed before there was time and then, He created time.  This is confusing to almost anyone and we won’t spend much time discussing eternality, but the basis of discussing God is the creation of time and all things in existence.  Before He spoke it, it didn’t exist.

Clearly, Jesus played a role in creation. Colossians and the Gospel of John make that very clear.  But God the Father has the authority to speak things into existence, and so it was with the creation of the world.  He spoke, and there was light.  He spoke and there was night and there was day.  He spoke, and His words were so powerful that whatever He said happened.  Now why is it again that we question whether God is powerful enough to help us in our lives?

There was nothing but Him, and then there was what He created.  That’s pretty simple, yet it’s so incredibly complicated. How did God exist from eternity if nothing else existed?  How did creation take place?  Was it a big bang?  These are honestly mysteries that aren’t going to be answered easily. We can never know everything about God, but we do know this, our Father set the universe in place, and all things hold together because of Him.  We can rely on Him for all of our lives’ issues.

 

He will heal your broken heart

despairPsalm 147:3-5 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably gone through some things that made you doubt that even God could bring you up from the mess you were in. Some pain is so bad it seems like there’s no way out, some problems are so heavy they feel like they’ll never end. But God is good, all the time.

There’s no problem too big for Him to deal with on your behalf, but you’ve heard that before. Let’s not focus on that part. It’s a truth that we can know in our heads and ignore in our hearts when we’re in the midst of dark times. Let’s not focus on how He’s able. Let’s focus on how He’s willing. He cares. The Creator of all things WANTS to heal your broken heart. He WANTS to rescue you out of the abyss. It’s not just that He can, but that He will.

Do you believe that? It’s not that comforting to just have a head knowledge that God is powerful. It’s tremendously comforting, though, to remember that He’s caring and that He loves you. Though He knows every star and gives them each their own unique name, He is willing and able to take care of you, no matter how big or small the problem. No corner is too dark for Him to come into. No cavern is too deep. He’s here, He’s with you, and He’ll never leave you.

Our refuge

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Where do you turn when things get tough? Your answer to that question reveals a lot about your faith. Do you put your trust in things that can’t deliver? Do you find comfort from that which cannot guarantee it? There’s only one safe place to turn. God is our refuge.

The very same God who spared Noah’s family from the flood, delivered His people into the promised land, defeated an army using only 300 men, and sent a Savior to earth will be there in your struggles. He’s there fore you in your loss, in your surprising diagnosis, your layoff, or your broken relationship. You can turn to Him when you’re hurt, afraid, worried, depressed, confused, or unsure. He’s been there. He understands your needs, frustrations, and heart-felt desires.

Your heavenly Father can deliver on anything because He owns it all. Most of all, He can provide comfort. That other stuff – money, therapy, alcohol – none of them make a good refuges in which to take shelter. Only in the arms of your loving Father can you truly be safe and secure. He loves you, He cares for you, and He’s available anytime you need Him.

Your times are in His hands

Psalm 31:14-15 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

Do you ever feel like the world is caving in on you? Like there’s no hope in sight? It’s really not hard to find yourself in such a situation. No matter how bad you’ve got it, though, you’ve probably never seen anything like what King David faced.

The Psalms are a great place to look when you need the Lord’s comfort. David wrote many of these works while he was being chased by his enemies (who had been friends), while he was in times of depression, and even when he was torn apart over his own sin. Though he was going through tougher circumstances than you and I will ever have, he looked to the Lord at all times.

If David could say, “I trust in you” while he was running for his life, you and I can trust in Him when we’re having marriage troubles, financial difficulties, or medical issues. If he could look at the problems in front of him and confront them by putting them in God’s hands, saying, “You are my God,” then so can we. We can trust in God at all times to take care of us.

No matter what’s going on in your life, there is hope. There is a Rescuer. The same God who bankrupted heaven to give His only Son as a payment for our redemption is trustworthy and faithful to bring us through our current darkness.  Let’s all together say, “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand.” He will hear and He will rescue.

Children of God

1 John 2:28-3:10   And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.  Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Are you doing what you ought to be doing?  How are your actions speaking to other people about Christ?  Are they giving a good witness or repelling people from the gospel?

