Tag Archive for father


from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 3:1-21

Lord God, I cannot be who I want to be,
who I need to be,
by my own efforts.
No self-discipline,
no determination
can make me who I am not.
Only Your cleansing can make me clean.
Only Your holiness can make me holy.
Only Your life can make me Your child.
Only You can make me
like You,
sharing in You,
one with You.

Your life, Your breath, Your Spirit
is like the wind:
I can sense it, but I cannot
fully track it or
control it.
Your Spirit is Your life in motion.
He goes where You please.
He is who You are.

Lord, I see Him most fully and beautifully
in the life of the human Christ.
I watch as You and He, Father and Son, share
the same Spirit,
the same life,
the same power,
the same wisdom,
the same self-giving love.
As I see Jesus,
I long to be one with You
as He is one with You,
fully, constantly, forever.

Father, I am completely unworthy of You.
But since You deeply desire it,
come, be my Father
as fully as You were His Father.
Do this as it pleases You,
when it pleases You,
how it pleases You.
Blow as You will,
Wind of God,
Breath of God.
I will do the little that I can do and must do:
I will trust You. 

Father, this is what I want:
to live and breathe forever
in Your personal presence,
one with You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, You See Our Need
Printed Music & Lyrics

For Today

Father, I only want what Your
all-sufficient Son wanted:
only Your glory,
only Your Kingdom,
only Your will.
Gain or loss,
success or failure,
need or abundance,
sunlight or shadow,
this is my focus,
this is my desire:
Your smile and
Your approval.

Your Son was sure of
Your presence,
Your abundance, and
Your loving faithfulness.
Thus He didn’t fret about tomorrow.
He only needed bread for today.
Father, that’s all I need as well.

Your Son came to pour out on us
Your forgiveness,
Your cleansing,
Your holiness,
Your impenetrable keeping from all evil.
I will live joyfully and confidently in
that forgiveness,
that cleansing,
that safe keeping.

Father, as I trust You today,
I am in Christ, and
He is in me, and
we are in You
every moment.
Praise be to You, our Father, forever and ever!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Today, Father
Printed Music & Lyrics

Lord, Forgive Me

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, NIV)

We are so weak and inconsistent, so dull and ungrateful.

Yet if we repent and consciously turn away from our sins, not even they need separate us from God. The One who died for us doesn’t ask us to beg for forgiveness.

He doesn’t expect us to earn it or deserve it in any way.

You can’t. Don’t try.

He just wants you to ask Him to forgive you and trust Him to do it.

forgive me.
I trust You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, I’ve Failed You
Printed Music & Lyrics

When We Fail

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, NIV)

What should you do when you find you have forgotten God for a while? Don’t beat yourself up. Simply turn to Him again, admit your failure, and continue joyfully walking with Him. Your sadness is a sign of your love and desire for Him.

What should you do when you realize you’ve sinned? Don’t be discouraged. Admit it. “That is just like me! I cannot do anything right without God.” Confess your sin and confidently petition His grace, focusing not on your sin, but on His merits.

Then return to your normal work, and never let your mind go back. Put yourself completely in God’s hands for life and death, for time and eternity.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, I’ve Failed You
Printed Music & Lyrics

Jesus Models Forgiveness

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Luke 23:32-48

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)

Imagine that you are Jesus on the day of His death. Look around. Who do you see?

  • the religious leaders, proud, self-righteous, angry, blind to their own murderous jealousy
  • Judas, a close friend whose heart had wandered and who turned you in for a few pieces of silver
  • the disciples, who lived with you for three years then fearfully deserted you in your time of trouble
  • Pilate, who sensed the truth but was too weak to act on it
  • Herod, who held your life in his hands but was only concerned with his own entertainment
  • sadistic soldiers, to whom you were cruel sport
  • a thief hanging next to you, taunting You in an effort to save himself
  • the crowd of people, a mixture of mindless mob and curiosity seekers.

In short, you’re surrounded by humanity. To them, you’re a criminal, a blasphemer, a financial opportunity, a pawn, a scapegoat, a fool, a buffoon. Your pain is their afternoon’s entertainment. You’ve given yourself for these people, and they’re crushing you with their indifference, injustice, torture, humiliation, and the most agonizing death they can devise.

Every fiber of your being is screaming in pain and begging for relief. You are in your final moments. What is on your mind?

Most people being crucified would have filled their last hours with angry curses and bitterness. Read Jesus’ words. Listen as He speaks them. What is on His heart during these moments?

Forgiveness. Forgiveness fills His mind, His heart, and His words. Forgiveness for the proud, the cruel, the ignorant, the fearful, the weak. Forgiveness for us.

In Him, pain and injustice never overwhelmed love. In His final moments, with His final life breath, He completed His beautiful portrait of our loving, forgiving Father.

God Is Shaping You

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. (Ephesians 5:2, NIV)

God uses relationships to make us more Christ-like.

