One faithful life by John Macarthur – Part 2

This section covers Paul first mission trip. Unlike mission trips in modern times, Paul was laying the ground work many times to go to unfriendly atmosphere to preach.

The section states Paul (Saul) and Barnabas completed the first trip. One of the first examples documented in Acts 13:42–52.

“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.”

After reading scripture. I tried to imagine how my pastors (past and present) would have handled people disagreeing with him. Each of them would have relied on God. Paul and Barnabas were ran out of town according to Acts 13:50-51.

“So Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet and went to Iconium.”

There were people praising them as they left yet there was a section of Jews not happy what they were preaching. For me personally, Paul talks about his revelation was from Jesus, not men or other apostles

Paul’s conviction is impressive and Jesus selecting Paul to bring Gods kingdoms message to the masses makes sense. As Paul went from town to town preaching, bringing the good news.

I can only imagine his upbringing was relevant. When Jews were not accepting Jesus words and needed to relate to them through knowledge, all that training came back. That is my thought as I type this yet the revelation Jesus gave him was so powerful. Its impact is still felt to this day through the books in the Bible.

“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

Given today’s continued unrest and promotion of hateful atmosphere. I can see comparisons. When Paul was preaching, various times he wasn’t welcomed or forced to leave. Doing that kind of preaching is doing Gods work and to some degree our world needs that as well. There is such a revelation happening today around me and yet, many are unaware the impact of change going to happen.

False teachers were present in Pauls day as well. Some taught to gain eternal life the laws of Moses and circumcision needed. This goes against what Jesus did to free us from the law.

This first mission trip included a return trip to Jerusalem to meet other apostles. It would have been an interesting adventure to be able to witness these meetings.

I am humbled by this first part and enjoyed the content..

On to part 3..

One faithful life by John Macarthur – Part 1

A few months I asked God what he wanted me to study next? I praised him for many miracles, blessings, lessons among other things in my walk with Christ.

God made it clear through examples including prayer 🙏 and other people I interacted with on a regular basis to study Paul’s journey. I immediately identified with Paul’s passion to carry out his duties, with zeal.

I deliver food boxes each week and one of my regular guests is a mature Christian. Each week, we chat for awhile on various topics. He introduced me to John MacArthur. I was unfamiliar with John before this. My friend gave me a couple books. One was called The Gospel according to Paul. Click here. and “One Faithful Life”.

I read The Gospel according to Paul first. John’s writing style was definitely a step above. My initial thoughts his book seems a bit academic and theological. While not a typical writing style I prefer. I was attempting to be obedient to my perceived calling to study Paul.

After a couple weeks, I prayed and asked God. Am I supposed to finish this book? I was distracted by John’s frequent use of unfamiliar and “big” words I would need to lookup the meaning. This was distracting while reading and understanding what topic or concept being discussed.

Gods answer was with grace. “Steve” just keep reading and skim by words you are unfamiliar with. After this perceived answer to prayer. I was able to finish without issue.

After finishing “The Gospel according to Paul” written by John. I spent a few weeks studying a book by Louis Giglio called “not forsaken”. I will be teaching a class in the fall of 2020. If you follow my blog, there are 10 posts about my experiences in this book.

When I finished Louis’s book. I felt the call to return to another book my guest gave me. It is “the faithful one”. It was very clear I needed to read both books by John MacArthur regarding Paul.

Besides Jesus, Moses and probably King David. There isn’t another individual God uses in the Bible to bring his kingdom to the people.

I was surprised 😮 early on Paul was the perfect person Jesus could use to bring his ministry to Gentiles. The thought of a zealot, who knew the Old Testament and traditions of Jews was perfect. His passion was well documented to persecute Christ followers.

The format of the book is a chronological timeline of Paul. Part 1 reminded me how much deal Saul had to persecute Christians his day. The story of Stephen is well documented in Acts. Paul approved over the death.

From there is covers Sauls conversion, to Paul’s meeting of the original prophets. The style of the book is way different and mostly is like reading the Bible. There is some interjected statements unlike the other book I am reading. This is enjoyable and a refresher of covering The book of Acts.

One of the things on my mind as I read through Part 1. Life continues for the world after Jesus death. There was a certain disfunction yet workable society. Much like today, there is a lot of disfunction and the world continues. Depending on who is in power, is what agenda is pushed.

In part 1, it includes original apostles such as Paul, Phillip. In all, three is 32 small stories in Part 1 labeled from Pharisee to Pastor.

