Bought by the Blood

October 28, 2009

The Fatherhood of God

Filed under: ephesians,Fatherhood of God,Pete Wilson,promises of God,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 10:26 am
Tags: ,

Blogs that have caught my interest lately are those relating to parents and fatherhood.  It is neat to think about how fatherhood is directly related to the character of God, as God is the father from which father his name (Ephesians 3:14-15). I love this picture of the fatherhood of God and his promises by Pete Wilson.

Let’s just be honest here. Time and time again in your life you’re going to feel as if God isn’t showing up. You’re going to feel as if God isn’t healing, He isn’t restoring, He isn’t releasing His mighty power. You’re going to feel like He doesn’t know or care and you’ve been completely abandoned on the bridge.

Do you know what the most frequently stated promise from God in Scripture is? God promises us over and over, “I am with you.”

You may feel all alone, but please know you’re not. Despite you’re feelings He’s right there with you. He’s ready to snatch you should you fall.

You can read the rest at Right There | WithoutWax.tv by Pete Wilson.

The neat thing about God being the ultimate Father is that He does way more than just snatch us when we fall.  He widens the ground beneath us so that we can’t fall.  He delights in us and has secured our rescue by bringing us to a broad place where we are safe from harm and danger despite what our feelings tell us (Psalm 18:19&36).

October 5, 2009

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
-Psalm 130:3-4

“What does this mean?  It means that filial fer, the fear of a son for His father, is produced by God’s love for us.  More exactly, it is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ.  He is just, yet he justifies the ungodly (Romans 3:26; 5:6).  He is righteous, yet he counts sinners as righteous.  One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the Gospel!  If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the Gospel, and to the meaning of the cross…Filial fear is always the grateful response of sinners who have become saints.”  Sinclair Ferguson on the above verse.

There are two kinds of fear that we can experience.  The first kind of fear is one that we typically think of when it comes to fear, that of dread and worrying of if we can measure up to God’s approval.  This is servile fear, from servile we get servant or slave, this is a fear for those that are working to pay off someone they are underneath.  The other kind of fear is filial and it means reverence and awe.  The latin of filius is “son” and that is where this type of fear comes from.  It is in reference to how a child fears their father and because we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, this allows us to experience filial fear with God.  Sinclair Ferguson says about this kind of fear:

“It is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.  It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases him.”

Yesterday I talked about how our standing with God never changes.  The way we walk in fear of God can change our experience of God.  We were created for intimacy and communion with God, but sin brings a barrier between us and God.  Through Christ death on the cross that relationship has been restored, but it won’t be fully realized until we are in Heaven.  While in this life, our walk with God will have varying degrees of closeness based on how we fear Him and if we choose closeness with God or closeness with the world.  The more I fear God the closer my friendship with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,” Psalm 25:14

We were not given grace to remain stagnant in it, but we were given grace to grow in it (2 Peter 3:18).  As we grow in grace we will be made more like Christ and our intimacy with God will increase.  Experience is very subjective and not always the best measure of if we are growing in the fear of the Lord.  Some effects of fearing God that we can be on the lookout for that will positively impact our experience of knowing God are as follows:

If I am fearing God I will grow in my desire to live a life of obedience.  “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)”  My life will be characterized by wanting to bring pleasure to God.  Ultimately I will place my hope in finishing the race well and hearing “Well done good and faithful servant.”  The smile of God will be more important to me then the praise of the world.  Children are called to respect and obey their parents and I am called to respect and obey God.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

On the flip side of that, fearing God will mean not wanting to displease God or grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  I will desire to put death to sin as sin blocks my view of God and feeds me lies about God’s love for me and who He is.  If I believe the promise of God and what He has done for me through the cross then I will seek to lay aside everything that hinders me from knowing Him more fully (Hebrews 12:1).  Fearing God means fiercely doing battle with my sin so that I can make my Father proud and give Him no reason to grieve over me.

