Show us the Father

April 16, 2015

John 14:8-13
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Show us the Father

There are many concepts of God. Some think of Him as an old man with a great white beard setting upon a throne in heaven. Some conceive Him as a celestial Santa Clause. Some see Him as an angry God with a big stick ready to smack all who sin. Men have contrived many ideas and views of God, but what is true? Philip obviously had his own ideas when he asked Jesus to show them the Father.
Jesus once said something to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 about who God is as she was confronting Him about this similar question. “Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:21-24) He tells us something key, God isn’t natural physical substance or being; He is Spirit. The Holy Spirit that abides in you is God in you. What Jesus, the man, manifested and lived out in the earth was the Spirit of God in Him. Because Jesus was never given to the flesh, but only walked by the Spirit, He was the embodiment of the Father, the Spirit of God. Jesus came to get that same Spirit into us, so that we will operate out of faith in His name; embodied and indwelled by His Spirit and nature so that we might do the works that He did. Jesus says, “he will do even great things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Some of us have thought that if we just use the magic words, “In the name of Jesus” all these things would happen. What Jesus is showing through His life of example is that a name is not just words that we speak, but a nature and character that we possess and the Spirit of the Father is what we manifest.
Remember Romans 8:9-17 teaches us? “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
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 are no longer naturally minded beings, but spiritual beings operating as sons of God out of the Spirit of God. This why it is so important that we get a hold of our identity and live out of it. We live so much a mixture of flesh and spirit that we negate the power of God in us. Isn’t Father looking for human temples that are consecrated solely to His will and purpose. If we are to see that greater works ministry through our lives then let us do as Hebrews 12:1-3 exhorts us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
If we would see the Father, then let us walk as Jesus walked and operate out of His Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Father. Father already came down into earth and humanity, now He is desiring to bring us up into the Spirit and heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I have shared it before and I will share again a saying I once heard as a teenager that has always stuck with me. “The Son of God became the son of man, so that the sons of men, could become the sons of God.” (author unknown)

Blessings,
#kent

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

Investment

October 30, 2012

Investment

John 3:16
For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Mighty Heavenly Father invested in humanity the most precious gift He could give, His Son. Likewise, the Son willingly invested His life into humanity to the point of an excruciating and most painful death as He was beaten and bruised for our transgressions and His pure, spotless blood was shed even for the ugliest of our sins. God has quite an investment in this little planet called earth and the peoples that have inhabited it, past, present and future. Why has God invested in us so much? What has kept Him from becoming utterly exasperated with our sin and rebellion that He hasn’t obliterated the human race and started over? Could it be something we call love and relationship? Why do we get married, have children and invest our entire lifetime into raising a family? Isn’t it because of love and relationship? Our God, by nature is a “Father”. He has a Son that needed a bride, the church. That bride, by His seed, produces spiritual children. Those children comprise the family of God. Is there anything you wouldn’t invest in your family and children? Jesus laid down His life. As He hung there on the cross and his side was pierced, out flowed the issue of blood and water, the birthing fluids of the church. Our Lord and Father has invested Himself in us in awesome humility considering all that God is. Our God has given to us a privilege that is so wonderfully great we can barely comprehend and appreciate it. HE HAS INVESTED AND DEPOSITED HIS VERY LIFE INTO US! And it is all about love and relationship. He so loved us that He desired to bring us into relationship with Himself. Our God is a Spiritual Being who has created earthen vessels in which He has breathed into them His Spirit. The thing that sets us so far apart from every other creature is that we have eternal, God breathed life within us. This outward body may go back to the dust it came out of, but that inward spirit lives on. If God has sealed us to Himself by joining His Holy Spirit to ours, as we have responded in faith to Jesus and the promises of His Word, then what He is working in us is Spiritual Life that is fashioned in the image of who He is, His nature and character. Brethren, we are a natural people that have been birthed of the Spirit, brought into divine relationship with our Lord and Husband, Christ Jesus and made joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” Joint-heirs mean everything that belongs to Christ now belongs to you and I, but we can’t ignore the conditions of this inheritance. When we partake of the Passover Lamb, which is the type of Christ, the children of Israel had to eat all of it, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet. Part of our inheritance in Christ is the identification with His suffering. Jesus paid a great price in His suffering for us. While we like to focus on all of the blessings of our inheritance, there is also the side of suffering. As His children, we also may pay a great price as He calls us to identify with Him in suffering. Many who answer the call of God come to know this reality when they commit their lives, their possessions, and their families to the Kingdom of God. We also, are called to make our investment back into God as He made His investment into us. We are called to relinquish our will, our lives and all that we possess to His service. Paul says of this investment in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We also must invest into God all that we are. That may come at a great price, but it can’t begin to exceed the eternal weight of glory that we shall possess. We are invested for the same reason as our Heavenly Father invested into us, for love and relationship. As we have come to know that love and relationship with God, so we become the perpetuators of this good news. While it is embraced of some, it will be despised by many. Even Jesus tells us in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Evil hates good and darkness despises the light. What then are the purpose and the end of this investment God has made in us and has called us to make in Him?
Paul continues in Romans 8:19-23, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.” What does that mean? It means that ultimately God has determined that it is through His sons, his divinely appointed children that He will liberate not only us from these corruptible bodies, but creation itself will be set free. The bondage of corruption, death, sin and sickness will be loosed and creation itself will be brought into the glorious liberty that we as the children of God have come into. Our Father will allow us to be the administrators of this great and fantastic restoration. So even if our investment into the Kingdom of God cost us everything in this life, it pales in comparison to the benefits and dividends of its return. We are God’s inheritance and He is ours.

Blessings,
kent

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