Monday, January 13, 2020

Painting A Lovely Picture

It is very unfortunate when I talk with believers who truly love the LORD but have such a limited picture of who He really is. Many see God as a holy and just, which He certainly is, but they also see Him as an austere and unapproachable being who is ever on the look out to discover sin in the believer and quick to condemn them. This concept has caused many to have a very low grade Christianity to the point where they experience almost no freedom and joy in this life here on earth. Their only hope is to leave earth one day and go to heaven. However, I am here to report that this perception of God is completely wrong. When Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He began by tells them to say, "Our Father." God is our loving Father as the scriptures reveal.

"For the Father Himself loves you..." (John 16:27) "...that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." (John 17:23) "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (Romans 8:16) "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1) What a beautiful and factual picture of our Heavenly Fathers relationship to every believer. Jesus also paints this wonderful picture of our Father to His children in His overwhelming desire to bless them, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11) Think about this truth for a moment.

As a parent myself I have always desired to see that my children were taken care of in every area of their life. I wanted them to always be encouraged and to know that no matter how things looked everything would be alright. I have made it a point to make myself available to help them through thick or thin as well as seeing their personal success at my expense and yet this is millions of miles away in comparison to how great our Heavenly Father's tender loving care is for all of His children, every believer.

When we come to know Him as a loving, caring, giving, blessing, Father who longs to spend time with you His child, our entire perception of Him changes. Look at the picture the apostle Paul paints,  "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15) Do you know what is unique about this verse? Notice, it says we are adopted. Many look at adoption from a totally human perspective in the sense that the adopted child is not really family. However, think about it from this perspective. Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you..." (John 15:16) and Paul says, "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1:4) Our Heavenly Father has personally chosen you and I. He hand picked us. You and I are very personal to Him.

One of the problems that many believers have is confessing weakness and failure which erodes faith, breeds guilt and condemnation not to mention that it also repudiates the finished work of Christ. It causes us to belittle our true position and right standing in God through Christ. Every feeling of guilt, shame, condemnation and inferiority stops being a problem the moment that we know that God is truly a loving Father. When we come to truly believer what we are in Christ, and that the Father sees us in Christ, guilt, shame, condemnation and inferiority will no longer have place. Exercising faith for the things that we desire and are entitled to through sonship with Him, are also no longer a problem. This occurs when a believer knows their rights and privileges that the Father has freely given them through Christ.

Look at this wonderful truth the Holy Spirit reveals through the apostle Paul, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17 ) Notice, old things have passed away. The old things of doubt, fear as well as bondage to sicknesses and want, have passed away all because we have been legally and lovingly adopted into the family of God. With that said, I will close with a passage that I want to encourage you to read and meditate on. As you do let faith arise in your spirit and know that your Father in heaven sees you as His "creme de la creme" (the best of the best).

"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 6:5-11) PTL...

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