His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Just Want to See the Kids

To be Dad

I asked my wife what she wants for her birthday. “I just want to see my children,” was her reply. Closeness with her kids is more important than “things.” So, my eldest son and his wife, and my youngest son and his longtime girlfriend, will all come from out of town to be home this weekend.

Last night the small group I’m in finished reading “The Good and Beautiful Life,” by James Bryan Smith. The final chapter is all about having a relationship with God. And the message is clear: what’s most important to God is not “things,” like good deeds and following rules. What God wants most from us is a relationship. What our heavenly Parent wants most is to see His children, and to have time with His children.

I’ve long believed that if you want to see the nature of God, just look at any loving parent and how they feel toward their children. My wife and her love for her children is indeed an image of God. She just wants to have time with her kids, and so does God.

And to go “home” to see our Father God is not an out-of-town journey. Just look inside yourself, for He lives with your soul.


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Grateful for the Flaws

flawed

By reading my complaints about my flawed humanity in many of my blog posts, you might think I’m a miserable person. Well, I’m not.

It seems that most of the time, my life is dominated by my relationship with God, Jesus, and their Spirit who shares my life with me. By the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, I have found true meaning, peace, excitement, and love. Life has never been better.

Yet I’m grateful for the flaws of my human nature: my pride and selfishness, my anxiety and worry, my anger, my natural temptations. For whenever my flaws capture my present, they remind me of how much I need God. Yes, my flaws may make me miserable while in the midst of them. But God has taught me to use my flaws, to steer my mind back to Him. And I’m grateful.


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Studying my way to God?

books

I have read the bible many times, especially the New Testament. I’ve read great books by Andrew Murray, William Law, and A.W. Tozer. I’ve read sermons and devotionals by Charles Spurgeon. And then there’s “The Practice of the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence – my most well-worn non-bible book. All of my studying has helped me develop a close relationship with God, or so it appears.

Is diligent study really the secret to an intimate relationship with God and Jesus? I don’t think so, because based on what Jesus said and how He lived, it doesn’t make sense.

What came into my mind as I puzzled over this was what Paul frequently mentioned about faith, hope, and love. As he said, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

A relationship with God obviously starts with faith. But it’s love that makes that relationship grow. Though study may help, in my case anyway, without love the study is meaningless.

Reading about food will not ease your hunger. Are you hungry for closeness with God? Then love Him. Let His Spirit into your life. Taste His presence in your soul. And you will be filled, to overflowing.


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His Child

His child

It’s taken me a long time to understand the nature of my relationship with God. Yet when the truth of it finally opened my eyes, it overwhelmed me. God wants to be a Father to me! The parent-child relationship is so nurturing and intimate, and that’s what the creator of all that exists wants for me. And you. Wow!

As Paul stated, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer slaves, but God’s children; and since you are his children, he has made you also heirs.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)