On to our Part 2…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 10

Hey bud, you have any mushed-up peas, or something I can eat from a baby food jar?

Chapter 10 starts out with a good and thought provoking question. At first, I didn’t know where Louis was going. We have had nine amazing chapters then a concept talking about baby food.

What the heck???

God wants to participate in our lives. Even in the boring parts..

But if we simply stay at the level of the first blessing, then our lives stagnate. We miss out on the blessings of becoming spiritual adults and tapping into all the potential that is woven into us at the moment of spiritual birth.

God the father wants us to grow and Louis challenges us to grow in our walk, which takes risks. I have read dozens of books yet never blogged on each chapter. This post will stay around long after I have become obsessed with the next challenge God puts me on.

At the time of typing this. I am about a month from the class from starting. ( sept 2020) Our country is in uncertain times and who only knows what will happen. This class will be completely remote so that is challenging.

I want people to really grasp there is nothing more important than having your Heavenly Father involved in your life. The previous nine chapters spelled that out for me.

If you choose to stay semi-distracted and let the temporary chaos the world offers. You won’t fully realize the plans he has for you.

In some ways, I am still an immature Christian and can do better. I hope you take my statements not as lecturing as much as the past nine chapters has lit a fire 🔥. The creator who has infinite power, wisdom and is madly in love with you!

Louis does a great job for bringing all of this together.

Maybe we’re prone to lustful thoughts in our heads, or angry thoughts, or downcast thoughts. That’s our old self at work. To become spiritually mature, we have to soak our minds constantly in the truths of Scripture. First Peter 1:13 tells us to “prepare our minds for action” (esv). Psalm 101:3 encourages us to “set no worthless thing before [our] eyes”

Through the rest of the chapters I am reminded to continue to seek God in everything.

He won’t disappoint and based on the statement above. We need to take action to overcome our old habits. I know that statement hit home.

This process doesn’t happen instantly and is a slow, gradual process. I have had the pleasure to be used by God to help people along in their walk. God used people early in my walk to help guide, provide that reassurance I am going to be ok and continue to seek God.

As in a previous post. God the father as a little distant until recently when I learned all the poems I have written in the six books I wrote were “love letters directly from the father”. Not Jesus, not the Holy Spirit. Directly from the throne. Talk about a “wow” moment. Until I read this book and typed many thoughts out did that statement and I finally get it. My father in Heaven has the answer to everything. I just need to ask and involve him. Will you let him? I am certainly going to try?!

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed my additional topics and observations about this book. It was yet another small step in my walk but I am going to adjust my devotions and prayers to seek him first.

Here is the theme verse from my latest book.

Seek – Lead more by example, less by opinion.”

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭nasb

God thank you for this blog series. I needed this and you were patient with me. I will try to involve you even more now that I realize my eyes needed to be opened even more!

Amen! 🙏

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 9

Ok deep breath Steve…last two chapters were amazing revealing our Heavenly Father. Scripture examples abound and make me smile more than ever.Am I excited. You darn sure I am!!

At the beginning of the chapter discusses about us becoming like our father.

At some point, wearing dress socks with tennis shoes like Dad used to doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea after all.

I laughed so hard and if anyone knows me. I might have posted a picture on the internet with white socks and sandals. Or maybe 100….

On a more serious note…becoming like our Heavenly Father is a journey. The enemy would like to convince we have failed if our transformation doesn’t happen overnight. That is a lie and an attempt to cause anxiety and stress.

“we’ve talked about already, you have two family trees. It also means you have two birth certificates. One is earthly, one heavenly. On one is the date and place you entered this world. On the other is the date and place you put your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life.”

As that statement mentions. Once we declare a spiritual birth. God places his spirit within us and revival takes hold.

We have declared to everyone in the natural and spiritual realm God is our father and small battles happen now that you are resistance. We have the same power in us who raised Christ. With one whisper, the enemy has to flee. We need to lean on our father more than ever.

He will protect his children. A stern reminder sin passes down from generation to generation and when we decide to stop this behavior. The enemy has witnessed generation after generation.

“last phrase of Numbers 14:18, “He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.” The word visits in this verse has a simple and clear meaning—that the father’s sins have a way of showing up for a visit in the lives of their kids. Sometimes the visit comes a day later and at other times ten years down the road. But at some point, it’s likely there’s going to be a knock at the door, and Dad’s sin is going to be looking to stay for a while.”

