The Eyes of Love

I normally don’t reblog, but this post will fit into the Identity in Christ Series. Our Heavenly Father is love. Bless you.

God=Love

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Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,~1 John 4:8.

There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us God is love. I thought when I started talking about God’s love people would rejoice about it! I mean He seems too good to be true, but He is not. He is better than good. I’ve found many people want God to be angry. They want God to punish the world. Many see Him as cold, cruel, unfeeling, unconcerned, weak, etc….Many people pick up old testament verses about God’s wrath and run with them.

Don’t get me wrong, God is perfect in holiness. He has the ability to give and take life. We honor Him, respect Him, and understand that without salvation we are lost and will pay the full penalty for sin. He is not a weak kitten; He is a consuming fire…

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Who’s Your Daddy? (Identity in Christ Series Part 21)

Father Kissing Baby

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows, James 1:17.

Luke 12:6-7; Matthew 10-29-31
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,~Genesis 1:27.

God is the Perfect Father:

I chose this picture of a father kissing a baby for a reason. God is our Father. He is a loving Father. He is not a cold father. He is not a deadbeat dad. He is the perfect Father. He overflows with love for us. He is affectionate. He is generous. He is forgiving. He is kind. He nurtures, teaches, encourages, and loves well. I just posted on my book site how God Speaks our Love Language http://ithoughtiknewwhatlovewas.com.

Do you know who your Daddy is? Do you know how much He loves you? If we don’t know who our Father is, we cannot know who we are. Father’s establish identity. We take our Father’s name. God is not like our earthly fathers. He is infinitely better. For one, He is not missing the nurturing characteristics we consider feminine. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying God is a woman. God is not like an earthly man. He made male and female in His image. Meaning, the characteristics we consider feminine that women possess to care for, nurture, show empathy, compassion, desire communication in a relationship, etc…came from God (men can have these characteristics as well).  If you read and believe in the Genesis story of creation, Eve came from Adam. Together they (man and woman) were created in God’s image. God is the complete  and perfect picture. So, we can not compare Him to an earthly father. He is everything.

Our Daddy is Love:

The Bible gives us plenty of insight into the nature of our Father…There are so many references it would take an entirely new series to cover them all. I might start a new series on the Father when this one is over.

We are all familiar with God who is Holy, Strong, Powerful, the Judge, Righteous, Healer, Mighty, and Truth. Are you familiar with your Father as the God of Love, Compassion, Empathy, Kindness….Here are some verses for you. I encourage you to study the nature of your Heavenly Father. He is beyond awesome.

…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Galatians 5:22-23a.God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controlled.

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made, Psalm 145:9. God has compassion for every person.

Finally I want to leave you with Psalm 103. I hope as you read it, your heart is filled with praise and joy over who your Father is. There is no need to fear or worry. There is no need to approach Him with timidity. We reverence Him as God, as Holy, as Father. We do not run from Him, for there is no fear in love…Soak this in and be blessed. May we live with confidence knowing Who we belong to.

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul;

all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

 

Praise the Lord, my soul,

and forget not all his benefits—

 

who forgives all your sins

and heals all your diseases,

 

who redeems your life from the pit

and crowns you with love and compassion,

 

who satisfies your desires with good things

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness

and justice for all the oppressed.

 

He made known his ways to Moses,

his deeds to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

 

As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,

he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,

they flourish like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,

and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children’s children—

with those who keep his covenant

and remember to obey his precepts.

 

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,

and his kingdom rules over all.

 

Praise the Lord, you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his bidding,

who obey his word.

Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,

you his servants who do his will.

Praise the Lord, all his works

everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

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We are Family (Identity in Christ Part 20)

 

Young Couple with Two Children (8-12) Walking on the Beach

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing, ~Psalm 68:6a.

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.

What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir, ~Galatians 4:1-7.

The picture above is what we normally think of when we think of a family. We have a father, a mother, and children. If this is our only view of family, we will be disappointed if our family does not look like the one above. In today’s society you find single parent homes. You find widows and orphans. You find childless couples. You find millions of singles who may never marry. So, where is their family?

God sets the lonely in families. We were not intended to become His child and neglect other believers. We are family. It’s a challenging and difficult concept. We are not only called to care for our blood related family, we are called to care for our spiritual family. Some of our relatives we may not see again in heaven (though I’d hope so). There will be no marriage in heaven (Matt 22:30). There will be no having children there. We will all be like the angels. One big happy family.

Why is it so difficult to function as a family in church?

1. We don’t see the benefits of unity.Read previous post about the members of the Body. Division and independence weakens us. A divided force is a weak one. God is a God of unity. We need each other.

2.We live in a self focused society. We can go to church and not invest in anyone. We go, get our needs met, and go home. It’s about us, not necessarily others.

3.Our worship gatherings attract broken, hurting, and some really messed up people. Just like our natural families there are some awkward people we are related to. We are probably someone’s awkward person. It tests our love and patience to deal with people who don’t always act like Jesus or we have nothing other than Jesus in common with.

4. We are taught to care for our natural families, not our spiritual family. However, the Bible says, “Mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice,” Romans 12:15. We read in Philippians 2:4, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

5. We are too busy. I don’t know about you, but getting to know people takes time, energy, and resources. We have to make time for people. It can be tiring. We are not called to strive, but to make an effort to bless other believers.

6. It can be messy. If you’ve been a Christian long enough, you’ve probably been hurt by another believer. It’s painful for we expect people who are Christians to act like Jesus. That is not always the case. Hurt feelings, offense, betrayal, it can can happen. We learn boundaries with our natural families, and we need boundaries with our spiritual family. Some relationships can be damaging, toxic, or unhealthy. Wisdom, boundaries, and counsel may be needed in dealing with people.

Personal Experience:

Have you ever been to someone else’s family gatherings? I have. My family has been disinterested in celebrating holidays since my mum passed. So, year after year I have either hosted my own gathering with people from church or been invited to other people’s homes. Some are welcoming. Others though the intentions are good, have left me to feel like the stray someone picked up and it’s a pity meal. You don’t really fit. You don’t really belong. You are a guest. You don’t have the same privileges as the regular family and it’s awkward. God intentionally set us in a big church family. So, no person is a misfit. No person in His family is to feel like a stray. Every believer in Christ is an equal heir to Christ’s inheritance. There are only adopted children, each one wanted, cherished, and desired.

I love the movie The Blind Side. Micheal became a real member of their family. He wasn’t a guest, a pity case, but a loved child. He was chosen to be a part of a family. They treated him the same way they did their other children. God did that with us. He calls us to do the same for others.

Final Notes:

If you are a part of a community believers, I encourage you to start investing in the lives of the people around you. Get to know them and treat them like family. If you see a person who’s lonely, be a friend. If you’re a married couple with kids, I encourage you to befriend singles and not just other couples with kids. If you’re a single person, reach out to married couples. We are supposed to be a family. Protect each other. Encourage each other. Mourn with each other. Rejoice with one another. Don’t simply look out for your own interests, but the interests of others. Ask God who you can bless and be on the lookout for opportunities to be like Jesus to those around you.

P.S My friend Virginia wrote an excellent book called Single Not Separate, How to make church more like a family. Check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Single-Not-Separate-makethe-church/dp/0884199290