“Chosen Children of a Perfect Father”
All who have put their trust in Christ become chosen children of a perfect father.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
Scripture explains this new connection with God as and event, a process and an ultimate destiny. God used the picture of a new creation of God, new birth and adoption. It is the result of God’s loving choice and supernatural regeneration made possible because of the saving work of Christ in His substitutionary death and glorious resurrection.
I. The Likeness Factor
II. Unconditional love and acceptance factor
III. Protection and security Factor
Can we count on our heavenly Father for such protection and security? What does the scripture say? Peter spoke of God’s protection in the context of our protected inheritance which we will discuss later.
to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:4-5
Not only does God provide a protected inheritance but we are protected (present tense verb indicating continual protections) by God’s power; God’s dynamite! How powerful is God?
Can He protect us? How long? Till the last days.
Philippians 4:7 Proverbs 18:10 Luke 10:19 1 Peter 5:10 John 10:27-30 John 17:11-12
In what sense does this promise of protection apply to God’s children? God’s children face danger and even death every day. David expressed how he felt facing the “valley of the shadow of death.” I could tell stories of dramatic rescue and supernatural deliverance from danger.
I could also relate stories of persecution, torture and even death. Both Christians! Both prayed up. Both supported by the multiple prayers of others. Christians face extreme danger all over the world. Many will lose their lives because of their stand for Christ. Cassie Burnell courageously proclaimed her belief in God at the point of a gun and God allowed her young life to be gruesomely cut short. Where was God’s protection? What about all the abused children?
What about all the violence against Christians around the world? What about all the Christians with cancer and other terminal diseases?
I could tell stories of phenomenal healing due to the prayers of others.
I could tell stories of prolonged illness and eventual death in spite of massive intercession.
Jesus revealed to Peter Satan’s demand to sift him like wheat. Ever seen that process. Not for the weak of heart. Jesus also promised to pray for him. Interesting what Jesus did not pray.
Jesus did not pray for protection from the soul-wrenching sifting but from the destruction of his fundamental trust in God through the sifting. In addition, He prayed for increased ministry to the other disciples upon his restoration.
Hebrews 11 catalogues a representative group of the faithful who trusted God no matter what.
Part of the group supernaturally conquered impossible odds through their trust in God. Another part of the group faithfully endured being sawn in two, isolation in caves, and the loss of family members without loosing their fundamental trust in God. Where was God? What good was their trust in God? How is God my protection when tragic things happen?
To God, death is not an end but a mere transition. It is not the finality we view it as. Death for the believer is not a punishment but a promotion. It is not an end to life but the entry into life.
God uses earthly suffering to bring about greater ends for His kingdom. One thing is certain. I am His and He is mine. He will never leave me or forsake me. He will never stop watching over me. There is no guarantee I will not get sick, stub my toe, face death, lose people and things precious to me or suffer some accident or tragedy. We still live in a devil-directed twisted world where bad things still happen to both good and bad people.
"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
However! God guarantees to bring His children safely to our heavenly home. He has promised to finish the work He started in us. Spirit, soul AND body.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
He has promised to be a refuge for us in the midst of chaos.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. Psalms 46:1-3
References to God as our protector, shield, fortress, deliverer, everlasting arms, shelter, refuge and strength run all through the Bible. Our loving Father promises to deliver us from it or through it. He superintends everything that comes our way.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure (bear under) it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
He doesn’t always take the temptation away. The way of escape may be to escape the temptation. The way of escape may be the resources to bear under it. Even though Satan wanted to do things to Job, God put limitations on what He could do. He wisely and lovingly knits the various things we encounter in life for good eternal benefits.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
No matter what, God promises to be there with us which leads us to a fourth characteristic of an effective father.
IV. The Presence Factor
Dad’s absence sends an agonizing message. You don’t count. You’re not worth my time and energy. There are more important things in life than taking time with you. You’re on your own.
You can be sure that our heavenly Father never leaves us. David courageously faced his valleys of “deep darkness” by his assurance that “Thou art with me.” He enthusiastically anticipated dwelling in the house of the Lord FOREVER. Scripture repeatedly attributed the successes in David’s life and career to the fact that “the Lord was WITH him.” Psalms 139:7-10
Yet there were times when David felt far away from God. There were times when God was there but silent. “David cried, “Where are You God?” “Will you forget me forever?”
There is a difference between God’s omnipresence and God’s manifested presence. It is like a father watching over his child in the play ground without the child’s awareness. He is present but chooses not to manifest his presence to the child. He watches out. He stands ready to intervene if necessary. He takes delight in just watching his child play. We can be sure that God’s presence is at all places at one time at all times. He is aware of what we face.
He sees our pain. He is fully apprised of our situation. He experiences pleasure. He delights in us. Just because He doesn’t manifest His presence at a particular time does not mean He has left us.
Moses counted on God’s manifested presence to distinguish them from other nations.
Before his death, Moses encouraged the people to focus on the Lord’s presence with them.
Jesus sought to alleviate the disciple’s trauma when Jesus told them He was leaving them.
Many put their trust in their bank account. There is no such thing as social security or any other security apart from God. God urges us to focus on His presence not His presents.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU," Heb 13:5
By no means will I ever send you away or leave you behind. Matthew 28:18-20
The original Adam enjoyed unhindered fellowship with God. Sin changed all that. Sin caused Adam to dread His regular afternoon walk with God in the cool of the garden. Those born into Christ, the second Adam, enjoy unhindered fellowship that sin can’t change. His presence has to do with relationship. He walks with us. He wants to enjoy intimate relationship with us.
For now it His presence is not fully perceived or felt. One day it will be an eternal reality.
1 Thess 4:13-18 John 14:1-3 Psalms 16:11
What a place to be. Not everyone however has that hope. Those who refuse to accept His invitation will spend eternity away from God’s presence.
Matthew 7:21-23 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Remember! Your heavenly Father is not like your earthly father.
Whatever caused your earthly father to be delinquent, disengaged, distant doesn’t apply to God.
You have your heavenly Father’s untainted DNA. (Intimate connection)
You have your heavenly Father’s unconditional love and acceptance. (Incredible belonging)
You have your heavenly Father’s unbeatable protection. (Impenetrable security)
You have your heavenly Father’s unending presence. (Infinite company)
Colossians 1:21-22 Hebrews 10:19-22 "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15
Return to the Father today. Reach out to the Father today. Revel in His love. Rest in His protection. Renew in His presence.
"Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19