Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father.
The entire reason Jesus came was to show us the Father. Jesus didn’t stand with a finger pointing up to an ambiguous heaven. He stood with all of heaven inside and pointed to Himself.
My daily goal should be to live in the fully-known smile of God. He’s always smiling at me, I may just not always realize it.
I remember when I was a kid, going to an older couple home and in between their La-Z-Boy’s was a big bowl of candy. A whole bowl! Ready and waiting to be eaten. The Psalmist David says of God that He has endless pleasures at His right hand. I think it looks something like that bowl and the La-Z-Boy’s.
The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge. It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later. It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now. Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here.
For so long I believed that salvation was basically a way to “not go to Hell.” I never saw it for what it really is, restoration. Restoration, reunion, and reconciliation.
Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility.
Last week, we welcomed our fourth child into the world! I’ve been doing some thinking for a while but with his birth it was brought back to my mind.
Why are humans born helpless?
Most every animal is born with the ability to walk, fly, or swim soon after their birth. But humans, are dependent on their parents for months even years.
I think the reason for this is because God wanted us to get a glimpse of how He sees our relationship. We are meant to bond with our greater counterpart.
At our creation, we are full of limitless potential and divine inspiration, but desperately dependent on His love, grace, and attention.
If we are to be like Him, and we are, we should seek to help the weak, love the incapable, and look to the undeserving.
Whose story will you believe? Yours or the one who created you?
Let’s take a look at one story in particular to see the difference between the stories we tell ourselves and the one that God knows to be the truth about us.
The story of the Prodigal Son. Most all of us know it. Most all of us can quote it.
But, have you stopped to think of it in terms of true and false identity? I hadn’t until recently.
First, let’s take the wasteful son.
“I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.”
Notice the response from his father.
“This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
The Father never listened to the false case of the son who didn’t feel like a son. The son wanted to be a servant. The Father only referred to him as son. Period. The Father never asked for repayment of the inheritance. He didn’t ask the son to apologize for wasting the money and time. He simply welcomed him as an ever-loving Father.
Now, let’s take a look at the servant son.
“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”
Now, look at the response of the father.
“My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
The Father never negated or put down the son’s points of debate. He simply spoke to the son of what he was missing by focusing on the work. By focusing on the work and what he wasn’t getting he missed the greater point that he was living in the Father’s house and being with the Father at all times.
You have to understand that you can believe whatever you want to about your self, your actions, and your life. But only what God knows about you is the truth about you. Rest in the fact that the story God tells is the truth about you.
God is like Jesus.
God has always been like Jesus.
There has never been a time when God was not like Jesus.
We haven’t always known this.
But now we do.
You must believe that to see Jesus is to see God. This can be a hard thing to grasp. This is a revolution of thought.
How many times have I read where Jesus says “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father“?
There it is.
Plain as day.
So, is Jesus saying that Him and God are twins? That they look the exact same? That they act the same? Or is he saying that He and God are the same?
“Only do what God does.”
“Only say what God says.”
The problem with this we are not Jesus. There’s no way for us to only do and say what God does and says. As much I have tried, I’ve failed.
Only Jesus. Only the perfect Son can do this. Only the perfect Son can do this, perfectly.
“We are saved by God from God through God to God for God. The idea of our salvation is the Father’s; the work of our salvation is the Son’s; the dispensing of our salvation is the Spirit’s. So that in all things God will get the glory.”
– Jared Wilson, Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus
It’s single-handedly God.
While I may not completely agree with the exact wording and thought process as Mr. Wilson, I do 100% agree that salvation is ALL God.
This is a guest post by my good friend and brother, Tim Wright. You all need to find him and follow him on all the social media outlets. His writing and personality are so approachable and humble. This post blessed me. I need to read it everyday.
To seal our sonship, God has commissioned the Spirit of sonship to resonate the Abba echo within our hearts; and now, in our innermost being we recognize Him as our true and very dear Father.
Paul, Galatians 4:6, The Mirror
It’s one thing to say that Jesus made us God’s children.
It’s a-whole-nother’ thing to say that Christ revealed that we have ALWAYS been the children of God.
The gospel is not telling someone that God CAN be their Father, should they repent and believe.
The gospel is announcing to you that you ARE God’s child. And that Truth is realized in Jesus Christ. And NOW, you can be free and believe it.
God is the Father of the human race. ALWAYS has been. ALWAYS will be.
Jesus is the solid proof that mankind’s very origin is God.
So if Jesus didn’t make us God’s kids, then what the heck did he do?
Jesus is mankind’s second birth.
The person of Christ is humanity’s born again experience.
There was a need for a second birth.
Our first birth had grown into the twisted blackness of independence.
We were “lapsing into non-existence” as Athanasius put it.
But God didn’t start from scratch.
In Christ, He has made something totally new and unheard of before out of you and Himself.
And that new creation is named Jesus.
Jesus is the unveiling of who man and God have ALWAYS been.
In his very essence, Jesus is the “coming of age” of the human race.
In Him, you have arrived at the pinnacle of spiritual maturity.
In Him, you and I have walked across the graduation platform of the ages and received our certificate of completion!
In Christ, we gaze clearly at the face of God who has ALWAYS been our Papa.
Papa doesn’t love you because Jesus died for you.
Jesus died for you because Papa has ALWAYS loved you.
And that, my sweet friends, is the message that awakens Papa’s very own faith within the corridors of your soul.
As a gift. Effortlessly.
You are Papa’s child.
You ALWAYS have been loved.
You ALWAYS will be loved.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.