We are children of God

Written by: Tim Wood

“Yet to all who received Jesus Christ, to those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).

We are children of God! God is our Father. When you received Christ, when you said, “Yes” to Christ, God gave you full privileges as his child. We should always be amazed that we can call God our Father. The bible says we can call him, “Abba, Father.” Abba is an intimate term that means daddy or papa. Here are some reasons why you should be amazed that you are God’s child:

God, your Father “has blessed [you] with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

God, your Father has made you a “new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Because God is your Father, you are “…heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). You are: “an ambassador of Christ…” (II Cor. 5:20) “…the fragrance of Christ…” (II Cor. 2:15) and you are being “…. transformed into the image of Christ” (Rom. 8:29).

God your Father cares for you so much He has “rescued you from the power of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of the Son” (Col. 1:13).

God your Father will keep you safe so that “…no one will snatch you out of your Father’s hand” (John 10:28). Your Father says, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

You’re not an employee of God; you’re a child of God! Live in that truth. Rejoice in that truth. Remind yourself of this truth often. I’m a child of the King of kings. I’m a child of the Lord of lords.  There is nothing ho-hum or average about me because God is my Father!

Have a great day with God!

Written by: Tim Wood

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works.  They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.                                                                                                       (Psalm 145:1-6 NIV)

David praises God for his greatness. The greatness of God can be seen in his attributes – his power, his knowledge, his presence, his faithfulness, his compassion, his love, his jealously, his justice and he never changes! David gives us three practical ways we can experience a great day with God.

First, praise God every day. Verse 2 says, “Every day I will praise your name.” Am I looking for ways to praise God on a daily basis? If you read the rest of the psalm, David finds numerous ways to praise God. We can too.

Second, meditate on his wonderful works (verse 5). The works of God are revealed in His powerful Word. We also see them in creation, in our own lives and in the lives of others. Meditating is focused thinking. Meditating on God’s Word will also help us memorize that Word so that we could use it as the ‘sword of the Spirit’ against the enemy’s attacks. Meditating on His works lifts our faith whenever a new challenge comes our way.

Third, proclaim his great deeds (verse 6).  Here’s a great goal today. Tell someone about God’s greatness in your life. We all have our own testimony about how Christ and his love have changed and blessed us with peace and joy. It’s God’s story that He is writing in our lives. Declare it to others. Verse 12 gives us the reason why we proclaim God’s great deeds – “so all people will know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”

Verse 18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” When we praise God every day, meditate on his wonderful works every day and proclaim his great deeds every day – the Lord is near us. God’s nearness equals a great day!

 

 

 

Remember the attributes of God

Written by: Tim Wood

Over and over again, David cries for help to God in the Psalms. But as David petitions God for help, he remembers the attributes of God as well. In Psalm 86, David is in desperate need and his prayer to God reveals his desperation. But alongside his cry for help David also remembers God’s greatness. “For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord and I will walk in your truth. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave” (Psalm 86:10-12). David’s prayers are a blend of requests and worship recalling God’s greatness, love, power, and protection. Praying with recognition of God’s amazing attributes reminds us He has the wisdom, strength, and compassion to meet all our needs. Here are some more examples of this type of prayer:

• “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). God is everywhere. He’s not limited by time or space—we are never away from His awareness for a single moment. So, even when we feel isolated or friendless, we’re not alone.

• “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:5). God knows everything. When we bend our knees to pray to Him, He’s already aware of the feelings and needs we’re about to mention. We can be certain that when we ask for direction, He’ll provide clear guidance if we’re submitted to His will.

• “As for me, I shall call upon God ... the one who sits enthroned from of old ... with whom there is no change” (Ps. 55:16, 19). God’s character is constant. Since we can always trust He’ll be faithful, reliable, and merciful, we can place our confidence in Him no matter the situation.

When you remember an attribute of God that meets your needs, the focus of your prayer is on the Lord rather than on your request. By mixing praises into your prayers, you will end up asking for less, worshipping better, and receiving more because your emphasis is in the right place. May we always remember and verbalize the greatness of God when we call on His name.

The Compassion of Christ

Written by: Tim Wood

“A man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing you can make me clean.’ Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!”  (Mark 1:41)

Jesus served people out of a heart filled with compassion. When He touches this man, who has leprosy he was filled with compassion. The term compassion has its linguistic roots in the Latin terms com (with) and pati (suffering).  Jesus felt the suffering of other people. The Greek word for compassion carries the idea that he felt the sorrow of others in his gut. He is moved with compassion when he sees people who are lost.  “When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).  Jesus connected with people in pain. When he saw groups yearning for his teaching, “he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14). Christ sees two blind men and is moved to heal them in compassion (Matthew 20:34).

All these examples of Christ’s compassion have two things in common. First, Jesus notices the people around him. This tells us that compassion is only possible when we are attuned to others. If we’re absorbed in our own feelings, problems, worries and desires, we will overlook the needs of those God puts in our path and ignore the opportunity to help them.

Second, Jesus responds to people, instead of reacting to them. He listens to the ten lepers rather than being irritated that they’re interrupting his conversation (Luke 17:12-19). He takes time to speak with the woman who touches the hem of his garment, instead of simply chastising her for lacking appropriate boundaries (Matthew 9:20).

Practically speaking, we have compassion when we set aside indifference and connect with those who are in pain – seeing them and responding to them. This is the first step in their healing.

Ask God to help you see others who are in pain. Ask God to help you respond to them with compassion. Lord, give us compassion like Jesus.

 

Three ways to respond to God's faithfulness

Written by: Tim Wood

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.” (Psalm 89:8)

God is always faithful. Faithfulness is not what God does; it’s who God is! God’s faithfulness toward us is not based on our faithfulness to him. God’s faithfulness flows out of his unchanging nature and love for us. He is forever faithful. I’m grateful for that, aren’t you? When you look at the Old Testament, the people of Israel were consistently turning away from God. Yet, God would deliver them over and over again. Even when they complained, God would provide for them and protect them. God is always faithful. How should we respond to a faithful God? I see three ways to respond to God’s faithfulness from Psalm 89:1 and 8.

We should sing about God’s faithfulness. Knowing that God is always with us, that his love will never leave us, that he is ever faithful to us is cause to praise him.  Psalm 103:2 in The Living Bible says, “Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he has done for me.” God is faithful and we should sing about it.

We should share God’s faithfulness with others – “With my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” The best way to show you are grateful for God’s faithfulness is to share how faithful he is with others. It’s natural for people to speak about the negative experiences they encounter. It’s natural to complain to others. But something supernatural happens when we share God’s faithfulness to others. Something positive happens when we brag about God to others. Sharing God’s faithfulness can be a source of blessing to other people.

We should submit to God’s faithfulness. Who is like the LORD, God Almighty? God is surrounded by faithfulness. If that’s true, then we should submit our lives to the faithfulness of God. Don’t resign to your circumstances; submit yourself to God’s faithfulness. With God, all things are possible.

Can we trust Him today? Yes, we can. Is His Word going to fail? No, not one word of all His promises has failed. Is His grace going to run out? No, He the riches of his grace are vast. God is faithful in everything. Have you learned to respond to God's faithfulness? Praise Him for His faithfulness, share it with others and submit to it. He can be trusted.