Category Archives: Adoption

God is Like a Parent Eagle in Three Ways

“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them up on its pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+32%3A11&version=ESV

This simile is a favorite of God’s in His Word for His people, who at this time lived near mountains and watched the eagles high above raise eaglets in their nest to teach them to fly and soar.

http://www.foxnews.com/great-outdoors/2017/06/21/bald-eagle-takes-bait-swipes-salmon-from-fishing-boat.htm

Just like a parent eagle with us God does three things:

  1. He stirs up our nest.
  2. He hovers over us.
  3. He spreads out His wings to swoop down and catch us, bearing us up on His wings.

First, He stirs up our nests. Although God is tender to make us a nest, He is also strong to stirs us out of it to learn to fly. Has God been stirring up your nest? Perhaps He is sending out your children, or teaching you to fly to build your own nest.

Second, He hovers over us. As we mature and learn to go on mission, He does not leave us. He hovers over us. He wants us more dependent on Him than the nest He made for us in the first place.

When Karen and I were busy with our two sons in a stroller, their older sister was already on her back headed down the driveway’s hill on to the street. Cars and a truck were traveling in front of our house, but Emily was happily on her way. Karen said, “Bob!” I looked at Emily headed to the street, and everything went in slow motion. I ran to hover over her. She wen in between a car and a truck, hit the curb on the other side of the street, and began to soar off her bike and into a ravine! I caught her as she was flying. Do you know what she said? “Daddy, can we do that again?” God hovers over us like a parent, catching us.

Do you believe God will catch you when you are in danger? Has He not caught you before many crashes? God hovers over us like a parent eagle.

Third, He spreads out His wings to swoop down and rescue us time and time again, bearing us up on His wings. Exodus 19:4  reads: “You yourselves have seen what I did in Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+19%3A4&version=ESV

God rescued us in Jesus Christ. God stirred up heaven’s nest. Jesus swooped down from heaven, spreading out His arms on the cross, and carried our sins away to bring us to Himself.

Just like a parent eagle, God does three things:

  1. He stirs up our nest.
  2. He hovers over us.
  3. He spreads out His wings to swoop down and catch us, bearing us up on His wings.

 

Identity in Christ Course at Grace College of New Zealand

These four sessions were given in 2015 during a preaching trip to the South Island’s Family Conference in association with Grace Presbyterian Churches near Christ Church and in the North in Auckland in two churches and a pastor’s gathering.

14708061_1736011130057864_3456765143170178065_o

May these simple lectures bless you for embracing who you are in Christ, Bob

Session One https://youtu.be/NKFC2bvmbqo

Session Two https://youtu.be/vy-h9__A1xM

Session Three https://youtu.be/zU0ZyJUBQdI

Session Four https://youtu.be/5R05yMQn5L8

 

Prayer “Forces” US into our True Identity

Jesus teaches us to be ourselves, true sons and daughters, when we pray (“When you pray, pray like this.”). First, in our motives and assumptions. Our motives are not for self-honor and for self-congratulation. “Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing” Meaning? Giving and prayer are not for congratulating ourselves with our own hands. Assumptions: We are heard and rewarded not on the basis of the intensity & passion of our words as it may be in proving to our employer we should be rewarded. We are rewarded by our Father, not by the Executive VP of our Employer ( “Your Father” sees and hears you. vv. 1,4,6,8).

How does a Dad reward his child? How does a love-based relationship with your Father change the way you pray? Chosen, held in arms since a baby, and your first word was: Abba! The truth is that all the authority, power, wealth, wisdom, and effort of our Father is channeled towards His children like any good father.

That is why your secret time ought to come before your public prayers. Sons and daughters spend time more in secret at home with their father than in the rest of their public life.

You express your sonship by the love you have for your Father. So, adoration & love are expressed first because we accept our identity and God’s before we ask for anything.

Hallow Your Name: the condition of being more important in reputation is to know that your reputation is all wrapped up in Your Father’s reputation, as Jesus prayed to the Father.

Your Rule or Kingdom: This has superiority as it does in a Father-son relationship we are seeking first of all (Matt. 6:33).

Your will: the main way the Father accomplishes His will is through your prayers (the son is given executive authority to petition his/her Father for it!!!!!!! Preferential treatment is given to sons and daughters. We are granted the right-of-way.

i.e. A modifier noun: right-of-way – the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another; a path or thoroughfare subject to a right of way. We have the legal right as a pedestrian, vehicle, or ship to proceed with precedence over others in a particular situation or place. Note: The Holy Spirit is interceding for His good will in all things to work for our good (Rom. 8:26-28).

Then, present-past-future of sonship issues are requested – daily bread, past sins forgiven, and future deliverance from evil.

You know what we really need? A saturation of knowing & remembering our identity-honor and our family name, which brings rest from the pitiful perspective and burden that we must control everything for our good or well-being. Fasting declares: I will not be ruled by anything but my Father.

The secret to effectual Prayer is Christ & the word “Amen.” For in the Garden of Gethsenemie Jesus Christ prayed “Not My will, but Yours” (He guaranteed goodness). On the Cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them.” Now in Heaven Jesus, “five bleeding wounds He bears received on Calvary,” prays “forgive them, Lord forgive they cry, nor let that ransomed sinner die” (John Wesley’s hymn).

“Amen” is the assurance of our identity in Christ and that our Father heard our prayers.

A Cosmic Orphan, who Still Asks: “Who Am I?”

A human being without God the Father, writes Loren Eiseley, is the Cosmic Orphan. He is the only creature in the universe who asks, “Why?”  Other animals have instincts to guide them, but people learned to ask questions. “Who am I?” a person asks. “Why am I here? Where am I going?” 34530007 Since the Enlightenment, when our culture in the West threw off the shackles of Christianity, people have tried to answer these questions without reference to God. But the answers that came back were not joyful, but dark and terrifying. “You are the accidental by-product of nature, a result of matter plus time plus chance. There is no reason for your existence. All you face is death.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. Propaedia, s.v. “The Cosmic Orphan,” by Loren Eiseley; cf. William Craig http://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vancecd/phil3600/Craig.pdf

I’ll never forget how God made use of a 1960s musical in my heart called Oliver, wherein the orphan sang: “Where is love?” It was my prayer for three years until I was made poor in spirit and entered into the home of my Father.

Vitamin F

This is a picture of my dear father in law. See how he smiles, but holds his head up with his worn out hands? He cannot see well, and this was his last time in our home before assisted living far away. He is over ninety years old, and has a weighty and redemptive story.

IMG_0809

A Christian has a story from the womb (Psalm 139:16), which the Author of Life imprints a thumb-print-uniqueness of His Image on each. He names us, and puts people, ethnicity, and culture around us in our story to shape us into a significant character in His larger narrative.

 

If you listen to any person’s story, you cannot help but love them. As I listened to my father in law’s story for over three decades about the Great Depression, WWII, Cleveland Germans, and hilarious incidents in his work place, I grew to love him deeply. I looked like a kid when he walked his beautiful daughter down the aisle on and, without fainting, said: “Her mother and I” to Alistair Begg’s question: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

 

He recently gave his life to Christ, and regularly reads the scriptures and prays for his two children, seven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. His face and voice and identity make me weep with joy more than words can describe. Our Father in heaven gave him Christ’s righteousness, sonship, sainthood, and a body that will last forever when he will be glorified – transformed into the likeness of Christ. God gave him a new identity in Christ, and gave me “vitamin F[ather].”