I personally could identify with this statement and your decision to follow Christ example has consequences well beyond our generation. My own dad modeled Christ walk the last several years of his life. I reference his testimony often when I am writing or speaking to people.

My hope for my own family and generations to come use the words God have given me in their own walk! I never thought like that until now and this chapter has turn my eyes to the future.

We are free in our faith and encourages to leave our past behind. The chapter reminds again about our amazing father and traits about him. We are not our old selves and he wants us to leave our past behind. There is a persistent enemy who wants to keep us down.

When we find comfort in letting God lead, things turn out so much better. 15 years in my walk? I still have doubts, and catch myself trying to go at some challenge along. After a prompt or six from the Holy Spirit. I am reminded to pray and ask for guidance. Amazing 😉 how things work out.

I will finish with this blessing at the end of the chapter.

“You, my friend, are a uniquely designed, wonderfully created, dearly loved son—or daughter—of a perfect Father. And, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).”

When in doubt…read this statement out loud or say outloud John 3:16 or your favorite verse.

God bless…thank you so much for using Louis up until now…my perspective has changed to involve you and your amazing infinite wisdom in my daily walk.

On to chapter 10…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 8

Chapter 8 continues to reveal amazing how much our father loves us and has our best interest in mind. His infinite love ❤️ is shown in scripture over and over.

I have read many of these passages in prior studies but none through the lens of our Heavenly Father.

Jesus states on Sermon in the mount:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7–8)”

That is a bold and loving statement. It is clear. You seek and all are welcome. No exceptions. All you have to do is seek and accept him. He loves us enough to let us even reject him…if we choose. That is one of the great mysteries about our God. He allows us to choose. Of course, he could make us and has the power to do yet does not.

The chapter continues scripture after scripture show how absolutely and abundantly God provides. When we ask, he does not short change in his response.

We need to be patient and open minded enough what we ask isn’t what our earthly desires want. Rather all gifts and answers to prayer bring glory to God and satisfaction to his follower.

This could be almost anything yet when looking through the lens of our Heavenly Father, our response is almost always drop to our knees in praise!

As I have been typing each review and what stuck out to me. I can’t help but remember by own earthly father. No matter what happened in my life my dad was there.

If I needed brakes on my 80s chevette ( true story and even one of the lugnuts broke off). He took time even though I am sure there was a million other things he could have been doing.

Chapter 7,8 for me personally has started to cement a similar approach to my Heavenly Father. I need to just ask and wait. He will answer just at the right moment, not any sooner. When I reflect back, this is always the case yet I doubt almost every time.

God made another bold statement when the “stone in front of Jesus tomb” was rolled away and Jesus walked out.

No where I know of in scripture says heavens reaction to this event. I am sure there was some major worship going on and groaning in the spiritual realm knowing not even death could hold Jesus down. Our father has spoken. There is a way back to me and eternal relationship is established again. My son is the way.

That gives me goose bumps and the picture my words paint are such a powerful statement. Our father went to these lengths for us to spend eternity with him. All come to me and I will be your father.

When our eyes are open with the new “revelation sight” we talked about earlier, we come to see this: God’s power is limitless and His arm is mighty to save. We’ve already highlighted this passage where Paul encourages us to see with new eyes, but it’s worth repeating:

We need new eyes and look differently when facing a challenge in life. God the father is there and no matter what happens, including death. Involve him in your walk is the lesson and habit I came away with. That…is some powerful words right there!”

“The psalmist encouraged us, speaking about the perfect Father, “In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11 esv). Now, in Christ we have the promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5 esv).”

Gods words state I won’t forsake you. If you need scripture proof…there ya go!

There are other examples but this chapter affirms His love and many many scriptures to help prove it.

On to chapter 9…almost done

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 7

This chapter is summarized as GOD soooooooooo loves you. If you read no further in this post. You probably are thinking. Steve I know this! Share with something I didn’t know.

My heart is racing as I type this review. Remember when you were a kid and either on Christmas Eve or birthday eve when you knew the next day something special was going to happen.

A surprise present 🎁 and anticipation was amazing. Or as an adult you take a new job and the day before your first day, how nervous you probably are?

These are examples are meant to highlight this chapter gives example after example how much God loves you.

The more you seek and know your father. The more familiar you get with him and appreciate his bounding love!

“it’s important to see that everything we’ve received is wrapped up in a Someone. The blessing is not a thing. The blessing is a Person. God is the blessing—our perfect Father.

