Posts Tagged ‘God the Father’



February 24, 2016

Christian faith is ever to be growing and transforming to the end of life for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Transforming faith reaches the depths of the heart, untangles the tentacles of affection, and reforms the very form of a child of God’s soul.  The maturation of faith awakens early and often under the clear understanding and belief that the God of the Universe, the God of Creation, the Great I Am, is the Best Father of those who are His. The essence of Christian faith is not the general adoration of the unknowable.  The child daily abides with the Father whom he knows and loves.  Within that relationship, the divine power of Spirit transforming faith is released.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:11

I worshiped this morning to this reminder from Chris Tomlin to the reality of who God is – a good, good, Father.

“The child asks of the Father whom he knows.
Thus, the essence of Christian prayer
is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition.
The right way to approach God is to stretch out
our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer




March 21, 2014

“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”   Matthew 15:7-9

office space1Hypocritical honor is inexorably linked with authority in a world that seeks favor.

I receive authority through the position that my municipal clients hire me to fulfill.  I have been complemented and praised by those with pending applications.  My opinions have been sought as a wise advisor by those to whom want my favor.  My friendship has been elicited by those under my authority.

I understand that much of the honor that I have received while residing in even limited authority is not genuine.

Much of the honor lavished upon those in positions of authority comes only by lips.  I know what it is like to hear words of praise and then observe actions that reveal a contrary heart.  Hypocritical honor is merely an acceptable form of bribery offered in hopes of receiving favor.  There is an astonishing variety of insincere honor that can be observed in our daily lives:

Children learn early to honor their parents in order to manipulate favor.

In hope of obtaining better grades, students heap adoration upon teachers and professors.

Incompetent officials are rarely challenged for want of a favorable future decision.

The camaraderie of managers is regularly fostered for job security.

In hope of getting out of a ticket, traffic violators will pile upon the officer layers of polite respect.

Politicians are often honored solely due to their elected position and not for anything they have done (or despite what they have done).

offficespace2Most of us have succumbed to hypocritical honor.  It is how we get through many of the ubiquitous layers of authority in our daily lives.  Hypocritical honor is a danger whenever authority is present in an association.  We all want favor and we can slide into insincere honor of those in authority without even being aware of what we are doing.

There is no higher authority than God.


We all want God’s favor and blessings in our lives.

God the Father 04

God the Father 04 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

This combination of authority and desire for favor is ripe for hypocritical honor.  Everyone is in danger of sliding into an insincere attitude toward God without even realizing what we are doing.  The religious, those who have grown up in the Church, and those adept with Christian culture, are the most susceptible.  This was Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees lavished words of praise and esteem to God but they did not love God.

But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  (Luke 11:42)

God is like no other.  He has established a relationship with those who are His that is not based upon authority and favor.  God showed His love (favor) to this world by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, into world so that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will not perish but have eternal life.  For those who are in Christ, the relationship with God has fundamentally changed.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  (John 15:15)

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:12-13)

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.  (Galatians 4:7)

In our new relationship with God, we are to relate to Him as our loving Father.  We are to seek Christ as our friend.

We should never come to our Father, heaping words of adoration in hopes that He will not whack us – that is hypocritical honor and He hates it.

We should never be obedient in hopes of obligating favor from God’s authority – that is what a slave does and it is hated by God.

Our actions should originate out of love for our heavenly Father; it should be demonstrated by a friendship with Christ.  It is why Christ said:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

We can know our honor is sincere when it is demonstrated through obedient actions willingly given from a heart motivated only by love.  May we examine our hearts so that what comes out of our lips reflects a heart that is living in the favor of a new relationship as a child of God.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for sending us your Son to give us a new relationship with you.  Forgive me for reverting to my old slave mentality of seeking your favor through heartless words and actions.  Forgive me for not treating you as my friend and Father.  Forgive me for being a hypocrite.  Help me to live in your love.  Help me to respond to you in love in all my words and deeds. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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June 17, 2013

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving Meal (Photo credit: Tostie14)

Food has an amazing range.  It can be presented in the form of inedible nutrition but it can also take the form of delightful bliss.  Food is an art.  There are those who have the gift of manipulating the alchemy of flavors to produce master-pieces for the taste buds and there are others who are culinary hacks.  Everyone with functioning taste-buds has been a judge of the artistry of the food that they consume.

Social occasions involving the consumption of food are the best examples of our role as judge.  Inevitably, someone will make a pronouncement of their judgment during a meal.  “This sure is delicious”, is a statement that most of us have made in our attempt to show our appreciation to the host.  The best compliment that a host can receive for the meal that they have prepared is to receive a request for the recipe.

Chefs in training in Paris, France (2005).

Chefs in training in Paris, France (2005). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When frequenting a restaurant, a portion of the conversation will inevitably be spent on an evaluation of the food.  I am always curious about the menu selection of my companions.  In my role as judge, I will not return to an establishment if the food they serve does not meet or surpass my alternatives.  Therefore, I am curious of others culinary opinions to help me make a decision as to whether I will return.

I have a tendency to bring this role of judge into my spiritual life.  I often sit in judgment of what is offered to me.  As I listen to a sermon, I like the delightfulness of an elegant speaker.  I appreciate someone who communicates in a manner that captures my attention.  I make judgments on the quality of writing that I read.  I want to read the writing of someone who can speak to me with an ease and fluency that makes understanding a pleasant experience.

I make judgments on the state of affairs that I find myself in.  This situation is bad.  These circumstances are good.  I hope for opportunities and shuffle from difficulties.

An evaluation of the world around us and its influences is something that we all must do.

However, we can take this perspective too far.  We can view all that we expose ourselves to and that which we are exposed as food for our soul.  We can experience spiritual food that is good, bad or even poison.  There are times when our soul responds to a word like a child to candy.  There are other words that make us cringe as if tasting vinegar.

We can elevate the nurture of the soul to our life’s purpose.

All that we do can become about presenting a pure, undefiled, and mature soul to our Lord at the conclusion of our earthly existence.  All that we interact with then comes under our judgment as to the quality of the food for the goal of our life – the preservation and nurture of our soul.

However, have you ever considered that our souls are the food? 

If our purpose is to glorify God, then we are the sacrifice in the offering of glory to the King of kings.  We are not the ones sitting in the role of judgment.  God sits in the role of judge.  He is the one who determines whether He is held in highest esteem.  He determines who will wear the wreath of the good and faithful servant.  He is the one who tastes the offerings of our hearts to determine its quality.

We have an opportunity in all that we do to bring glory to our Lord. 

Every sermon we listen to;
Every book we read;
Every person we bump into;
Every circumstance we find ourselves in…

We take on a fragrance to God by how we walk through this life.  We embody a flavor either from the Spirit or the world.  We are constantly presenting an offering to God.  Our reactions to the world around us determines whether the offering that we present to the Father is delightful, savory, bland, or bitter.  Everything that we have been given can be turned into a pleasing marinade to our soul or a catastrophe of the spice rake.

May we relish our role as food.

May we delight in the realization that our lives are an offering to our Savior.

May we strive to be the delightful sacrifice that we have been called to be.

PRAYER: Lord, I want to be a pleasing offering.  Forgive me for slipping into the mindset that my life is all about me.  Forgive me for not considering how my reactions affect the quality of my offering.  Lord, continue to remind me that you have blessed me with a wonderful role of offering my life as a sacrifice to you.  May it be pleasing.  May it bring the glory that is due you.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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