May 22, 2014

Who’s Your Daddy?

John 8:42-47
42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

The question we ask today is “who is your real Father?” In this passage from the discourse that Jesus was having with the Jews they were quite convinced that they were of the seed of Abraham and that therefore God was their Father. Jesus was telling them it is not a matter of natural descent. Many people in this country and even in others think they are Christians by virtue of fact they grew up in a Christian heritage and that is their general belief even though it may have no effectual working in their lives. Many even call themselves Christians and claim God as their Father because they go to church, or they are involved in church activities or they have a religion. Muslims believe that God, or Allah, is their Father, so much so that many are willing to sacrifice their lives and yours too for what they believe is His cause. What Jesus was telling many of these same types of people are that God isn’t your Father, you only think that He is. If God were your Father, then it would stand to reason you would know His Son. The reason you would know His Son is because the Son is just like the Father in nature, in character and in purpose. The true children of God are able to hear the Father. They are able to receive spiritual instruction, exhortation and even rebuke. The true children of God embrace the Son of God, for they recognize and acknowledge that it is only by His life we have access to the Father and are adopted into sonship. The difference is seen in the fact that we have a new nature and what is more, we have put off the former nature with the sins and lusts that it carried. God’s children no longer pursue the flesh, but walk after the Spirit. We are as Romans 8:12-17 puts it, “12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship And by him we cry, “Abba Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We live and operate our lives under the influence of who our Father is. We have to ask ourselves what is the fruit of my life, what am I producing and is it in likeness of God’s character and nature?
The Bible and Jesus himself warns us that in the judgement day, “21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).” This tells us that it is not even the outward miracles and demonstration of the Spirit that are true evidence of who one’s Father is, it is the faith and the fruit produced by one’s life. It is seen in whom we listen too, whom we obey and whom we follow. We, like the Jews, can profess that God is our Father, but how much do we look like the Son; are we like it says in 2 Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” It is not our outward appearance and demeanor that always reveals our true nature and descent. It is our heart for God, our love and faith in His Son and our obedience to His Word as the Spirit that speaks to His Fatherhood in us, leads and directs our lives. Who’s your daddy?

Blessings,
#kent

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Fullness

November 25, 2013

Fullness

Ephesians 1:22-23
And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Some of us are pessimist and some of us optimist. Some of us see the glass half-empty and others see it half full. Many see what they can’t do while a few see what they can do. I would probably tend to categorize myself more on the pessimist side. I believe one of the reasons for this is that we see things often through the eyes of our perceived abilities and capabilities. While we don’t wish to be pessimistic, we see ourselves as more pragmatic and practical. While that may be of some advantage in the natural world as we move into the spiritual dimension of God’s calling and purposes that ideology becomes often impractical to our call of faith. As we read the Word and understand more and more of God’s high calling for us who believe, it demands that we leave off with our natural reasoning and thinking. This takes place as we begin to put on the mind of Christ and by the Spirit comprehend and lay hold of the mind and will of God. The Lord can often lead us in some very impractical ways according to our natural reasoning. Our faith begins to lay hold of God’s thinking and His plans and promises rather than our own. This is often difficult for us to do. The Lord says in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As some of us are truly grasping who we are in Christ and the high and holy calling and plans He has for us, it strains the natural mind to fully see ourselves in that place. We comprehend the concept that we are the body of Christ, but sometimes it is not as easy for us to comprehend that the body becomes the full expression of the head. We often try and see, as well as understand, this concept in terms of our immediate lifetime, but God sees it in the light of His eternity. While that may tend to put it out of the realm of our immediate grasp and concern we need to realize that the body of Christ is a culmination of Christians throughout the ages and that the body of Christ is not a function of time or space. It is an embodiment of the All Mighty, a holy temple of His divine presence, and as it says here in Ephesians 1, “the fullness of Him that fills all in all”. The divine destiny of each believer is incorporated in this truth. How we live out our individual lives in connection with the will and purpose of God is what determines what part we are in this plan. As we are yielding our hearts and lives to the life of the Spirit we are being incorporated into the fullness of Him that fills all things. “Christ in you” is your hope in glory. It is what takes you and translates you out of the perishable and corruptible into the incorruptible nature and life of God.
If we do one thing today, let’s take a moment to step outside of our natural thinking and religious reasoning and begin to grasp what it is that our God has called us too. It is that place that is so far beyond us and what we could ever hope to be in ourselves. The Lord our God has adopted us into His bloodline through Christ. The blood that flows through His body ebbs with the life of the Father of all eternity and creation. What a humble and awesome privilege to grasp that He desires to make us so much a part of Himself. Is it of little wonder, in light of these things, that He has called us to a place of separation from the world and the unclean things of this life? We have become a part of a different bloodline and lineage than that of our natural man. With the eyes of faith and confidence we must lay hold of the revelation of who we are in Christ and live our lives accordingly. Our growing and abiding relationship with Him is causing us to grasp in an ever increasing way the high calling that is ours in Christ Jesus, that even as He walked, lived, suffered and died all of those things are incorporated in our lives as we live by the Spirit. He is that hand and we are the glove in which it moves and ministers it’s divine service.
Let us open up our hearts and minds to what the Spirit wants us to comprehend right now. We need the vision of who we are and the calling that is upon us in order to pursue with our whole hearts the high and precious promises of His Word. Begin to imagine the fullness of Christ in you, for Ephesians 3:20-21 concludes with, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Blessings,
kent

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