Posts Tagged ‘Relationship’

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It seems like forever that I’ve heard this:  As Jesus was dying on the cross of Calvary, His Father turned His back on Him. Is this true? A lot of you may be thinking – “Uh… didn’t Jesus say ‘My God My God, why has hast Thou forsaken Me?'” And I would say – yes – He did say that in Mat. 27:46.

So why do I question that the Father actually did forsake His son?   If you read the verse again, you will notice that is was not a statement but actually a question being asked.  Jesus, while He was fully God, was also fully man. He, at this moment, was carrying the weight of the world’s sin, sickness, depression and a host of other undesirable things that keep us in bondage. At that moment, it is worth noting that this is the first and only time Jesus addresses the Father as my God.

This, my friends, is what sin, sickness, and disease does to us. It makes us feel as though we are far from our heavenly Father. But let’s get back to the question at hand:  Did the Father forsake His only begotten Son?

I think the answer is found in Psalms 22. Jesus was actually quoting this Psalm on the cross. Let’s look at it now.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

As you can see, this was what Jesus was quoting on the Cross.  But if we continue to look at Psalms 22, we see that the whole chapter is a prophetic view to the crucifixion. Let me pull out a few more obvious verses that will show you what I see.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

T0his is clearly about the crucifixion. But wait – we are looking for answer to the question that Jesus asked.  For too long, we have made our own interpertion of what the Father actually did.  Remember, Jesus asked a question.  So where is the answer?  If the Father raising His Son on the third day after they had defeated hell, death and the grave wasn’t a good enough answer for you, let’s finish out Psalm 22 and see if we can find the answer (this time from the NKJV in verse).

21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth ad from the horns of the wild oxen! YOU HAVE ANSWERED ME. (capitals are mine for emphases)

So what’s the answer? If we continue to read down to verse 24 we find the answer – and yes, my friends, this is good news.

24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affiction of the afflicted; NOR HAS HE HIDDEN HIS FACE FROM HIM; BUT WHEN HE CRIED TO HIM HE HEARD.

My friends, this is the answer to the question that Jesus asked. The Father did not turn his back on Him. He did not hide His face from Him because of all the sin that was on Him, but when He cried, the Father heard Him. If we continue to look at scripture  we find that the Father was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them 2 Cor.5:19.

This is good news! Really it’s great news.  The Father never left His Son – not even the moment He carried the weight of the world’s sin. You see, He promised never to leave us or forsake us.  Nothing can separate us, and nothing could ever separate the Trinity. NOTHING.

You may ask, “Why does this matter?” It matters because Jesus was the expressed image of the Father. To think Jesus loves us one way and the Father  loves another, or that He might turn His back on us when we sin, is something I think needs to be corrected in our thought process towards our Heavenly Father.  Sin, my friends, has been dealt with at the cross.  It can no longer keep you from the love that your Father has for you. The only thing that will keep you from that love is a refusal to receive it. Grace is on the table.

It’s time to eat!

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Three months ago I began a process of healing. I found myself with a torn ACL and meniscus. Although this could have been a terrible time, it has been one of the most interesting, exciting and illuminating in my life.

I know sitting around with your leg in a brace, not being able to do what you have been used to in the past doesn’t sound like much fun, but let me explain.

Most of my days have been spent just unraveling truth from the Word of God and spending time in His presence. The greatest thing He has shown me is TRUST. I am learning to trust more and more in the finished work of the Cross than ever before. It really all hinged on His righteousness.

I feel I should explain that while I have been recovering I have been unable to perform my regular duties at work.  Naturally, this has caused a significant loss of income. I say this not for any sympathy but to show you the goodness of my Father and His promises.

Before my surgery, the doctors told me that I would most likely be completely unable to attend work throughout most of my recovery period, but by the Grace of God I was given favor and a light duty desk job to help with the bills.  I knew in my heart that everything would work out just fine but I also knew that I would have to Trust Him like never before for finances just to get by.

I truly believe in tithing 10% of my income to my local church, and it is the first thing I do when I receive each paycheck, so it really began to bother me when the tithe money just wasn’t there.  This is not to say that I was not trusting God with my finances, so all you pastors and preachers please relax before you become short of breath or choke on your coffee.  I simply said that the money just wasn’t there.

I do get it. Tithe 10%, the first fruits. So how can I say it wasn’t there? Well something was going to have to be late or unpaid. I have discovered He is God the Father not the Godfather. So as I was on my way home and began talking to my Daddy, letting Him know that it was really bothering me that I felt like it wasn’t there to give Him the first 10%. He brought up my biggest lesson again. TRUST. He said “Can you trust me with your finances even if you don’t tithe? My response was just one of peace, of course I could. He promised if I would seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness all these things would be added to me. Mat. 6:25-34

The next morning I received a phone call letting me know I had an extra $500 waiting on me. Not because of anything I had done or not done, but just because He is good.

My question to you today, can you trust Him? Even when you’ve done right, even when you’ve done wrong, or even when you’ve done nothing at all? Can you trust that His grace is sufficient even though you don’t deserve it?

