Rest From Work

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Rest From Work

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast Ephesians 2:8-9

One day as I was driving, I saw a signpost saying ‘works exit’. This was a warning to drivers that road works vehicles could be close by and we should drive carefully. But that’s not how I read it. The following question entered my head;

‘Have you exited from your works?’

The honest answer for me was ‘no’. There is something about the flesh that wants to work to deserve the goodness of God. Grace doesn’t work like that, grace is undeserved favour. We actually frustrate the grace of God when we try to work for it. 

Now ask yourself the same question, have you exited from your works? 

Works aren’t actually a bad thing. It’s the motive behind them. True grace will produce good works. In fact, Ephesians 2:10 says that we are ’created in Christ jesus to do good works…’

If the Word of God tells us about good works, we must conclude that there is ‘bad works’. This is when we perform out of self, rather than just effortlessly produce fruit as a result of resting in Christ. Bad works can look good on the outside. It may even involve doing ministry, but with the a slavish motivation.

Rest in Jesus today and produce good works!

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It is well

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It is well

Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well 2 Kings 4:26

The Shunammite woman in this story is a beautiful example of faith. In the natural, she had no right to proclaim ‘It is well!’. In fact, a few verses before, her son dies on her lap.

This amazing woman knew Elisha was ‘a man of God’, so she set out to meet him in the expectation that the Lord would bring her child back to life, and that is exactly what happened!

The Lord is able to bring life into dead situations. In this case, the child was literally dead. But notice how the Holy Spirit reveals the sequence to us. The Shunammite’s confession of ‘it is well!’ preceded her miracle. 

In Hebrew ‘It is well’ is the word ‘Shalom’. Amongst it’s rich definitions, it refers to completeness, wholeness, welfare and peace. So this woman literally shouted ‘wholeness’ when asked about her situation. 

What is the dead situation in your life that needs the life giving power of  Jesus? It could be unemployment, a struggling marriage or a wayward child. Let us learn from the woman in this story and shout ‘Shalom!’ into your situation. Say it out loud! When confronted with your giant, look at it in the eye and declare ‘it is well!’.

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Sweet ’n’ Sour Jesus

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Sweet ’n’ Sour Jesus

Taste and see that the Lord is good;

 blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8

As I was driving one day, I was praying when the following words came to mind:

'Sometimes, you have to taste how sour the world is, before you appreciate how sweet Jesus is'

What do I mean by this? Many people who have been brought up in a christian household wander off at some point. They are curious to see what the world has to offer. I did the same thing. After tasting how sour the world really is, I learned that my Jesus was never out to stop me having fun, he was out to stop me from getting hurt.

If you choose to 'walk away' from God, know this; you can't walk away from Him because he said He will never leave you. So if you want to go and sample the world, Jesus is going with you, because it's going to take His grace to lead you back.

Perhaps you are a parent who has a child going astray? Don't worry! The Lord has them in His hands. Eventually they taste how sour this world is. They will return, and when they do, they will taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!

Jesus is passionately in love with you. He wants to give you a life of quality, enjoyment, excitement, wholeness, health and peace.

Remember, sweet tastes even better when you've tasted sour.

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Delivered!

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Delivered!

“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,”

Galatians 1:3-4 NKJV

Have you ever heard a christian say something like ‘well this sickness is just my burden to carry’? Many believers have this mentality. They believe God is able to heal, but they don’t believe it’s always His will on this side of heaven.

The Word of God must be our sole authority in life, not our opinion. This verse clearly tells us that Jesus wants to deliver us from THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE! We’re not just saved from hell to go to heaven. Jesus wants us experience the fullness of what he died to give us.

It is erroneous to believe that once we are saved, life will never throw difficulties at us again. You only need to look at your own life to know that. But know this, the Lord is NEVER the source of these troubles. Instead, He is our Saviour! The whole point in being a Saviour is to rescue those who are in trouble.

Maybe you are currently going through a storm. It could be a relationship breakdown, mental turmoil or physical sickness. Today, the Lord has a word for you;

‘I want to deliver you from this PRESENT evil age!’

