Have you ever thought about why God would choose to refer to himself as our father? I think it’s because that relationship is one we all intuitively understand, whether we had a good father or not.
I did have a good father, although he recently passed away. Many were not so fortunate to have good earthly fathers. But just about all of us can picture in our minds the ideal of what it means to be a good father. Even if you didn’t have one, you know what you wanted—wished for—cried out for. A dad who was firm, but at the same time, gentle. Kind, but willing to tell us when we’re wrong. Willing to give advice, but not wanting to crush our spirit or lord his authority over us. One who would discipline, in love, when necessary, but remind us that his “anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime” (Psalm 30:5).
And this is the genius of God calling himself father. This powerful song about God’s role as father packs a lot of truth into five short short minutes.
If this is the first time you’ve heard the song, listen to it again. The love of our father above helps shape our identity. He wants to be known as kind. He’s willing to tell us when we’re wrong, gently giving advice without crushing our spirit. He is a good, good father, and for those who didn’t have an earthly one, he wants to be that.
This song tugs on my heart every time I hear it, but especially so this past Sunday, as it brought back thoughts of my dad. He wasn’t perfect, as our father in heaven is perfect. But no matter who your earthly father is, we can all dive deep into the love of our heavenly father.
Give him the benefit of the doubt when you don’t understand him. Sometimes our mistaken understandings of him can get us humans angry, or confused, or rebellious. But like Hosea, he’s there waiting to take us back, no matter how far we’ve strayed. Wouldn’t a good earthly father do that? And isn’t God the perfect pattern for earthly fathers, not the other way around?For anyone who’s separated from God, I pray you’ll seek him with all your heart. Read your Bible. Talk to people who love God, even if you don’t agree with them on everything. That’s OK. We all need to grow, and we grow most when we’re challenged.
Immerse yourself into God’s love. If you haven’t yet been baptized, do it. Start the journey. He’s a good, good Father, no matter what you may have thought about him yesterday. Call or email me if you’d like me to pray for you, or just to talk.
Tracy GautreauSeptember 27, 2016 at 10:59 AM I wanted to share something. My sister who is 66 years old was baptized back in June of this year. She had been around the church some and came once in awhile long ago. My mom, who passed away a year ago June and left the SCOC about 10 years prior to her death, was very influential to my sister. My sister and I talk on the phone weekly and my moms death was hard on all of us, but my mom left this world with peace and a confidence in her Savior… Read more »
Thanks for sharing, Tracy! That is so awesome. I'm excited for you and for her. And for John getting to immerse her into the Lord Jesus Christ. Very cool.
That is beautiful Tracy! I know those who left the SCOC and (as you say) fell in love with God. I've talked with others who have left the SCOC, and have found the same love for God as your sister. The fruits of the Spirit are very evident in them. It wasn't until I left the SCOC that, I too , fell in LOVE withGod. SCOC uses James 4:17 to bind THEIR man-made rules on its members. Keeping their mandatory Bible class schedule is one of them. They will not forsake their classes even if it means neglecting their families,… Read more »
Yes. If anyone knows of a way to explain the love of God to people who don't get it, please let me know. It's one of the most frustrating things in life to want to share something so powerful it is overflowing in your life, but to have it rejected and dismissed.
The difference between the SCOC and God is like the difference between night and day, between cold and warmth, between help and hurt, between being pardoned and being under a death sentence. They are at two different extremes of existence and taking a walk toward the light is well worth it.
Good analogy. The challenge is figuring out how to communicate that to someone who thinks the darkness is light, and the light is darkness. It's heartbreaking. There's so much joy waiting on the other side of that realization.