As this statement says. Our perfect father wants you to know that and his word want that.

There are a couple personal stories in the chapter as examples and while I won’t reveal them. ( see how I did that anticipation and if Louis or one of his staff reads this, I might help sell a few more books 🙂)

They build hope and help further cement positive feelings that weren’t there at the beginning of the book. I loved the upbeat and honest approach talked through out the chapter.

As much as I enjoy reading books. Chapter 7 is a turning point where I am 2/3 the way through the book. How much more will be covered that isn’t already been discussed.

I am the type of person as soon as I learn something meaningful. I want to put into action. How do I take such an exciting chapter and keep the fire 🔥 alive to further my walk?

As soon as I had this thought. One of the highlights was scripture:

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. (Ps. 84:1–3)”

That makes me even more excited to take concepts and apply Gods written word. If that scripture doesn’t get your heart pumping faster and excited! Not sure what will.

After a few chapters, there are ideas and concepts that might reveal things in our life that might make us feel vulnerable. This chapter builds hope. You get an initial sense of Gods love like you might not had before.

Many things have been introduced to this point. For me, my perspective and appreciation for my Heavenly Father is growing leaps and bounds.

On to chapter 8…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 6

After finishing chapter 5, my soul was on fire to be baptized in more “oneness” with my Heavenly Father. Louis asked tough questions and necessary to make us feel more vulnerable.

Topics such as forgiveness and our family tree is non-negotiable. Louis gracefully discusses these topics and shares some personal experiences from his life. I liked this part where he wants to have readers get to know him more personally.

This style is relatable as our Heavenly Father wants be in union with us. For me personally, forgiveness is a near and dear topic. I haven’t always been the best and when I first accepted Christ, the first two poems in my book 52 Pickup : these are the words I give you to share with everyone” were titled:

1) Anger

2) Bitterness.

I accepted Christ at age of 35. That gave me 17 years of adulthood and 15 years of marriage with a family to develop bad habits. Even years later, the power of forgiveness is something I am just starting to grasp. I could continue for a long while on this topic!

I will leave you with this question…

“So, I gently ask: Is your refusal to forgive your dad bringing you more peace or more hurt? Is it helping you move forward or is it always pulling you back into the past? Has unwillingness to forgive led you to the freedom you hoped it would, or is it unsettling to your heart?”

Louis highlights a couple of concepts new to me. He talks about “new family tree” when we accept Jesus. This new family tree has “spiritual DNA” unlike our earthly DNA.

I never thought about when accepting the Christ and the Holy Spirit enters your life. Your spirit becomes a bright light and a target for the enemy in the spiritual realm. Knowing we have to mature, the enemy tried to hold us back.

When I first became a Christian. I was on fire! That is an exciting time. When the newness wore off. Doubts and guilt started to crop up. The maturity process had started to take hold.

God wanted me to grow and rely on him more. I became a part of a new family with total love as the end result. Eternal love by our heavenly father is a concept we can not grasp. As I was typing this. I had a picture come to mind!

“Jesus standing in a robe with a big smile, arms open saying welcome to the family”

I am amazed after chapter 5 we could “take a turn” towards heavy topics with grace. Like our Heavenly Father, who has many traits we will never fully grasp and understand.

The enemy will use our shortcomings against us and try to distract from growing our relationship with God the father.

I want to end this summary. These posts are personal reflection and I appreciate Louis outline so far in the book.

We are not overwhelmed by any one topic and is gradually help us become more familiar with our Heavenly Father. I appreciate that and I know behind the scenes the Holy Spirit is help guide thoughts as the books was written..

On to chapter 7…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 5

If you have read my posts up until this point. The first chapter was an amazing introduction. The next three chapters slowly introduces new concepts and gently discusses various topics. Then came chapter 5.

Louis hits the peddle like being in a drag car doing a 4 second quarter mile. He builds upon what has been discussed and opens up.

Time to put on the helmet and get down to business. At the time of writing. I have yet to read any other chapters. This was a soul moving chapter. Ever read something and the Holy Spirit has your full attention…yeah that!

God was silent for 400 years before Jesus was born. Not a peep, a miracle NOTHING! There were a few angels sent a few months before and a few instances about Jesus.

As the book mentioned. We take for granted going from Malachi to Matthew I the Bible. We don’t have to wait 400 years. Does make me think about Gods people during that time?