Fearing God changes how I view the circumstances of this world.  If I fear God then I have nothing to fear in this life.  He is my stronghold and refuge, if He can save me from the hopeless situation that my sin had me in, then I can have hope no matter what I am facing.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).”  When I fear God my perspective is changed and I see that if God is worthy of awe and reverence then He is also worthy of my trust.  Just a child trust their parents for everything, I can trust God for all that I need.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)”

We have the privilege of being considered sons and daughters of God because of His awesome and unconditional love.  We were orphans with nothing good to contribute to God’s family and no merit of our own, but God freely chose us to be His own.  Our status before God saved us was dead in sin with nothing desirable to offer, but God didn’t bring us to life because of what we could bring to the table, but only by His grace did He regenerate us.  The reality of what God has done for us should transform how we view our blessing of knowing and communing with Him because we are completely undeserving.  His praises should ever be on our lips because He has given us everything.  My fear of God should be evident by how I proclaim His love for sinners because of what He has done for me.  As a child likes to look up to and brag on their parents I should do the same thing with God .

Psalm 111
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!P
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

October 4, 2009

I Come Running

“You will enter Heaven as fully by grace as if you had never lived a godly life, nor had practiced a single virtue.” Charles Spurgeon

I have read this Spurgeon quote several times over and the first time it really shook me.  It definitely flies in the face of the legalistic tendency that we can be so prone to.  Spurgeon is not saying that there is no place for works.  Instead he is referencing what it takes to enter into Heaven.  Our entrance into Heaven is not based on anything that we do.  It is based on grace and not anything we do.  This statement by Spurgeon is in reference to Luke 18:16 “But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”  The way that parents unconditionally love their children is the same way that God loves us.  The Kingdom of God belongs to those who know that they can’t earn God’s favor.
Grace should motivate my obedience.  I follow God not out of obligation, but out of thanksgiving, as an overflow of how He has changed my heart.  I don’t obey God to earn His favor, because I am His adopted child, I can’t help but to want to live for Him.  My obedience can’t bring me any closer to God, so that frees me to live for Him without fear.

“The little child receives Christ humbly, for he never dreams of merit or purchase.  I do not recollect ever having met with a child who had to battle with self-righteousness in coming to Christ.” Spurgeon

If I am to be like a child I am to come empty handed.  When a child comes running to their father’s arms when the father comes home the child does not do it out of duty or out of believing they have earned the chance to be with the father, instead it is out of delight and a free relationship.  That is what it is like with communing with God, we come running to him excited to be with Him.  We don’t dread our sin impeding our relationship with Him because He sees us like He sees His only begotten Son because of Christ imputed righteousness through the cross.  This frees us to come not based on good we have done.

A child’s confidence for food and shelter isn’t in what they do and what they can provide.  Every child finds their hope for all that they need in their parents and what they provide.  The same goes for us.  Just as Miya is dependent on me, I am dependent on my Heavenly Father.  I can run to God as my refuge and ever faithful Father who gives my weary heart rest from all my troubles.

I Come Running
By: Mark Altrogge

Jesus, I am blind, be my light
Darkened in my mind, be my wisdom
Bend my stubborn will to Your own
Open up my ears to hear Your Spirit
Melt my conscience once again
Help me hate the slightest sin
And when Satan comes to tempt me

I come running to You, when I fear, when I’m tried
I come running to You, to Your blood, to Your side
And there my soul finds rest
There my soul finds rest in You

Shepherd of my soul, lead me on
To the pastures green in Your Scriptures
Make me to lie down by waters still
Fill me with Your peace in the tempest
I take my refuge in Your cross
By your sacrifice I’m washed
And when Satan comes accusing

Once I was Your foe, a slave to sin
A stranger to Your love, a hopeless outcast
But You have brought me near, I’m bought with blood
Now I’m Your precious child, an heir with Jesus
You pour heaven into my soul
Your wondrous love, it overflows
And I marvel how You love me

© 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).


July 30, 2009

Spurgeon on Eternal Salvation

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
John 6:37

No limit is set to the duration of this promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner at his first coming,” but, “I will in no wise cast out.” The original reads, “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.” The text means, that Christ will not at first reject a believer; and that as he will not do it at first, so he will not to the last.

But suppose the believer sins after coming? “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow”; “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.”

“Once in Christ, in Christ for ever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”

“I give unto my sheep,” saith he, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What sayest thou to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this a precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One who will treat thee well for a little while, and then send thee about thy business, but he will receive thee and make thee his bride, and thou shalt be his for ever? Receive no longer the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”

-Taken from “Morning and Evening,” July 30th evening reading by Charles Spurgeon http://www.heartlight.org/spurgeon/0730-pm.html

June 29, 2009

How Salvation Puts Trials In Perspective

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy! – Psalm 130:1-2


The state of the Psalmist is not any different then yours or mine.  Any cry or plea that we made to God is made from the depths.  Due to the sinfulness of our fallen hearts, we can never reach up to God and any striving that we make will still leave us in the depths.  In our own strength and power we can do nothing to come close to God, therefore we need a mediator to bring us from the depths and into God’s presence.  If God were to come down to us and we didn’t have a mediator we would cry out like Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! (Isaiah 9:6).”