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Don’t accustom to Dysfunction


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Don’t accustom to Dysfunction


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

I have something called ''Forward Head Posture''. This means my head leans forward (due to my poor posture). This causes my upper back to carry extra weight it was never designed to hold.

I am supposed to do exercises which puts my back into it's correct posture. I have noticed that it can be very uncomfortable, which is strange considering it is the way my spine should be. Why?

Because I have accustomed to dysfunction. Poor posture has become 'normal' to me. So when I put my spine into its correct position, it causes pain.

As followers of Jesus, we often accustom to dysfunction. I know that for me, worry is something I struggle with. So when I attempt to 'let go' and allow God to be in control, it is actually uncomfortable, maybe even painful. So what do I do? I return to worrying, because that's all I've ever known for such a long time. I have become comfortable in my uncomfortable situation.

Just like my upper back is carrying weight it was never designed to hold, as believers, we carry weight we were never designed to carry.

Perhaps you struggle to accept that Jesus loves you. Why? Because that's all you've ever known. You've always believed 'He loves me, but...' It may feel uncomfortable to embrace His love for you, but it will be the only thing that sets you free.

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And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. Simply because you are my child and I am your Father

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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
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

How great is the love that our Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! What a thought, that the God who created the Heavens and the Earth, has welcomed us into His glorious family.

When I was working as an associate pastor on staff at a very active church, I needed to remind myself of this truth every day. Since there were so many demands in the work of the ministry, it was easy to forget the real reason Jesus came to save me to be a child to His Father, not just a servant in a fast paced organization.

To remind myself that it was sonship that God was after all along, I put a screensaver on my computer that scrolled the words. First I am a son, then I am a servant. While service is an important part of our Christian experience, it is always secondary to the truth that we are children of God, dearly loved of the Father.

It is interesting that people wanted to identify Jesus with a ministry gift or anointing Prophet, teacher, Messiah. But Jesus was pleased just to be called the Son of God. Sonship was more important than any gifting or anointing that He operated in. In John 3:35, Jesus declares that His identity is simply in being a Son to His Father. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. (NIV)

Before you get too busy in your work for God, take a moment and meditate on the great love that the Father has lavished on you, that you should be called His child! This revelation of being a child of God will make any measure of service that much sweeter.

PRAYER
Father, I thank You for the extravagant love that You lavish on me today. Being Your child, is the very center and foundation of my life. Please remind me that I am Your child first, and then I am Your servant. Today I pray for an increased capacity to receive more of Your love than I have ever received before! May Your love seep deep into my heart, causing it to fill up, overflow and spill into every person that I meet. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.

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I am not distant & angry, but am the complete expression of love

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I am not distant & angry, but am the complete expression of love

1 John 4:16
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus tells one of the teachers of the law that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. In this passage Jesus sums up all of the commandments into this one little but profound word...love.

Loving God and loving others is the foundation of the gospel, and the only way we have the capacity to love God is if it is in response to His incredible love for us. The bible says in 1 John 4:19 that we love because He first loved us. We cannot love Him first, He needs to love us first. It is only in the overflow of His love to us that we can love Him back and have the ability to love others.

Many Christians, especially those active in ministry, perceive the love of God as a ministry tool not to spend on themselves, but only to give away to others. But the truth is we need to first receive the revelation of God's love in our own hearts, before we will ever be able to give it away to others. 

God wants us to bask in His love, marinate in His love, soak in His loving presence, so that His love can touch the deepest need in our hearts. When we become like sponges drenched in the love of God, then when we bump into people, they will get soaked with what we have been soaking in.

The call of God in 1 John 4:16 is for us to live in love, for when we live in love, we live in God. There was a popular song a few years ago that said that God was watching us from a distance. While many of us have a theological grasp on the love of God, from an experiential perspective, we sometimes can feel that His love is just out of our reach.

God is not watching us from a distance, but is closer to than we could possibly imagine. His first priority is not that we save the world, but that we receive His love and simply love Him back. When like sponges, our hearts begin to drink in the extravagant love of God personally and intimately, before long it will begin to seep out of every one of our pores and truly impact the world around us.

