Posts Tagged ‘father’

We Are His Body

I mentioned that from time to time I might share something interesting in my study of Ephesians. While I got a bit behind, I recently became sort of re-dedicated to having a morning quiet time, and using this time to continue in Ephesians. This morning I finished chapter 1, and something in these verses really stuck out to me. Let me see if I can re-create what I wrote in my notebook from this morning for you here.

Ephesians 1:22-23
“And God placed all things under His feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”

While these verses speak largely about Christ’s authority as head of the church (which is consistent with the book of Hebrews, which refers to Christ as the High Priest of the church), it was a phrase right in the middle that got the wheels turning: “which is His body.”

As my mind traipsed through anatomical images and songs about this (“If We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns is what I’m referring to here; I’ve posted a video with this song below), it ended up on the Lord’s Supper. This is a notably relevant subject for me right now; this week in our Spiritual Boot Camp at church the pastor is preaching on the spiritual discipline of fasting. But Jesus broke the bread and said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26) But the verse in Ephesians says that the church is also His body. So in a sense, the bread also symbolizes the role of the church. It pointed me to the other part of the Lord’s Supper, which I’ll hit on as part of my conclusion.

I felt like God was impressing on me an understanding here about His character, and what I was surprised to reach as my conclusion is how personal each aspect of the Trinity is in regards to the church. We often think of the church as Christ’s; after all, Jesus referred to it as His in his charge to Peter (Matthew 16:18). But if you think about what it takes to make a body worth anything but a lifeless lump of immovable mass, there are several pieces, and each part of the Trinity uniquely provides for these:

1) The Father formed the body at creation and provides sustenance (physically and through His Word).
2) The Spirit indwells the body and provides direction (by way of sanctification and spiritual growth).
3) Jesus the Son gives the body His blood and provides the means of life (eternally and salvationally).

So the body is a great picture of how personal and involved our God is within our lives individually, and also within His church as a whole. How can we do anything but act on this understanding through worship and sharing these things with others. I hope this blog encourages you as much as coming to this realization encouraged me. Let’s take great joy in being part of God’s body, and hopefully in doing so we will move forward even more boldly in our faith. I pray that God blesses each and every reader of this post as they read it. Amen!

Advertisements

The Dad Life

A friend sent me the link to this in an E-mail. As a new dad, I only hope I can aspire to this type of status.

Daddy’s Hands

I came to an understanding this morning as I was with my daughter. You see, she is almost 8 months old, and we are beginning to see a little bit of separation anxiety in her when we try to pass her off for other people to hold. She clearly prefers her parents to other people, which in a way is sad and in a way is comforting.

I’ve always sort of wondered why separation anxiety occurs. I think I had a revelation this morning. My daughter woke up at 6:00 AM to eat, and after her meal and a few minutes hanging out with daddy, she was ready to go back to bed. I marvel at her ability to just rest her head on my shoulder, getting comfortable, and drifting peacefully off to sleep. Watching her do this, I realized that she felt safety in my arms, and that was able to help her relax and go to sleep. Daddy’s hands were her refuge.

It also made me realize how often I take my Father’s hands for granted. How often do I try to lean on my own understanding instead of taking my cares to God? Recently, I have been attempting to make prayer more personal, because I know how easy it is for me to make a “God, please…” list of requests for prayer time. But when things get shaky, how often do I turn to the Lord and just let His hands be my refuge? What about you, reader?

Here is a video featuring the song “Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn, and while it is a great tribute to all of the earthly fathers, if you listen to it with your Heavenly Father in mind, it also has great meaning. I hope that all of us will re-learn about the safety in our Father’s hands, and go to that place of refuge more often.

The Lord is One

Isn’t it amazing how something you have heard and read many times can all of a sudden just jump out at you or create a whole new meaning in your mind? This is what happened to me last night.

In our Bible study, we referenced Deuteronomy 6, from which Jesus quoted what He said is the greatest commandment. Most of us have heard this verse before, maybe even in a song by Lincoln Brewster: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is a powerful statement, and from it we get that the greatest thing we can do is to love God. Pretty awesome.

