Archive for One with Our Father

Truth

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER
John 8:31-32

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NIV)

The Truth—
deep, unchanging, absolute reality.
We long to know it,
to see it,
to grasp and embrace it.
We long to live in this Truth,
to move and breathe in harmony with it,
to stand on it and rest in it
completely, constantly, forever.

As the Son of the Father,
as the Creator and Source of all, Jesus
speaks the Truth,
lives the Truth, and
is the Truth.
His Spirit within us is the Spirit of Truth.
As we live in Him and He in us,
we are wrapped forever in the full reality of all He is.
In Him life is right and good and complete, and
we are free! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Have the Truth
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Tuned to the Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER

John 17:20-26

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity.” (John 17:20-23, NASB) 

In John 17 Jesus’ prayer and His vision encompass,
not just His disciples,
not just all who would believe through them,
but the entire glorified Church with Him in heaven.
His prayer,
His vision,
His deepest longing
is that we all be one.
But one with whom?
And how?

An orchestra tunes,
not by all attempting to tune to each other,
but by each individual tuning to a common pitch.
In the same way, our unity starts with
the unity between Father and Son.
Their unity is born of deep love and unbroken sharing.
As we trust that Jesus is one with the Father,
the Holy Spirit makes us part of their sharing.
The Spirit tunes each of us to the Father and Son.
Our unity with each other is a by-product of
our union with them.

The Father loves us as completely as
He loves His own Son.
All the blessings of eternal life and eternal oneness
flow from the Father’s love.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, as You Love Your Son
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Completion

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 4:34; 5:36; 13:1; 17:4, 23; 19:28

Throughout His earthly ministry, from first to last, Jesus repeatedly spoke of completing the work His Father had sent Him to do. It seemed always on His mind. To express His desire, He used a Greek word meaning to complete, finish, or accomplish.

For example, when He was weary from travel, His disciples urged Him to eat. Jesus was more concerned with drawing a Samaritan woman to His Father:

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34, NASB)

Jesus’ critics scoffed at His claim that God was His Father. They considered it blasphemy! Jesus said His works proved that God was His Father:

“The works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5:36, NASB)

On His final night with His disciples before His arrest, Jesus prayed to His Father and gave Him this report on the task for which He had been sent:

“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4, NASB)

Jesus finished this same prayer by praying for all who would believe on Him in the years to come. Looking ahead, the work He desired to see completed was their perfect union with each other in the Father and Son:

“I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23, NASB)

What was the task that had characterized Jesus’ ministry from first to last? It was showing the Father’s love, in all its length and depth and height:

Jesus knowing that His hour had come that he would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end [margin: to the uttermost, or eternally]. (John 13:1, NASB)

Considering this focus of His life, how else would Jesus spend His final breath as He died in agony on the cross?

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.”
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:28, 30, NASB)

The completion of His Father’s work was Jesus’ daily food, His unshakable foundation, His love’s driving force, His dying wish, and His vision of the future for every believer.

Father, my desires,
my time,
my energy,
my future are in Your hands.
Plant me like a seed,
as You did Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ Is Our Horizon
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I Long for the Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 13:1, 3 

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (John 13:1-3, NIV) 

Father, as Jesus neared the end of His time here,
His deepest longing,
His burning desire was this:
to return to You.

His Spirit in me is breathing the same desire.
Father, I long to come home to You.

Father, You are the goal toward which
all history is moving.
I want my thoughts,
my desires, and
my daily living
to keep moving toward You as well.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Longing for Home
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See as God Sees

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 13:1-3

In difficult times,
our concerns, our pain, and our loss
seem so real and permanent.
But this entire physical world is passing away,
including these bodies.
What seems so solid and lasting is only temporary.

What will last is
God,
His life in us, and
our service to those He loves.
In the long run, material things are only important as
they impact His purposes.
Money and possessions either lure us away from God or
draw us closer to Him.
They either serve Him or
deny Him.

Look to God,
consider His purposes, and
begin to see the events in your life as He sees them.

Through life’s painful experiences rejoice that

His purpose is advancing and coming to completion.
We are not suffering permanent loss but are being drawn closer to God.
He has not forgotten us. In fact, He is showing His love for us in a richer, deeper way. 

Father, when difficulties come,
help me to cling to You and to Your will
the way Jesus did. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Are in Christ Jesus
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Jesus’ Life Is God’s Promise

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 20 

Praise be to the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms
with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
(Ephesians 1:3, NIV)

Look at Jesus Christ:
human, yet divine;
completely dependent on the Father,
yet always sufficient in Him;
weak, yet strong;
suffering, yet joyful;
pressured, yet at peace;
having died, yet risen to boundless, endless life.

