At first you may not immediately put these two words together. However, once becoming a father I believe that the Spirit of God changes something inside a man that can never be reversed. Now, when I think about the cross, the coming of Jesus to ransom sons and daughters and bring them to glory, I think about Finley.
Would I send her to die for you?
In short the answer is no.
you may be shocked to hear or read that, but the truth is that only our Heavenly Father is capable of doing what has been done. Only the Son was righteous and selfless enough to come and die so that you and I may live. I absolutely love the way Paul describes the coming of Jesus and the consequent outcome for those who believe on him in faith:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
The stage was perfectly set. Humanity was in dire need of rescuing. Jesus, the Son of God, King of Kings, perfect and blameless enters in to mess that our sin created…why?
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
You were dead! You were a slave! now…You are alive! You are a son! You are a daughter!
Had Jesus’ life ended on the cross then surely there is no hope for the rest of us. But it didn’t. On Resurrection Sunday he came back to life, appeared to his followers, taught them briefly, and told them, tell everyone you know! trust in me! believe in me! and you will be a child of the Most High God. and you will know him as I know him: Abba, Father.
On Sunday at Cornerstone we watched a video about adoption and the beauty that earthly adoption mirrors in our spiritual adoption in to the family of God. Its incredible…
Several things are going on this Lent season, not the least of which is being a new Papa to our daughter Finley. With each day, God brings us new joy, challenges, confusion, and smiles. While things are evolving for our family as she grows, so our church is going through a stretching season. We have been challenged to pray for the 40 days of Lent about the future of the church and for God to stir in his people at Cornerstone His dreams and plans for us.
So, in order to go with and as the people of Cornerstone Church, our staff has taken on the task of praying collectively throughout Lent (and hopefully beyond if I get my way ) each week. This past Monday, we spent an incredible hour of praising the Lord, praying for one another, for our leaders and ministries, and for our community. I look forward to more of these times together – seeking the Lord, lifting Him up and one another to him, listening expectantly for his voice.
Through New Eyes
As this little bundle of awesome opens her eyes each new day, God continues to completely ransack my previous notions of approaching him in prayer. We don’t come to him as perfectly put together people. We don’t perform for him in some spiritual charade as if he would be impressed with our efforts to earn his favor.
No, we wake up each day and look up at to a Father who loves us more than we will ever know.
Now I get it. Now I see Him through different eyes.
Without a doubt, the most impacting thing that has happened since the birth of our daughter on Friday has been my perspective on the gospel. I hold little Finley in one arm, knowing that if i drop her that her world would be over. I’m thankful that the Father holds me in arms that are so secure that not even my own sin nor the power of hell can separate me from his grip. Over and over again, God reminds me, Don’t you see…I love you more than you could ever love Finley. And I love her more than you will ever be able to love her.
These are incredibly humbling prayers and thoughts of mine over the last week. I’m 100% positive that I will process more about the realities of being a papa, but for now, here are a few of my favorite pictures we have taken…
a good friend and mentor asked me last week, “what’s your word for the year?” i had never really given that idea much thought until he explained the idea behind his word and why he felt like God had led him to grow in that area of his life.
all that said, however, I don’t really have any idea what my word is, yet. I do know that as every day draws closer to our family growing (8 days til our due date now), God continues to challenge me with visioning for our future.
Where will raise our family? Will we continue to live in Auburn? how we will we share the gospel with a 3 month old, a 6 month old? a 6 year old? a 16 year old?
the question i keep coming back around is a simple one: Five years from now, what do you want your life to look like?
as I wrestle with God through these types of question, the simplicity of a one word banner over 2013 is incredibly attractive to me…a stepping stone in a much longer, more elaborate path of sanctification.
what will be the word that defines my 2013? I pray God reveals that to me soon.
in the meantime, i challenge you: what word will define your year?
Personally i would rather choose a word and pursue it than to look back a year from now and say, “welp, 2013 was ____” and be disappointed at the way things went.
The question that I have answered at least once a day for the last 2-3 months has been a simple one: “Are you ready to be a dad?” While I’m never entirely sure how to answer, I usually respond with something like, “as much as I can be I guess!” or, “Are you ever ready?” Truly honest answers, both of them, but somehow inadequate in my mind as I think about the adventure that lay before Lacey and I just a few short weeks away.
Which got me thinking…I can think of no where in the Bible where God prepares the king, his holy people, a priest, or a prophet for a mission and then asks the question: “Are you ready?” The answer is obviously NO! i am not ready. I am not capable. I am not qualified. I am a man of unclean lips. Pick someone else. Take this cup from me. Who am I Lord that you care for me?
Jesus did not spend time preparing his disciples for ministry, pair them off, and then ask, “Are you ready?” Surely they would have responded the way all of us would from our flesh: “Surely you don’t mean to send me, Lord?” Jesus, in his perfect wisdom tells them to GO! You are carrying my name and with it, my authority. This is all you need. (obvious paraphrase here).
God is not fooled by our fickle human hearts. He knows full well that we are not capable of accomplishing the mission at hand without him. Thankfully, when God sends his people to war, he does not ask human questions like, “Are you ready?” He does however speak perfectly the most comforting words as he did to his prophet Isaiah:
“You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (41.9-10 ESV)
Of course you are not ready. I have called you to the high, heavenly task of raising one of my daughters.
Fear not, I have chosen you. I am with you. I will strengthen and help you, for I am your God.