Category Archives: Reflection

Father Heart of God

Back in 2003 I was thinking about God as Father. I was particularly struck by what Jesus said of his own relationship with Father God all through the gospel of John. It seems like it would be good to come back to what I wrote all those years ago. May Father God bless and encourage you as you read and think about God as your heavenly Father.
We need to experience God’s father heart towards us. What we know of a father’s heart is pretty pitiful. For some it’s as a tyrant who demands unquestioning obedience and who uses physical force or verbal abuse to achieve that obedience. For some it’s as a slave driver who requires “work” to pay one’s way. For some it’s like a school teacher requiring perfect scores. For others though there may be a physical presence, the father is emotionally absent. For many there is no father because of death, divorce, or other circumstance causing separation of the family.
Our experience of our own fathers’ hearts becomes our view of God’s father heart so that our sense his heart may be one or more of the following:

He’s a tyrant waiting for me to put one foot out of place
He’s violent and vengeful
He’s distant and disinterested
He’s unapproachable
He doesn’t listen
He only pays attention if I get all my ducks in a row
He doesn’t care about me or what I feel
He won’t help me, I have to figure it out myself
He doesn’t like me (because I’m ugly, stupid, slow, lazy, fat, careless, a girl, a boy, not like him, whatever)

Here are some scriptures to help you meditate on Father God. God is emotionally present, kind, loving, gentle, and understanding of our limitations. Our minds may know this but our hearts don’t.

Psalm 103:13, 14 says, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.”

Isaiah 9:6 “Mighty God, everlasting father …”

Matthew 6:9 “Our Father in heaven may your name be honored …”

*John 10:30 “The Father and I are one …” Look at Jesus to get a view of the father heart of God.

Romans 8:15 “Father dear Father …”

Hebrews 1:5 “Today I have become your Father …”

Ephesians 4:6 “Only one God and Father …”

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Time

Time. In some respects time is so against us. The older we get the more quickly it scurries away… a month comes and goes like it is just a single day. Why, just yesterday it was New Years day, wasn’t it? How could it have become the end of April already?
There are days when I feel as if I don’t have enough time to complete all the projects I have on my list, even for that day let alone the rest of my life This has become especially so as I’ve gotten older. Physical limitations have become sadly apparent. Once I could easily and quickly chop wood, change a tyre, fix a broken window! Now even simple tasks have become a challenge. And, oh, how I ache in places I wish I didn’t. If I sit awhile my muscles freeze up. If I stand in one place too long then my back aches. Where has the agility and flexibility of youth gone?
So, time is in my thoughts today.
A friend has just reminded me of these verses in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4,11 (NIRV)

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. … He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

My friend goes on to say:

Time in this life is brief. Take the time to dance. Take the time to love. Take the time to pray. Take the time to laugh and to sing. Take the time to give hugs and kisses. Take the time to watch the sunset. Take the time to cherish each moment you are given. Take the time to thank God for every day you have.

And, I do agree. Our times are in God’s hands. I am so thankful! My hope is in him.

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In what do we hope?

Is the world moving closer to another world war? Current events being reported in the media are pretty harrowing. And, if the truth be told, rather fear inducing. It’s as if there is nothing to contain or stop the death and destruction being carried out by a growing group of terrorists without a moral compass. World leaders are looking at ways to stop the progress of this group, and how best to help those groups suffering the most there in the Middle East. Not an easy task and one fraught with the danger of igniting a conflagration.

I don’t have any magic words. My heart aches for those directly affected and I pray for God’s mercy and provision for them. I pray too that God will grant wisdom beyond human ability as the leaders consider what to do.

It has prompted me to listen carefully to what God might be saying in all this, and especially for myself. The thing that stands out is that God is in control. And though the foundations of law and order have collapsed… God is still God and he rules from heaven. (Psalm 11:3-4). I can trust his unfailing love, no matter what. My hope is in him!

This world is not the be all and end all of everything. Our hope (my hope) is in the promises of God that he has given in the Scriptures.

 

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Something to ponder…

We live in such a world today that it’s hard to know whether today’s truths are true at all because tomorrow it might have become a different truth. So much is relative to what people want to think is truth, and like the weather it changes all the time. This is confusing and confounding, and adds to our frustrations with life (whether we realise it or not).

