As we continue this year the next plan I have selected to go through is “Finding Dad” which is a 7-day devotional from the Bible.com site by Luke Cunningham and published by The Ark Church. It caught my attention as I was looking for my next dad related devotional because it says in the introductory paragraph:
Jesus didn’t come to replace the role of dad, He came to redeem it! In Finding Dad we discover how to forgive, heal, and reconcile the father wound while finding trust, protection, and identity in our heavenly Father.Finding Dad on Bible.com
‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ‘Romans 8:14-17
‘May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. ‘2 Thessalonians 3:5
‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’Psalms 23:1-6
‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. ‘Ephesians 6:10-15
God’s Word is so powerful, so let’s reflect on what the verses associated with today’s devotional have to say. The verses from Romans points to a change, a change by receiving Jesus and allowing the Spirit to take residence within us. The verse speaks to how the Spirit doesn’t come to enslave us nor cause us fear but rather it brings freedom and the love of being adopted by our Heavenly Father, our Abba Father. At that moment we are transformed and become children of God. It opens the door to eternity with God both in the suffering of the here and now and the everlasting hope and love and life that is waiting for us in heaven. The theme of the verses points for us to lean in on Jesus and to receive and accept His love and to take heart because He has overcome the world and to consider it pure joy when we face trials by allowing perseverance to complete its work in us so that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing. So don’t try to go it alone but rather, stick with your Heavenly Father, who is our shepherd, our shepherd who has and owns everything, our shepherd who ensures we lack nothing. Let’s allow Him to lead and guide us. Let’s allow Him to direct and instruct us. Let’s allow Him to lead us by still waters and take rest in green pastures. Let’s allow His direction and instruction to keep us on the straight and right path to His purposes and plans for us. Let’s not allow the tactics of the devil to cause us fear and draw us off course but instead, stick with God and whose staff and rod comfort us. Let’s trust God in the midst of it all because we know that no matter what our enemies and the enemy of our soul are conjuring up, God is preparing a table for us, He is anointing our heads so that our cups will overflow, and knowing how His goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives and we will get to spend eternity with Him in His house forever. So let’s be ready! Let’s get prepared! Let’s stand firm on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ! Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s evil schemes. Let’s remember that our battles aren’t against people, that’s right we aren’t battling against flesh and blood but rather the powers and principalities of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Let’s be ready for the evil day coming our way by putting on the belt of truth buckled to our waist. Let’s be ready by putting on the breastplate for righteousness to protect our hearts. Let’s stand ready by fitting our feet with the gospel of peace. Let’s be ready for the fiery darts of the devil by holding strong to the shield of faith. Let’s protect our minds by putting on the helmet of salvation. And let’s be ready to counter-attack by holding onto God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit that will help protect as well as allow us to go on the offense too.
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me: (check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
- Ever let your imagination get the best of you?
- Ever responded or reacted out of fear causing you to overreact and do something rash?
- Ever watched a scary movie and then your imagination caused you to have thoughts and fears caused by any sound or movement you saw?
- We might be ready to take one for our family and protect our home.
- Are you a father who is looking to be the dad his wife and kids need?
- Have you ever experienced the protection of your father?
- Have you ever had an incident with your father that caused you to no longer feel safe or protected?
- Let’s grab hold of today’s Word of God that speaks to God’s redeeming power to protect us.
- Let’s grab hold of the reality that we should feel protected thanks to the redeeming work of Jesus.
- Let’s take hold of what we read in Romans 8 today, how we receive the Spirit through adoption into the family of God.
- Let’s take hold of what we read in Romans 8 today, how we get to participate in the glory of God thanks to receiving the Spirit.
- Let’s take hold of what we read in Romans 8 today, how when we received the Spirit it rids of us fear.
- Let’s take hold of what we read in Romans 8 today, how when we received the Spirit it brings triumph over sin.
- Let’s take hold of what we read in Romans 8 today, how when we received the Spirit it opens us up to be crying out and even screaming out Abba Father.
- Abba Father is our protector and overwhelms the fear with faith.
- So today, let’s take heart and rest safely in the Spirit of God.
- Let’s take heart because we have a Heavenly Father, our Abba Father, who protects us.