The chapter introduces the concept of camping at the cross. It talks about the gruesome death Jesus did for each of us. God the father sent his only son, who until his birth on earth, was in perfect unity.

To have your Heavenly Father forsake, even for a split second, compared to eternity was a long time.

Jesus knew of our pain…

Jesus knew what it was to be forsaken by His Almighty Father. Abandoned. Naked. Beaten. Wounded. Rejected. That’s how Jesus died. When He died, Jesus made good on the hope set forth in Malachi’s last prophetic bridge to the future. Now, through Christ, God could forgive you. Cover your sins, cancel your debt, and cast away your shame forever. Raise you with Christ to new life and call you son or daughter. Jesus was forsaken so that you would never have to be forsaken! That’s the significance of the title of this book. Thanks to the cross, you are not forsaken.

I had never thought in-depth how Jesus could relate to every pain. When he was on the cross, he felt shame, was alone, and everything else that is not holy. That moment in eternity God dealt with our shortcomings.

This statement wants me to stand on a top of a table, dance around and celebrate. Shout to the heavens and say thank you. Regardless of what is happening or will happen, my father in heaven has got my back through is son. There are no exceptions. The enemy knows this and tries to tempt and distract us.

Chapter five removes the restraints:

“dad you must return to the cross of Christ again and again.”

If you have issues with your earthly father. We must return to the cross. The sacrifice Jesus did heals all. We have to nail to the cross. All hurt, all pain, all suffering Jesus did already and he wants us to give our hurts and hang ups to him.

Leave at the cross. His blood covers us and gives atonement for us before our Heavenly Father. This is a powerful concept. If you sin over and over, return to the cross. Hand to Jesus and his love that covers all and we can’t grasp how much he loves his creation.

Having such a person with complete authority, understanding and love for us. That is such a blessing and a reminder I needed to hear. At times I struggle with stuff, such as “imposter syndrome” what is something so deep you don’t want to share publicly?

I struggle with _______ so bad and I want God to take from me. Are you ready to let go or are you not ready to give it up because it feels so comfortable even though it is a sin. Anger? Bitterness? Abuse? Jealousy? Return to the cross. God opened a door to remove that pain, whatever it is.

Chapter 5 brings the cross and sacrifice front and center. God was us to stay there until all our hurt is gone. When we are healed, we can help others so much more effectively. We don’t need to be perfectly healed to help others. It is a journey.

“The cross of Christ is proof that God can take the worst and bring something good from it.”

The “murder” on the cross was wrong by any standard. An innocent man died an gruesome two pieces of wood. He did that for each of us. I recall watching the movie “Passion of Christ”.

My emotions turned to anger wanting to punish the soldiers and people in authority. God ordained these actions to restore a way for his creation to have a relationship again. It took this level of suffering. We all avoided having to go through eternity paying for our sinful nature. We should praise Jesus and thank him always! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

As I conclude this post, this was a powerful chapter and the Holy Spirit moved in me. I can not imagine what will be revealed to come!

On to chapter 6…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 4

Chapter 4 is another “setup chapter and introduces various “father” types that we could have had or experienced ( i.e. performance where love was conditional based on some metric, grades, how you performed in athletics) in your life.

I did not relate personally to examples listed in the book. I have seen others in my life who fit the descriptions. The stress created on my friends or people I associated with, they didn’t have a unconditional love from the father figure in their life.

The chapter also sets up and introduces “wounds” left from one of the types mentioned in chapter 4. For us to heal and truly fall deep in love. We need to face any shortcomings we associate with our earthly father that could impact us from fully grasping our Heavenly Father. Some people when faced with past hurts don’t truly deal with it.

We mask or try to bury by making statements such as “I’m fine” or “I have forgotten him and it no longer impacts me”

This can be true in some cases where forgiveness has been given in our hearts. That helps but if we have hidden things left unsaid or not dealt with. The enemy will use that against us.

The book touched on wounds and this statement summed up dealing with wounds.

“First, you have to take serious stock of your wounds. I don’t believe, as some do, that the driving factor in all our lives are our “daddy wounds.” I don’t believe every single person has been broken by their earthly dad. Yet, father wounds are real, and for some these wounds are the dominating factor shaping how they view themselves and relate to others.”

For me personally. I didn’t have much unforgiveness in my heart towards my earthly father. My trouble as I became a Christian was accepting my Heavenly Father and his role in my walk. I mentioned in previous posts of trinity, the Heavenly Father role I didn’t get and to some degree I am still learning. Maybe that is why I am teaching this class and learning at the same time.

