Monday, June 30, 2014

The One Year Bible- June 30th

With the calendar in my office reading the last day of June, I wish to congratulate you on reading more than one half of the Bible!! The year is half way done and we are well on our way to reading all of God’s Word this year. This may be the time to evaluate how you are doing in your reading plan. Is everything going well? Do you need to make any adjustments in your reading plan? Do you need to find a buddy to read with? Let me know how I can help. Keep up all the hard work! On to the study today...

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament
We finished up the book of 2nd Kings this week with a flurry of Kings, most of them bad. We read quite often, “but he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight...”. Over and over the kings continued in the sins of the previous rulers. Remember God’s word to Joshua way back, “Make sure you drive out all the people living in the land and do not worship their Gods” (my paraphrase). Well the kings did not do a very good job and now the consequences are going to set in. First it was Israel’s turn to be exiled. The author of 2nd Kings does a great job telling us why, “This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the LORD...the followed the practices of the pagan nations...they build pagan shrines...they set up sacred pillars...they offered sacrifices on all the hilltops...they worshiped idols despite the LORD’s specific warnings” (2 Kings 17:7-12 NLT). What were these warnings? Sometimes it is helpful to look at the whole picture. The Old Testament is not in complete chronological order. So far it has worked out, but we will soon see, in the books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles, that this is not always the case. One thing that is difficult is the warnings most often came from the prophets. God sent his holy men to warn the kings and the people what would happen if they did not turn back to YAHWEH. Isaiah and Jeremiah are two prophets who gave many warnings. We must remember this context when we get into these two long books a bit later in the year. There are some Bibles out there called “Chronological Bibles” that insert the warnings of the prophets into the narrative story. This can be very helpful to remember the context of the prophets. We do get a couple of good kings, Hezekiah was pretty good Josiah was even better, but even these two kings could not stop the exile from happening. One neat thing from 2 Kings 19, when Isaiah speaks he mentions “The Holy One of Israel”. Remember this term. We will see it over and over again in the prophetic books. Almost always it is used in reference to the promised Messiah (Much more on this when we are in the book of Isaiah later this year). One really great thing that happened during the reign of Josiah was that the book of the Law was found. How did it get lost? This does answer some of the questions about how king after king did not follow the Law of YAHWEH. Josiah had the book of the Law read to the people and they began to come back to the LORD. I am of the opinion that God used Josiah to get the people ready for the exile. God had promised that a remnant would return (through the prophet Isaiah). This remnant will build the city up again. Israel went to exile never to be heard from again but Judah had the promise of the Davidic covenant and we will soon see how God will be faithful even to his unfaithful people. The city of Jerusalem lies in ruins, the people have been exiled and all hope seems to be lost.

The New Testament
We continued the story of Paul at the end of his third missionary journey. It seems that everywhere Paul went, there was some sort of trouble. There was trouble in Ephesus, and then big time trouble in Jerusalem. Even in all of this trouble and turmoil, Paul remains calm and cool. He stays focused on his mission, to spread the message of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was to go to Rome. It will not happen the way he wants it to but I am getting ahead of the story. You can tell a lot about Paul by from this quote, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” (Acts 20:24 NIV). May we all have the same conviction as Paul!! We read just one chapter later, “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13 NIV). I am truly humbled when I read of the conviction of Paul. Paul gets into some hot water with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and they try to kill him. Paul gives a great sermon and testimony on the steps of the governor’s palace. I am sure that there were some who heard his message and believed but many still wanted his head. The Roman commander ordered Paul to be whipped but once it was learned that he was a Roman citizen that was stopped quickly. Paul almost incites a riot between the Pharisees and the Sadducees when he was on trial and the Romans took no chances in losing control and secretly sent Paul off to Caesarea. Paul will never again live his life as a free man. Not only was he in physical chains, he also believed he was in chains to the Gospel and was a slave to Christ. We will see these patters emerge when we read some of Paul’s letters.

Bits and Pieces

The Old Testament
We will start 1 Chronicles the week but before we do we need to get some context to the book before they will make any sense to us. Both 1 and 2 Chronicles were written after the exiles returned from Babylon. They parallel many of the stories we have already read. Don’t get confused by hearing the same story again. These books are like commentaries on the books that preceded them. They are also like history books that were written by people who were not eyewitnesses to the events.  Here are the vital stats for 1 Chronicles:

