View of God as The Father

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What a shame it is to see people turn away from a God they don’t even know. They deny the existence of the God they’ve never sought. With eyes closed and ears plugged they run as quickly as possible into the shallow existence available on earth. There is an inherent self-reliance and pride that sin has placed on the heart of every person. God is found in submission to His authority. In order to submit to that authority you have to be faithful of His steadfast love. His infinite love guarantees that He insures a life for us that far surpasses our finite expectations. In order to make God clearer I ask you to do the following with me:

Imagine for a moment that you are a child. A child that hangs on every word of your Father. You are the apple of His eye and you can’t stand to be away from Him.  Now imagine that your father is a king. His wealth is limitless, especially in your child-like view of things. As His child you want for nothing, all that you ask is given to you in abundance. You have no worries. On top of that imagine your Father is perfect in is love for you. His comfort is always loving and warm, His correction of your wrongs is always in love, He is always available to you and seeks time with you, and nothing you can do can change His love for you. Sit thoughtfully and read the beginning of this paragraph again, slowly, and really fall into the presence of your perfect Father. In this wonderful environment, would you not trust your Father to always have what you needed? Wouldn’t it be easy to trust that your best interest was always His priority? Wouldn’t you look to Him for wise counsel so that you might be closer to Him and become more like Him?

Now know that what you have sat and imagined is real! You are a child, the child of the king of all kings. God makes clear that all who believe in Jesus are adopted as His children and will receive the inheritance of His eternal kingdom. That perfect love you imagined is limited by your sinful nature, His love is actually more than any human can imagine let alone provide. You have just imagined a reality that exists for all who want it. You have a Father that knows your needs over your wants, corrects you with perfect love, protects you, and will never take away His love. Jesus died so that God doesn’t see our ugliness, only our beauty as His image bearers.

The best way to find the true view of God is as His child, trusting in His steadfast love. Let go of any pride that exists in your heart, and submit to the love that will never fade. God wants more for you than this earth can offer. Be reconciled to Him in Jesus and inherit His Perfect Love and His Eternal Kingdom.

 

Always Empty, Forever in Search of Wholeness

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Sit and think about the people of this world, constantly in search of purpose and pleasure. The problem is the search will always remain futile because there is no end when the search remains limited to earthly availability. God creates a longing in every person’s heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  He has put eternity into man’s heart. God places a longing that can only be satisfied in Him. Just listen to the emptiness that exist when worldly happiness fades and the longing for God remains. People seek idols and lifestyles in an attempt to quench a thirst that desires the living water of God through Jesus. (John 4:14) whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. In a search for spiritual satiety, hardened hearts search out substitutes for God that leave them lonely. (Romans 1:21-23) 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images. The dark/ hardened/foolish heart turns from the longing, placed in them by God, away from Jesus, away from the eternal things that will not die with the rest of the world. (John 6:35) 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. As believers who know what it is to delight in the completeness only found in Jesus, we must be examples to the lost who search, in vein, for an alternative. (John 6:27) 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. We must remain steadfast in our pursuit of Jesus, His peace, and His joy; which are not affected by emotional uncertainty promised outside the guiding light of God. (Psalm 107:9) For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. It is extremely difficult to turn from the self-absorbed world and turn control over to God. There is an immediate fear of falling behind or being stepped on as the world clamors for idols. It’s in our faith that we know those idols will fade and the glory of our God will shine forward into eternity as we find peace in His steadfastness. The red line of the earthly may seem exciting at times. But the emptiness in the end is inevitable. As the green line of the believer learns to turn to the direction of God, the reliance on earthly things fades and the eternal view of God is now possible.

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(Isaiah 55:1-3) Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price (only your love and obedience).Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good (of God), and delight yourselves in rich food (eternally satisfying). Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live (in peace forever)

False Wisdom

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(Matthew 11:16-19) “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn. ’For John (the Baptist) came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man (Jesus) came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

This passage speaks to legalism, false wisdom, unrealistic/false expectation, and pointless religious ritual. People create an expectation of God as opposed to learning about Him from His word. Then they take it a step further and judge people based upon their unfounded expectation. They pride themselves on their false wisdom and their actions discredit their wisdom (11:19). There is no wisdom in humanizing our infinite God, then judging on behalf of the only judge. Their lack of wisdom due to their lack of knowledge leaves them looking to discredit the actions of those that they don’t understand or agree with. Learning who God is comes with an accountability too large for people who refuse to become selfless, in submission to the Creator. They fail to understand that all of their false wisdom and inflated theory fails in comparison to faith the size of a mustard seed, which can move mountains and truly stir the hearts of man.

