If God were your Father…

March 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Today, we hear a lot of people saying a lot of things with a lot of emotion. Sometimes they tug at the heartstrings and other times they get us fired up. Men tell women they love them like their spouse is the only one in the world. Pastors preach “with fire”, walking across the stage and pumping their fist to get us energized. Fathers tell their children how special they are to them. Politicians tell us that they are doing their best to work for us and accomplish the things that we desire to see happen in our country.

But….do they mean it?

Does it mean that a man loves his wife just because he can say the words with the right smoothness and the correct tilt of his eyebrow and make his wife feel like the only woman on the planet? Does it mean that a pastor’s message is true because he walks around hollering and being animated? Does it mean that a child is special because its father says so? Are politicians really doing their best for those they represent just because they say so?

Many of you reading this already know the answer… No. It doesn’t mean that a man loves his wife, a pastor’s message is true, a child is special to its father, or a politician is actually working for the people they (supposedly) represent. Just because something is said doesn’t mean that it’s the truth. How many times have you heard the ad copy for a “new and improved” product? How many times have you bought that wonderful product just to find out that it is nothing like you were told and falls apart in about a week? How many times has a spouse, family member, friend, pastor, or politician said something that you truly believed you could trust in only for you to find out that it was all smoke and mirrors? If someone tells you something that they expect you to trust, what is the best way to be sure of it? That’s easy…the person proves it. I know, I know… That sounds waaaay too simple. Not only that, it seems like it is offensive for someone to hold another accountable for what they say. Presidents, politicians, and pastors all get riled up and defensive when someone has the gall to challenge their viewpoint (even though, as of right now, that is still an American right).

The truth is, if someone really means what they say, they will prove it. If a man truly loves his wife, he will prove it by taking action. He will do the things he needs to do to show her that he loves her just as much as he says he does. Pastors who preach the true message will follow that up with a life that mirrors his message to show that he loves his God. Fathers will spend time with their kids and drop everything that they are doing to make sure that all is right with their kids when they truly love them. Politicians will take action on all the things that they say if they truly mean what they say.

In John 8, Jesus confronts His people concerning this very thing. He began teaching them in the synagogue when they brought to Him a woman caught in the act of adultery. They began testing Him as to whether or not she should be stoned (John 8:1-11). They appealed to the law of Moses saying that she should be stoned. The problem is the fact that the Law says that both the man and the woman should be stoned to death. Then, Jesus begins to unfold the fact that He is the promised Messiah to those gathered. The Pharisees began to challenge Him on what He was saying. In John 8:32, Jesus tells them that if they continue in His word, the truth will set them free. They reply that they are Abraham’s children have never been in bondage. They seem to have forgotten the 430 years of captivity in Egypt, or the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, or the fact that they were currently in bondage to the Romans. Jesus tells them about being slaves to sin. He then tells them that He speaks the things which He heard from His Father and they do the things of their father. They repeat that they are Abraham’s children and Jesus responds: “If you are Abraham’s children, then do the deeds of Abraham”. He tells them that they are trying to kill Him because He told them the truth. They say that they have one Father – God.

Jesus then responds with something profound: “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me”.  Here it is then. Jesus says that if God is our Father, then we would love Him. The love He’s talking about is the agape type of love. The self-sacrificing love. By loving Jesus (an action), we show that God is our Father. The question then becomes, how do we love Jesus? The answer comes from the Lord Himself. In John 14:15, Jesus says that if we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments. The commandments are to love the Lord our God “with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength” and “love our neighbor as ourself”. These commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). So, if God is our Father, we will keep the commandments of Jesus. It’s action!

The last question I’m going to ask for now is this: Do the actions in your life back up the words that you say? Do you keep the commandments of Jesus (the way He meant them)? Or are you just spitting out hollow words that build a weak facade of pseudo-Christianity so that others won’t have a clue to the truth of the life you’re living?

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