This part of John’s letter is a powerful thought about our obedience.  Not only is he saying that followers of Jesus should do good, he’s saying that if you don’t do good, you’re not a follower of Christ.  You get that?  John’s saying that if you don’t do good, you’re on the opposite team.  If you’re not for Christ you’re against Him.  There’s no middle ground.  If you continue to practice sin regularly, you’re not a Christian.  Ouch.

We all need to take this passage to heart and assess ourselves from the inside out.  Are we really practicing righteousness?  When we received Christ we were empowered to walk with God and obey Him in a way that was impossible before our salvation.  But are we doing it?  Are we walking the walk?

No one who is born of God (reborn, we would say) makes a practice of sinning.  Are you a child of God?  Are you acting like it?

Awe: What God has done

Psalm 103:1-5  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Even if God had never done a single thing for you, He’d be worthy of your praise. Just His characteristics alone are something that brings us to a place of awe. But He has done so much for you and for me that we can’t neglect to think about those things and stand in wonder.

Maybe you’re racking your brain, thinking, “What has God done for me?” If you have to ask, it’s a good indication that you’ve lost your awe for Him. Think back into the past, look at where you are in the present. Is your heart beating? Are your lungs breathing in air? That, in and of itself, is an amazing thing. There’s so much more though.

His love for you knows no bounds. The Creator of all things provided a plan for your redemption, rescue from your ultimate demise, and a way to adoption into His very own family. He sacrificed the greatest treasure in all of heaven, His own Son, for your sake, that you might be in a right relationship with Him. Think on that. Mediate on that. How do you feel about it?

When we lose our awe for the Lord’s greatness, it’s worth looking back and taking stock of all the things He’s done, not the least of which is the provision of salvation for our souls. He refreshes, comforts, guides, loves, and shows limitless grace. How can we not be amazed when our eyes are open to such things?

If you’ve lost your awe, pray. Admit to Him that you need to regain that sense of awe and ask Him to reveal himself. That’s a prayer that never goes unanswered. Search the Scriptures. Look at all He’s done for all of humanity. He is truly awesome.

What are some things you can share from your own life experience that have you in awe of God?

Awe: Who God is

Psalm 145:1-3 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

Are you in awe of God? For most Christians there comes a time that the original emotions and feelings involved at the time of our salvation begin to level off or decrease. That’s normal, but what we should never allow to happen is a decrease in our awe for God.

Feelings change as do circumstances, but God remains the same always and forever. There’s never any reason to forget just how great and mighty He is. If we were constantly aware of the Lord’s presence, we’d have less of a chance that our reverence for Him would lessen.

It happens to the best among us, though. There come times in everyone’s life when it suddenly hits us that our awe has faded. The question is how to get it back. God didn’t change, so something else did. What needs to happen to regain that original child-like awe?

There are many things that ought to bring us back to where we need to be, and one of them is to remember who God is. Just looking once again at the nature and character of God, mediating on that, and embracing it, can really lead us back on the right path. There’s truly no one like Him. No one even comes close. Look to the Psalms, search the Scriptures, find who God have revealed himself to be. Stand in awe.

A father’s instruction

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

What is the primary responsibility of a parent? How about of a father? What about a Christian father? If you said to raise kids who obey the law and treat others kindly, that’s just part of the equation.

Raising moral kids isn’t enough to sustain them through the circumstances of life. Only a strong foundation in the Word of God, in the gospel, can carry them through. It’s the job of a father (and a mother) to parent in light of the gospel.

If our kids comply to everything we instruct them to do, but have no understanding of God’s grace and mercy, have no idea about the sacrifice He was willing to go through for our reconciliation, then it’s wasted effort in parenting. Compliance to rules does not mean a transformed heart.

Fathers, don’t just expect your kids to do what you say. Don’t use your authority to bend their will to yours. Utilize the authority you’ve been given by the Father to raise them up to know Him. They’ll know Him because you show His nature and character to them by the way you treat them.

If you’re not a parent, this notion still applies for you.  There’s someone, somewhere who’s under your authority, however little it may be. The way in which you use that authority, the way in which you instruct and lead will either draw them closer to God or push them away from Him. Lead wisely and be a follower of the Holy Spirit as He guides you.