Usually when problems arise in a relationship, we blame the other person. But more often, the reactions of the other person are a mirror in which we can see ourselves and our faults more clearly.

God uses these tough times to teach us and reshape us. He is giving us hands-on training in patience, forbearance, gentleness, and self-sacrifice. He is teaching us to set ourselves aside to make someone else happy, to reach out and understand the other person, even when they seem the most unfair.

Do you want the mind of Christ? He forms it in us through people. When painful, demanding situations arise, live love. God is doing a good work in you.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Father, You See Our Need
Printed Music & Lyrics

Glorify Jesus Christ

Jesus said to them…”Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21, NASB)

The Father sent His Son into the world.
He equipped Him with His own Spirit and sent Him to
speak the Father’s words and
do the Father’s work
in the Father’s power.
The Son came with this burning desire:
to glorify the Father.

The Son sends us into the world.
He equips us with His own Spirit and sends us to
speak His words and
do His work
in His power.
We go with this burning desire:
to glorify Jesus Christ.

His Spirit has one aim,
to glorify Christ (John 16:14), and
He fills us with that same desire.
We want to
live, and
so that everyone around can see how
gracious, and
loving is Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God. 

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Not I, but Christ
Printed Music & Lyrics

Knowing the Unknowable

 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. 

“I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:15-17a, 20, 23, NIV)

Who completely understands the Trinity, how Three Persons can be One Being and One Being can be Three Persons?

Yet all who receive God’s Spirit experience the Trinity. We share in their love and unity. We taste their oneness and their individuality.

The Father showed His heart, His mind, and His deep love for us beautifully and completely in Christ. The Holy Spirit speaks this revelation to individuals all over the world. He makes the truth in Christ universal, constant, and personal.

The Father made Himself human in Jesus. He became small, earthly, and touchable. The Holy Spirit takes Jesus beyond the limits of a physical body and breathes Him all around us and within us.

God has wrapped us in Himself—
Father Creator,
Human Son,
Universal Spirit.

The life of God the Father is breathing through us. The Word that spoke all worlds into existence is recreating us. The Spirit that brooded over the waters is reshaping us. We share the love and unity of the Father, Son, and Spirit, becoming one with them and, in the process, one with each other. We are becoming more like Christ yet more truly ourselves, more individuals yet more one.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: One with God
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Power of Influence: Ralph Bible

As you read each post in this series,
I hope you’ll think with gratitude about those who have influenced you, and
I hope you’ll ponder your investment in the lives of others.

As I reflect on my dad’s life, I am struck by how very faithful God is.

Born on May 20, 1919, in Decoursey, Kentucky, he was soon moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and he spent the rest of his life there. He was the youngest of 11 children born to Samuel Steele Bible and Sarah Bible. His older siblings had longer, more flowery first and middle names. By the time my dad came along, they were out of energy and out of names. He was just Ralph Bible. No frills, no middle name.

To show you the spread in the children’s ages, his oldest brother, Hascal, died in combat in World War I, while my dad fought in World War II.

His mother died of tuberculosis when he was two. His father was totally consumed in trying to save their farm during the Great Depression—a battle he eventually lost. Thus my dad grew up without parental models and without the attention a child needs. As a result, he struggled his entire life with a poor self-image.

Largely unsupervised, he lived wild in his younger years. Even many years later, with adult children of his own, he wouldn’t talk about the things he did when he was young. The regrets were still very real.

Fortunately, his oldest sister, Bessie, took it on herself to look out for him as best she could. She went to extraordinary lengths to keep him in church, even when it took bribing him with candy. When he came back to the Lord as a young adult, he credited Bessie’s faithfulness.

My dad was a loving, very devoted father. All the years we were growing up, he worked second shift for Proctor & Gamble. As a result, during the school year we saw him only on weekends. But he always made Saturday our day together, no matter what other obligations were pulling at him. He wasn’t perfect, but we always knew he loved us.

His spiritual influence on me was profound. As a child, I remember his prayers. His voice took on a high whine, a very emotional tone that I found embarrassing. And his prayers were far, far too long for my childish attention span. But they stuck with me. I could tell by the way he prayed that God was very real and personal to him, and that helped make Him real to me too.

During my teenage years, when I got desperately confused about something, I could go to my dad. He always seemed to have exactly the right thing to say to soothe my troubled spirit.

Throughout my growing and adult years, Dad frequently reminded me that he was praying for me, and I always knew he was.

Those who have raised children and reflected back have surely been struck by the truth of the old adage: far more is caught than taught. Our children don’t always listen to us or remember what we say. But they tend to absorb the persons we are. Our living example is a powerful influence on them.

My dad was a humble, godly man who loved his family and loved his Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Though family economics kept him from graduating from high school, he had an intelligence, an active mind, and a profound wisdom that outreached the classroom. But his lasting influence didn’t come from intellectual brilliance, unique talents, or worldly accomplishments. His life was abundantly fruitful because of the person he was and the faith that he lived day after day, year after year.