The Father’s Delight
One of the first places in Scripture that the Fatherhood of God is displayed is in Matthew 3 when Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized. There’s John, ribcage-deep in the Jordan River. His camel hair clothes are sopping wet.
He’s baptizing people right and left as He teaches, preaches, and prepares the way for the Lord. Suddenly, up walks Jesus and says, Hey, baptize Me. And John’s like, Wah-what? You got that backward, Jesus. You need to baptize me! So, they talk back and forth, but finally, John relents and plunges Jesus into the Jordan River and brings Him up again. Jesus is baptized to identify with sinners in their redemption, new and clean.
Scripture tells that when Jesus comes up out of the water, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends like a dove and alights on Jesus, and a Voice from heaven gives a startling and altogether wonderful announcement. Do you know what it was?
The announcement was big news to all those gathered by the Jordan that day. Many of the folks who were gathered around John the Baptist must have already known this thirty-year-old man, Jesus of Nazareth. He was Joseph’s kid, the carpenter’s son. Jesus had grown up in a little village not far away. They must have remembered Him playing as a boy, running down the side streets. They’d seen Him in the synagogue and marketplace, fully grown. And now, after Jesus is baptized by John, God the Father goes on record, speaking in an audible voice at the baptism service. And what exactly did God say?
Hey everyone, sorry I’m late but I was at the AARP Convention. Did the kid do okay?
Or, Hey boy, You better get in that river and get dunked like I told You to.
Or, Can’t you just feel a sense of peace and tranquility in the universe today?
The Father calls out: THIS IS MY SON, WHOM I LOVE! WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED!
It’s like He is saying I’m God, and that’s My kid! I love Him a lot. With Him I am well pleased. How crazy is that? If God’s going to call down from heaven, surely He’s going to give a full sermon. Surely, He’ll dazzle us with His theological omniscience.
Just simple fatherly delight.
We just need to soak in that concept. We need to stay there, to bask in it, to enjoy it. See, by the Jordan River that day, God the Father showed that His relationship with Jesus wasn’t a contract. It wasn’t the signing of a theological treatise. It wasn’t a list of principles to agree with, or a bunch of rules to follow. It was a connection. A family connection. A real, heart-to-heart life connection where the Creator of the universe acknowledged His Son. Yes, God is all knowing and all powerful and all wise, and He’s holy and just and perfect, and there is a just wrath awaiting those who reject His truth and grace. But here’s what Jesus reveals most about Him—God is a loving Father. We see it clearly as God the Father pulled back the curtain and showed us this amazing relationship with the Son whom He dearly loves. And God extends a similar kind of relationship to us. A relationship where He is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters. God loves us, and God is even proud to call us His own.
Through The Bible Devotions
1 Kings 8:10-11 10When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
When Solomon had finished building the temple that David had planned, the priests stepped out of the Holy Place (an inner room of the temple). Then a cloud filled the temple of the LORD. The Hebrews associated clouds with the glory of God. Their ancestors had seen the cloud on Sinai when Moses met with God. The glory of the LORD so filled the temple that the priests could not come in and do their assigned duties.
Our bodies are the temples of the LORD. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple (meaning his body) and in three days I will raise it up.” His body was so full of the glory of God that He did nothing except what the Father showed Him. Jesus didn’t really have His own ministry isolated and of itself. He was a yielded instrument to the glory of His Father. He always yielded Himself to the Father, and so “we have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 The glory of the Father was His operating source.
We are often carried away with our ministry and wrapped up in what must be done. If we are not careful and focused, we will end up ministering from the wrong source. The glory needs to fill our temple, our earthly body. Then there is no room for us to get in the way and make a mess of things. The glory needs to fill us so that He is the source of our activity and we are merely submitted vessels for that glory.
Consider: What is the source of your activity? Is your temple filled with the glory of God?
Streams in the Desert – June 14
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)
Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.
Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?
Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.
But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?
Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?
Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
—C. H. Spurgeon
We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not Paul say that the promise was, by FAITH that it might be SURE? (Romans 4:16)
Faith honors God; God honors faith.
Tell it all
By; Charles Sourgeon
‘But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.’ Mark 5:33
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
You do not know, dear friends, of how much service your open confession of Christ might be to some trembling soul. One reason why we have churches, and are joined in fellowship, is that we may help the weak; that by our daring to say ‘Christ has saved me,’ others may take heart, and may come to him and find the same mercy. ‘Oh,’ but you say, ‘the church does not want me.’ Then, I might say the same, and all Christians might say the same. Where would there be a visible church on earth at all? What is right for one Christian to do is right for all to do; and if it is right for you to neglect professing Christ, then it is right for all believers to do so. And then, where is the church? Where is the ministry? Where is Christ’s truth? How are sinners to be saved at all? Suppose, my brother, that John Calvin and Martin Luther had said, ‘Well now we know the truth; but we had better be quiet, for we can go to heaven much more comfortably. If we begin preaching we shall set all the world by the ears, and there will be a deal of mischief done; hundreds of persons will have to be martyrs for their faith, and we shall be subject to many hardships.’ They had quite as much right to hide their religion as you have. They had quite as much reason for the concealment of their godliness as you have. But alas! for the world, where would have been the Reformation, if these had been as cowardly as you are, and like you had skulked to the rear in the day of battle. I ask again, what would be the wretched lot of England, what calamities would happen to our island, if all who know Christ as you know him were to act as you do?
For meditation: Do you have to plead guilty? Many of us are more ready with our excuses than we are with our testimonies (1 Peter 3:15). The only excuses the early church made use of were excuses for spreading the Gospel (Acts 2:14–15; 3:12–13; 4:9–10,19–20,29; 5:29,41–42).