PURPOSE: To chronicle for the exiles the rule of David’s house and appointed services of the Levites as a record of how God’s people “keep the faith”
AUTHOR: Ezra, according to Jewish tradition
TO WHOM WRITTEN: All Israel (the nation is once again called Israel)
DATE WRITTEN: Approx. 430 BC recording events that took place from about 1000-960 BC
SETTING: First Chronicles parallels 2 Samuel and serves as a commentary on it. Written after the exile from a priestly point of view, 1 Chronicles emphasizes the religious history of Judah and Israel.
LAW THEMES: Breaking faith, exile, failure to follow God’s Word, seek the Lord.
GOSPEL THEMES: God’s blessings and rule through David, the Lord’s rule through David’s house, God with His servant, atonement at the tabernacle.
KEY VERSE: “And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel” (1 Chronicles 14:2).
KEY PEOPLE: David, Solomon
KEY PLACES: Hebron, Jerusalem, the temple

The Psalms

We finished the book of Psalms this week but we get to do it all over again.  Please let me know if you have some questions the second time around.  Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bethany Bullet - June 24, 2014

This summer we are going to walk through a large portion of the book of Romans. We will start with Romans chapter 6.

Up to this point in the book Paul has been making his case for Christ. 

  • In Chapter one he laid out the path for the righteous, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ” (1:16) and “The righteous shall live by faith.” (1:17b) 
  • In chapter two he expounded on God’s Law and his character, “For God shows no partiality.” (2:11) 
  • In chapter three he exposed the truth of humanity, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (3:23)
  • Abraham was the example used in chapter four to talk about Justification that comes by faith and the effect of the law, “For the law brings wrath…” (4:15) “His [Abraham’s] faith was counted to him as righteousness” (4:23). 
  • Chapter five then connects faith to Christ, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” (5:1-2a) 
  • Paul also goes on to describe the amazing abundance of grace, “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (5:20)
  • As chapter six opens Paul poses a question, “What should we say then? Should we continue to sin so that God’s kindness will increase? (6:1)

It is an enticing question that goes back a bit that verse in chapter five that I mentioned a moment ago.  “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (5:20)

Paul knows the mind of sinful humanity.  If God likes to forgive so much and I like to sin so much, then we have a great relationship here.  I’ll just keep on sinning and God will bring more grace to cover it.  I love this idea!

But Paul squashes that idea as he continues with verse 2, That’s unthinkable! As far as sin is concerned, we have died. So how can we still live under sin’s influence?Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? When we were baptized into his death, we were placed into the tomb with him. As Christ was brought back from death to life by the glorious power of the Father, so we, too, should live a new kind of life. If we’ve become united with him in a death like his, certainly we will also be united with him when we come back to life as he did. We know that the person we used to be was crucified with him to put an end to sin in our bodies. Because of this we are no longer slaves to sin. The person who has died has been freed from sin.” (6:2-7)

Paul tells us that being connected with Christ makes a difference.  Through baptism we were buried with him into death so that we “should live a new kind of life” (6:4b).  It is Christ’s death and resurrection that is the basis of the righteousness required by the Father and credited to us and makes us children of God.
But our connection to Jesus does even more.  This connection, forged in Baptism is enabled to lead a new life, freed from sin and in faithful obedience to God’s will and not in rebellion to his law.

Moving on to verse 8, If we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, who was brought back to life, will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once and for all to sin’s power. But now he lives, and he lives for God.” (6:8-10)

If someone has fallen into a deep sleep and is totally oblivious to what’s going on, we might say, “He’s dead to the world.”  To be dead to something means that it makes no impression on us; it has no control or influence over us.  That is the situation between Christ and sin.

Christ died for sin.  Sin is now paid for, and we have been justified.  With the defeat of sin, the wages of sin, which is death, has also been taken care of.  Death no longer has any hold on Christ. 

Don’t get hung up on the apparent conditional statement, “If we have died with Christ…”  The original language is clear here.  We could with confidence say, “Since we have died with Christ…”

This new life is what Paul gets into next.  On to verse 11, 11 So consider yourselves dead to sin’s power but living for God in the power Christ Jesus gives you. 12 Therefore, never let sin rule your physical body so that you obey its desires. 13 Never offer any part of your body to sin’s power. No part of your body should ever be used to do any ungodly thing. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have come back from death and are now alive. Offer all the parts of your body to God. Use them to do everything that God approves of.  14 Certainly, sin shouldn’t have power over you because you’re not controlled by God’s laws, but by God’s favor” (6:11-14)

Paul is leading up to our grateful response for everything that has been done for us in Christ.  What Christ has done and what he continues to do is what enables us respond and offer our bodies to God to be used for his purposes. 
We can count ourselves dead to sins power and alive in God through Jesus.  This is possible because Jesus died first and rose again and gives us the gift of eternal life. 