If you are like me you’re always looking for a good time, a place for a party. You just want to feel good. What can the parable of the prodigal teach us about that?

If you haven’t read the first part of this series titled Which Son are You? You can find it here.

This is the second part of a series originally written by Phil Drysdale you can find the original articles here.

Verse 31 of this parable is the most sobering verse and yet, the best news too. “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.’” You see, this reveals that the older brother, while always with the father, didn’t necessarily realize it. He was complaining that the younger brother got a party but the father’s response shows that he could have had a big party with the father all along if he so desired.

Desire

The key word here is “desire.” The older brother didn’t desire the right thing. He wasn’t pleasure motivated but rather acceptance motivated. He worked for acceptance rather than realizing that he was accepted. It is in relationship with the Father and enjoying Him that we fulfill our calling in life, it is in our pleasure in Him that we find satisfaction. In some way the younger brother had the right idea. He was pleasure motivated. We look at this as a terrible thing and that he was the lesser of the two brothers for leaving home and turning his back on the father, but really he was seeking what he was created for, he just never knew it was right there at home. The older brother, however, had it much worse… he never sought pleasure, he was still working hard for his father’s acceptance. If you are fighting to earn approval from the Father you will never step into the pleasure of the Father. But if you are seeking pleasure in the wrong place, the world, it at least is likely to lead to a place of returning to the Father, knowing that the world doesn’t satisfy.

I know that’s a hard pill to swallow but the truth is we were created for pleasure – God fills with you His joy with one purpose: that your joy might be complete (John 15:11). Even Jesus was motivated by joy (Heb 12:2). You experiencing satisfaction and fullness of joy in God is a big deal to Him.

I look at it this way, one son was standing next to the father with his eyes closed and all his senses deadened. The other son was running in the opposite direction but was using all his senses to find the fulfillment of his desire for pleasure.

Is it good that there are so many in the world, and in our churches, that are seeking pleasure from the world? No of course not; it’s tragic. But it at least means they haven’t hardened their heart to enjoying Him when they are in His midst. That is the greatest tragedies of all.

What’s our job?

We have a ministry to both brothers. It is our responsibility to point those that are seeking pleasure towards the Source of all pleasure, to bring people into an encounter with the One who loves them. Likewise, it is our responsibility to encourage those who are working for acceptance from the Father to know that they are fully accepted and that their only task now is to enjoy Him and all that He has done for them.

You see, the only thing worse than trying to fulfill your requirement for pleasure in the wrong thing, is not trying to fulfill it at all. The party is in the knowledge of the Father’s acceptance. Can you enjoy the party?

I just read a great new book by Paul Ellis entitled “The Gospel in Ten Words.” What an eye-opening book of the simplicity of the Gospel! Contrary to popular belief, the Gospel really is good news. Although it has been made out to be exchanging one set of rules for another, it actually is exchanging one set of rules for life.

This book will challenge the religious and excite those looking for a relationship with Jesus and our heavenly Father. We know God is always with us, but some of us have had trouble actually obtaining that deep, close relationship. This book can change that for you, as it did for me, and open up this relationship. I could go on, but I’ll let the book speak for itself. At the end, Paul gives a summary of the entire book in ten clear statements. They are as follows:

  1. The gospel is not a solicitation to impress God with your love; it is the passionate declaration of your Father’s undying love for you.
  2. The gospel is not an appeal to engage in soul- searching and fault-finding; it is the emphatic declara- tion that you have been completely and eternally for- given through the blood of the Lamb
  3. The gospel is not merely a promise of a ticket to heaven; it is the power of God to bless you with his saving and abundant life here and now.
  4. The gospel is not an advertising brochure for the trea- sures of the kingdom; it is the thrilling revelation that the Lover of your soul desires to share his life in wed- ded union with you forever.
  5. The gospel is not an invitation to accept Jesus; it is the stunning announcement that he accepts you.
  6. The gospel is not a sign-up sheet for sanctification classes; it is the definitive announcement that in Christ you are holy indeed.
  7. The gospel is not a list of things you must do to in- herit eternal life; it is the blessed announcement that the righteousness you need to enter the kingdom of heaven comes to us as a free gift through faith.

8. The gospel is not a reform program for bad people; it is the liberating declaration of new life for those who have died.

9. The gospel is not a half-baked hope that you can extend your old, broken life indefinitely; it is the joyful announcement . that in Christ the old has gone and the new has come.

10.The gospel is not a vague notion that you get to rule and reign after you die; it is the royal announcement that the reign . of the King is within the reach of faith. The kingdom of God is at hand.

If any of these statements is not what you think the Gospel is, or they challenge your thought process, I urge you to test your belief! Grab a copy of this book and let the truth of the Gospel pour over you as you experience the love the Father has always wanted to give you.

You can find this book at Amazon at the following link: The Gospel in Ten Words.

I would also like to give you a link to his blog here: Escapetoreality.org