Our Father in Heaven

Was it audacious for me to compare ourselves to God or to call us Children of God in my previous two posts?  (Please see posts “In God’s Own Image!”  and “How Would Jesus Feel?”)  http://wsforchrist.com/2014/04/08/in-gods-own-image/ and http://wsforchrist.com/2014/04/08/how-would-jesus-feel/

Some might say I was bold, and some might say I was foolhardy.  Yet, If we are not God’s true children, I think we should all just pack up our Bibles and go home.

As Jesus teaches us to pray in the Sermon on the Mount, He begins with the opening, “Our Father who art in Heaven . . . (I hope you all know the rest!) “  ‘Our’ is a plural possessive.  Who else would be included in the ‘our’ besides us?

Throughout the Gospels witnesses have Jesus assuring our kinship with God.  Some examples are:

1)     Matthew 7:11:  “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is]  give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him.”

Or again:

2)    Matthew 6:26:  “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them.  Are you not worth much more than they?”

We have been given the beautiful gift of eternal life through God’s wondrous creation.  As this Easter approaches, let each one of us man (and woman) up and make our Father proud.  Look deep inside because often God resides in our inspiration.  Have faith.

W.S.

P.S.  The Lord’s Prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13.

All Bible passages are from the Amplified Bible.

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How Would Jesus Feel?

Earlier today I posted about mankind’s being created in the image of God, with all the gladness and responsibility that go along with it. Someone asked me to elaborate on the role Jesus played (plays) in helping us understand our role as direct descendants of God.

I encourage all my readers to review the four Gospels of Christ, according to the witnesses available during the time, and shortly after, that Jesus walked among us.  What was His personality like that we should all strive to emulate Him as children of God, His most fantastic creation?  Let me list of few of His personality traits.

1)     Compassion – Jesus healed, and continues to heal..

2)    Long-suffering – Jesus states in (Mark 9:19 and others) that He is disappointed with people’s lack of faith, but is willing to carry on His mission.

3)    Happiness – The wedding at Cana.

4)    Leadership – Throughout His ministry, and especially citing the Sermon on the Mount.

5)    Anger – The cleansing of the Temple.

6)    Grief – Upon the death of His friend, Lazarus.

7)    Love – The love Jesus expressed to His disciples, and especially John.

8)    Persistence – The many times He was challenged by the Scribes and Pharisees.

9)    Strength – His willingness to submit to the cross.

10   Wisdom – His guidance and instruction as we make our way toward Him and the Kingdom of Heaven.

11)  Forgiveness – Jesus forgave even His execution on the cross.

Did you see yourself in any of the emotions and traits listed?  There must be some I have missed.  Please feel free to comment and list any you feel would be helpful examples of the image of God.  Have faith.

W.S.

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In God’s Own Image!

Today I read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  (Amplified Bible.)

I believe in this verse God is creating mankind on the level of the soul.  It is clear as I read on in Genesis that our bodies, the vehicle that allows us to experience and enjoy a functioning life on Earth, are created after our souls.  God created our inner beings first, and inside we are created in the image and likeness of God.  We were created to be just like God.  So, what does it mean to be just like God on the inside?

First and most importantly, we are free to make choices.  We are free to choose between good and evil with each and every thought.  We are free to create the environment in which we live to be healthy or tainted based upon these choices.

One of my atheist friends once argued with me that people know the difference between right or wrong intrinsically, and that we are born knowing right from wrong.  I contend that we know the difference between right and wrong on our very soul’s level.  Yes, my friend, we were born this way.

Yet, America’s correctional system grows with every passing year.  We need signposts to help and guide us.  The Ten Commandments are our most important guide in differentiating what would be acceptable thought, word, and behavior.  And then we have Jesus, our Dear Savior, as our role model and leader.  The old saying “WWJD.”, “What Would Jesus Do?”

Yes, we were created in God’s very image, and along with this fact comes great responsibility.  Let us not squander our kinship with God as we are all His children.  Have faith.

W.S.

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Who Would Have Thought . . .?

Who would have thought that the power of lightening could be harnessed and reproduced in the form of electricity?  Yet, each and every day mankind uses God-given water and wind to create electricity to banish darkness and brighten our lives.

Who would have thought that one fine day the internal combustion engine, with the help of God-given petroleum would be transporting us to work, school and leisure activities?

