Know the Father

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father…

1 Timothy 1:2

You are being called to know your Father. To really know Him. Jesus leapt off His throne, clothed Himself in flesh, took on the mantle of the Law of Moses, had every sin laid on Himself, defeated death through death, and freed a people for Himself,a people for His own possession“…us.

Grace

At the right moment, Jesus broke into the world; “The grace of God has appeared” (Titus 2:11). God, moved out of the fullness of His heart, displayed His kindness and grace toward us in Jesus. The promise given to Abraham that his Seed should bless all the families of the earth came to fruition. Jesus, the Grace of God.

Mercy

Taking the form of a servant, Jesus became the least of all men. Born into poverty, despised by His hometown, betrayed by His own disciple…Jesus subjected Himself to the very worst that the world had to offer. “He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest…” (Hebrews 2:17). By experiencing every trial and pain that we experience, Jesus lowered Himself so that He could look us eye-to-eye. Only from this place could He truly understand and sympathize with our weakness and pain. He knows. He can truly show us mercy now.

Peace

The stone was rolled away and an empty tomb shouted at the enemy of our souls. Forever free, the Son of God destroyed death through death, and “canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us…” (Colossians 2:14) Our peace with God has been secured…forever. Jesus liberated us from every accusation and every shame; we have peace with God.

His Plan

All of this was accomplished for one thing; adoption. The purpose of our salvation was to restore us to our Father – to break down the barrier that separated us from Him; sin. He wants to know us. Really know us. He dreamed of you before the foundation of the world, that you should stand before Him, holy and pure…together forever with your Father.

He has spared no expense to buy you back, to redeem you. He has given everything up for you. Lift up your eyes, your Father is calling you…

In Jesus,

TJMcPherson

The Cure for Worry

Are you worrying and anxious? What if I told you there is a cure for your anxiety and worry? Listen to Jesus:

…do not be worried about your life…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…

Matthew 6:25&33

When Jesus was giving his sermon on the mount, He was speaking to ordinary people just like you and me. In a moment of sincerity and understanding, Jesus addressed one of the most sinister aspects of the sinful condition – worry.

When He said, “do not be worried about your life,” He was not waxing eloquent and offering up an ideal that people should strive for – He was giving a command…a command that he would provide for. Let’s take a look at His next statement.

The Cure for Worry

Jesus commands us not to worry. In his very next breath, He gives us the key to walk in His command – “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” You see, Jesus knows that our lives are full of appointments, schedules and obligations. He is not calling us to abandon responsibility and our chosen fields of labor. He is simply offering us a new perspective.

When we seek the kingdom of God before all things, all things find their rightful place. Our gaze shifts to the eternal, to the will and concern of Jesus. This perspective gets our eyes off of the temporal and fickle and fixes our eyes on the eternal and never-changing. Imagine a life full of certainty and stability – this is the life offered to us by Jesus.

All Things New

When you were called to Jesus, you were called according to His purpose. You were never called into a life of worry, uncertainty, and instability. Remember, you have died, and your life is hidden in Christ. He never changes. He never falters. Align yourself with His purpose before all things and watch as he provides for His plan and purpose in Your life. Jesus never fails – we have nothing to worry about.

All to Jesus!

TJMcPherson

Become a Blessing

Jesus desires to bless you, to give you the desires of your heart. He wants to bless you so that you might become a blessing to your world. So, how can you obtain the blessing of your Father? Take a look at this passage:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country…and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing…”


Genesis 12:1-2

After instructing Abram to leave his country, his father’s house, and all of his claim in the world, the Lord promised to bless Abram. Abram, growing strong in faith, believed God and set out for a new land.

The Lord took Abram to the land of Canaan and promised him everything he saw. Again, though he had no guarantee but the word of God, Abram believed God and took Him at his word. This was the doorway through which God richly blessed Abraham; belief.

Belief

Think on this: did you receive your salvation through an abundance of works or through believing in Jesus? Did you receive the Spirit through hard labor, or did you believe Jesus when He said, “I will send Him to you” (John 16:7)? You and I believed the promise of God and received the blessing!

