Monday, 31 August 2015

The Father Affirms

Devotional studies on the nature of God the Father from the Gospel of John.

Scripture

This morning's entire reading can be found here.
But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.
John 5:36
Observation

As I begin reflecting on this verse I'm reminded again how wildly different the revelation of God as seen in Jesus is from anything else in world religion. In Jesus we see a God who is a Father. This is really good news for us. Let's walk through this verse together and look at what it teaches us about the Father:
'For the works that the Father has given me...'
The Father has given the Son works to do and these works were different to the works John (the Baptist) did, they were specific and unique to Jesus. There was also a clear intention behind them. The works were designed to announce, to all who'd hear it, that Jesus was sent by the Father. The Father empowered and gave the Son authority to do the very things he called him to do. More than that:
'...and the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me,'
The Father didn't just send the Son and then step back leaving him on his own to try and convince people that he was the Son of God. No, the Father sent Jesus and also stood alongside him so to speak, testifying about him through the things Jesus did.

Application

The Father 'pays for what he orders' (as I've heard it said elsewhere). He doesn't tell us to do something and then not give us the tools for the job. The Father is generous in his provision. He fights for his people, defends them and justifies them. He doesn't leave a person alone when he calls them to do something. He gives us what we need in order to do what he calls us to do; and he does call us to do things, just as he did for Jesus.

We can confidently affirm the following about the Father from this verse:
  • The Father enables us, provides for us and isn't afraid to affirm us in public.
I include the word 'us' in the above sentence even though the verse in question has to do with Jesus. I can do this confidently because the Father never acts 'out of character' and so since Christians are adopted children of God, how he behaves toward the Son reveals how he behave toward all sons and daughters.

This ought to effect the way I approach the things I'm nervous about. The Father is my Father and my Father gives me all the strength and confidence and equipment I need to do what he puts in front of me. The apostle Paul said it well when he wrote:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Prayer

Thank you Father. You affirm me in public. In front of people, you stand by me saying 'this is my son, whom I love' and you provide me promising to give me all that I need. I want to live differently today in light of that truth. Please help me to remember this truth and live like it's true today. Amen.

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