Posts Tagged ‘God the Father’

But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children…For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God…we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children… 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 9, 11


Andrei Rublev's Trinity, representing the Fath...

Teaching by example, the Apostle Paul shares how the Thessalonians could effectively witness to a non-believer by reminding them of how God used him to nurture their faith. Paul shares with us as well. As we read today’s Bible passage, three familiar roles leap from the text: motherhood, brotherhood, and fatherhood. What might not be as apparent is the allusion that connects them symbolically to the Holy Trinity.  Paul is expressing that as the Christian effectively displays motherly, brotherly, and fatherly characteristics, he or she is simultaneously exhibiting attributes of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Nursing Mother

Paul’s illustration of a nurturing mom with her child and the guidance, protection, and comfort that she brings, is a picture of the Holy Spirit who works in our hearts to reprove us and lead us to repentance and salvation. He lovingly reveals our condition and guides us to our only hope in Christ Jesus. He comforts us, He teaches us, and He brings us to a place of remembrance. The Holy Spirit is our seal, our very assurance of eternity and our persistent intercessor who prays for us. As we express this mother’s love, we emulate the Holy Spirit.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

The Working Brother

A working brother is one we can relate to and have respect for. He is consistent, faithful, and reliable. Jesus our Brother finished the work on the cross, but yet He always lives to make intercession for us — Jesus loves us so much, He just won’t stop! When in gratitude it is our labor of love to do the will of the One who was sent, we mirror the best qualities of this working brother, a picture of Jesus Christ.

I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work…He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. John 9:4 + 1 John 2:6

The Challenging Father

A loving father desires for his child the very best and the very best requires nurturing, guidance, and correction—all flavored with love, grace, and mercy. Training up a child (or a new disciple) in the way he should go is a full time vocation and it is the father’s duty to ensure the effort is put forth and to supply the materials to get the job done. The person who exemplifies this kind of daddliness, desiring to do the best he or she is equipped to do, is a reflection of our Father in Heaven.

Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, And teach out of Your law My son…do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Psalm 94:12 + Proverbs 3:11-12

The First Thessalonian passage demonstrates the balance required to be an effective tool in God’s hand. We cannot be overly focused on admonishment to the point we forget to comfort.  We should not be so caught up in teaching  that we ignore the message of the instruction. Nor can we wink at sin or intervene when the trials come lest we jeopardize the refining process, while remembering always that the work and the power belong to God and we are but His conveyance.

…For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 

  1. What did these verses tell you about God?
  2. What did they reveal about you?
  3. How would God have you change?
  4. What is your prayer?

~ ~ ~

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He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

A while ago I stumbled upon a phrase that read, “Our effectiveness in ministry is relative to our closeness to Jesus, ” and I thought at the time, what a wonderful and true sentiment it was. After all, any effective ministry is borne out of our deepening relationship with Christ Jesus.

Then I came upon John 15:5.

I envisioned myself sawing a limb off an apple tree.  In its detached state I thought, should I have any expectation of fruit ever growing from that limb again?

Of course not.

Might I expect a harvest if I take that same branch and hold it close to the tree, or better yet, prop it up against the trunk?


Once there is a disconnect, fruitful expectations are lost. In order for fruit to develop, the branch must be attached or grafted back in — closeness does not count. John 15:5 drives home the truth that my catchy little phrase misses the mark. Closeness is not the same as being attached.


Is this just a case of semantics, since those in Christ likely consider themselves to be relationally close to Him as well?

Yes, in that case it is a matter of semantics, however the danger exists for those who are not so attached. They have come to falsely believe that an appearance of closeness is sufficient. Perhaps they attend church regularly and participate in religious activities, but there is no connection to the Vine. The fact remains: proximity is a worthless posture to the pruned limb.

Show Me the Fruit

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

We all know folks (or we might be folks) who claim closeness to Jesus.  Despite declarations of faith and love, at the end of the day, barrenness is the evidence bearing witness against those claims. But praise be to God, all is not lost!

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1-2

Are you frightened by the notion that God takes away the fruitless branches?

Don’t be.

That’s not what’s being said in this passage.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the word ‘away’ (as in taken away) is ‘airo’ in the Greek language and is properly defined, ‘to raise up, to elevate, or to raise from the ground.’

