January 26, 2015
Our Father in Heaven
God's people are doubly His children. They are His offspring by creation, and they are His sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call Him, "Our Father in heaven."
Father! Oh, what a precious word is that. Here is authority: "If I be a Father, where is My honor?" If you are sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority that does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded that is most cheerfully rendered--which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience that God's children yield to Him must be loving obedience.
Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster's toil, but run in the way of His commands because it is your Father's way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father's will, and His will should be the will of His child.
Father! Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love that the King's crown is forgotten in the King's face, and His scepter becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver scepter of mercy--the scepter indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of Him who wields it.
Father! Here is honor and love. How great is a Father's love to his children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father's heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, and he must bless them; they are his children, and he must show himself strong in their defense. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father?
Abba, Father! He who can say this has uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word--Father! There is all I can ask, all my necessities can demand, all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, "Father."
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Genesis 27
verse 2 Matthew 26
Confessing our sins might seem like a gloomy business—God already knows about them, so what's the point of dwelling on failure? But confession is more celebratory than we think. It does not simply remind us of our guilt, but points us to our great Savior, who has atoned for us and lovingly pursues us despite our wandering.
These prayers open with a scriptural call of confession, confess specific sins, thank the Father for Jesus' perfect life and death in our place, ask for the help of the Spirit in pursuing holiness, and close with an assurance of pardon.
Inspired by the Puritan classic The Valley of Vision, these prayers were developed for both personal devotions and church use.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.