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Daddy God?

The idea behind “Daddy God”

The Fatherhood of God is the central theme of the message of Jesus Christ. When teaching the disciples to pray, Jesus began with the words “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”

Although we know this passage as the Lord‟s Prayer, I think it would be more accurate to call it the Disciple’s Prayer, since it was a response to their request, “Lord teach us to pray.”  Jesus told the disciples that when they prayed they were to address God as their Father. Remember that Old Covenant Jewish custom held that the name of God was so revered that the scribes refused to write it down. Even today, I know Messianic Jews who write the word God as „G__D‟ to avoid spelling it out…

The fact that Jesus spoke of God as His Father and encouraged his disciples to do the same so enraged the religious leaders of His day that they plotted to kill Him for doing so. In light of this, we can only imagine the shock and horror of the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus, if they had heard Him pray in the garden of Gethsemane. It was there that He addressed God not in the formal way as “Father,” but rather in the familiar manner in which a child might speak; Jesus calls Him “Abba.” The name Abba can be loosely translated as “Daddy” or “Papa.”

The apostle Paul, as well, would seem to trample upon this sacred ground.  He suggests that even you and I might address God in a more intimate and personal way, as Abba (Daddy). Certainly, to the religious leaders of the day, this would have been considered outright blasphemy. I can remember myself cringing the first time I heard someone refer to our heavenly Father as “Daddy God.” An interesting point to mention here is that slaves were forbidden to use the name Abba when speaking to or referring to their masters…

Daddy God

Fatherhood is more than a title or an office; it is also a function. The purpose of a father was to represent God to his family. In fact, a father‟s authority is ultimately derived from and limited to his representation of God the Father.

The manner in which we as fathers are to represent God’s Fatherhood is to serve as the priest, the prophet and the king (or ruler) of our home. As a priest of our home, a father is to represent his family before God. The event of the Passover will serve as an illustration for this. The fathers held the exclusive responsibility to select a lamb for each house, to kill the lamb, and to spread the blood on the doorposts of the house. In this example, the father as the priest held the power of saving his family from the destroying angel. He could not delegate this responsibility to another member of the family.

As a prophet, the father was to represent God to his family. As mentioned many times in this book, the father in the home is the representative of God. He is to set an example for his children through his words, attitude and conduct. 11 Finally, as the king of his home, the father is to rule by leading his family. Reiterating upon our theme that the pathway to fatherhood is by modeling sonship, his leadership is by way of example. Thus, a father serves by leading and he leads by serving.

Before we continue, I must mention a vital quality that every genuine father possesses. Every father should desire that his children be more successful than he is. Any man who does not desire that his children surpass him should not bear the name “father”. As it is true in every situation, Jesus and His Father set the example for us. Along this line Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Later Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”  Simply analyzing these two passages makes it clear that the Father wanted Jesus to do “great works.” In like manner, Jesus desired for us to excel and do even “greater works than these.” ”

Want to know more about Jim’s “Daddy God” idea?

Grab Pastor Jim McNally’s free ebook, Becoming Sons, here: http://www.becomingsons.com/downloads.htm to learn more about the Daddy God concept.

ACCIDENTAL PHARISEES

6 WARNING SIGNS WE’RE BECOMING ACCIDENTAL PHARISEES

Larry Osborne » God Scripture Church Church Leadership Heart Sin

Pharisees are more than mere tidbits of ancient history.

The Pharisees’ sad transition from God’s most zealous defenders to Jesus’s archenemies is important for every Christian to understand. As long as our only image of a Pharisee is that of a spiritual loser and perennial enemy of Jesus, we’ll never recognize the clear and present danger in our own life.

I’ve found that becoming a modern-day, accidental Pharisee is a lot like eating at Denny’s. No one wants to go there. We just end up there.

The journey usually starts out innocently enough. It begins with a desire to be at the front of the “following Jesus” line. We step out in faith, make some big changes, clean up areas of sin and compromise, and begin to pursue new spiritual disciplines.

So far, so good. But as we press forward, it’s hard not to notice those who lag behind. And it’s at this point that we have an important decision to make: will we keep our eyes glued on Jesus or will we turn our focus onto those who lag behind?

DON’T LOOK DOWN!

I remember once meeting with a group of men who were passionate about their walk with God. Somehow our conversation turned toward those in the church who were not so passionate. Next thing I knew, they were ripping on the way everyone else raised their children, spent their money, read their Bible, and set their priorities.

Now these were quality men. They were doing far better than most raising their kids, spending their money, reading their Bible, and setting priorities. The problem wasn’t that they noticed the difference. The problem was what they did with the information. They used it to justify looking down on everyone else.

