In Chapter 19 entitled Sons of God in this same book, Knowing God, J.I. Packer talked about how difficult it is to bring an adopted child into your home and to what great lengths adoptive parents have to go in order to develop a relationship with that child. He says:
“The establishing of the child’s status as a member of the family is only the beginning. The real task remains: to establish a genuinely filial relationship between your adopted child and yourself. It is this, above all, that you want to see. Accordingly, you set yourself to win the child’s love by loving the child. You seek to excite affection by showing affection. So with God. And throughout our life in this world, and to all eternity beyond, he will constantly be showing us, in one way or another, more and more of his live, and thereby increasing our love to him continually. The prospect before the adopted children of God is an eternity of love.”
Reading this passage brought to mind the great lengths adoptive parents must go to in order to counteract the false beliefs these broke children have who come to them. What great patience, what long suffering love, what great compassion, understanding and mercy they need in order to deal with all the mistrust these tiny eyes look up at them with. Adoptive parents, must repeatedly show these broken children what true love is, how loving and protective good authority is and should be towards them. I have heard a couple of stories where couples have had to tightly hold small children in their arms in a bear hug as the child fought against them for long periods of time every day in order to teach the neglected and abandoned child how to bond and receive love. They would rock them, sing to them, whisper and caress them until they no longer fought back against them but slowly learned to trust and respond to their love.Continue Reading
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
I happened to read something that melted my heart on what it means to be a Christian. I picked up a book on my nightstand called Knowing God by J.I. Packer. It is one of those books I have been reading for the past 3-4 months along with several others on my nightstand. I love how God works and speaks to me sometimes. His timing is so impeccable. It just happened to be on the chapter called “Sons of God.” In this chapter J.I. Packer identifies a Christian as someone who calls God their Father. He makes the following statement:
“If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thoughts of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thoughts that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.”
In this chapter J.I. Packer talks about the uniqueness of Christianity in our relating to God as our Father compared to the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, God was seen as holy separate and completely unapproachable because of his absolute holiness. If someone touched the arc, they were immediately killed. The high priest had to enter into the Most Holy of Holies inside the Temple, with a rope tied around his leg in case he was killed by God’s presence and could be dragged out. The Mountain that the Israelite came to in the OT was a fearsome sight and they were told to stand back. Everything in the Old Testament regarding God was all about “stand back”. God is holy.Continue Reading
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9
Our purpose is to declare the excellencies of God. What an amazing calling we have!
Can you imagine someone such as Bill Gates one of the richest people in the world coming to you and making you such an offer as wanting to prove to the world how good, how wise and how powerful he is by pouring all of his resources into your life to meet your every need in abundance?
With only one condition, that you depend on Him to have your all needs met. You must call on him first whenever you are in trouble. You must do everything in your life through him. You must rely on him completely so he can show just how excellent a person he is through your life. You would be as united to him as a branch is united and dependent on its vine. Doing nothing but receiving from him until your life swells and overflows as a living example of his provision and power.Continue Reading
We are as close to God as we want to be.
I can’t remember where I first saw or heard that statement, but there is a lot of truth in it. It is quite convicting. God is always present. He doesn’t change positions on us. We are the variable, not him. Our coming closer to God, is much like the Israelites coming to Mount Sinai with Moses. Continue Reading
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete – 1 John 1:3-4
Why does John and the other apostles find it so important to tell us what they have seen and heard regarding their interaction with Jesus? So important that they would constantly risk their lives and eventually lay down their lives to make sure we heard their testimony?
All the apostle except for one, John suffered violent deaths. They had an easy method of escape, simply recant and renounce their testimony. However, all of the apostles choose martyrdom, intense horrific torture rather than recant their testimony. Both Andrew and his brother Peter were crucified, with Peter being crucified upside down. The apostle James, John’s brother was beheaded as was Mattias & Paul. Bartholomew was skinned alive and later beheaded. Although the apostle John, who wrote this book, is believed to be the only apostle who died a normal death from old age, it wasn’t from a lack of trying to kill him. He too faced horrific torture but miraculously survived being boiled alive in oil. Since this didn’t kill him, he was then imprisoned on an island.
Why? What was so important and valuable to them that not just one of them but all of them would endure such suffering and not just once but continuously? This wasn’t a onetime event for them, but a chosen lifestyle of suffering for a message to be heard by us and for a person to be made known to us.