PRAYER
Father, I acknowledge that You are the complete expression of love, and You love me unconditionally and without limit. Please teach me how I can take time to soak in Your love every day. I pray that you would remove any hindrances that would prevent me from receiving Your personal & intimate affection for me. I would ask that today, I would have the power through Your Holy Spirit, to comprehend how deep and high and wide and long is Your love for me expressed in Jesus . In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me

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I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me

John 8:41-44
41 You are doing the things your own father does. We are not illegitimate children, they protested. The only Father we have is God himself. 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Over the centuries, God has suffered a great injustice at the hands of those who claim to be the closest to Him. In Jesus' day, they were called Pharisees. They were Israel's religious leaders who misrepresented God to the Jewish people. They portrayed God as a legalistic, rule-bound entity that required performance instead of mercy, regulations instead of grace.

While some of these Pharisees had good intentions, many others had political ambitions and loved to be in the limelight. They used their spiritual influence to make others stumble as they blindly followed their spiritual leaders. Jesus loved the Pharisee as much as he loved the prostitute, yet it was the Pharisee who caused Him the most grief. It was the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked openly with scorching words of warning, not the woman at the well.

In their delusions of grandeur, these leaders misled many because they masqueraded as God's children. Jesus made it clear that they were not God's children, but were in fact misrepresenting Him. Jesus came to dismantle all our misconceptions and to reveal what His Father was really like. 

Jesus told his followers in John 14:9 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. If you really want to know what Father is like, all you have to do is look at His Son. All of Jesus acts of compassion and kindness were pure expressions of his Father's true nature.

Today we find that many still struggle with misperceptions of God, especially as Father. Some of us might have had God misrepresented to us by a modern day Pharisee, while others might have had an abusive or emotionally distant earthly father. The good news is that God is not like the Pharisees, and He is not a temperamental father, but is absolutely perfect in every way. And He loves us perfectly.

If you have had God misrepresented to you by somebody, I would encourage you to forgive those who have misled you. Whether they did so intentionally or not, by forgiving them, you break any unhealthy ties that you have with them and you open the door for God to show you what He is really like. He loves you and really is the Father you have been looking for all your life!

PRAYER
Father, I confess that people have misrepresented You to me in the past, but now I want know You for Who You really are. I want to forgive those who have portrayed you falsely and I want to see You as You are, not as I thought You to be. I repent of every lie that I have believed about You. You are not an angry Judge or a legalistic Pharisee, but a loving Father. And You are my Father. Thank you for revealing your true nature to me through the life of Your Son Jesus. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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And brought you forth on the day you were born

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And brought you forth on the day you were born

Psalm 71:6
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth
from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

God was there the day you were born. He wasn't watching at a distance, but was intimately involved in your birth. There may have been a doctor and a team of nurses in the room participating in your triumphant entry, but it was your Father who was really the One who welcomed you into this world.

It was He who with great affection, declared to the heavens that this day, another one of His offspring would join the outside world. What a Father we have! He knew us before we were conceived, He formed us in our mother's womb, gently knitting our members together, and then on the day of our glorious arrival, He was there to welcome us.

Many of us have felt that we have not been welcomed into this world, and tragically, some of us have experienced rejection even from the day of our birth. But it was God, your Father, who planned your existence before the foundation of the world, and then called you to life. When we begin to believe this truth, our hearts and our emotions, we will begin to change. For it is the cry of each one of our hearts to know that we have been absolutely and unconditionally loved, all the days of our life.

Father was there to welcome you into His wonderful world and to affirm your destiny as His child. And since that day, He has not left you, but has numbered each one of your days in His special book. As you reflect on you're the day you were born, be comforted to know that your Father was there, and He was the proudest Papa of all!

PRAYER
Father, I thank You for bringing me forth from my mother's womb. It was You who welcomed me into this world and called me to life. You have always been there for me, and You will always be there for me. It is Your love and acceptance that is the bedrock of my life. I will ever praise You! In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus, I pray. AMEN

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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I knit you together in your mother's womb

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I knit you together in your mother's womb

Psalm 139:13
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 

When I read this verse, my mind wanders off to a Victorian style living room, softly lit by a crackling fire. There is a grandmother in this room, gently rocking back and forth in her maple rocking chair as she knits a sweater for a beloved grandchild. I can see the expression on her face, as all her love is, for this moment focused on this new creation.

