Dear Children

Letters From A Father's Heart

Archive for the month “December, 2015”

The Joy And Value Of The Kingdom Of God

Dear children,

Jesus gives us two examples of what the kingdom of heaven is like in Matthew 13.  In one He says that it’s like a great treasure which is found by a man, and in the other he says it’s like a man who finds a great treasure.  In one of these instances there’s a sense that the treasure was found by accident, while in the other it seems that the man had been searching for something he knew existed, but didn’t know exactly what, nor where it was.  And that’s the way it goes.  Some people are not looking for Jesus, but they stumble over Him and find great joy.  Others search for a great thing and they discover Jesus.  The result is the same.

Notice how each of the men respond to their finds.  One of them has great joy over what he found, while the other values his new-found treasure.  I, your father, relate with the one who finds the great value.  I was searching for something, something that would make sense in this world which seemed to be descending into chaos around me.  Jesus became the treasure of treasures in my sight.  There was no turning back.

I think Jesus gave us these two examples–and he gave more–to help us, as brothers and sisters in Him, to understand each other better.  And while I am not without joy in Him, it is the value of the treasure in Him that appeals to me above all.  I find joy in knowing the truth.

But the truth can be harsh.  Reality, in fact, is harsh.  You are going to die.  Death will overtake you, and even though that seems like it is a million years away right now, it is much closer than you think.  This is reality, and all the diversions and fun you can muster up will only succeed in masking it.  This is depressing for many, and we don’t really like to think about it.  But I do, because it’s reality, and I want to live in reality.

 

When I was about seven I went to the front of the little Baptist Church and said the little prayer with the preacher. A little later I got baptised. I lived as a Christian for a few years after that, and had great joy. But as I got older everything changed; the world around me, my family, and even I myself changed. In time I began to fade away until I knew I was no Christian. I believed the lies of this world and I strove to have all this world had to offer. But when I got it, it didn’t deliver in happiness; only misery, hurt and pain.

I had become what I call a “flesh machine”. A flesh machine is someone who simply does everything their flesh tells them to do, to satisfy its immediate cravings. My entire life was centered on those cravings. It became the self-centered purpose for my existence. I could have said that, “I exist to please my fleshy desires, the lust of the flesh, the lust of my eyes and the pride of my life, and it would have been a true statement. But it’s a funny thing about your body as a “machine”, it only craves; it is never satisfied. It never has enough, and worse, it has no purpose to guide it as it is void of the Spirit. The scripture defines such a state as being “dead”.

But Jesus spoke of being born of “the Spirit”. He spoke of being born again. He spoke of picking up our cross and following him, which is a picture of killing the flesh and living according to the Spirit… which is life and peace.

Dear children, I gave myself over to the flesh for much of my young life, and in so doing wasted much of it living like a moron and being a fool. You have purpose dear children. You were created to bow before and worship your creator, and there is everlasting joy and rest in serving and submitting to your King and Master, Jesus, in His Kingdom. I have lived that truth out before you as best I can. And I pray that you would humble yourselves also before your creator, bow before Him and serve Him, and be wise, and not waste your life serving your flesh, which I can attest is a very cruel master.

Your father

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The Centrality Of The Gospel

Dear children,

You will have ample opportunity to sit through many a teaching during your lives here in the western hemisphere.  You will hear teachers and salespeople go on about this and that and all the while you’ll be eagerly waiting for them to get to the main thing, that one thing that matters the most. And you’ll wonder why they’re taking such a long route around to get there.  I’m sure they have their reasons.  There’s lots of research that goes into how to hook someone into buying something long before that someone has any idea of the cost; which is generally that main thing that they’re taking the long way round to get to.

Well make no mistake my children that in this thing called Christianity, the Gospel is the main thing. And that fact will be underestimated by you and all you come in contact with for pretty much all of your life. Our problem as humans is that we have a hard time grasping the main elements of the Gospel. One of those elements is the depth of our despair; the totality of the wrath of an angry God, and the absoluteness of our wickedness in the hot light of God’s holiness. I am convinced that if we understood that one thing alone it would change everything. Indeed I hope you will spend a life time endeavoring to grasp it. The more you’re able to do that, the more you will find that your circumstances will not dictate your joy.

Another element is the cost of the Gospel. This is probably the most difficult to understand, and the fact that God’s holiness is woven into it makes it all the more difficult grasp. Jesus was holy. That, my children, is no small thing. He was perfect and righteous and in pure fellowship with the trinity, un marred by sin. And yet He took our sin on Himself. I’m sure that it’s beyond our human ability to grasp the cost involved when such holiness takes on sin in order to bring about this gift offered to man.

And another element is the love that was expressed for those who are His when He sent His son to die on the cross for sinners. If we understood the condition of the man that God paid such a high price to redeem, at that point when he paid the price to redeem it, we would be undone. We talk about love. But I’m sure that our words are rendered bankrupt in their attempts to express the totality of the Gospel. We were saved from God’s wrath, at a priceless price, into His love, by absolutely no merit of our own. There is simply nothing to compare to that. And in the same way that man seems to ever be discovering the secrets of the universe, I am convinced that His children will ever be discovering the awesome wonders of this thing call the Gospel; the “good news”. For indeed it was the best news any of us could have ever gotten.

I pray dear children that you would spend your lives digging ever deeper into the miracles of the Gospel, and that you would increasingly become undone by the magnificent, wondrous, awe-inspiring, boundless, transcendent beauty of Christ, and Him crucified.

Your father.

 

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