Without a doubt, the greatest and the most popular text in the Bible is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life”. This text is so powerful and appealing, many people wear it on their bodies as fashion.
Yet, non-Christians and Jesus bashers find this statement troubling. They think it is naive to believe that anyone would allow his or her innocent son to die a violent death for his friends. Frankly, I do not blame them because what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary transcends the human thought process. Furthermore, humans in general like to compare events. but there is no precedent for such a gracious act. It was never done before. Therefore, it is understandable that people with atheistic tendencies have doubts.
Nevertheless, to the true believer, there is nothing dubious about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, dying for sinners. However, many of us have never stopped and think about it. We accept it for what it is. It was a remarkable demonstration of God’s love, which was prompted by His desire to reconcile a condemned people back into the sheep fold.
Still, it was not Jesus’ wish that He died for sinners. He was following orders from God the Father. Jesus was the only man on earth worthy to stand in the gap, but He showed His humanness when the pain and agony became unbearable. He sorts a way out. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). God the Father denied Jesus’ request because the Scripture must be fulfilled. It was preordained that Jesus should die for the sins of the world (Read Isaiah 53:1-12).
Today, because of one man’s willingness to stand in the gap and endure the agony of a rugged cross, Salvation is full and free. Yet, many of us take it for granted. But make no mistake friends; He that spares not His Son, but delivered Him up for us, will judge and reward us according to our work.
There are a thousand reasons why you should trust God with all your heart. But, just knowing that God sent His only son to the cross to die for you, is reason enough. However, many people do not trust or even think there is a God. Despite all the compelling and convincing evidence, they reluctantly decline to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.
Here is an audio clip that has been around since I was a kid. I hope you will find touching and convincing as I have.
“Happy Father’s Day To All Responsible Fathers Around The Globe.”
God the Father:
God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the father and creator of all. Jesus, his only Son, showed us a new, intimate way of relating to him. When we see God as our heavenly Father, provider and protector, it puts our life in a whole new perspective. Every human father is also a son of this Most High God, the constant source of strength, wisdom, and hope.
Adam – The First Man:
As the first man and first human father, Adam had no example to follow except God. He faltered on that, plunging the world into sin. He also had to deal with the tragedy of his son Cain murdering his other son, Abel. Adam has much to teach today’s fathers about the consequences of our actions and the absolute necessity of obeying God.
Noah – A Righteous Man:
Noah stands out among fathers in the Bible as a man who clung to God in spite of the wickedness all around him. What could be more relevant to today? Noah was far from perfect, but he was humble and protective of his family. He bravely carried out the task God assigned to him. Modern fathers may often feel they are in a thankless role, but God is always pleased by their devotion.
Abraham – Father of the Jewish Nation:
What could be more frightening than being the father of an entire nation? That was the mission God gave Abraham. He was a leader with tremendous faith, passing one of the most difficult tests God ever gave a man. Abraham made mistakes when he relied on himself instead of God. Still, he embodied qualities that any father would be wise to develop.
Isaac – Son of Abraham:
Many fathers feel intimidated trying to follow in the footsteps of their own father. Isaac must have felt that way. His father Abraham was such an outstanding leader that Isaac could have gone wrong. He could have resented his father for offering him as a sacrifice, yet Isaac was an obedient son. From Abraham, he learned the invaluable lesson of trusting. That made Isaac one of the most favored fathers in the Bible.
Jacob – Father of the 12 Tribes of Israel:
Jacob was a schemer who tried to work his own way instead of trusting God. With the help of his mother Rebekah, he stole his twin Brother Esau’s birthright. Jacob fathered 12 sons who founded the 12 tribes of Israel. As a father, however, he favored his son Joseph, causing jealousy among the other brothers. The lesson from Jacob’s life is that God works with our obedience and in spite of our disobedience to make his plan come to pass.
Moses – Giver of the Law:
Moses was the father of two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, yet he also served as a father figure to the entire Hebrew people as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. He loved them and helped discipline and provide for them on their 40-year journey to the Promised Land. At times, Moses seemed to be a larger-than-life character, but he was only a man. He shows today’s fathers that overwhelming tasks can be achieved when we stay close to God.
King David – a Man after God’s Own Heart:
One of the great strugglers in the Bible, David was also a special favorite of God. He trusted God to help him defeat the giant Goliath and put his faith in God as he was on the run from King Saul. David sinned greatly, but he repented and found forgiveness. His son Solomon went on to become one of Israel’s greatest kings.
Joseph – The Earthly Father of Jesus:
Surely one of the most underrated fathers in the Bible was Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus Christ. He went to great pains to protect his wife Mary and their baby, and then saw to Jesus’ education and needs as he was growing up. Joseph taught Jesus the carpentry trade. The Bible calls Joseph a righteous man, and Jesus must have loved his guardian for his quiet strength, honesty, and kindness.
APA: Fathers In The Bible – 9 Famous Fathers In The Bible. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://christianity.about.com/od/peopleofthebible/tp/Fathers-In-The-Bible.htm
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. . .
A young man sat trembling in the police station. He had been picked up for shoplifting and now he waited for his parents, who were on their way to take him home. Being arrested was frightening and embarrassing. but it wasn’t half as bad as having to face his mother and father.
As they burst through the door the young man saw that his mother had been crying. He bowed his head in shame and awaited the fury to come from his parents. Instead, he felt his mother’s arm wrap around his shoulders and his father’s big, warm hand on top of his head. He looked up through tears and saw that both of his parents were watching him with love and concern.
The boy asked, “Aren’t you angry with me? Why aren’t you yelling at me?”
His mother spoke. “Honey, when you hurt, we only want to help you. You have done wrong, but that doesn’t mean we stop loving you. What you did hurts us, but we’ll work it out together.” (Adapted)
God loves us every bit as much. No matter what happens, if we work to find God, we will find love we never thought possible.
Dear heavenly Father, I fall prey to so much temptation and sin. I am ashamed that I cannot do what you would like for me to do. Thank you for your forgiveness and love, especially in times when I don’t deserve it. Amen.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:1-10, ESV).
There is something that you can always be certain of as you abide in the vine—Jesus Christ and God the father are deeply and intimately involved in your life; and they will never leave you nor forsake you.
The relationship of a branch to a vine signifies one of the closest relationships possible in creation. The branch is in the vine, the life of the vine is in the branch, and the vine-dresser [Jesus] is cutting back everything [the baggage] that will hinder it [you] from bearing much fruit.
Jesus uses the relationship of the branch and the vine to remind you of how dependent you are upon Him.
Like branches on a vine, our Christian life is a growth process. We mature more every day. As we abide in Jesus, we learn to know him better and trust him more. Cautiously, we reach out to others. We love them. The greater our trust in Christ, the greater our compassion will be.
This is a lifelong challenge. When we are rebuffed, we have the choice to draw back or give our hurt to Christ and try again. Abiding is what matters. When we live that truth, we can begin to love like Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t command you to bear fruit, but He does command you to abide in Him. Fruit is the outcome of your abiding, and that fruit will always glorify the father.