In her mind, she can picture how the sweater will look when it is finished, and the joy that it will bring to her grandchild's heart. With anticipation, she continues to knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two as the sweater begins take the form that she always imagined it to be. This project is not work for her, for it brings much joy to her soul and delight to her heart because each stitch is filled with love.

Now for a moment, think about how God knit you together in your mother's womb. Our Father uses such a tender illustration of how He lovingly, and carefully created our being. He could have blasted us together, or snapped His fingers and we would have appeared, but He chose a more delicate process in which He could be intimately involved as He formed us in our mothers womb...knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two.

Stitch by stitch, loop by loop, each one of our parts was delicately and carefully crafted by Almighty God. Your life is not the product of an impersonal evolution, but the result of a loving Father, who planned your creation before the foundations of the world, and took the time to knit you together in your mother's womb. You are a masterpiece, and your very existence brings much joy to your Father's heart.

PRAYER
Father I thank You for creating my inmost being. I know each strand of my DNA was fashioned by You, stitch by stitch, loop by loop, with a love that called me to life. I was created in love, and for love. And in my heart, I want to express my love back to you for being such a wonderful Father to me that You would knit me together in my mother's womb. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus, I pray. AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

Do you ever look in the mirror and wished you were different? Maybe you are too short, or too tall, or too thin, or too heavy. The list never seems to end. Even the super model seems to be preoccupied with the one slight imperfection that nobody else even notices. It seems that most of us, in varying degrees, are not happy with the way we were made.

For some of us, it might physical dissatisfaction, while for others it might be that we're not be smart enough, or outgoing enough, or etc. etc. etc. Our society has believed a lie that says we have to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted. Even those who make up the standards of acceptance feel unaccepted deep down in their hearts. No matter how hard we try to change our outward appearance in order to gain love and acceptance, I am afraid that it will always elude us.

True love and acceptance does not come from changing ourselves to become more loveable, for according to Psalm 139, we all already loved just the way we are. In verse 14, the psalmist cries out "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." 

When God created us, He made us exactly the way He planned. When He designed us, before we were even in our mother's womb, He planned our size, the color of our eyes, the color of our skin, everything about us! Just as He proclaimed His creation good in Genesis 1, He proclaims that we were made perfect in His site. 

When we believe the Hollywood lies that we are not good enough, we are in fact, disagreeing with how God made us. Your Father in heaven does not make junk! You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God's work in your life is wonderful! You do not need to conform to somebody else's image of success, but only ask God for ears to hear His delight in your creation.

The next time you look in the mirror, don't be afraid of what you see, for you were made in the image of God, and He declares that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

PRAYER
Father, forgive me for not agreeing with You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Forgive me for believing the lies that I have to be somebody other than who I am. Help me to come into agreement with Your love for me and not despise all my imperfections. The fact that You love me and accept me is more important than the love and acceptance from anyone else. I am thankful that I am Your child, and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! I know that full well. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, Amen.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.

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I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
26 From one man he made every nation of men,
that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and he determined the times set for them
and the exact places where they should live.
 

Have you ever wondered how life would be if you had been born in a different country, perhaps with different parents, or even at a different time in history? Many of us have fantasized about this and maybe even felt that things would have been much better for us if we lived in a different country with different parents.

This scripture verse clearly demonstrates that it was God who determined the exact time when each one of us would be born, who our parents would be, and where we would live. He does not make mistakes, for He is the master planner. He foresaw your life and placed you in your family.

While it is understandable for some people to feel cheated out of a better life, the truth is that you were born at the right time and place according to God's plan. His love will conquer the most terrible circumstances in our lives, and His grace can restore all of the wasted years that the locusts have eaten.

Instead of feeling like you were cheated out of a better life than you might have had, begin to thank God for His incredible purpose in the life you are now living. He placed you in the family you are in, and he chose the exact time of your birth and where you would live. His plan for each one of us is that all things will work together for your good according to His good purpose because we love Him!

