A Father’s Love and Motives

…apparent defeat is changed into victory…

Meditation Thought: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)

“I am your Father – fathers do not harm their children. If they allow the children to face stressful situations, it is only to strengthen and teach them. But always the father is there to help, to console, when the situation is difficult and the child fails. The father does not send the child to do his assigned task and then forget him. He is interested in it going well for the child – he helps prepare the child for the task before he sends him to accomplish it.

I have created families so that you can know something of a Father’s love and motives – so that you can have some hint of what I am like -what unselfish love can be, what a close relationship can be. Trust me, I created you to love, not to abuse. Relax in my arms, feel my love, then go to your task reassured that the loving arms are always there to return to, for rejoicing together in victory, for consolation in defeat – and apparent defeat is changed into victory as you learn how to understand and obey My instructions more maturely, more completely.”

The Blessing of Confession

As we lose ourselves in prayer for another, that is when we come closest to being made in the image of God, for we are serving, unselfish, loving, and giving at that moment.

Meditation Thought: “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16

Confess. Confess is a pouring out of a thought – as you pour it out of yourself, it is no longer part of you; that thought is not inside of you, to cause festering, to be interfering with thoughts on which God wants us to concentrate: thoughts full of beauty, holiness, kindness.

As others hear of your sin, they can express the confirmation of God’s forgiveness and of their forgiveness – thereby also reinforcing their own need to confess their sins and be forgiven.

And pray – always pray for one another, for to pray is to express love and concern, and to call for power for the other. As we lose ourselves in prayer for another, that is when we come closest to being made in the image of God, for we are serving, and unselfish, and loving, and giving at that moment – a child imitating our parent. And in the imitating, becoming more like the parent, more God-like – more as He teaches by His example. Varied as His examples are, they are always consistent in their nature: they exemplify love.

A Time of Renewal

God created the sabbath as a merciful gesture for people not for the purpose of burdening them.

Meditation Thought: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)

The sabbath was made for man to have a time of renewal – of opportunity to come to know God better, to have a chance to recuperate physically, to be strengthened spiritually, and to be inspired mentally.

To understand the purpose of the sabbath is a necessity before it can become what God intended it to be.

To make the sabbath a time of concentration upon ceremony rather than on celebration of God’s creative love and care is to waste it, making the very intended healing invalid. For ‘healing’ it is to be: the weary body, the confused and frenetic mind, the listless spirit are all brought to health and wholeness through this ‘treatment’ of a change in pace: a time when, with clear conscience, one can – and should – postpone the ordinary daily routine. Some tasks are necessary for making even the sabbath comfortable, and some tasks are chosen because to neglect them would be distressing – but the point is that the sabbath should be a state of mind: an attitude of setting time aside to be aware of God, to become closer to God and man, to be renewed and refreshed.

All of this is the help ourselves: to be a slave to ‘rules’ to the point of not allowing the Spirit to guide us in how to have the sabbath be the rejuvenating force that it is meant to be, is to deny that we are to be open to the Lord’s constant creative teaching and care. This is the message for which Jesus came: the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.

God created the sabbath as a merciful gesture for people not for the purpose of burdening them.

But for us to ignore His message – either by rejecting the necessity of a sabbath by rejecting God as our Source and Sustainer or by distorting the sabbath by misunderstanding God’s purpose of creating it, is to thwart God’s will: His will is for us to be in close fellowship with Himself. This is possible only as we are actively seeking to enhance this fellowship through being willing to learn what He would teach us.

Beloved, Cherished, Trusting

Lord, here I am – your beloved child, your cherished child and at least at some level, your trusting child. Therefore, I yield to your will; I seek your guidance; I trust you to take good care of me.

Meditation Thought: “In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:3)

How exciting a new birth is – the joy of creation, the awe for this little one who is so helpless, yet so precious. That must be the way you feel about me! It must be the way you feel about everyone!

If I can think of myself as your precious little one whom you are giving wonderful, loving care – but are also having to be ‘tough’ with at times because you know what is best for me, then perhaps I will trust you more fully and obey you more diligently, knowing that you will in the end be the one that was right after all!

Lord, here I am – your beloved child, your cherished child and at least at some level, your trusting child. Therefore, I yield to your will; I seek your guidance; I trust you to take good care of me.

Mercy Triumphs

Meditation Thought: “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” To triumph is to overcome completely, to be proved superior to that which did not triumph. Our God, being a merciful God – to the point of sacrificing Himself for us – is the crucial difference between Him and any other “gods” perceived by man.

We are mad in His image, and when true to that image, then we are merciful also.

Only when we come to trust God’s Word and Spirit enough to test His teaching as actual experiments in the course of our lives do we demonstrate the truth of His principles. And we cannot judge the interim results as the final outcome of the experiment without reaching false conclusions.

This is especially true in the principle of mercy triumphing over judgment. The results of judgment are perceived by the mind, and may or may not set in motion further thoughts which set in motion further deeds affecting the future.

But the results of mercy affect the heart – the emotions, the spirit – and these too affect the mind, but they have such power that they do affect the future.

To be judged – even fairly, we accept as our “due”, and are satisfied that the situation has come to a conclusion.

But to receive mercy – an undeserved, unearned pardon – a release from even the need for judgment – sets us free without even the stress of the proving of our case.

We are so accustomed to needing to justify ourselves to the world, that the unexpected removal of the need for justification sets us off balance – and the strangeness of our position causes us to think actively about the whole situation from a new perspective: this is the reason that mercy triumphs over judgment. It causes new awareness of love – and any new awareness of love is also leading to an awareness of Him who is Love: the greater the awareness of Him Who is Love, the greater the prospects of “miracles” – of healing actions. And this is the demonstration of the triumph of mercy over judgment.

Imprisoned in the dark and gloom
of the world of your cocoon
You did not know outside that space
Light and color,
Sound and purest air
Awaited for you to recognize
You need not spend forever
Where you were.

Time and the gentle touch
of your Creator’s sign
Reveal to you the purpose of your birth:
Not to stay in darkness,
confined in little space –
But to grow, develop wings,
and using the efforts of your faith
To burst out into the Kingdom –
To explore its beauty in an ecstasy
Of soaring, seeking, discovering
That purpose for which you were born –
Though in darkness you knew not why
You struggled, sought,
The perseverance against the confines of your tomb
Conquered the seemingly impenetrable mass
And glorious light of day
Greet you with welcome;
At last you emerge into your proper home.