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Papa

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I got into a conversation with a young entrepreneurial mom at a local bookstore.  She spoke with me about some of the reasons she did not believe in God.  I think I surprised her by agreeing with her reasons for rejecting a belief in god – at least her concept of god.  Heck, I agree with her that THIS god she was rejecting ought to be rejected.

There I was – a professed member of the clergy – rejecting a belief in god: at least certain perspectives about god.  Yet I still believe in GOD.  So, she asked me:

“What do you believe about God?”

That’s the question I am trying to address in these series of blogs.  These posts are not meant to be any sort of in-depth theological treatises.   Rather they are simple reflections…the kinds of things I might have said had the conversation continued.  Heck, I gave her my business card, so maybe she found her way to this blog.  So, let’s address the question.

I offered her three simple statements.

In my last post, I wrote about the first statement:  God is “eternal & extravagantly loving.”

Today I want to write a bit about the revelation of God’s character as presented in Jesus.

Jesus shows God to be a Papa who aims to adopt us.

The book of Ephesians speaks about the eternal purposes of God to included us in a relationship.  Put another way, the eternal & extravagantly loving God is a Papa whose aimed is to adopt us into an intimate relationship with himself.

Put another way:  God seeks us out to include, accept, and adopt us.  Like any adopted child, we are included and accepted by the decision of the Parent.  God is that Parent – that Papa – who is seeking and searching for us.

That’s the difference between what RELIGION preaches, and what the Gospel proclaims.  Religion declares that we must look for God, make ourselves acceptable to God, prove ourselves to God by action, beliefs, doctrines, or dogmas.  The GOSPEL is the Good News that God is seeking us.

Whenever there is a relationship with God, it is because God sought out that relationship, despite our sinfulness.

In Eden,  Adam and Eve sinned and hid from God.  But God came looking for them and found them.

In Midian, Moses hid from God.  But  God sought and found him and used him in Egypt to gain the freedom of all the Israelites.

On Mt. Horeb, Elijah was on the run, hiding in a cave.  But God still found him and set him free.

One of the best stories in the New Testament is found in Luke 15.  There Jesus tells a parable about a God who seeks and saves the wandering and lost.  God is portrayed like a old woman who has lost a coin and tears apart her home to find that coin.  God is also portrayed like a shepherd who goes out and scours the countryside to find a lost sheep.  Then Jesus tells one of his most well-known parables – that of a Papa whose son rebels and runs away from home – yet is never out of his father’s loves and heart.  This Papa’s love eventually brings the boy home and restores him into the fellowship of the relationship that was never ended.

In these parables, God is not up-there, out-there, some-where, disconnected. Jesus reveals God as Papa who is here now seeking & adopting

In John’s gospel, we read these words:   “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”

Jesus revealed and was the revelation of God the Father.

What do we learn about the Father through Jesus?

  • God so love the world that he gave his only Son…
  • God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save…
  • God is a loving Papa who wants to embrace his lost children
  • God reaches out to the outcast, the sinful, the broken, the hurting
  • God loves, seeks, and saves the lost.
  • God sets free those who are oppressed
  • God is a Papa who main ambition is to adopt us into his family
  • Jesus came to embrace us into himself & into Father’s embrace

C.S. Lewis asked:  “What makes Christianity is different?”  Then Lewis asnwered:  “Just one word: GRACE.  Grace sums up all Jesus revealed of God.”

Jesus reveals Father to be Papa-Grace – eternal, loving, adopting!

 

Parable of the Dancing God
by: C. Baxter Kruger
publisher: IVP Books, published: 2001-01-19
ASIN: 0877840547
EAN: 9780877840541
sales rank: 2049261
price: $2.71 (new), $89.70 (used)

In this brief and easy-to-read IVP booklet, C. Baxter Kruger vividly retells the parable of the prodigal son (including the full text of Luke 15:1-32). His fresh interpretation focuses not on the prodigal son, but on the character of the father as it is revealed through his interaction with his two very different sons. Baxter asks you to consider with which son you most identify–the dutiful elder brother or the wayward younger brother. Then he helps you explore the spiritual implications of that identification. Finally, he shows you how an examination of the father of the two sons highlights important aspects of God’s character: rejoicing, compassion and more. You’ll come away from this short but profound study with new insight into the ways God the Father is at work in your own life.

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