Part V: He Is the Same … December 4, 2011

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Charlotte, North Carolina

Jesus believes in the Father.

Yes–he abandons Jehovah. He vacates the mystery of Yahweh. He makes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob obsolete. He really even moves past the word “God.” He calls our creator, our friend and our benefactor and instructor–Father.

Actually, he rather insists on it. For you see, for those who had a good experience with an earthly daddy, the parallel is fairly obvious and expresses the generosity of the closeness. And for those who had a bad experience with their sperm donor, the yearning in their hearts to replace that encounter is achieved with a more heavenly realization.

Mostly, Jesus lets us know that the God in Heaven doesn’t respond any differently than fathers on earth. He is a proud papa. It’s valuable insight.

Jesus tells us that this Father is in heaven. That’s rather nice–it’s good to have a friend in high places. My Father made me … but He is also the ruler of the universe. Cool.

Our Father’s name is hallowed–not holy in the sense of religious, but whole because He has been tried and tested, proven to be trustworthy.

Here’s some good news–our Father has a kingdom. That means that within the spectrum of all His creation, He has prepared a place for me and for Him to dwell and fellowship. And He’s placed that kingdom within me. How intimate.

He has a will. (There would be nothing worse than a wishy-washy daddy.) He has an idea on what he wants to accomplish and how successful He wants me to be. He edifies me when I’m heading in the right direction and exhorts me when I make some bad turns.

And this Father of mine, even though He lives in heaven, has a complete understanding of earth. It’s kind of like having a dad who spends a lot of time listening to Beethoven but is also familiar with all the deep cuts from the Led Zeppelin albums. He knows both worlds.

My Father is practical. He doesn’t only give me scripture and prayers, but also provides my daily bread. He knows I have needs–even addresses my wants. And He knows these desires come in daily portions, not just once in a while or on my birthday.

My Father is a little tough, though–tough in a good way. He does withhold his forgiveness of me based upon how well I forgive my brothers and sisters in the household. He will not allow me to become spoiled or ever think that I can manipulate Him to my desires by praying more, fasting or reading more of His books. Yes, my Father is pretty clear. If I forgive people, I will be forgiven.

And you know one of the nice things I like about my Father? He doesn’t tempt me. He doesn’t taunt me. He doesn’t ridicule me. He doesn’t send me off into areas of temptation just to prove my ability and therefore establish what a good Father He is, but instead, He purposely delivers me from the evil around me. Does it make me soft? It’s not so much that as the fact that we don’t become strong by continually being beaten down by our own weaknesses.

So because I have such a good Father, I know that He and I share a kingdom. And in that kingdom He has power and is worthy of all the glory I can give Him. And because of all of that, my life hums along with a great “amen.”

Jesus believed in the Father. He believed that it was his mission to show us the Father. And he believed that the discovery of our Father is the end of us feeling orphaned, abandoned or just cast aside in a meaningless heap.

You can continue to persist, if you wish, in the terms and names of God listed in all the books of antiquity, but Jesus believes in the Father. Jesus teaches the Father. And he tells us that if a child asks for an egg, a father will not give him a scorpion. That means that if I ask my Father for guidance and wisdom, He won’t answer with more problems and difficulties.

This brings to the forefront a word called “trust.”

Without trust, relationship is a bondage instead of a bonding.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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