We are called to use all of what God has given us our hands, feet, eyes, ears, and all our members to bring Glory to God.  Here at Bethany you might say we called to serve passionately and share intentionally. 

Moving on to verse 15, 15 Then what is the implication? Should we sin because we are not controlled by God’s laws but by God’s favor? That’s unthinkable! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer to be someone’s slave, you must obey that master? Either your master is sin, or your master is obedience. Letting sin be your master leads to death. Letting obedience be your master leads to God’s approval. 17 You were slaves to sin. But I thank God that you have become wholeheartedly obedient to the teachings which you were given. 18 Freed from sin, you were made slaves who do what God approves of.” (6:15-18)

Paul comes back to where he started in chapter six with the fallacy that just because we live in grace, we can continue to sin.  The German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonheoffer once called this cheap grace.  In his book The Cost of Discipleship he wrote, “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

It was the living Jesus who said, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30) Jesus also said that no one can serve two masters, “either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:4)

No one is without a master.  Paul reminds us that our master was sin which leads to death, but is now obedience which leads to life.

This is not done on our own.  If left to ourselves, we would stay on the side of sin, but it is the action of a loving God on our behalf which changes us, gives us a new master and a new plan.  This grace was not cheap, it cost Jesus his very life.  Now, we can be slaves to righteousness. 

Let’s move on and finish out the chapter, back to verse 19, 19 I’m speaking in a human way because of the weakness of your corrupt nature. Clearly, you once offered all the parts of your body as slaves to sexual perversion and disobedience. This led you to live disobedient lives. Now, in the same way, offer all the parts of your body as slaves that do what God approves of. This leads you to live holy lives. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from doing what God approves of. 21 What did you gain by doing those things? You’re ashamed of what you used to do because it ended in death. 22 Now you have been freed from sin and have become God’s slaves. This results in a holy life and, finally, in everlasting life. 23 The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (6:19-23)

Why would anyone want to enter slavery?  Paul outlines the alternatives. On the one hand everyone has a master.  There can be no disinterested neutrality toward God.  Also, no one can serve two masters.  If I can be so bold and paraphrase Paul a bit here, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you gain from those things that you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But being a slave to God results in a holy life here on earth and live eternal in heaven.” 

Someone once told me a timeless truth, “Sin takes us farther than we ever want to go, longer than we ever want to stay, and cost more than we ever want to pay.” 

Paul is blunt here at the end of the chapter with one of the more recognized versed in all of Scripture.  Death is something we sinners can earn all by ourselves.  It is the wages that we have coming to us.  But Jesus took these wages for us and exchanged our life for his.  Eternal life is a free gift of God and is only available in Christ Jesus.  It comes by faith and is an absolutely sure thing, because it is guaranteed by God’s promise. 

Luther said it this way, “It is just as if you owed a debt to your overlord and could not pay it.  There are two ways in which you could rid yourself of the debt; either he would take nothing from you and would tear up the account, or some good man would pay it for you and give you the means to satisfy the account.  It is in this latter way that Christ has made us free from the law.  Our freedom is, therefore, no carefree fleshly freedom which is not obligated to do anything, but a freedom that does many works of all kinds, and is free of the demands and obligations of the law.”  (AE 35:376)

Although many people consider freedom to be the ultimate human right, no one is truly spiritually free.  We were slaves to sin and bound to death.  Knowing this, Jesus came to serve us by giving His life on the cross and rising for us.  Freed from sin, we can now serve God.  Only when we are slaves to God will we have the freedom to be the people he created us to be.

Paul said it this way to the Galatians’ believers, “Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom, and don’t become slaves again.” (Galatians 5:1)
I’m guessing you will hear plenty about freedom as we approach Independence Day, but nothing is better than the freedom we have in Christ. 

-Pastor Seth Moorman

Monday, June 23, 2014

The One Year Bible- June 23rd

I am in the habit of writing smiley faces or unhappy faces in the margins of my One Year Bible to indicate a good story or a bad one. Usually they about equal each week. This week however, I had way more unhappy faces. I wrote one for each time someone killed another person or events that were displeasing to God took place. Looking back, it makes me appreciate even more the love God has for us. As a group, people keep messing up. I do every day. But God loves us and sent his son for us. It is just amazing when you stop to think that Jesus was sent to this earth in spite of and because of people like Ahab and Jezebel. On to the study.....

