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August 28th, 2008

The Father’s Love Letter

Father God\'s Love Letter

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139.1)
I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139.2)
I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139.3)
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10.29-31)
For you were made in my image (Genesis 1.27)
In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17.28)
For you are my offspring (Acts 17.28)

I knew you even before you were conceived Jeremiah (1.4-5)
I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1.11-12)
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139.15-16)
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17.26)
You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139.14)
I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139.13)
And brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71.6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8.41-44)
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1 John 4.16)
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3.1)
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3.1)
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7.11)
For I am the perfect father (Matthew 5.48)
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1.17)
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6.31-33)

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29.11)
Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31.3)
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore… (Psalms 139.17-18)
And I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3.17)
I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32.40)
For you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19.5)
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul Jeremiah (32.41)
And I want to show you great and marvellous things (Jeremiah 33.3)

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4.29)
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37.4)
For it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2.13)
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3.20)
For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2.16-17)
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1.3-4)
When you are broken-hearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34.18)
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40.11)

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21.3-4)
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21.3-4)
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17.23)
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17.26)
He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1.3)
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8.31)
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5.18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5.18-19)
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4.10)
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8.31-32)
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2.23)
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8.38-39)
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15.7)
I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3.14-15)

My question is “Will you be my child?” (John 1.12-13)
I am waiting for you (Luke 15.11-32)

Love, Your Dad.

Almighty God.

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August 27th, 2008

Blaming Others For Our Sins

Blaming others

It started in the Garden.

Adam said to God, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12)

The first man, caught in the first sin, turns to blame his wife. And he extends the blame to God as well! He implies that he would have remained innocent if God hadn’t put Eve in the garden with him.

The blame-shifting in the Garden continues today. Our proud hearts send us desperately looking for someone else to point to every time we’re confronted with our own sin. There must be someone else-our spouse, sibling, parent, boss, co-worker, pastor, friend, or God, himself.

We are so desperate to justify ourselves that we become irrational.  Here are 12 examples.

1) Anger

I wouldn’t lose my temper if my co-workers were easier to get along with, or if my kids behaved better, or if my spouse were more considerate.

2) Impatience

I would be a very patient person if it weren’t for traffic jams and long lines in the grocery store. If I didn’t have so many things to do, and if the people around me weren’t so slow, I would never become impatient!

3) Lust

I would have a pure mind if there weren’t so many sensual images in our culture.

4) Anxiety

I wouldn’t worry about the future if my life were just a little more secure-if I had more money, and no health problems.

5) Spiritual Apathy

My spiritual life would be so much more vibrant and I would struggle with sin less if my small group were more encouraging, or if Sunday school were more engaging, or if the music in the worship service were more lively, or if the sermons were better.

6) Insubordination

If my parents/bosses/elders were godly leaders, then I would joyfully follow them.

7) A Critical Spirit

It’s not my fault that the people around me are ignorant and inexperienced.

8)  Bitterness

If you knew what that person did to me, you would understand my bitterness. How could I forgive something like that?

9) Gluttony

My wife/husband/roommate/friend is a wonderful cook! The things they make are impossible to resist.

10) Gossip

It’s the people around me who start the conversations. There’s no way to avoid hearing what others happen to say. And when others ask me questions, I can’t avoid sharing what I know.

11) Self-Pity

I’ll never be happy, because my marriage/family/job/ministry is so difficult.

12) Selfishness

I would be more generous if we had more money.


Making excuses like this is arrogant and foolish. It’s a proud way of trying to justify our actions and pacify our guilty consciences. And it keeps us from humbling ourselves before God to repent of our sins and seek his forgiveness.

Consider James 1:13-15, which leaves us with no way of escaping our own sin and guilt. We cannot blame God, for he “cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

Instead, we have to accept the humbling truth that “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.“. This will end the blame game, and it will send us pleading for Christ’s mercy and grace.

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August 27th, 2008

Serenity Prayer

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept
The things that I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, Not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things
Right if I surrender to His will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

—— Reinhold Niebuhr.

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