HE HATES HAUGHTY EYES

When I called them on it, they were mildly remorseful, sort of like they’d been busted for a speeding ticket. But it was clear to me that no one felt particularly convicted or determined not go there again. So I decided to take them on a little journey through Scripture to see God’s perspective on the conversation we’d just had.

We started with Satan’s prideful fall and moved on from there. But the shocker for most of them was a list of things God hates. It’s found in Proverbs 6:16–19. Right at the top of his I-hate-it-when-you-do-that list is “haughty eyes,” the disgusted and disdainful look of arrogance that parallels the harsh conversation we’d just had.

There are lots of things that can anger God. Few would guess that looking down on others would be at the top of the list. Yet it is.

Now that got their attention!

But it’s true. Their dismissive and judgmental take on others wasn’t minor chitchat—it was major sin. Top-of-the-list sin.

I wrote Accidental Pharisees because I’ve become increasingly concerned that many in our tribe are making the same mistake. We strive to be at the front of the following-Jesus line. Yet the closer we get to the front, the more we’re tempted to compare ourselves with those in the back.

So here’s a brief list of six of the most telling indicators that we may have inadvertently started down the road of an Accidental Pharisee, looking down on others and trusting in our own righteousness.

1. DISDAIN FOR THOSE AT THE BACK OF THE LINE

Instead of a Jesus-like compassion for those who can’t keep up, we view them with a deepening sense of frustration, cynicism, and a cocky arrogance.

2. A SPIRIT OF EXCLUSIVITY

When thinning the herd becomes more important than expanding the kingdom; or raising the bar becomes more important than helping people climb over it, something has gone terribly wrong.

3. EXTRA-BIBLICAL RULES AND EXPECTATIONS

Few of us would see ourselves as legalists. We think we’ve moved on from old-school legalism because we no longer judge people by what’s in their refrigerator. But the spirit of legalism still runs strong. We now judge people by what’s in their driveway and how big their house is.

4. A PATTERN OF IDOLIZING THE PAST

Whether it’s the New Testament church or the scholars of old, we tend to give them a free pass for their failures. But the present-day bride of Christ and the current crop of leaders whom Jesus has put in place are assailed for their blind spots, failures, and feet of clay. Like the Pharisees of old, we rip on the living prophets and then build monuments to them once they die.

5. A QUEST FOR CLONE-LIKE UNIFORMITY

Jesus had room for Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector. Yet sometimes, the more biblically grounded we become, the less room we have for anyone who hasn’t yet learned all that we’ve learned. The result is a circle of fellowship that’s tighter than Jesus’s circle of acceptance.

6. GIFT PROJECTION

“Gift projection” the toxic belief that my calling is everyone else’s calling. It disfigures the body of Christ by insisting that ears become eyes and hands become feet. It looks like passion for the mission, but in reality, it’s candy-coated arrogance.

TWO ROADS DIVERGE

The good news is that even if we’ve inadvertently started down the road of an accidental Pharisee, we don’t have to end up there. We can repent, turn around, and reset our gaze on Jesus. But for that to happen, we have to recognize that we’ve left the path of discipleship. And that’s why I wrote Accidental Pharisees, to highlight the warning signs that we’ve left the path and turned down a dangerous detour that turns well-intentioned zealots into accidental Pharisees.

 

Want more? Pick up your copy of Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangerous of Overzealous Faith today.

The Question That Changed My Life

What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?  We all have them: life-changing moments, you know, the ones where the world seems to stand still and you come face to face with something that just about engulfs you. It happened to me in August of 1999. I was having lunch with a friend/mentor of mine at Red Lobster (love their garlic cheese biscuits!) I had been restless for about six months and I knew God was pushing me towards something . . . but I wasn’t sure what. Also, I didn’t want my restlessness to turn into rebellion by me trying to force something, so I began processing with him out loud. And then he asked me this question: “What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?” I knew the answer—I didn’t even have to think about it—it literally just flew out of my mouth: “I would plant a church.” He looked at me dead in the eye and said, “Then you are a coward if you don’t!” So literally at that moment I said “yes” to the call I knew God had placed on my life. I didn’t know the answers (still don’t), I didn’t know anything about strategy or structure, didn’t know how technology would play a part of the church, didn’t know how we were going to establish leadership . . . I didn’t know a lot. But, what I did know is that God had placed a dream inside of me to plant a church, and when Dale asked me the question I mentioned earlier it shook me and drove me to take a dive of faith.

God didn’t put us on this planet to screw around.

