Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


God as Father

“That justification-by which we mean God’s forgiveness of the past together with his acceptance for the future-is the primary and fundamental blessing of the gospel is not in question. Justification is the primary blessing, because it meets our primary spiritual need. We all stand by nature under God’s judgment; his law condemns us; guilt gnaws at us, making us restless, miserable and in our lucid moments afraid; we have no peace in ourselves because we have no peace with our Maker. So we need the forgiveness of our sins, and assurance of a restored relationship with God, more than we need anything else in the world; and this the gospel offers before it offers us anything else…But contrast this, now, with adoption. Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship-he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.”
-J.I. Packer

“I once knew a good woman who was the subject of many doubts, and when I got to the bottom of her doubt, it was this: she knew she loved Christ, but she was afraid he did not love her. ‘Oh!’ I said, ‘that is a doubt that will never trouble me; never, by any possibility, because I am sure of this, that the heart is so corrupt, naturally, that love to God never did get there without God putting it there.’ You may rest quite certain, that if you love God, it is a fruit, and not a root. It is the fruit of God’s love to you, and did not get there by any the force of any goodness in you. You may conclude, with absolute certainty, that God loves you if you love God.”
-Charles Spurgeon

Those two quotes were cited by C.J. Mahaney in his last message given at this year's New Attitude conference. The conference had focused on one of the most basic and fundamental needs of the Christian faith, God's Word. Time and time again, we were given reasons and motivations to go to God and read His revelation to us in the bible. In pondering those reasons and motivations, I found something I'm none too proud of: reluctance. Why? A simple thought lurking at the back of my mind was what it came down to. Time and time again, I found myself thinking, “Yes, I know I'm forgiven, but still...”

Sound familiar?

If it doesn't sound familiar to you, it most certainly does to me, and not just because I heard that echoing through my head last week; I still hear it now. It's louder, in fact. The need to hear and know the truth of God's Word becomes greater with every moment, not least because the fight of faith seems to get harder as time goes by, not easier.

The question I have to ask myself is this: Do I seek the LORD at His throne of mercy just because He grants it in Christ, or because He delights to grant it in Christ? I'll be honest, I wrestle with the answer to that, I really do. I know what the right answer is, but giving the right answer doesn't mean I live the right answer, does it?

I will never tire of seeing a grown man, dignified and strong, stoop down and pick up his young child. Dignity and tenderness become the marks of that man in one fell swoop, his very countenance one of love and selfless joy. By the same token, one of the ugliest and most horrific sights is a begrudging father, spiteful and angry, resentment and duty the obvious shackles that bind him to his offspring.

Relating to the LORD as if He is a duty-bound, angry God could not be more grievous to His joyful Spirit. Satan loves to twist the truth of God's fatherhood and make me think God forgives because He has to, not because He loves to and has already forsaken His Son once that He might never forsake all those whom He makes His children through His firstborn Son, Christ. Oh, how I long to be overcome by this truth! Pray with me that I would be, and that you would be, too. But don't just pray; here's a little help.

posted by Bolo | 10:27 PM
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