June 21, 2013 God’s Fatherhood

How Do You See God as Father?

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 

John 1:12 NLT
JOHN 3:16

JOHN 3:16

 

God’s fatherhood:

 

Most people in the world would agree with the statement that “we are all God’s children.” It’s a nice sentiment. It just isn’t what the Bible teaches. According to God’s Word, unrepentant sinners are actually God’s enemies (see Romans 5:10 and Colossians 1:21)! It’s only when we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to God and experience forgiveness and adoption into God’s forever family (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

For a Christian going through hard times, this “adoption” truth is the best of all possible news. God is not just the powerful Creator or a righteous Lord, he is a loving Father. He sees your trials. He listens to your pleas. He cares and protects and supports. He is never harsh or impatient with you. He is never “too busy” for you.

Take all the best qualities of all the best earthly dads you’ve ever seen, add them together, and multiply by infinity. That’s the kind of heavenly Father God is to Christians who hurt.

Lord Jesus, I do believe in you. I have accepted you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for saving me! Because of your grace and my faith, I am a child of the living God. I praise you. What a privilege! What joy to know that in every situation I have a loving, wise, and good heavenly Father to counsel and help me.

adapted from Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Woods, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), pp 68-9


As a substitute father for hundreds of youth over the past thirteen years, I’ve yet to encounter a young person in trouble whose difficulty could be traced to the lack of a strong father image in the home.
PAUL ANDERSONA child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.
AUSTIN L. SORENSEN

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

June 21, 2013 How can I please the Lord?

Blessings come from obeying God

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

 

 

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

 

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends. 

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!” 

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience. 

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 
(Tyndale House) p 162

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

June 21, 2013 Bond of understanding

God will wipe away sorrow forever

Faith does not isolate us from sadness

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5 NLT

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 NLT

Truly, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joywhen you see me again. It will be like a woman experiencing the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives place to joy because she has brought a new person into the world. You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

John 16:20-22 NLT 

 

Bond of understanding

 

There is an immediate bond of understanding between people who have suffered similar hardships or losses. Parents who have lost children, widows and widowers, and families of terminal-disease patients, all find comfort and encouragement in the presence of those who have known similar pain. 

Paul urges believers to see opportunities for giving comfort as both a way to share the comfort of God and to use their own experiences of sorrow for good. We rarely know why suffering or trials enter our lives, but we can know that God wants to do through our sorrow. 

Who do you know right now who needs a word of encouragement or comfort that your experience has prepared you to give?

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

JUNE 21, 2013 Ananias and Sapphira

Acts 5:1-21

Ananias and Sapphira

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.