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament

A couple of stories I want to mention today that have parallels in the New Testament. First of all, there is a miraculous conception with the woman from Shunem. It reminds be of the story of Abram and Sari in Genesis but it also points forward to both Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Like Jesus, this child died and was brought back to life again (after he sneezed seven times…that is funny). Now I don’t want to press the text too much, but it does set a precedent that God is a powerful God and he can bring people back from the dead. Then there is the story of the poisonous stew. Elisha made sure the stew was O.K. to eat and in a fashion similar to the feeding of the 5,000 everyone ate and was satisfied and there was food left over. In an of themselves these stories show the power of God, but I think they also are a set up for what was to come in the person of Jesus Christ. Then there is the story of the ax head the floats in the water. What was that all about? Again it shows the power of God and points to who Yahweh is. One more… after Elisha dies and is in his tomb the people need to bury another person. Now in those days the dead were buried in shared tombs like caves. The Moabites start a raid on the people so they just throw the body in the tomb. It bumps into Elisha’s bones and the guy comes back to life! Now that is awesome!! God is still using Elisha to show is power long after Elisha died. I wish there was more to this story but the text just goes on to another story. Sometimes the Bible does that. It does not mean that it is not part of scripture but sometimes there is nothing else about the story. One thing that I found in reading this week was trying to keep the kings straight in my mind. What I did was look for some sort of a list and here is what I found. I hope it is helpful:

Kings of Judah and Israel

Kings Before Division of Kingdom
· Saul: First King of Israel; son of Kish; father of Ish-Bosheth, Jonathan and Michal.
· Ish-Bosheth (or Eshbaal): King of Israel; son of Saul.
· David: King of Judah; later of Israel; son of Jesse; husband of Abigail, Ahinoam, Bathsheba, Michal, etc.; father of Absalom, Adonijah, Amnon, Solomon, Tamar, etc.
· Solomon: King of Israel and Judah; son of David; father of Rehoboam.
· Rehoboam: Son of Solomon; during his reign the kingdom was divided into Judah and Israel.

Kings of Judah (Southern Kingdom)
· Rehoboam: First King.
· Abijah (or Abijam or Abia): Son of Rehoboam.
· Asa: Probably son of Abijah.
· Jehoshaphat: Son of Asa.
· Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Jehoshaphat; husband of Athaliah.
· Ahaziah: Son of Jehoram and Athaliah.
· Athaliah: Daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel; wife of Jehoram; only queen to occupy the throne of Judah.
· Joash (or Jehoash): Son of Ahaziah.
· Amaziah: Son of Joash.
· Uzziah (or Azariah): Son of Amaziah.
· Jotham: Regent, later King; son of Uzziah.
· Ahaz: Son of Jotham.
· Hezekiah: Son of Ahaz; husband of Hephzi-Bah.
· Manasseh: Son of Hezekiah and Hephzi-Bah.
· Amon: Son of Manasseh.
· Josiah (or Josias): Son of Amon.
· Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Josiah.
· Jehoiakim: Son of Josiah.
· Jehoiachin: Son of Jehoiakim.
· Zedekiah: Son of Josiah; kingdom overthrown by Babylonians.

Kings of Israel (Northern Kingdom)
· Jeroboam I: Led secession of Israel.
· Nadab: Son of Jeroboam I.
· Baasha: Overthrew Nadab.
· Elah: Son of Baasha.
· Zimri: Overthrew Elah.
· Omri: Overthrew Zimri.
· Ahab: Son of Omri; husband of Jezebel.
· Ahaziah: Son of Ahab.
· Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Ahab.
· Jehu: Overthrew Jehoram.
· Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Jehu.
· Jehoash (or Joash): Son of Jehoahaz.
· Jeroboam Il: Son of Jehoash.
· Zechariah: Son of Jeroboam II.
· Shallum: Overthrew Zechariah.
· Menahem: Overthrew Shallum.
· Pekahiah: Son of Menahem.
· Pekah: Overthrew Pekahiah.
· Hoshea: Overthrew Pekah; kingdom overthrown by Assyrians.

The New Testament
We are in the middle of hearing about the missionary journeys of Paul. I hope you found a good map to help you follow along. A couple of things about these readings; first of all Paul is following his pattern of going to the synagogue first (remember this pattern from last week?). Then he heads out to the streets and in Acts 14 we have a very famous sermon. It is referred to as the sermon on Mars Hill. Paul argues using Greek ways to the philosophers about this person called Jesus. Later on Paul uses one of the statues of the “gods” and says that this “unknown god” is indeed Jesus. Of course this gets Paul into all kinds of trouble and they people try to kill him so he flees the area. Acts 15 records a big debate on whether or not Gentiles have to become Jews first (i.e. through circumcision) before they can be Christians. Paul has a great line in the debate that seems to set the church on the right path, “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” (Acts 15:11 ESV) Then James gets up and makes the decision to have a compromise and he says, “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those who turn to God.” (Acts 15:19 ESV) I think these are some wise words that we need to be heard today. Of course, because of the message, Paul and Silas end up in prison, but God turns it into a positive thing when they were able to share the message of Jesus with all in the prison, including the jailer. We find out that they all get baptized and became followers. There is a lot more to say about this week’s readings but we don’t have time here. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bethany Bullet - June 17, 2014

**Your palms a sweaty, your mouth is dry, butterflies have invaded your stomach, a feeling of dread sweeps over your body…it’s a feeling many of you know, a feeling that happens when, in school, you were called upon, and you had no idea what to say, you were not ready to give an answer. 