How one defines righteousness is important. Those that walk after their pride and develop a superiority complex, are arrogant a define righteousness by seeking out a place of superiority over others. The arrogant love to be the ones enforcing the rules, or giving advice, but don't have any love for others. Those that define righteousness as walking after their conscience in obedience to God's law; understand just how difficult it is to follow the commandments and keep your lust and pride in control and are therefore merciful and forgiving of others when they err. Luke 18:11-14 describes the two attitudes… Read more »
One example of the difference between the Merie cult and God is in how children are treated. In the Merie cult children are sexualized by the open and constant teaching about sexual related topics such as masterbation, wet dreams, when parents are to have sex. Children in the SCOC have forbidden knowledge (for children) about the sexual activities of adults in the church. One withdrawal was for defiled marriage bed where it was said that the two people were acting like animals in the marriage bed, (many teenagers giggled at this.) Today there is no more withdrawal for "defiled" marriage… Read more »
Very good points. I had to have been five or six when I was overhearing plenty of conversations about what was happening in different adults' and teenagers' bedrooms. You can't unhear those things, and it definitely was a loss of innocence. Six of my kids are adults now, but I have an eight year old. I can't imagine her being exposed to some of the stories, whisperings and accusations that I was exposed to about other people's supposed sexual thoughts and sins. Then I saw some of those people sit in "withdrawal" for a decade or more, knowing those things… Read more »
One example of how the disciples of Merie and the disciples of Christ differ is the watch story and Luke 16:9. The story goes that a man bought an expensive watch and then asked the SCOC with help for food and Merie said that even though he had been foolish with his money the SCOC should still help him because he wore the name "Christian." The watch story is told whenever the SCOC wants to encourage you to help in some way, whether it is with money or skills or any other need that might come up. This gives you… Read more »
One thing that I forgot to point out is that the foolish man was not told to take his Rolex to a pawn shop and pawn it for food money and reclaim it later when he had enough money for both food and a Rolex. In the SCOC if you want your request for help approved you go to the teacher first and ask if you can ask the church for help and the teacher will tell you to try and find help by any other means first such as asking relatives if you can borrow money, or ask your… Read more »
Excellent points Buddy! I hope you don't mind if I add a couple more.One thing I had a question about for a long time, even when I was still with the group (but I wasn't brave enough to ask)-how is it that the evangelists get a salary AND still come to congregations to ask for (and receive) money for auto insurance, etc? It didn't make sense to me that they would get BOTH money and assistance, every month.And why the secrecy about how much they are paid? When any other member comes before the group to ask for assistance, they… Read more »
Thank you for sharing Debby, I have only my perspective from my experience in the Phoenix and Prescott Valley Arizona churches and often wonder if all the other congregations went through the same things or not and when someone else shares a common experience from another location it only confirms my belief's that it was nationwide and not just here in Arizona. Again thank you for sharing it is a great help.
Buddy, you are correct in how the church helps people in need. I went to the the church for need a few times and one time I walked away from the brethren that were interrogating me on if I went everywhere else first before coming to them. I would answer one person and then another would walk up asking the same questions, and then another would walk up to do just the same. We were told we had to go to counsel before we asked before the congregation. When I was missing time, because of my disability, I was told… Read more »
I agree with this whole lesson. I have heard so many Christians tell of how they have burned all of the bridges to their family and friends. People in their families won't talk to them or have anything to do with them.
I saw these scriptures as God tell us that have ties with family and friends, as long as we aren't unequally yoked with them, is a must as there are times we may need them.
What is really sad is that members in need were denied on a regular basis and the rich (100,000+) were green lighted to receive help. I look at the scriptures and see different personality types among the Apostles, Peter was impulsive and did not know his own weaknesses, paul was authoritarian, and Judas was a thief. To withhold support from the needy and give it to the rich is a lot like Judas, and I considered WP, the preacher from Albuquerque to follow after Judas's example.
You will notice that a lot of the prerequisites that are required to do things, like this, are not even found in the scriptures. Were are the prerequisites to helping another Christian?
Kevin, what a beautiful song. Most people in the church have never listened to contemporary Christian music and they are missing out. Because some people might be afraid to listen to the song you have posted I am going to paste a synopsis of the song, written in poem form. I've heard a thousand storiesOf what they think You're likeBut I've heard the tender whisperOf love in the dead of nightAnd You tell me that You're pleasedAnd that I'm never aloneYou're a good good FatherIt's who You are,And I'm loved by youIt's who I amOh, and I've seen many searchingFor… Read more »
BTW, I changed the Blog Archive in the right sidebar to make it easier to find older articles, and also added a Blog Index in the menu to get a list of all articles. This way you can read what you catches your interest, rather than reading based on the date of the article. 🙂 And thank you, everyone, for the occasional encouragement. This project started out with no expectations for readership. I just had to get things that were on my heart onto a written page. But it's your conversation, fellowship, and encouragement that has made it a useful… Read more »
Your Blog gets better and better, good changes made to make it easier to navigate. Thanks!
You're welcome, I'm glad the recent changes are helpful. 🙂