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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Who's Your Daddy? - Part 1

The words we use reveal who we think we are, and what our relationship is like, with God.

Are we in the dog house with God?  Do we live like if we do one wrong thing, God will zap us?  Is He up there in heaven, too holy to have a personal relationship with us, standing in judgment over us?  Or maybe if we live a good life, maybe God will bless us.

But Jesus said, when you pray to God, say "our Father."  Jesus turns the relationship up-side-down.  He makes our relationship with God, very personal, very intimate, very loving.

Jesus further illustrates the picture of our relationship with the story of the "prodigal son."  The son did not want to live his dad's life...

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:11-17‬ ‭

He came to his senses and he thought about his father.

“I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:18-20‬ ‭

The son has hit rock bottom.  He goes back to where he is loved.  He is ready to confess, to beg for forgiveness, and to ask for help.

The father runs to the son.  No where else in the Bible do we see God RUNNING anywhere.  God is RUNNING to us!

Whenever God sees confession and repentance in us, He runs to us us with loving, open arms.  The relationship is FULLY restored, no strings attached.  Love and trust covers ALL our sins.  It is as if we never strayed.  Do we understand this?  Do we reflect this unconditional love and grace to all those around us?

The threat of hell will never change a person's life long-term.  So what changes us?

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭

God's KINDNESS is the ONLY thing that changes us.  It is the thing that reconnects us to God and gives us an eternal relationship with Him.  God is not waiting to catch us and punish us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭

He came to save us.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭

He did not come to condemn us.

“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:2‬

He came to set us free.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭

He came to make us His sons and daughters - full adoption - in eternally intimate relationship with Him.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now 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.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:16-17‬ ‭

Co-heirs with Christ?  Really?  Amazing!  Are you living like that?  Sharing in His glory?  How can we possibly understand this?

The Bible says that God loves EVERYONE.  But there are two groups of people that God has a special place in His heart for: widows and orphans.  They have no one to protect them, no one to love them.

God changes us from being orphans to full sons and daughters of the King.

For more truth about life, see www.truthatlife.com

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