The reality is that in our fallen, fruitless condition, God the Father desires to lift us up, graft us in, and nurture us so that we might bear fruit. The warning is for those who are not submitted to this work of the Vinedresser.  They are the ones who risk being cast away.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:6-8

In light of the truth we can say that effectiveness in ministry is relative to our closeness and connection to Jesus.

Your Thoughts:

  1. Are you connected?
  2. Are you submitted?
  3. Is there fruit in your walk with Jesus?
  4. If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

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So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in…Now the flood was on the earth forty days…And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days. Genesis 7:16, 17, 24
Ark Appraisal:Noah’s Ark and the flood are real events; believers know this to be true because Jesus speaks of these events in His teachings. We also know that the ark is a symbolic illustration of salvation found in Christ Jesus alone. Compare the ark-imagery with that of these New Testament doctrines:

Jesus is the Door

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep…I am the door, if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:7 + 9

Shut In

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:28-29

Free Will

Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Acts 27:31

Flawed Perfection

Therefore do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

377 Days of Silence

I selected the Genesis passage today because I wanted to point our something very significant—there is no mention of God speaking to Noah once He shut him and his family in the boat. For one hundred and ninety days, God is silent. In fact God doesn’t speak to Noah again until Genesis 8:15, which is one year and twelve days after being sheltered away in the ark. That gives me pause—how would I hold up under such a trial?

What we can glean from the account is that God’s silence was not Noah’s ordeal. By faith Noah was at peace, after all, faith is not faith if we know all the particulars. Noah truly was anxious for nothing and there was an understanding that this earthly journey was merely preparatory for crossings yet revealed. Consider this passage from the book of Romans and what it reveals to us:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint (*maketh not ashamed, KJV), because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5

We Are Justified

I like the way my pastor puts it, “Justification means, ‘just-as-if’ we never sinned.” The suggestion of course being ‘positionaly’ we are safely in Christ, just as Noah was safely in the ark. When the Father looks upon us all He sees is the righteousness of His son.

Continual Access

Because of what Christ Jesus did on the cross and because of His gift of the Holy Spirit to each and every believer, we have access to God the Father on His throne. The fact that we may not hear from Him continually in no way suggests He does not hear us continually. Frankly, we have the ability to hear from God on a moment-by-moment basis as we delve into His love letters to us; His Holy Bible.

We Glory

In Christ we can celebrate the ‘hard stuff’. Furthermore, we know the Father’s will for each of our lives. If you are not certain what God’s will is for you, then memorize this verse:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

We Hope

What is Hope? It is the absolute expectation that something good is going to happen. I like the King James Version (of Romans 5) because it tells us that in our hope we are not ashamed. It serves to remind me of when I was not in Christ and in hopeless despair—needless to say there was much disgrace and discontent in those bitter days.

Then God Remembered Noah

Genesis 8:1 starts off wonderfully! But do not be mistaken, God had never forgotten Noah; He continually knew and thought of Noah, although God didn’t speak to him continually. Noah knew this and he continually remembered God, and so should we. Jesus willfully gave us His life so that we might live eternally, therefore we can trust Him in our faithful obedience.

And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19

Extra Credit Study

I finished what I wanted to write about today, but I found this little piece of additional information so interesting that I had to share it with you. Check out this verse in Genesis 8:4

Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.

I have been sharing a lot about how Noah’s Ark is a picture of salvation in Jesus Christ and up until this point you may have thought it to be just some cleverly devised, biblical coincidence. Well how is this for a coincidence–did you know that the 17th day of the 7th month (the day the Ark rested) is the exact same day as when Jesus rose from the grave; Resurrection Sunday? As weird as that is, it is true!


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Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 3:13
The guys who had Jesus arrested and crucified (about two months earlier), now had Peter and John arrested for preaching the Good News. Upon questioning them they marveled not only at what they knew, but their bold presentation as well.
They quickly surmised, “They had been with Jesus,” thus implying that the knowledge and wisdom of Jesus had somehow worn-off on them. While their theology was a tad off, the principle they were citing was right on! When we hangout with Jesus, we will take on His attributes and fragrancemuch like water takes on the flavor of the garden hose from which it passes through.

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15

Pass the Hose
You have been blessed by the Father and with that blessing comes responsibility.  It is not so much a work of your hands as much as it is an opening of your hands.  Consider what you have.  Consider how you got it.  Consider giving a portion of it away.  You don’t have to, but because the love of Christ compels you, you will want to. To deny the sensation is to quench the working of the Holy Spirit.

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