Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting A Better Mental Picture

I recently read a great book that was challenging the reader to see God the way Jesus describes him in the Gospels.  I must say, that didn't grab me at first, but then I began to remember all the things Jesus said about God, his Father, that I thought I knew, but in reality hadn't paid much attention to.  He is the Father who leaves the 99 to find the one who was lost.  He's the King who totally forgave the debt of his servant who owed so much and begged to have his debt canceled, but the same King who was angry when that same servant couldn't show the same mercy to the ones who owed him a debt.  Our Father is the generous landowner who paid the same amount to all his workers, whether they worked all day or only the last hour of the day.  He is also the landowner who rented his vineyard and winepress to some farmers, but when it came time to pay up, they beat the servants he sent, and even killed his son in an attempt to steel away his vineyard.  He would take it all away, and "bring those wretches to a wretched end."  No one can reject and rebel against the goodness of the One who owns it all (even those Pharisees who thought they had it made).  He is the man who prepared a great banquet and when the ones who'd first been invited began to "make excuses" he had his servants invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, and those homeless strangers out on the street.  He wanted the ones no one else wanted.  Our Father is the Dad standing on a hill, looking and longing for his lost son to come back home.  He loves that son in spite of his stupid mistakes and he refuses to punish, penalize, and pummel with guilt.  He just holds him tight and orders up a celebration.
Jesus wants us to see his Father as a patient, forgiving, and loving God, who only asks that we love him and seek to know him.  He never asked for sinlessness or perfection - only that we keep seeking him.  The most amazing thing of all is that Jesus could talk in such loving words about His Father when his trip to the cross had been part of the plan before that first day of Creation.  There is no doubt, no reticence, and no regrets.  His only desire was to glorify his Father.  What does that tell us about what kind of Father we have?  Jesus was ALL in!  He really is an awesome God and he has an incredible love for us!

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