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Sojourner's paradigm challenges atheists and skeptics to make a shift in the way they examine and approach the claims of the Bible and Christianity. It is best to first watch the gospel message video and read the foundational truth of God. Other blogs speak on a variety of topics.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just a little bit about our heavenly Father

Jesus was speaking to a crowd who had gathered. He spoke of many things. At one point he said, “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27.

Before we can know the attributes and character of God, we must first come to know Christ. Otherwise the human heart will form all kinds of erroneous images of God. Since we have already addressed the issue of the authority of God’s Word, we can move on to discovering the glorious picture Scripture unfolds to us regarding our heavenly Father.

The Lord our God is sovereign, meaning there is no greater power than God and He alone reigns supreme. Scripture is replete with this message. King David wrote, “Yours, O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” David was not stating anything that God himself had not already declared. David suffered hardship but he still clung to this truth. Christ himself placed himself in submission to God the Father. The Psalms of scripture are there for a reason. When we grow weary and wonder if God is really in control of our lives, we can learn from the Psalmist. For there we are reminded of God’s supreme rule. Contained within God’s sovereign rule we find the truth that God is unchanging (immutable). A husband announces to his wife after 17 years of marriage that he now wants out of the marriage. She feels betrayed. A boss promised a promotion to a dedicated employee but then changes his mind and promotes another. While people are prone to let us down, causing us heartache and misery, our Father in heaven is different. The prophet Samuel turned to Saul and said these words, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind.” 1 Samuel 15:29. God does not lie. He is immutable which means he does not change. He can be counted upon. When everyone else lets us down, God will not. It is true we do not always understand why God allows certain trials to come our way. But wrapped up within God’s unchanging nature are the very attributes which allow God to work in different ways according to various circumstances. For instance, while God is a just God which means he will always act in a right and just manner towards an offense, “ He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” Deut. 32:4, He is also a merciful God which means he forgives offenses as well. “ The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;” Daniel 9:9. The sacrifice of Christ enables him to do what is right and just as well as show mercy to those who sin.

God is our Father. We may casually pass this attribute off without much thought. “I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:18. God is, “A Father to the fatherless…” Psalm 68:5a. Jesus compared our heavenly Father to an earthly father who is eager to give his children gifts. If we are Christ followers then we are also members of God’s household. As such we have an inheritance far superior to any this world has to offer. When we feel our own earthly Father has let us down, we can know our heavenly Father cares for us.

God is Patient and Kind. Others may lose patience with us. We may even lose patience with ourselves. We want to try and do better and then mess up time and time again. “I must not fail. I do not want to let others down. I don’t want to let myself down”, might be our mantra. When we do fail we may then feel guilt and shame. It is at those times we are reminded of God’s patience with us. “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy.” Titus 3:4-5. He is not a wrathful God ready to zap us every time we falter. We can stop the guilt and shame knowing that God forgives and is gracious to restore us time and time again.

As such, “God is Faithful” 1 Cor. 1:9. He is faithful to his word. He has said that he is faithful to see us through this life. He is faithful to provide the resources and provisions we need for this life and to then receive us into his glory at the end of our lives. Do you worry about tomorrow? God knows all of the tomorrows. Even when people and circumstances and even Satan throw the most distressing burdens our way, God already knows about it, has ordained it so, and is giving us the tools we need to overcome any ordeal.

Finally, this verse from Zephaniah 3:17 should bring us a great deal of comfort as we meditate on the great love God has for us. "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17

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