PRAYER
Father, help me to realize that You chose my parents, the time of my birth and where I would live. I am thankful that You do not make mistakes. Help me to realize that Your love can conquer any situation or circumstance that I find myself in and You desire to cause all things to work together for my good according to Your good purpose! In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus, I pray, AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book

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You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book

Psalm 139:15-16
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be

Recently I was deeply moved by the words of a little girl who emailed me to share how the message of Father's love had encouraged her. She told me how she had grown up in a home where her earthly father had told her that she was not wanted and her life was a mistake. 

The only thing I could do was to stare at the computer screen and weep. I wept for this little girl, and it seemed for a moment as if I was weeping for every child who had ever felt unwanted. I was so glad that the Father had encouraged her that she wasn't an accident, but was set apart to be His child. This revelation of Father's love seemed to reach down deep into this little girl's heart and provide her with a sense of belonging that she was looking for.

Many of us are no different than this little girl, for deep down inside each one of us we carry a basic need to be wanted and to have a sense of purpose in life. When we suffer rejection from those who were meant to love us, this very foundation is shaken. Emotional abandonment can steal what is rightfully ours our destiny and sense of purpose.

I believe it is Father's desire to let us know that our lives were not a mistake. In Psalm 139:15-16, it says our frame was not hidden from God in the secret place for He saw our unformed body. He cared enough for each one of us, that He took the time to write down each one of our days in His book. 

Your yesterday was written in God's book. Your today and tomorrow is also penned by the loving hand of your Heavenly Father. You are not just a number in His eyes, but one that is incredibly unique with a special purpose. You were not an accident, for someone is watching over you who loves you more than you could ever know.

PRAYER
Father, I thank You that Your eyes saw my unformed body when You made me in the secret place. Thank You that I have a special purpose in life and that all my days are written in Your book. Help me to always remember that it was You who planned my creation and not my parents. You wanted me to come into this world, and you have planned each day that I live. In the name of Your beloved Son, Jesus, I pray. AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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I chose you when I planned creation

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I chose you when I planned creation

Ephesians 1:11-12
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

 

When I was a little boy, I used to hang around my big brother a lot. My parents would sometimes make him take me with him despite his protests. While he was not always thrilled to have me tag along, he was always there to protect me from his much older friends when things got rough. 

But one of things I remember was the fear that I felt when we would go to a local park to play a game of baseball or football. Being extremely small for my age and 4 years younger than most of the other guys, I was not usually considered as a first round draft pick by the captains who were choosing the teams.

Nobody wants to be the last one on the field the player nobody wanted. Most times I ended up on my brother's team by default and was considered a liability rather than an asset. While I survived those trying years with minimal scars, I realize that the fear of being rejected by the team is not just limited to our childhood years.

Many of us, grow up living with the fear that were not good enough to make the team even in our adult years. Some of us experience this kind of rejection from our parents while others from a spouse or family member. Rejection can happen anytime and any where, from the workplace to the church. 

While we will always have to deal with one form of rejection or another, I am so glad that this is not how God treats us! There are no rejects on God's team, for He has a wonderful plan for everybody. He is not a respecter of persons, so the water boy gets as much love as the star player.

God wants and needs every player on His team. He is the captain that chose you when He planned creation. He is the master planner and He has not left anything to chance. You are wanted and have a wonderful destiny as a child on your Father's team!

PRAYER
Father, I thank You for choosing me to be part of Your family. I thank You that I am accepted and predestined to be Your child, a co-heir with Jesus according to Your wonderful plan. Help me to fulfill the special purpose that was determined especially for me on Your glorious team! In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus, I pray, AMEN.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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I knew you even before you were conceived

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I knew you even before you were conceived

The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;

Jeremiah 1:4-5

When Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to Israel, God declared that even before he was conceived, he was known by God and set apart for His divine purposes. The road that Jeremiah would walk in his ministry life would not be an easy one, for he suffered much abuse at the hands of his fellow Israelites. 

I wonder if he ever reflected on these words when he was going through his darkest times? When he was alone in that cold, damp prison cell, did he ever go back to the beginning of his ministry and meditate on God's words to him? I believe the revelation that he was known by God, and set apart for His purposes, gave Jeremiah the strength to continue to walk out his destiny, even in the darkest of times.

Knowing that it was God who knew us, and formed us, and called us into life, is the bedrock of our existence. When everything else around us is not making sense, this truth can give us the grounding that we desperately need to go on. We are all looking for a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. 