The life of Christ is the Father’s promise to you.
As He lived, you can live here and now.
As He lives, you will live forever.

Imagine Jesus Christ the first of a
whole new race of human beings,
a race completely free from
the curse of sin, death, and the fall,
holy and glorious as He is,
children of our Father in the fullest sense.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Jesus’ Life Is All a Promise
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Never Be Thirsty Again

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 7:37-39

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39, NASB)

As our bodies thirst for water,
our spirits thirst for God.
We drink from other streams,
other wells,
other cisterns
but always go away unsatisfied.

God satisfies our spirit
with Himself.
We need never be thirsty again.
He becomes a spring of Living Water
always within us,
always fresh, and
always flowing.

God gives Himself freely to anyone who will
come,
ask, and
trust.

Father, Your Word to us is a
treasure of life and blessing.
And You have given us Your own Spirit to
make it a reality in our lives.
We frail, blind, and wayward creatures
can know and live the truth
as Christ lived the truth.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: In Your Spirit
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Look to Your Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 6:26-40

We long for consistency in our lives,
especially in our relationship with our Father.
We sense moments of oneness with Him,
but soon our thoughts are pulled this way and that.

We long for Jesus’ relationship with His Father.
No matter how busy or pressured His life became,
He always seemed one with Him,
constantly focused on Him,
depending on Him,
open to Him.

Most of us fall far short of that relationship with our Father.
But as we look to Him more and more,
as simple prayer weaves itself
into the fabric of our moments,
we grow into Him.
The prayer that Jesus taught us becomes more and more
the constant cry of our hearts:

Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be glorified,
may Your Kingdom come,
may Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10, paraphrase)

Even when our conscious thoughts wander and
we seem to forget Him for a time,
our hearts remain focused on Him.
Increasingly we want only what He wants.
We love Him,
depend on Him, and
crave unbroken fellowship with Him.
This is the gracious Spirit of Christ,
putting down deeper roots in us,
growing and spreading in the garden of our hearts.

Father, Your purpose is to
bless me abundantly and
make me into the image of Christ,
with You as my true Father.
That is what I want as well.
Work Your will, whatever it is, and
help me trust You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Father’s Face
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Constantly, Completely Dependent

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 5:44; 6:26-29

When I read about Jesus in the gospels, it seems that He always knew everything and could do absolutely anything. But then I listen to what He said about Himself:

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does . . . By myself I can do nothing.” (John 5:19, 30, NIV)

“These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:24, NIV)

Jesus’ wisdom and power, His words and His actions, were not His own. He had emptied Himself (Philippians 2:5-7). He was completely, constantly dependent on You, Father, for everything He said and everything He did. He listened. He obeyed. His total dependence on You was His great strength and constant sufficiency. His power was made perfect in His weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Jesus was what He was by faith. His strength was not in His own abilities but in His relationship with You, Father. He trusted You. You were His only light, His only source of life, wisdom, power, peace, love, and holiness. Because He was empty of all else, You flowed through Him unhindered. He was constantly full of You.

Father, I cannot be capable, holy, wise, or loving any other way. You were the only source for Jesus. You are the only source for me. Jesus wants to share with me His relationship with You. Father, that is what I want as well.

When I feel a need, I want to eliminate it.
But my neediness is permanent and pervasive.
I can never eliminate it.
Instead, Lord, help me to rest in
my sufficiency in You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Each Moment by Faith
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Our Confidence

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 5:19, 30; 13:20

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:19, 30, NASB)

“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 

“He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (John 5:23; 13:20, NASB)

When Jesus faced hostility during His earthly ministry,
His confidence was always this:
He was simply representing the Father who sent Him.
He only said what the Father told Him to say, and
only did what the Father showed Him to do.
He was careful to speak and act
only in the Father’s authority.
Thus as people either
received Jesus or
rejected Him,
they were receiving or rejecting the Father.

As His disciples were about to face a hostile world
without Jesus’ physical presence,
He passed along this same truth to them.
Just as Jesus’ confidence in every situation had been
His trusting, obedient relationship with His Father,
so His disciples’ confidence would be
their relationship with Jesus.
That relationship would be their
adequacy for their mission.
As they said what Jesus gave them to say and
did what Jesus showed them to do,
they could face any opposition and any challenge
with bold confidence.
Their preparation for ministry was this:
their intimate binding to Jesus Christ and
their complete dependence on Him.

The same is true for each of us.
Our preparation for life and for service is
our trust in Jesus,
our obedience to Him,
our dependence on Him, and
our moment-by-moment relationship with Him.

As we go to make disciples of Jesus Christ, we go
in His sovereign authority and
in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
We go in the Spirit of Christ Himself,
with His Word and
for His glory.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord Jesus, Living Presence
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