This book is helping me grow closer as well as I am studying Paul. Jesus used Paul in amazing ways. This is a shorter post but i get the sense upcoming chapter will fully reveal Gods power and further reveal him to us through scripture and open our eyes further.

ABBA my hope as others read through the rest of the book, any hidden wounds are revealed.

Here is a poem called wounds from my second devotional book

Day 40—Wounds

Scripture : John 19:16-30 Poem

Wounds can be physical. Wounds can be mental. Wounds can be eternal. Wounds alter the normal. Wounds alter the original design. Wounds can be to you. Wounds can be to other people. Wounds can change how people perceive. Wounds can change how people act. Wounds take many shapes and sizes.

After a while, you believe the negative thoughts, and it feels like an open wound.
Until we face these wounds, in whatever shape they come. We can’t come to grips with those wounds, and heal. Handing over wounds to Jesus Is a life-changing experience

When you truly forgive wounds, they hurt no more. Yes, if they are physical, they are still there. Jesus shows us that forgiveness is a blessing, Even though this is NOT easy to do.

When you and Jesus work together, Wounds become less apparent, and heal.
“Thank you Jesus, For helping heal my wounds!” Amen!

Story Behind the Poem

I don’t remember the inspiration for this story. When I was writing my first book, 52 Pickup: These are the words I give to you to share with everyone, I reviewed the manuscript over and over. When I came to this story, which was in the original 52 Pickup manuscript, at one point, it didn’t quite seem to fit. After a while, I replaced it with a different story called Perspective. When I realized the theme of Remember the Nails, 40 days of doing something uncomfortable on purpose, this was one of the first stories that came to mind, because it would fit in perfectly. Jesus was permanently wounded and suffered for us, because he loved us. Wounds ARE uncomfortable! I could finally see why this poem didn’t fit before – it was supposed to go in this book instead. I love how that happened! If you have a wound, I hope when you look at it, Jesus has Wounds and he did it for you.

On to chapter 5…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 3

This chapter listed several descriptions of who God can be but would be limiting. I could not believe all the various traits God has about himself but above all else. He is our Father. Jesus ministry discusses this several times.

When reading the various traits and roles God plays covered in beginning of the chapter.

  • Creator
  • Ultimate Judge
  • He is Love, light
  • Among many other things

This got me thinking about my own dad and his roles:

  • Dad to five kids
  • Husband for 59 years
  • Farmer in his later years
  • Truck driver
  • Store clerk
  • Friend, brother, uncle, cousin
  • And he own multiple businesses

My dad was humble and came from the generation that worked. He came from a poor but loving up bringing. By his own admission, it was not always easy but that is all he knew. He said I moved 7 times in one year. My kids are going to grow up in the same house. I got to experience that stability and my other brothers and sisters to this house on county farm when they were young. This upbringing allowed stability in my early years.

As I read chapter three. God introduced more the “father” role which as I listed many traits for my dad, not as many as our Heavenly Father of course.

Jesus covers in John 14:6 “no one comes to the father except through me”. This is important to know and affirms we need to accept Christ as our savior before we can truly have an eternal relationship with God. This statement might not make everyone feel comfortable at first but as you learn while walking with Christ, Gods love is not like an earthly father. It is perfect and we were created to have a relationship with him, as we are made in his image.

“189 times God is mentioned in the Gospels”. Jesus wanted us to be clear we have a Heavenly Father who loves and what his role is in our lives. He fully submitted his role on earth and wanted to do His fathers will, not his.

His will can free us and here is a bold statement said with the authority that only comes from God;

“that the knowledge of our identity as sons and daughters of God unlocks prison doors, heals wounds, and propels us into greater purpose in our lives.”

This is powerful statement and one that shook me and will share during the class.

Much of this chapter introduced God as the father figure, the perfect father.

“In Romans 8:15, the Bible says we, as believers, can use this same title when addressing God: Abba.”

I have heard the term ABBA as one way to address God the father and didn’t really grasp until reading this chapter. A former lead pastor of mine frequently will address in his online posts..ABBA help!

I thought that was kinda of weird to use that description or name for God the father. My eyes were opened during this chapter and I am glad for that new perspective.

To wrap up…Our Heavenly Father is the perfect father, unlike our earthly father, if you had one or not. ABBA is there and loves you more than you know. We just need to accept and grow to realize that, for some that might take the rest of their lives.

On to chapter 4.