Many people have not received this affirmation from their parents, but it was not their parents who knew them before they were conceived, but God. It was God who formed each one of us in our mother's womb and called us to life. It was God who set us apart for His divine purposes and plans.

Before an architect constructs a building, he meticulously puts every detail on paper, every component needed to make his dream into a reality. The idea is first conceived in his mind, then is transferred on paper, and then when everything is just perfect, he starts the process of building his creation. 

In my own limited understanding of God's creation process, this is how I imagine it to be. He first conceived us in His mind, and with great thoughts of love, He began to chart every detail of our DNA in preparation for the time when he would form us in our mother's womb. What a wonderful thought, to know that the God of the universe knew us intimately and set us apart for His purposes even before we were conceived!

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

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In me you live and move and have your being  for you are my offspring.

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In me you live and move and have your being  for you are my offspring.

For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Acts 17:28 (NIV Bible)

In this scripture passage, the Apostle Paul is debating with the men of Athens about their altar dedicated to the UNKNOWN GOD. Speaking to a crowd of pagan people, Paul makes a connection to their own Greek poets by agreeing that everyone is indeed Gods offspring. 

Being Gods offspring does not mean that every person is automatically in relationship with God as His child, for we know that becoming a child of God is a decision that we all need to make of our own free will (John 1:12-13). But whether we decide to be His child or not, God is still Father, for Father is more than just His name, but also expresses His very nature.

If we are to begin to comprehend Father's heart for the lost ones who are yet to come home, we will need to understand this truth. Every person, ever conceived, came from God and was fashioned in His image. He loves each person intimately and is not willing that one of His offspring should perish.

In Christian circles, we can easily fall into an us and them mentality where we think that we are in, and those who are not Christians, are out. In God's eyes, His heart breaks for ALL of His offspring. The next time you meet a person who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, remember the heart of your Father. In His eyes, He sees them as His estranged offspring who He desperately wants to come home.

This is the good news that the world needs to hear! God loves you and He is the Father that you have been looking for all your life! He made a way for you to come back into relationship with Him through the precious sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus.

Sharing the gospel is simply calling each one of God's offspring back to their original purpose...to be re-united with the One who knit them together in their mother's womb. If you don't identify with Father's passion for ALL His offspring, ask Him to reveal it to you. You may be surprised at what you begin to feel.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

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Even the very hairs on your head are numbered...

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Even the very hairs on your head are numbered...

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don?t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV Bible)

Jesus says that His Father has taken the time to count each one of the hairs on our head! While we may be pre-occupied by the color of our hair or how many are falling out on a daily basis, Father focuses in on each strand. What incredible attention to detail!

It is amazing to think that such insignificance in our eyes seems so important to God. God is so big that He scoops the oceans in the palm of His hand, and yet He is so small that He can number each hair on our head. Even the falling of an insignificant sparrow requires His attention. Jesus encourages us that if our Father is intimately involved in the falling of one sparrow, how much more is He involved in our everyday lives!

We don?t have to be afraid, for our Father is watching over us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He really, really loves us and is involved in the smallest details of our lives. If there are days that you feel alone, when you think that no one is really attending to your needs, remember this scripture passage. 

He has taken the time to count each hair on your head, not because He is bored or has nothing else to do, but to simply demonstrate your great worth in His sight. His call to you is not to be afraid. He is in control of all that goes on in your life and since He cares for the sparrows, He will certainly care for you.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

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I am familiar with all your ways...

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I am familiar with all your ways...

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Psalm 139:3 (NIV Bible)

The Hebrew word for familiar, biyn, means to be acquainted with or to intimately understand. Father God is familiar with all our ways, which means He is fully acquainted with us and He intimately understands all that we are and all that we do.

This thought of intimacy causes many of us to be very uncomfortable with God, for we are not even comfortable with ourselves. Our minds can't even comprehend this kind of depth of His intimacy and acceptance. He is familiar with all our ways, and yet He still desires to be our Father. This kind of love surpasses anything that we have ever experienced or anything that we could ever possibly hope for or imagine. However, it is a two way street.

