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Sheepdog

Fatherly Goodness

Posted by Pastor Christopher Hull on with 0 Comments

We confess the 1st article of the Creed saying, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all of this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true."

 Your Heavenly Father takes care of you. This is a simple thing to say when life is peaches and cream, when your day is sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere. It's easy to say that your Father takes care of you when the bank account abounds in funds and your blood pressure is normal. It's easy to believe in a loving God when your marriage is working out and your children are well behaved and still want something to do with you. It's a simple little thing to confess God as a great provider when you have stuff like food, a house, a car, vacation time, and enough money to buy a new furniture for your living room. In short, it's easy to confess that God provides when you have all the things you need, and even alot of the things you want as well. 

However, to confess that God is a loving God who provides for you is a difficult, if not impossible matter, when the cross is laid upon you. It's difficult to say that God is loving when you are overdrawn for the fourth month in a row and collectors won't stop calling. It's impossible to say that God provides when your home is flooded out and all your memories are washed away in sewage water. It's hard to call God a loving Father when you are getting a divorce and you haven't spoken to your children in months. It's hard to confess the 1st article of the Creed when the cross is heavy, the burdens are great, and the doubt grows and grows everyday. 

But, here's the best part. You and I would never acknowledge God as a loving and providing Father if not for the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus the Christ. We only know that the Father loves us because of Jesus. "For God loved the world in this way, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:16-17).  When you look at your life, it doesn't always point to a God that loves you, but more than often it points you to a God that ignores you and doesn't care about your problems. This is why Jesus came into the world. For outside of Jesus, the world is under the wrath of the Father and not under His mercy. However, Jesus came, died, rose, and ascended in order that the world and we may receive the full mercy of the Father. So now, in Christ, we see all the good things that our Father gives to us, even though we have many crosses to bear and burdens to share. Only in Jesus do we see that God is a loving God that provides for us. God the Father does provide for us, but we don't recognize this unless we are created anew in Jesus and granted the Father's grace to receive His gifts with thankfulness.  Your heavenly Father provides everything that you need, not because you're an awesome person, but because He loves you. He sealed that love by sending Jesus to die for you. May this truth guide you in both the good days and the bad, the days you feel blessed and the days you feel like the burdens don't stop coming. May you know that your Father in heaven will always provide everything you need for this body and life because He does love you. Jesus is the proof that the Father loves you and will take care of you through life's end and into the life to come.

Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I forgive you. I love you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.

Jesus' Sheepdog,

Pastor Hull

Tags: 1st article, father, gifts, jesus

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