A Father’s Heart


Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7 NIV

Let me ask you this: Suppose you did all you could to make sure your child knew how to swim. Swimming lessons, life safety classes, even a few snorkeling classes. After all, you were once a lifeguard, and you know the ropes, so you took extra care to make sure she can swim. Then comes a day when you can take her to the lake to play with her friends. You are sure she knows what to do in the water, but you keep an eye out just in case. After all, even the best swimmers can get into the breakers, occasionally.

You start the bar-b-cue pit up, throw some doggies on the burner, some burgers, corn, a few other yummy treats. About the time you have that under control, you look up to see your worst nightmare.

She is drowning.

What do you do?

Now imagine this scenario: You tell anyone who is listening to call 911 while you strip down and get ready to rescue her. But all your friends and other people on the beach try their best to stop you. They tell you that she got herself into this, she needs to get herself out. They say all you will do is make things worse. They tell you if you go in after her, you might drown, too, or get hurt, or she may not want you to rescue her. What if even the lifeguard on duty tells you the same thing?

Will you stand on the shore and let her fend for herself? Will you stop and weigh the possible outcomes? Will you wait and consider the advice of everyone on the beach?

No! You will do all it takes, up to losing your own life to rescue her. She is your life, your heart, and your love. What kind of monster would ignore his own drowning child?

And what kinds of monsters give the advice that everyone gave you?

Now let me ask you this:

Suppose you did all you know how to do to make sure your beloved child knows Jesus Christ? You took her to church. You read the Bible to her. You prayed with her. You made sure she went to Christian schools. And when you look up, you see that she is drowning in a sea of bad choices? What if she isn’t even aware of the extreme danger she has put her soul in?

And just like the people on the beach, you get the exact same advice, even from people who serve the Lord.

Now, try to see this scenario:

When God created us, did He make sure we knew the ropes, and pitfalls to make sure we would always have eternal life with Him in Eden? Did He provide all we needed? Did He pour His love on us?

Imagine how it must have hurt when we rebelled and sinned. Imagine the heart-rending pain when He had to judge us, the earth, and the universe for all our sin?

Did He leave us to our own devices? Did He say, “They got themselves into this mess, they will have to figure it out?”  Did the angels warn Him that, if he interfered, it would only get worse?

Did he write us off?

What did God do?

He came here in the form of a Man and took on the penalty for our sin. He bore the judgment of death on His self so we would not have to. He gave up His kingdom so we can inherit it. He loved us so much that while we are at war with him, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, to bear the wrath and judgment of God. Jesus, the God-Man, became all our sin so we can become all his righteousness.

That is what God did.

So, now I ask you; If you see your daughter dying of the very sin Jesus already paid for, what would you do?

It is in the Father’s heart to give his own life for the life of His beloved children.

It is in my heart to give all I have and am to help rescue my child.

It is in this father’s heart to be like the Savior who died for me. I will give all I have to see that my child lives with me in eternity in the presence of the Living God.

Examine your souls, Christian. If you are not willing to lose everything so that others may live, stop saying you are His child. Selfishness is the fruit of Satan.

This father will give all he has unto death if it means his child will live in eternity with Christ. How can I cross the street to witness to a stranger if I am not ready to give up everything for my own child? What hypocrite worries about pain in the face of need? What kind of abject spiritual poverty demands you leave your child to drown in sin?

Godliness begins at home, people. And if you cannot manage that, you have no business taking your brand of Christianity anywhere. I may have failed my daughter in the past, but while I have life, I have hope, and I will spend every ounce of both doing all I can to bring the Love of God to my drowning daughter. I cannot save her, but I know who can. I cannot redeem her, but I know who will. I cannot give up my salvation so she can have it, but I know the one who has already done this.
The greatest gift I have ever received is the love and grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is the only thing I have left worth having in this life, and I will give that to her.

It is what is in this father’s heart.

Go and do the same.

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! – Romans 5:10 NIV

Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Easter


These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.
These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus didn’t hide eggs.

He didn’t hand out candy.

What He hid was our sin.

What he gave out was his life.

This is his gift to you …

…If you will have it.


I love you in the name of Jesus,

Let’s Be About It.

David G. Perkins