Just as much as Father knows us, He wants us to begin to know Him, to become familiar (biyn) with all His ways. Father desires intimacy with His children. He sees us for who we really are, yet He loves us. He wants us to see Him for who He really is, and to allow Him to father us perfectly. 

Jesus and the Father shared in this type of intimacy. In John 17:10, Jesus prayed these words to His Father, All I have is yours and all you have is mine. Theirs was an interaction of hearts that was completely given to each other without reserve.

When we receive Jesus Christ, we enter into the same relationship that Jesus has with His Father because we are now in Christ. Jesus died so that all we might share in this incredible relationship with His Father. Will we begin to yield all that we are over to the One who wants to give us all that He has? 

I think we are getting the better end of the bargain! To become intimate, requires vulnerability. God understands our trepidation so that is why He risked first. He made the first move when He gave up everything He had to win our hearts. He emptied the bank when He sacrificed His only Son so that we might know Him.

Why not respond to this ultimate gesture of love by beginning to risk a deeper relationship with your Father? Intimacy with God begins with us lowering our defenses simply to allow God to into-me-see.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

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I know when you sit down and when you rise up...

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I know when you sit down and when you rise up...

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
Psalm 139:2

Father God is intimately aware of all that you do. He knows when you sit down and when you rise up. He even knows what you are thinking. Your Heavenly Father is intimately involved in every area of your life no matter how insignificant you think it is.

He is with you when you go to work. He is there when you play, and He watches over you when you sleep. He will never leave you or forsake you, for He has promised to stay close. Have you ever wondered why the God of the universe would take the time to be interested in such detail? It is simply because He loves you! And because He loves you, no task that you set out to do is too mundane for Father to take notice of.

God may be seated on His throne in heaven, majestically overseeing the entire universe, but He still is watching over you. Just as a father sitting in an easy chair, enjoys watching His children playing at his feet, Father always maintains a watchful eye over us.

He is not pre-occupied managing His creation, for His omnipresence allows him to be everywhere all at once. So take great comfort in knowing that He is always with you. He knows when you sit down and when you rise up and He knows your every thought even before you think it.

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

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My Child..

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My Child..

 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (NIV Bible)  Matthew 18:1-4

In this scripture passage, Jesus calls us to become like little children. The call isn't to be childish, but to simply be child like. Young children know that they are needy. They look to their parents to provide everything that they need and want...food, clothing, shelter, teaching, activities, guidance and even discipline.

They are like love sponges, having the capacity to soak into their little bodies as much love as we can give them. They live for hugs and kisses and meaningful touch, an intimate connection that affirms them and tells them that they are welcome into this world and that they are greatly loved.

Jesus calls us to become like little children. Since Jesus says that becoming child-like is a pre-requisite to entering the Kingdom of Heaven, we should take note of another characteristic of a little child. Simple faith. Little children have the faith to simply believe that they will receive what they need when they need it. They don't worry about it, they don't strive over it, they simply expect it.

When my youngest daughter Candice, was very small, she was completely confident that I had an unlimited supply of personal finances for her to draw from. Whenever she wanted something extravagant, she would tell me just to go to the bank and get the money, because they had lots. "Just go to the bank dad" she would say. I think in some ways that God wants us to relate to him like my daughter, Candice related to me.

No worries, no striving, just complete confidence in the ability of her father to meet her needs. While my little girl did not always get what she wanted when she wanted it, I couldn't help but to delight in her boldness and her complete trust in me.

As you read this devotional, my challenge to you is to simply let yourself become very little. The expectations in the world we live in are often to be very grown up. While maturity and responsibility are wonderful attributes, for a moment, set aside the strong, self-sufficient, independent you and allow yourself to become very small and needy before God.

He wants to pick you up, give you a hug, and whisper your name in your ear. You are his child, and he is your Father. This is your destiny, this is what you were created for. When you let Him love you in this way, as a father loves his little child, you will begin to realize that you are still a love sponge, and the need for love and affirmation that you had as a little child is still there within you.

When we allow ourselves to be embraced by God, we begin to see that this is what we have been looking for all our lives. We may have searched for it in careers, relationships, and in many others things, but we only find it in one place…the arms of our Heavenly Father.

 

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

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