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Who’s Your Daddy?

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{This post is an offshoot of thoughts concerning one of my  Pastor’s sermons:  “Operation Liberation”}

Father & Son

Father & Son (Photo credit: jeroenadema)

Many people claim the name “Christian”, but not all of them have a real relationship with the Father.  I struggled with this for much of my life, wondering how you could really know the difference.  I don’t wish to judge something that is a matter between God and that person, so how do I discern the real from the fake or the “I think I’m real” person?  As always, the answer is right there in the Bible.

 

John 8 shares a confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day.  The first part of the passage (1 – 12) talks about the woman who was taken in adultery and brought before Jesus for stoning.  Jesus, of course, turns the tables and frees the woman — from the consequence of her sin and from the bondage of her sin.  For the religious leaders, this is one more nail in the coffin for Jesus in their eyes.  Their eyes were blinded to the beautiful picture of grace in this passage.  Even His follow-up statement (12) “I am the light of the world…” didn’t penetrate their dark hearts.

 

In the rest of the passage, the confrontation continues.  Jesus amazes in how He  turns their words back on them every time, thus building their frustration and their envy.  In my earlier years, I used to keep books in the bathroom.  No, not to read in the usual way.  I kept them there for something to do when I was locked in to keep from getting killed by my brother till the parents got home.  You see, I was often his babysitter (4 years difference), and I could out talk him till the cows come home (not amount of talk, but come backs…).  He would get so frustrated that he would go after me with whatever was available.  Once it was a hammer!  He told me years later that he knew he was never going to win a war of words, so he would get physical.   {He never won anyway 🙂  I was fast and had an escape plan; if parents arrived home first–he got a spanking; if sister arrived home first–he got the snot beat out of him–no dysfunction there, right?} The religious leaders also turned to violence when words failed.

 

But I digress!  The religious leaders tried again.  {You would think they’d learn not to mess with Him!}  In verses 13-18, they question Jesus’ qualifications and He trounces them one more time.  In verse 19, Jesus lures them in for another trouncing and they bite.  “Where is thy Father?”

 

[37] I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. [38] I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. [39] They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. [40] But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. [41] Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. [42] Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. [43] Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. [44] Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

 

Jesus leads them by asking who they belong to (who’s your father?), pointing out that their actions and attitudes point to a different father than the one they claim.  He tells them their lack of love for Him and the truth, plants them firmly as the children of the devil.  As these were considered the most godly men of the time, this must have shocked the socks off of them!

 

How do your actions and attitudes measure up?  If Jesus asked you, “Who’s your daddy?”  How would you respond?  Would your life give testimony that your father is God or would it tell a different tale?

Anyone can talk the talk and manage to seem “Christian”, but God can see into their innermost parts.  He knows those who belong to Him.

Do you?  Can you discern when someone is truly a child of God? 

I find the closer I walk with God the easier it is to discern when someone may not be genuine.  Since I can’t know the heart, I can’t be sure, but by piling up the evidence, I can make a determination as to how much trust to have in this person.

God wants us to know we are children of His.  He also wants us to be able to discern the spiritual parentage of others in our life.  He may want us to witness to them, or He may want us to beware of them.

 

World’s view:                                                                       God’s view:

Highly religious                                                                           Empty service for man’s approval

Kept the law (attempted to)                                                     White-washed graves

Tried to make sure others kept the law                                 Legalists seeking to bind others

Dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s                                      Didn’t love Jesus or God’s truth

Saw themselves as righteous (and above others)                Saw their self-righteous pride

 

 

 

Communication Busters: Predicting the Future

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Things one of my adult children has predicted:

—>”She’ll be mad at me if I speak up.”  (And to this I say, “So?”)

—>”They won’t give me a job.”

—>”You know he’s not going to do it. “ (When told to ask Dad something)  “He’s just going to lecture me.” (This one may have something to it lol).

—>“They won’t like me.”

—>”I’m going to go blind.”  (Repeatedly in childhood after hearing she could go blind by staring at the sun during an eclipse.)

—>”They’re going to take me away and put me in a school for bad kids.” (After a teacher told the class a new school was being built for recalcitrant students.  Since she struggled in school, she assumed it was for her. — 5th grade)

—>”Grandpa got up at 5am and turned on the TV, LOUD!  I can’t make it with only three hours sleep!  Why does this always happen to me?. . . ………………..>” (This was a 20 minute conversation by phone at a little after 5am LAST WEEK!  I guess if she loses sleep, that means mom has to as well????)

OK, that’s enough telling on my  (24 yo) child.

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Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestati...

Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestation of worry. Español: Morderse los labios puede ser una manifestación externa de inquietud. Русский: Плачущая девочка. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you do this too?  Do you worry over a future that hasn’t happened yet?  Are you anxious about future events?  Have you not done something because you predicted a bad end? (I’m talking about normal, safe events, not jumping off a cliff.)  All of us have done this.  Some have done, do, and will do this repeatedly.  It has become ingrained and habitual.

 

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The Bible tells us, “Sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof.”   (Matthew 6:34b)

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.. and looking at her face you can see that sh...

.. and looking at her face you can see that she's beginning to worry about everything like a grown up! "Our problems start when we don't die young." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rest of that verse tells us “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”   In NASB, this reads:  “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”  Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, this is good advice.  Have you ever been able to change something by worrying about it?  (That is aside from raising your blood pressure, turning your hair white, driving others crazy, ….)  How many times have you worried yourself over something and none of your worries came to pass?☺♥☺♥☺

Matthew 6:27 tells us “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?”   Can you grow taller by worrying about it?   Can you add one moment more to your life by worrying? (More likely the opposite in this case.)

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The entire passage Matthew 6:25-34 reads thus:

Climbing lilly

Climbing lilly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

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In a nutshell, this tells us to stop worrying, God’s got it!  Those of us who know God, should trust that He will take care of us.  Worry is the antithesis of Faith.  The two do not go together.  For others, worry still doesn’t help at all.  Life has a way of going on, whether our predictions come true or not.  The majority of our worries never happen.

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Are you a worry wart, anxiety-ridden or a future telling drama queen/king?  How do you deal with worry when it pops up?  Do you know someone who worries?  How do you feel about that?  Any advice for dealing with chronic worriers?

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My confession:

I am in recovery from an (5) anxiety disorder, but I am not a worrier.  With chagrin, I will admit that my lack of worrying often drives others nuts as much as my daughter’s chronic worrying does me. 😀  I have recently realized that I still have these types of fortunate/future telling thoughts.  These are examples only, but you get the point:

—>Don’t let her have that pencil, she’ll poke her eye out.

—>Don’t let the kids go out in that deep grass. (They’ll get bit by a tick and develop lyme disease.)

 

So I realize I still catastrophize at times.  (Tune in for a future post on that subject.)

 

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