 

Until We Pray

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Many people neglect prayer under the assumption that God’s Will is done regardless. While this is true I’d like people to realize that our God is a God of blessing. We have to have fellowship with God in the form of prayer. We will never be able to tell Him anything He doesn’t know, or has not known since before time. Prayer does not inform God of your desire or needs. Prayer is Praise. Prayer is a believer expressing dependence and obedience.  God’s plan far surpasses our imaginations of what happiness looks like. God is Joy. Joy doesn’t vary based on emotion like happiness. Joy is a choice and can only be found in submission to our Creator. Don’t pray to God like He needs to hear anything from you. Pray to God like you need everything from Him! God has blessing upon blessing waiting for us to ask.

Our God does all things for His Glory! He is willing to give His children all the things of the world, in fact – He did! He was willing to come to earth and die in order that we might know Him and be reconciled to Him. God does not choose to blindly throw blessing to all of His children. He wants our recognition that He is the source of all blessing. He wants us to recognize that we are only able to mature our spirit as co-laborers, yoked to our Savior. God is the source of all that is good. He just asks that your eyes are toward Him as the source and your prayers are many, as a reflection of your heart.

God Doesn’t Punish

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God does not punish or condemn for sin. He poured that out on Jesus at the cross. People feel like God is punishing them when situations allow their view of God to become clouded, this just cannot be true according to His word. God doesn’t use punishment after the death of Christ where His anger was poured out. Times of perceived punishment are a result of our sin and poor decisions. They are a result of us turning our back on glorification of God and God allowing us to feel the effects of seeking life outside of His light. Eventually a life that does not have God’s spirit, seeking God’s glory, will result in an eternity without God. This is a rightful description of hell, the counterpart to God’s kingdom in His presence. Hell is the fire of God’s judgement and the darkness that exists without God’s glory. God will judge in the end, He uses this time to draw His faithful to Him.

It’s God’s grace and mercy that allows us to reenter His light when we turn away in our fallenness and be reconciled to our Father. It’s through the sacrifice of Jesus that God doesn’t see our sinfulness, He sees His children. Don’t blame God when life gets too difficult. Turn to God in reliance, and praise Him for loving you enough to let your suffering turn you back to Him. He desires your heart and He loves you. Being separated from His light, even for a moment is enough punishment for those of true faith. He doesn’t need to lift a finger to draw true faith back to Him.

Characteristics of Godly Wisdom (Part 8 of 8)

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(James 3:17)  But the wisdom from above is first (1)pure, then (2)peaceable, (3)gentle, (4)open to reason, (5)full of mercy and (6)good fruits, (7)impartial and (8)sincere.

(8) Sincere (without hypocrisy-NKJV)

free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings (Behaving in a way that one’s actions conform to the moral standard and beliefs they attempt to impart)

Godly wisdom has to be something that organically flows from you. True wisdom is not forced or suddenly created. It’s imparted on one’s spirit over time spent in the praise and recognition of God as Lord. God creates in a person His character and spirit and mature it over time. To be received properly it must be genuine and without human fault or error. Faulty wisdom proves without a doubt that God is not its source. Wisdom must flow from a pure heart, which can only be achieved through the presence of the Spirit in it.

Characteristics of Godly Wisdom (Part 7 of 8)

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(James 3:17)  But the wisdom from above is first (1)pure, then (2)peaceable, (3)gentle, (4)open to reason, (5)full of mercy and (6)good fruits, (7)impartial and (8)sincere.

(7) Impartial

treating all rivals or disputants equally; fair and just

God does not discriminate among His children. He cares for all of them regardless of their level of depravity. His Wisdom does not waver for person or circumstance. God is consistent and applicable to anyone who chooses His guidance over this fallen world. God has a plan and purpose for each person who He has created, and an even bigger plan for those who choose to be a part of His eternal kingdom. God’s wisdom is meant to guide everyone, and there is no judgment on who is to receive. God’s wisdom covers all circumstance just like the blood of Christ covers all sin.