The Father’s Calling
My dad was raised without the kindness of a father until his mother remarried a man I only knew as grandpa. Grandpa served in the United States Marines and as a U.S. mailman. Grandpa was a man of courage, grit, integrity, and under the surface was a huge heart. He assumed the role of fatherhood, stepping into superhero stature when he accepted my dad as his own son. He wasn’t a perfect father, but he loved his children and grandchildren.
When Grandpa went to be with the Lord, the world seemed to stand still, but his example will always command action. His life remains like a monument in my mind. For me, he served as a reminder of how our Heavenly Father has adopted each of us as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. Despite what our past says about us, we are invited into a righteous standing with God. This is not simply an invitation but a calling.
And in Christ, we have already been accepted. God the Father has called us His own and has given us all we need!
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV).
Truly consider this fact: You have been called a child of God! The Father gave His only son, Jesus, to bridge the gap that sin created—and He has received us as His very own. This is extraordinary news. Not only have we been accepted into the family of God, but we have also been invited to participate in God’s divine nature.
It is with this sacrificial adoption that we have received such an inheritance from our Heavenly Father, who equipped us for every good work—so that we would be compelled in the service of God. Such a wonderful gift commands action.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:4-7 NIV).
Why not take a moment today to remember someone in your life who stands out as an example of the Father’s kindness? Grandpa was that example to me. Think of those who inspire you in the service of the Lord. Also, do you find rest in the acceptance of your Heavenly Father? If you are looking for someone to accept you, you’re in the right place. There is an invitation with your name on it. And if you want to affirm your identity as a child of God and receive the call He has placed on your life, the Father’s arms are wide open.
Broken Bread, Open Eyes
SCRIPTURE READING — LUKE 24:13-35
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. . . .
This story in Luke 24 is mysterious. During the previous week, Jesus had eaten his final Passover meal with his disciples and had washed their feet. Then he had been arrested and crucified. But on Sunday morning some women who had gone to visit his tomb had said they had seen Jesus, alive!
Now two of Jesus’ followers were walking along the road to another town, and a stranger joined them. They told him of the tragic events of the previous week. The man then shocked them by teaching from the Scriptures that all these things had to happen to the Messiah, the Savior of God’s people.
When they reached the town, the two invited the man to stay with them. As they began to eat together, the man “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” Then “their eyes were opened and they recognized him”— their Lord Jesus was alive! And then he disappeared.
The two said later that their hearts were “burning within” them as Jesus walked with them and taught them from the Scriptures. But it was not until he broke the bread that he became known to them.
Similarly, our hearts can burn within us as we learn the Scriptures, and we can walk with Jesus in the power of his Spirit. But at the Lord’s Supper we can encounter the Lord in a profound, unique way.
Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself in the breaking of bread. Fill us with your life to live for you. In your name, Amen.
Streams in the Desert – November 29
Nevertheless afterward (Heb. 12:11).
There is a legend that tells of a German baron who, at his castle on the Rhine, stretched wires from tower to tower, that the winds might convert them into an Aeolian harp. And the soft breezes played about the castle, but no music was born.
But one night there arose a great tempest, and hill and castle were smitten by the fury of the mighty winds. The baron went to the threshold to look out upon the terror of the storm, and the Aeolian harp was filling the air with strains that rang out even above the clamor of the tempest. It needed the tempest to bring out the music!
And have we not known men whose lives have not given out any entrancing music in the day of a calm prosperity, but who, when the tempest drove against them have astonished their fellows by the power and strength of their music?
Beating against the pane!
How endlessly it pours
Out of doors
From the blackened sky
I wonder why!
Upspringing after showers,
Blossoming fresh and fair,
Ah, God has explained
Why it rained!”
You can always count on God to make the “afterward” of difficulties, if rightly overcome, a thousand times richer and fairer than the forward. “No chastening… seemeth joyous, nevertheless afterward…” What a yield!
Daily Life Is Important Work
By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk.com
“So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT
Perched aside me on a piece of driftwood, looking out over the blue lake in October, my daughter adamantly assured me she hated being competitive and wouldn’t be running track. “What don’t you like about being competitive?” I asked, “Is it the possibility of losing to other people or the pain of pushing yourself to your limit?” Paul wrote to the Colossians,
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you are working for the Lord rather than people.” (Colossians 3:23 NLT)
A brilliant scholar, Paul became a Pharisee so astute he led the way in persecuting the early followers of Christ before he become one himself. “Saul was a young man one who was well educated and on his way to becoming a rabbi,” Pamela Palmer wrote in “What Do We Know about Paul before His Conversion?” BibleStudyTools.com explains, “Saul was born in Tarsus, which was an affluent and diverse community that valued education. Saul was also a Roman citizen.” Saul eventually became Paul after his conversion experience with Christ Jesus and put just as much exuberant effort into spreading the gospel. He wrote to his brother in faith, Timothy,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT)
The beautiful fall day my daughter and I were immersed in was like walking through a painting. God is limitless, but we have limits. Paul so adamantly preached about our efforts in life. It’s great to beat other people at things. Competition is valuable when it pushes us past our limits to bring glory to God with our lives …whether or not we “win,” that is the picture of victory.
God promises a plan for us which is more than we can ask for or imagine. To walk the road home to Him requires us to push beyond our limits. Freedom from the fear which convinces us we can’t do hard things …impossible things, is possible. We can and will accomplish miraculous feats in Christ Jesus if we are willing to compete with the voice inside of us, which begs us to bail out and stay safe.