So. What about you? What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail? If the answer isn’t, “What I am doing right now,” then I would say you need to do some serious praying and rearranging. You see, life is short, our days are numbered, and God didn’t put us on this planet to screw around—but rather to make a differenceby using what he has given us to advance his kingdom and make him famous! Too many of us are held captive by fear—remember, he is the Most High God!!! Never let fear trump the potential God has placed in you! Too many of us are held captive by the unknown—remember, he knows! Of course, a clear call doesn’t always guarantee our idea of success. Some plant, some water, but God is the one who gives increase, and we can trust him with every outcome, whether it looks like success or not. In the meantime, he’s called us to faithfulness. Besides, if we have every answer to every question, then what he is commanding us to do would not require faith on our part—and where would the fun be in that?!

Never let fear trump the potential God has placed in you!

Too many of us are held captive by people who say “it” can’t be done, but if you will look at who is saying that “it,” you will discover that they aren’t actually doing anything except for trying to hold back the people God is letting loose to do ministry. Too many of us are held captive by critics. But if you’ll notice, Jesus was criticized, and, if you haven’t ever experienced some sort of opposition throughout the history of your ministry, it could mean the enemy is pleased with you—not exactly the calling our lives should fulfill! What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail? You’ve got to beg him for revelation on this . . . and when he gives you the Word, you’ve got to act. God doesn’t reveal himself to us so that we can just “consider” it, but rather, so that we will beconsumed by it and obey his voice! By the way, if the thing that you would attempt scares you to death, if you have had sleepless nights thinking about it, if youknow that failure is a sure thing unless he gets involved, then you should probably make a move—soon! (Like, maybe even right now!!!)

He’s waiting on you. Do you need to make a move?

When Dale asked me that question, I told myself, “I’ve got nothing to lose—I am going to give this a shot. I don’t want to waste my life and then look back 20 years from now and begin asking ‘what if’ questions!” (And you don’t want that for yourself either!) What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail? You’re not waiting on him—he’s waiting on you. Do you need to make a move? Share Christ with someone? Plant a church? Change careers? What is it that burns your heart and draw you to desperate dependence on him? What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail? Can you imagine what the world would be like if all of us allowed that question to drive the vision for our lives? So . . . what about it?

All My Love Devotional By Matt Hunt

 

All My Love Devotional By Matt Hunt

A Journey of individual spiritual renewal Based on the Great Commandment of Mark 12:29-31

God is the centre of life.

The best way to live life is to delightfully practise and regularly celebrate my lifelong obsession for Him with the entirety of myself such that I can’t contain it and have it joyfully, generously and sacrificially overflow into the lives of others.

© CrossLife Publishing 2012 2

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3

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Introduction

Our lives regularly go up and down. There is a rhythm in the ‘toing and froing’ between the moments of great joy and wonderment, and the times of grief, loss, confusion, despondency and worry. Every part of our life is impacted by this rhythm: our physical world with the ups and downs of health, dieting and exercise, our understanding as we learn new things and leave behind any irrelevant thoughts of the past, even our emotional world as we seek to find a rested centre whilst dealing with the baggage of past hurts, struggles of current relationships, and the dreams and hopes of our future before they are realised – or not!

Little wonder then that our spiritual lives also feel this merry- go-round experience. Sometimes God seems close, at other times far away. In one sense, all of life is spiritual as God is in the midst of it all; on the other hand, our regular spiritual disciplines of investing in and growing our relationship with Him wax and wane like everything else.

This experience underlines the importance of regular personal spiritual renewal. On occasion these moments of renewal can come unexpected as God ‘turns up unawares’ as it were – walking in the bush or by the sea, in a church service, or whilst listening to a piece of music, or … . At those times we can find our thoughts drifting toward God and sense His renewing touch or encouragement. At other times, a time of spiritual renewal can come in the midst of struggle, or through later reflecting on that struggle asking “Lord, where were you in that ?” (to which His answer is invariably “carrying you!!”). Both these times of spiritual renewal are valuable and helpful to us.

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However, just like physical exercise for our physical shape, formal education or intentional reading for our intellectual shape, or the periods we engage in some form of counseling to help us emotionally, our spiritual lives can do with a regular deliberate and intentional focus and renewal. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
And his words just echoed what the Lord God said in

Deuteronomy 4:29 centuries before,

“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

If you seek God deliberately, you will find Him, so there is value in choosing to seek Him! And this little book is to help you do that: To take you on an intentional time of spiritual renewal. It is a tool to help you put Deuteronomy 4:29 into practice and seek God with all your heart and soul: In fact not just your heart and soul, but your mind and strength and relationships as well, but more on that later.