However, Jesus spoke about truth; a truth that does not change on the whim of man or on how many believe it or on success or failures. The truth Jesus offers us is one that sets us free. It does not depend on what we think or believe but simply on who God is.
Jesus said:
“Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Truth is not determined by how many people believe it.
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No matter the mess, God works for good!

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

When it seems like the world’s gone mad, don’t forget “God existed before anything else … and He holds all creation together.” (Colossians 1:17 NLT). When worry whispers, “God doesn’t know what you need!”, remember God promised to “meet all your needs”. (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

[from a friend]

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God gives us hope

“…I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.” Jeremiah 29:11b NIRV

There’s an appointment on God’s calendar with your name on it. God has an appointed task for you to accomplish and appointed blessings for you to enjoy. He has called you with an “eternal purpose” and He will bring it to pass.

Isn’t that just great? What a hope!

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Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012!

Saturday, December 31, 2011
Last day of 2011 — and the sun shines — lovely blue sky — lovely, lovely, lovely!!

This is just a day like another. And tomorrow will be another. Yet today and tomorrow have symbolic significance for us human beings:

end of the old > beginning of the new

We aspire to do better than we have before. We aspire to do good things — to live more honourably, more honestly, more truthfully. We aspire to put away the bad and put on what’s good.

YET…

any change is cosmetic. To reach our aspirations we need an interior change — a transformation of the heart. Who can do that? We may try mightily and seem to succeed for a time but we still end up reverting to our default mode. A mode that has decades of imprinting by our upbringing, our choices in life, our experiences, our sufferings, failures, successes, and so on.

Who or what can change our default mode? How do we get out of this rut of reverting? Can we never make a real difference in our own lives? Or, in our family’s? Or, our community’s? Or, our nation’s? Or, our world’s? Will all things revert to that default which we deem unacceptable, untruthful, unloving?

Seems pretty bleak.

We can’t change ourselves let alone anyone else.

But, Jesus Christ can change us. He changes our hearts. He alone makes it possible to reach our aspirations. He alone is the transformer — not a new year resolution or wish, not a promise on our part. We are weak; he is strong.

Sadly, we have legislated anything to do with Jesus out of our schools, our communities, our nation… and, thus too out of our lives, and out of the lives of our children. Sad really. The one person who can sort it all out is relegated to the dustbin.

YET…

Psalm 113: 4,5 “For the LORD [Jesus] is high above the nations; his glory is far greater than the heavens. Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high?”

For those who seek Jesus… God bless you!

If you don’t, may you be surprised to discover how great is his love for you in 2012!

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Longing for God

Some years ago I wrote a reflection on ‘longing for God’. As I read it again now I find that it’s still just as relevant for me now as then. As you read this be encouraged… God is no stranger to our unsettlednesses, our longings, our questions.

Psalm 42: 1-3: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him? Day and night, I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?””

There are times when I am fully aware of my longing for God. It is so strong that my heart aches inside. At other times I have no awareness and am busy thinking and doing other things yet have felt so restless and unsettled. No matter what I put my hand to or think about in my mind it does not settle the unsettledness. What I believe is happening is that my deep longing for God is causing the unsettledness; I am dissatisfied with everything else. My deep being is crying out with longing for God. My outside being (my conscious self) is distracted with many things; some of these distractions may be my efforts to escape from my longing for God.

Then, too, there are my enemies who seems to whisper forever, “Where is this God of yours?” The demons are ever ready to throw this question at me when God seems not to be near, or seems not be hearing or paying attention.

My longing for God gets attacked by myself (the sinful self who is so full of self and does not want a competitor) or by the demons who do not want me to draw close to God in any way.

God knows this. He knows how to deliver me from the taunting demons. And, He knows how to work in my heart so my dissatisfaction deepens until I do turn to Him and am willing for Him to bring about the needed heart changes.

He has made clear in Scripture that He loves us and desires to fellowship with us. He has planted within us this deep longing for fellowship with Him, as well.

Copyright © 2003 Fran Woods

originally published at Bhojli Reflections

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