Thankfully, God has provided a mediator.  It is the man, Christ Jesus, He lived a perfect and sinless life which we could never do.  His life was offered up as a ransom to purchase us from the power of sin and death.  By the blood of Jesus we have been brought into a covenant of grace that makes us the recipients of His steadfast love.  Through this covenant we have been redeemed from the slavery of our flesh and our captor the devil that once held us prisoner (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 9:15, 12:24).  We now have the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eternal inheritance, the benefits of this we already enjoy because we have been lifted up from the depths and are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3,13-14).

Even though we are seated with Christ above, emotionally the circumstances of life can still make us feel like we are in the depths.  At times like this we must be become the most talkative people that we know.  First, we have to talk to ourselves instead of listening ourselves.  We need to drown out the voice of our feelings and remind ourselves of the truth that if God would send His Son to die for us, how will He not do all other things (Romans 8:28).  We must also use our voices to speak to God and cry out to Him.  He is ready to listen and ready to answer our prayers.  He is rich in mercy and like all good fathers He is a protector of His children.

May 28, 2009

Praying through the Sermon on the Mount

This last piece of more of a prayer. Reading Valley of Vision has really helped my writing in terms of writing prayers and not feeling constrained. When I write prayers I try to reach more of a honesty and a crying out. This poem is about being like Jesus and being free from this anxieties and worries of this world through growing in prayer.

Dear God, draw me close to you.
Help me to realize all of the privileges
Of being your adopted child through Christ blood.
Fill me with your Spirit,
So that crying “Abba” is second nature.
I want to talk to you naturally
And come in your presence with no pretense.
Make me delight in giving you thanksgiving and praise.
Aid me in being bold for asking great things of you.
You know my needs before I ask
And you are a trustworthy father,
So give me grace to be on guard against anxiety
By seeking you for all provision
Since I know you are faithful and will do it
For you have met my greatest need on the cross,
How can you not meet my lesser one.

March 27, 2009

A letter to my daughter

Filed under: Colossians,Fatherhood of God,Jesus Christ,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 5:34 pm
Tags: , ,

For those of who read my facebook and follow me on twitter you know that there is a high likelihood that my precious daughter will be born today, if not today then sometime this week.  In light of her impending birthday I wanted to post a letter that I wrote to her earlier this week.

9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks [4] to the Father, who has qualified you [5] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:9-13

Dear Miya,
How are you? I was reading the above passage from Colossians and it is true, that since the day that we heard that you were growing in your mother’s belly we have been praying for you.  It is our desire for you to know our Heavenly Father’s will for you to glorify Him and to understand His calling on your life.  Please know that nothing will please us more than you walking in a manner worthy of the Lord and bear fruit for Him as you grow in your knowledge of Him.  We have prayed that God will strengthen you in the womb and sustain your little life.  It is also our prayer that you will be strengthened spiritually to be a light in a dark world.  All this is possible because of Jesus Christ who through His death has qualified you to do all things by His grace.  Because of His atoning work on the cross you can be delivered from the domain of darkness and have an eternal inheritance and a place in God’s Kingdon, by believing in Jesus who freely offers you redemption and forgiveness of sins.

Jesus is the most important person to your mother and I.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

No one else besides Jesus do we truly long to meet as much as we long to meet you.  You are so special to us and you cannot even imagine how excited we are to be your parents!  It will be so neat to see you born and get to hold you for the first time.  At the hospital we will probably do nothing but stare at your adorable little face.  You will be so blessed by your nursery that we have for you here.  It has a sweet little birdy theme that you will absolutely love. 

I am looking forward to discipling you and having tea times together.  I will snuggle you and shower you with love until another man comes into your life.  We want to protect and guard your heart and promise to model our Heavenly Father’s love and care for you.  As you grow up your mother will be your best friend and I will be your prince charming.  We will have so much fun going on daddy dates together.  It will be super neat to watch you grow and mature into a Proverbs 31 womans.  Your mom has been doing a great job carrying you in her womb and she will be a fantastic example for you to follow. Please come soon little girly.

We love you,
Poppa

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