Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Understanding Grace: Our Good, Good Father

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

 Continuing in our series on understanding grace I want to express to you some good news today. We have a good, good Father in Heaven! So many in our culture and those around the World have a stern and harsh view of our Father. Far too many promote this negative view. Today I want to dispel the myths and reveal just how good our Father God is.

 Many, many folk have an image of God our Father as nothing more than a harsh taskmaster. The kind of Father who forces feeds you veggies when you don't desire to eat them. That Taskmaster god who will make you do what is contrary to your personality. 

 The taskmaster god drives you and compels you with threats of removing promised blessing. The taskmaster god is moved by your actions and performance. If you enjoy flying or riding a motorcycle be sure the taskmaster god will demand of you to give this up. You must be using your time to watch and pray. Don't even consider viewing sporting events or having a favorite sports team. The taskmaster god will drive these desires out.

 The taskmaster image of god is labeling God as a mere extortioner. He will take away blessing or remove favor in order to achieve His plans and purposes. Far too many ministers promote this view when endeavoring to teach people to be more devoted to God. Let's allow this image to be torn down and removed from our thinking.

Our good, good Father 

 Allow me to introduce to you our good Father.
May grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, surround you. All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:2-3
 This is who our Father is. He is the God of all comfort and compassion. He isn't the one driving us with fear and oppression. That would be the work of the enemy. God is a good God.
8 You’re so kind and tender-hearted to those who don’t deserve it; And so very patient with people who fail You! Your love is like a flooding river overflowing its banks with kindness. 9 God, everyone sees Your goodness, For Your tender love is blended into everything You do! Psalms 145:8-9 Passion 
This is our good Father. He is love. He is kind. He loves you with an everlasting love!

Our Father isn't holding anything against us

 God isn't holding your sins or poor performance against you. Believe it or not, God believes in you. You are the apple of His eye! 
13 You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, 14 and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. 15 In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away. Colossians 2:13-15 TLB                                          
 God isn't bringing up our failures or mistakes. He isn't reminding us of our sins. We are forgiven!

Our Father isn't mad at us!

 This is some glad news. How many times have we missed it in a week? In a day? Yet our Father isn't mad or angry with us. He looks at us and picks us up when we fall or fail. He reminds us of who we really are in Him. He reminds us we are better than this. 
“For this is like the days of Noah to Me. As I promised that the waters of Noah should not flood the earth again, so I have promised that I will not be angry with you or speak sharp words to you. Isaiah 54:9 
Our good Father has promised to not be angry or wrathful with us. This is a promise we can be sure of. God is pleased with you. True, He may not always be pleased by what we do but He is always pleased with us.

God our Father isn't shunning us when we fail

 When we miss it or disobey the love of God within and act out of fleshly thinking God isn't removing us from His hand or His Family. God isn't pushing us away until we learn to act right. 
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b
When we miss it, sometimes guilt will arise. Sometimes the thoughts of shame try to encroach our minds. When we experience these times the temptation arises to isolate ourselves. We feel like we aren't welcome in God's presence. 

 Cast these thoughts aside. Daddy God relishes the thought of you coming before Him. We are always welcome. He has promised He will never forsake us. He didn't state I won't forsake you unless or some other added clause. Jesus made a perfect way for us. We always have a place at Father's feasting table.

Daddy God loves us no matter what

 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11
 This is true love. We have a good Daddy. I know some may speak of Father God as the cause of afflictions or trying times. I realize that some have not caught the revelation of just how good our God is. This doesn't stop me from enjoying my relationship with my good Father.

 God is love. His love is accepting and tolerant and compassionate. Now, don't misunderstand my words. Don't fall into the trap the enemy has ensnared religious traditionalists and those in rebellion. The enemy has convinced some that we are defined by what we do. That our identity is discovered by our actions. Religion wishes to define us and our worth by our performance. Rebellion wishes to embrace their pursuit of various lifestyle choices as who they are.  That is not the truth. 

 God's love for all has nothing to do with their actions or activities they may involve themselves in. God loves us regardless of our deeds and what lifestyle we choose. One therefore can still love someone but disagree with a personal lifestyle choice or specific action. That has nothing to do with one's identity. We find our true identity in Christ. We are who He made us not what we do. 

 God's love is extravagant. He isn't trying to change your personality. He made you. If you like to wear orange streaks in your hair or keep it short and conservative it makes no difference to Him. God is only interested in having us conformed to the image of His Son. He isn't trying to make us align with the mold religious tradition would have us placed in.

 We have a good Father. Get to know Him more and more. He will refresh you, renew you and recharge you each time you fellowship and commune with Him. He has only good for us. His hand of favor is extended to all who will simply receive it. He is so good His grace will look for you no matter where you are. He is healer, comforter and restorer. Place all your trust, and hope in Him. He will never let you down. 

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