This book will guide you as you do a ‘check up’ on how your relationship with God is tracking right now. It is unapologetically primed for a journey of Christian spiritual renewal (if you haven’t realized already!) and so is centred on Jesus Christ, and works alongside a Bible in helping you hear from God on his heart for your renewed relationship with Him. It will help you cry out in prayer for the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and send you boldly out to live and speak for Jesus like hasn’t happened for a while … or perhaps ever. You don’t have to ‘be a Christian’ to read this book and take a deliberate

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journey of spiritual renewal, you’ve just got to be a person who is open to God and recognize He has an interest and place in your life for your benefit.

Although you will read a variety of passages on the Bible from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, your time with God will be centred on one thought from the Lord Jesus that, like what I’ve quoted above, came directly from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament: His answer to the greatest question of all: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus’ reply was clear, perhaps even immediate, “The most important one is this: Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And the second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

This passage has been called the Great Commandment. Rightly understood and applied under the Holy Spirit’s direction it can have a profound impact on not just our spiritual life, but our entire life – and beyond that too. It can give us a direction, a focus, even a sense of purpose and meaning in all we do. J Hampton Keathley III, shares this helpful paragraph to underline the significance of this passage and its suitability for a journey of spiritual renewal. Having commented on how the Jewish leaders were preoccupied with treating God’s plan as a series of laws to obey, he writes,

“This preoccupation caused them to miss the very heart, goal, and central theme of the Bible. … Mark 12:28-31 (and its parallel, Matthew 22:34-40) is visionary. It gives us a perspective of life which, as the very heart and goal of Scripture, is like a beacon that guides us in our passage through the dark and treacherous waters of life. Understanding our

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purpose and having goals in accordance with the teaching of this wonderful passage is equivalent to vision. It means the ability to see where we are going. Having vision means having God’s revelation and using it to get God’s perspective on life so we know who we are, why we are here, where we are going, and what we ought to be doing. Without this we are like ships cast about on the sea of uncertainty with the ever changing winds of the ideas of men. We are left restless and unrestrained by our own desires and aspirations, caught in an ocean of despair.”1

The heart, goal and central theme of the Bible is that God is intimately interested in your life and mine. And that we live it the best. He has declared and demonstrated that heart in humanity’s history through the death and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus, to deal with our sin and rebellion of putting our ways in our life ahead of His, thus resigning ourselves to life, and death, less than it has to be. And He will initiate this turnaround in our lives should we seek Him, rather than try and make him fit our understanding – the mistake of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and every religious leader of history that has lifted religion above the Lord God.

The book is divided into 36 days of readings, prayers, and reflections. Some include an activity to help you write your own prayer, reflection or action in response to what you’ve read and considered before God on that day. There are six periods of six days as follows,

  1. Love the Lord your God: God is the centre of life
  2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart: The root of

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  1. Love the Lord your God with all your soul: Clearing the way in spiritual renewal
  2. Love the Lord your God with all your mind: Getting our head around spiritual renewal
  3. Love the Lord your God with all your strength: The practice of spiritual renewal
  4. Love your neighbour as yourself: Regular spiritual renewal does not stop at you.

Each day contains five parts:

One big idea to focus on.  One Old Testament passage and one New Testament passage to see the big idea.  Two questions on each passage to consider the big idea.  A short comment to reflect on the big idea.  One action to practise the big idea in prayer, written reflection or ‘something to do’.

You will

reflection (unless it involves ‘something to do’ later in the week!). You can do it alone, or with someone else like a spouse, your kids or parents, a friend you trust or a small group. However you do it, this 20-30 minutes may be the best investment in your spiritual life for the next month and perhaps beyond that. Make it happen. Remember if you seek Him you will find Him!

Pray with me:

Lord, as we consider the Great Commandment, may You bring a deeper appreciation of its wonder, its effectiveness and its overwhelming significance for our lives. As you lead me by Your

need roughly 20-30 minutes to do the reading and

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Holy Spirit, let my walk with You be renewed from the depth of my heart, to the deep places of my soul, around the rigour of my mind, and through the exertion and energy of all my strength; so that I cannot contain this deepening, joyful and delightful love for You and it overflows in serving and giving into the lives of my neighbour (all other people!) with great gladness and pleasure.

Lord Jesus, may your commandment come to be not a burden to be carried, or a law to be obeyed, but a life to be lived out. A full life, lived not begrudgingly but generously. Not timidly, but boldly. A life lived, not alone, but lived with You and with Your people. A life lived, not for me, but for You.

A life lived, not half-heartedly, but with all my love.

Now that really is a personal spiritual renewal!

Matt Hunt

Lead Pastor
CrossLife – a baptist church Gold Coast, Australia

https://www.facebook.com/CrossLifeChurch2012

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