At the time nothing is worse.  Being caught unprepared is a fear of many.  I’m sure you have had that dream, its finals week and you forgot to study for the test.  Or, you are at the office and it’s time for the big presentation to the client and you didn’t prepare. 

For me, it’s a Sunday morning, the sun is shining, the people have been gathered, and Pastor K looks at me to give the sermon, and I have not prepared.

This year our Parish theme of Ready…Set…Go has provided some great opportunities to talk about the life of faith, how we go about in this world as a follower of Jesus.  You heard the words of Jesus in our Gospel Lesson from Sunday, “Go and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19).  But in order to Go, we have to be Ready.

Back in September I spoke on the idea of being Ready as we began our Parish Theme.  Back then I talked about how the Law makes us ready to hear the Gospel message.  How the Word of God convicts us and drives us to our knees and makes us ready to hear the Good News of Jesus. 

Our text from Sunday is from 1 Peter 3:15, Peter writes, “But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:5)  

Always be ready…boy that is a hard thing to do isn’t it.  How can you always be ready?  Vacation Bible School is coming up in just over a week, I’m not ready.  My family leaves for vacation soon, I haven’t even thought about packing, or shopping, or anything, I’m not ready.  I will travel with our missionaries to Alaska in less than a month, I’m not ready.  My hands are beginning to sweat and I’m getting a knot in my stomach just thinking about it. 

But being ready is much more than preparing for the events of the day but being ready to tell someone about Jesus and defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. 

Every year when we go to Alaska, the team wears a t-shirt on the trip to Anchorage that has a Bible verse on it.  I always tell the team that someone will ask you why you are going to Alaska, and perhaps what the Bible verse is on the shirt.  In that moment the team members need to be ready with an answer.

With gentleness and respect we get ready to tell them that we are going to Alaska to share Jesus while doing Vacation Bible School to some communities in the Mat-Su Valley.  Generally we get an affirming nod or encouraging words.  Often we have the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation about the reason we have hope in Jesus. 
It is in these encounters that we need to be ready.  Oh, we will be ready for the kids that come to our VBS, but it is much more than that. 
Being ready is not just for those who are going off to do mission work, or those whose calling is in the work of the church.  We are ALL called to be ready. 

The disciples were ready and set to go because they spent time with the Word and the Word made flesh promised to be with them forever. 

Are you ready to answer the question when someone asks?  Are you ready to defend your confidence with gentleness and respect?

Does the thought of this give you a knot in your stomach or cause your palms to get sweaty? 

Well, you are in good company.  Sins insidious nature gets us off track, distracted, unfocused; we find ourselves spending more time in selfish tasks and not in always being ready.

At times we are the ones asking the questions.  Why is this happening to me God?  Why did the cancer come back?  Why did I lose my job?  Why are you so far from me?  Why have you not answered my prayer?  Why does it still hurt so bad? Why, God, WHY?

Our heavenly Father answers all of our questions in Jesus.  The Father’s love was made evident on that hill called Calvary and He answered the problem of sin by nailing it to a cross and destroying death forever.

We are made ready to go when we too spend time with the Word as we read, mark, and inwardly digest the Scriptures; as we are gathered here in this place to worship faithfully and hear the Word proclaimed; when we come together to be formed spiritually in study of the Word and when the Word comes once again to us as we come to the altar in communion.

On Father’s Day we see that our heavenly Father answers all those questions in His word and through the Word made flesh.  His word and encouragement will strengthen you when you need it most.  His word will affirm you in the faith.  His Word makes you ready and set to tell others.

Listen to this Love Letter from our Heavenly Father taken directly from his word:

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I claimed you from creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins, and that Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I loved you so much that I gave up my only Son to death so you might live. John 3:16
And nothing will ever separate you from my love. Romans 8:38-39
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
Love, Your Dad- Almighty God

On this Father’s Day, we know that our heavenly Father loves us so much and He is the one that makes us ready through Jesus.  And because of Jesus and by His Word, we can always be ready to defend our confidence in God when anyone asks us to explain it.

-Pastor Seth Moorman

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