But what got me thinking last night was the phrase preceding this commandment. The phrase is in Deuteronomy 6:4, which says, “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (emphasis mine) This simple statement conveys multiple meanings, and they are incredible!

The first one that sticks out to me is the number used to describe the Lord: one. To me, this simple phrase speaks to God’s sole authority. There are no other gods that have dominion and power the way our God does. Allah or Krishna or Baal (which by the way if you pronounce the way we do in western culture it sounds like “bail,” which is pretty funny and somewhat descriptive of this god) cannot do the things that the God of Israel can. The Lord is THE one, which is why Jesus doesn’t say, “I am A way, I am A truth…” but instead says, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life.” There is one God, and we believe in His authority.

The other piece to this speaks to God’s perfect unity. Christians are well aware that the Bible speaks to three distinct parts to God’s nature: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, a phrase like this speaks to the harmony that exists between these entities. The verb in this phrase is singular: “is”. The word “one” in this sentence is called in parts of speech a “predicate nominative,” which means that it is a noun that refers to the subject of the sentence in a different way (i.e. if you say, “she is my mom,” the words “she” and “mom” refer to the same person). This means that God, being three parts, is also a singular being. This simple phrase also references how these three pieces of the picture work together to make up the one God. That is why there are not three authorities; they are all unified with the same authority.

Man it’s amazing what God can say with just four words. It’s interesting that a lot of times we gloss over these verses as filler verses getting us from one memory verse to the next. It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that as the inspired Word of God, the Bible doesn’t contain words or phrases that aren’t important for us to understand. I thank Him this morning for giving me a reinforcement of His nature, and I hope that the rest of you, like me, will continue to look for these hidden (but not really) gems in the Scriptures.

Do What Your Daddy Tells You

As WIFE and I continue our reading through the Bible this year, certain things tend to jump out at me, depending on what’s going on in life around me. Usually it’s a particular verse, or the backstory of a man that I had never really studied before. This blog post is about the general nature of an entire book.

We just finished 2 Kings, and let me tell you, Israel and Judah had a bunch of kings. After reading the book, I really wish I knew where “the annals of the kings of Israel” and “the annals of the kings of Judah” were, because apparently everything you need to know is in those, right? I mean, God wouldn’t have taken the things He wanted us to know and put them in His book, would He?

I kid, but really it seems like with many of the kings in this book their reigns can be summed up with one line: “He did evil/good in the eyes of the Lord.” I went through and tallied up the kings in this book, and of all the kings of Israel and Judah, only 7 can be said that they did good in the eyes of the Lord. Eighteen kings are said to have done evil in the eyes of the Lord, mainly following in the sins of one Jeroboam, who after reading this book I have to believe would be in Dante’s seventh circle of hell for all of the people he led astray in betrayal of the Lord.

But as Mother’s Day has come and gone, reading this book has really emphasized to me just how important it is to have Godly role models. Many of these kings who did either good or evil did so because they “walked in the way of their father.” As a father to an infant, this realization has taken hold of me. It’s obvious that the example of a parent can be a HUGE factor in how their children live. Parents influence their kids on things from anywhere to sports teams (thanks to my dad I’m both a Yankees fan and a Cowboys fan, and am therefore hated by at least 90% of sports fans on some level) to what’s most important in life (success or happiness, and trust me, there is a distinct difference between the two).

Most importantly, our parents influence our spiritual behavior as well. Those parents who are committed to bringing up their children in a Godly home, where roles are clearly defined by His Word and carried out by the dad and mom, are more likely to see the success found in Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old he will not depart from it.” That means following God’s commands explicitly and without reservation. That means if God says something in His book, you write it on your heart.

Though my little girl likely has no concept of what it means to be a Godly woman, as her dad I’d sure better, so that when she’s old enough to understand I can teach her what God wants of her. But on a personal level, I need to make sure I’m in line with what God wants of me, so that if my daughter “walks in the way of her father” I won’t be ashamed, but instead proud that she is who God has called her to be. And that would be “good in the eyes of the Lord.”