Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Our loving heavenly Father watches over His flock and will not lose even one without knowing about it. There’s nowhere that we can go where we’ll be outside His sight and His protection. He can and does protect us. We have nothing to fear.
The things of this world can be dangerous to anyone, but to a follower of Christ, some of them are downright disastrous outside the grace of God. He keeps us from harm and allows nothing to prosper against us as we carry out His purposes. If we’re on the path He sets us on, we’ll see plenty of opposition, but He’ll be the One who keeps us going, guarding us all the way.
He know our weaknesses and won’t allow us to face more temptation than we can bear. In fact, when faced with temptation, God provides us a way out! He gives us the avenue to get away from it, because He cares about our future. He has things for us to do and He’ll provide a way for us to make it to the finish line. He’s there for us, even when it sometimes seems He’s not. He’s never off duty, He’s always watching over us, like a shepherd who cares about each and every one of his little sheep.
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.
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.
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.
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
You know what’s best about the blessings of God? We don’t have to earn them. In fact, we can’t earn them. We can be rewarded for good deeds, sure. But the spiritual blessings of God, with which He was blessed us through Jesus Christ, cannot be obtained by anything we do.
That’s good news! That’s better than good news! The truth is,we’re all sinners, regardless of how much good we’ve done in this life here on earth. To compare anything we’re capable of doing for the good of mankind to what God has done and will do yet, is like saying we’ve learned all there is to learn after reading one children’s book. It’s absurd!
Our Father’s grace is so wonderful, so glorious, that we can’t even comprehend just how amazing it is. We ought to be thanking Him every moment of every day. We ought to be thinking about all He’s done for us in Christ. Take a moment. Start by writing just one spiritual blessing you’ve received from God and focus on that today. Tomorrow, think about another. At the end of a week, look back on all of the blessings you’ve recorded and rejoice.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
What a precious gift salvation is from the Lord! Yet even in this wonderful news there is more. Not only has God saved us and freed us from sin, but He’s adopted us! He didn’t have to do that for His enemies, and yet He did.
But we all run the risk of falling into doubt, don’t we? We doubt His love for us, we doubt the forgiveness we’ve received, we doubt that we’re truly His. And it’s there that we see that the gifts just keep pouring in. He’s done all these things for us and still there’s more.
In those times of doubt we find that we have a Comforter. It’s the Holy Spirit who bears witness to our spirits that we are indeed children of God, adopted by the Father of Lights. Yes, He is our loving Daddy who would spare nothing for our sake. He never wants us to forget that or to lose sight of it. He keeps giving by reminding us through the Holy Spirit that we are His and He is ours. Great news.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
What is the greatest news you’ve ever been given? Think really hard about it and give an honest answer to that question. Now think about why it is that this was such great news. Now, turn your attention for one moment to news that’s even better than the best news you can think of.
Because God loved the world He had created, He sent Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) to live a perfect, sinless life and to die a sinner’s death in our place. We deserved to be treated with the cruelty He receive. We earned the penalty that He paid. He took on our sin and gave us instead His own righteousness, granting us access to God. What news is this!
Not only are we forgiven by a just God, which is wonderful, but we are now His own children, adopted into His family. Not only is He our Father, but the language used in this text is so intensely beautiful as the writer describes God as our “Abba,” which means “daddy.” God isn’t a harsh, demanding father who is waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us. We’re not under Him as slaves, but as His children. He’s our Daddy who loves us and cares about us. We can approach Him without fearing His response. What a perfect way to understand our relationship to our Creator and Redeemer.