Who would have thought that one fine day Watson would hear Bell asking for his assistance via a thin wire, the power of God-given vibration?

Who would have thought all those long years ago that one day mankind would have radio, television, cellular phones, the internet?  Yet, with the help of God-given talent and resources, we can enjoy all of these inventions!

Lately I have begun (again) pondering the what-ifs.  What if there is more to be discovered?  What if the technology we now enjoy is akin to people believing the world was flat in ancient times?

What if we are meat to one day truly understand God in ways not conceivable today?  A New Age concept is that somehow everything around us is the energy of God.  I never fully understood what my New Ager friends meant, but maybe they are on the right track.  And what if components of this energy are meant for mankind to harness and use. . . the love, the faith, the joy, the warmth. . . all gifts from God?

Who knows?  Maybe some people are enjoying this windfall even as I write this post!  Who would have thought . . .?  Have faith.

W.S.

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The Many Tiers (Tears) of Divine Sacrifice

As I was driving to work this morning, the sacrifice of Jesus came to mind, and the way His sacrifice intertwines with our faith. As I reflected, also paying attention to my driving of course, I first thought about the first chapter in the Gospel of John.  Although this entire chapter is pivotal to Christian faith, my attention turned to chapter 1, verse 9, “There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person.” (Please also see Isaiah, 49.6.)

What does this passage have to do with salvation?  Everything!

First, (without dredging up that awful reason salvation is necessary,) God sent His only begotten Son to show us all the way and means to the Kingdom of Heaven.  God sacrificed His Son to all of us for this purpose, to guide us and lead us and affirm us back into His arms.

Secondly, Jesus made His Supreme Sacrifice.  He walked among us, teaching us, healing us and showing us the way to wholeness; and this is our salvation.

Third, comes the most difficult of all.  Jesus confirmed His commitment to all of us by relinquishing His earthly life and surrendering to the depravity that humankind had become. 

Next comes the sacrifice of Resurrection.  Jesus was home free, back in the arms of His Father, and yet He came back to us to demonstrate His love, devotion and forgiveness.

Lastly, and this may come as a surprise, our own genuine sacrifice for His sake.  When we agree to turn our lives over to God, through Jesus Christ, we are also making a divine sacrifice of sorts.  And often, as many of the brethren already dearly know, this is not always easy.  When we agree to follow Jesus, we, too are sacrificing what we have come to know to what we will become, and know.

So it all comes full circle, and like “The Red Green Show “on PBS, “We are all in this together!”  Have faith. 

W.S.

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God Works in Strange and Mysterious Ways!

Recently a friend asked me to expound on what I meant when I wrote my post Oh! Those Golden God Moments! http://wsforchrist.com/?s=Golden+God

An example came about this past weekend.

Here in Wisconsin it was to become bitterly cold on Monday, with daily high temperatures down to about 17 degrees below zero, and wind chill temperatures of 45 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).  I work many late evenings, and I tend to be a procrastinator on some of the mundane things of life.

Friday evening as I was working late, I felt a strong urging to go out and purchase a lottery ticket.  This has never happened before.  I have never craved or felt that inner dog that I sometimes associate with God’s urging to go out and purchase a lottery ticket.  Was this it?  Was this the big one?  Was God going to make me rich?  As I worked, I caught myself dreaming a little about how I would spend all that money.

After I left work I headed straight for the supermarket, where I could hardly wait to purchase not one, but two Mega Millions lottery tickets.  The second one, of course, just in case the first one failed me.

While I was there, I stocked up on the essentials I would need to get me through the cold spell.  I purchased milk and bread, or course.  Chicken was only $1.79 a pound, so I loaded up.  I bought some snacks, and even the ingredients for a new recipe I wanted to try.  I left the store with a cartful of groceries.

Well, I got home just before the 10 o’clock news.  I waited, with great anticipation to confirm that I indeed had the lucky numbers.  Well, nothing.  I didn’t match even one number.  Bummer!  I felt momentarily let down and disappointed.

But here it is Tuesday, and the cold snap is almost over.  Had I not stocked up on groceries, I might have found myself scrounging around the house for an egg and a piece of crusty bread.  Instead I found myself living like a queen and cooking some great meals.

Yes, God got me to go and stock up on food, but shamefully, it took the lure of becoming an instant millionaire to get me into that supermarket.  God certainly does work in strange and mysterious ways.  Have faith.  I did!

W.S.

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