This foundational truth is unchanging; the blessing of God is only obtained when we “believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). Our blessing depends upon our faith – will we believe Jesus and take Him at His word?

Even Further

The receiving of the blessing is only part of the greater blessing. God told Abram that He was blessing Abram so that he could “be a blessing.” Make no mistake, the Father wants to bless you with Himself. And yet, this is not all. The Father wants to bless you so that you might become the conduit through which He can bless the world. Not only does He want to enrich you with Himself, He also wants to involve you in His great work of redemption. He wants to make you a blessing!

Seek the Blessing

What would it be like if you sought the blessing of God for the betterment of your family, workplace, and city? Do you think Jesus would bless you so that you could be a blessing? Absolutely.

Believe, ask, and receive. The Father longs to bless you and to make you a blessing – He has divine purpose for you to walk in.

Blessed in Jesus,

TJMcPherson

He Gives

Are you tired? Is your striving against sin leaving you exhausted and routinely defeated? Listen to the wisdom of Solomon:

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;…

It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors;

For He gives to his beloved even in his sleep

Psalm 127: 1-3

Striving after holiness is vanity if we push past the open hands of Jesus – the very one who is waiting to give us His holiness. The writer of Hebrews was right when he said, “we may share His holiness…” (Heb. 12:10). It has always been in the heart of God to share his divine nature with us.

Take Adam as an example: Never toiling and never earning the fruit of the ground by the sweat of his brow, Adam relaxed and waited upon God. He knew that in the cool of each day, he would receive all he needed from the presence of his Creator. Only after the fall do we see Adam working the ground and eating the bread of “painful labors.” Sin ruined everything.

But the story doesn’t end there. Paul declares that God has reconciled all things to Himself by the blood of Jesus and has declared peace for all His adopted children (Col. 1:20). Because of Jesus, we who live in Christ are now the beloved of the Father, adopted and chosen according to His will (Eph. 1:5).

Because of our standing in Jesus, we can see the fulfillment of Solomon’s wisdom: we are the beloved children of God – we have no need to fight to produce our righteousness. We need only to ask by the authority He has given us as children, and then enjoy the freedom and truth found in the these words, “He gives to his beloved in [their] sleep.

Do you see that striving is vanity? Why should we strive when He is ready and willing to give to us in our most unproductive state; sleeping. This truth reveals the depths of His nature; His love is free and unconditional.

He is ready to give you life. Rest and abide, grow strong in faith and accept your Father’s gift in Jesus.

Abiding in Him,

TJMcPherson

Embrace Him

Saul of Tarsus

Saul was an expert in the Law of Moses. Having been raised up in the Pharisaical teachings and traditions, Saul took care to adhere to every rule and regulation set forth in the Torah. According to his own testimony, Paul considered himself “faultless” in his observance of all that the law required (Phil. 3:6.) Circumcised on the eighth day, a pharisee of pharisees…Saul was the perfect example of a devout Jewish man.

Rising above his peers, the soon-to-be apostle sat at the feet of the premier Jewish rabbi of his time, Gamaliel. As he sat and listened to the teaching of his elders, Saul of Tarsus grew more and more zealous for the traditions of his people… “And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.” (Galatians 1:14) This overwhelming zeal became the fuel for his persecution of the early Christian church.

As he was breathing threats against the Church of God, Jesus confronted Saul. Jesus, the one who Saul was persecuting, stepped into the darkness of Saul’s ignorance and revealed Himself. All that Saul had built his life on, every accolade, every tradition, every ancestral claim, came face to face with the Son of God. In an instant, Saul of Tarsus was forever changed.

Though the remaining majority of Paul’s life is recorded for us by Luke in the book of Acts, I am urged by the Holy Spirit to ask one question…What happened on the road to Damascus? How did a man like Saul, a zealous, well-educated Pharisee, become a man like Paul? The answer is simple; Paul met Jesus.

MEETING JESUS

You see, up until this moment, Saul of Tarsus had built his life around every good thing, yet never found the best thing. He had elevated his thinking, adhered to the most reasonable theology, and according to his religion, climbed the “ministerial ladder.” And yet, in all of this, He missed the Truth.

But Jesus did not leave him there. Jesus offered Saul the very thing his heart so desperately desired; love. Jesus was supremely interested in Saul, not his accolades. For once in his life, someone looked at Saul for who he was. Casting aside every achievement, Jesus grabbed ahold of Saul’s heart and loved him.

This became one of Paul’s most cherished moments. Routinely in the epistles, Paul uses this phrase, “[Jesus] loved me, and gave Himself for me.” And that was all he needed—to know and believe the love Jesus had for him.

RESPONSE

What about you? Have you stared into the eyes of Christ? Do you know the love that Jesus has for you? He desires to make you His very own. He sees you and loves you.

Can I encourage you? Leave all of the soul-weight that is hindering you from fully embracing Jesus. Leave the intellectual questions that are causing you to stumble. This is the moment. Embrace Him. Take a couple of minutes and ask Him to open your eyes to His love.

In the love of Jesus,
TJMcPherson

Who is Worthy?

jezael-melgoza-250810-unsplash

Before we jump into the Word together, I want to touch on something that I having been wanting to share. 

WordforWorship.com is designed to be a platform where you can be encouraged to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Each blog post is (hopefully) a snippet of the beauty that is ours in Jesus and in His Word. I want to encourage you, let this blog be a drink of cool water on your journey with Jesus; nothing more. I say all of this to express this one thing: I fear that you will be satisfied with a quick devotional thought, that you will be satisfied with a few minutes of reflection. I fear that this blog will become a type of barrier between you and Jesus, rather than a morsel that would cause you to crave the Living Bread. 

Sound a bit silly? Well if you are like me, you know how easy it is for “good things” to become the objects of our love and devotion. Jesus understood this and spoke plainly about the dangers of a shallow or superficial love for God. Look at what He says:

 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Matthew 10:37-38

I encourage you, reread that last statement slowly…Can you feel the weight of Jesus’ words? Let’s take a deeper look at some of this.

Worthy

The one who loves father or mother more than Jesus is not worthy of Jesus. Why does Jesus say this? To love anything or anyone more than Jesus is to remove Jesus from the throne of our hearts. In our longing after other things, we dethrone Christ from His rightful position as the Lover and Lord of our lives; we have made His dwelling place “unworthy” or “unfit” for Him. To better understand this, let’s take a look at what “worthy” actually means in the Greek. 

The word worthy (axios) literally means “to be of weight.” In the first century, money changers would weigh out coins of silver or gold. Rather than look at the amount of coins on the scale, the money changers would consider the weight of the coins. Therefore, when they would exchange money, they would weigh coins against each other to make sure the “worth” of each pile of coins was the same. If the scales balanced, the transaction would be considered “of weight”; worthy.

The one who loves father, mother, son, or daughter more than Jesus does not see the value of the offering Jesus is making; Himself. Notice what he says, “is not worthy of Me.” He did not say, worthy of My favor or worthy of my blessing, He specifically says “of Me.” You see, we are not being offered something outside of Jesus. God is giving us Himself! Only when we give ourselves entirely to Him do we become vessels “worthy” of the presence of God. A life for a life; axios.

When we offer our unhindered, undivided, and unadulterated love to Jesus, we are revealing that we view Him as supremely worthy. And this is all He asks, that we see and know Him for who He is, the righteous and worthy Son of God. When we see Jesus for who He is and respond in faith, the dwelling place of our hearts become worthy of the Son of God.

Response

Would you consider His offering? In all of His fullness, Jesus desires to dwell within you. He longs to birth His desires in You, to reign as the Lord of your life and to accomplish His perfect will through you. Would you respond to His call and offer up the entirety of your life, your love, your affection to Him? He is worthy!

Lord Jesus, You are supremely worthy of our love and affection. Oh Lord, rid us of every false love, every unworthy idol. Set Yourself as the Lord in our hearts and finish this good work that You have begun in us. We trust that You will do this. We love You and pray this in Your name.

In Jesus,

TJMcPherson