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  • Writer's pictureJoel Howard

Welcome to the Family

We all are familiar with the scientific fact that no one can approach the sun and live. We can scarcely even look at the sun even from over 91 million miles away and not have our eyes damaged!


If we cannot approach the sun without fear, how are we to approach God?  In Hebrews, Paul says, "you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire..." (12:18, ESV).  The Bible is full of examples of how unapproachable God is to us as humans:


John: "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on  me saying, 'Fear not...'" Revelation 1:17 (ESV)


Moses: "But he said, 'you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live...Behold there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock.'" - Exodus 33: 20-21 (ESV)


A GREAT CHASM, A GREATER SAVIOR

Even in encountering aspects of God's character, many men and women of faith felt the overwhelming chasm between us and Him.  Jonah, encountering God's mercy towards the people of Nineveh, was "angry enough to die" (Jonah 4:9, ESV). Solomon, having spent all looking for meaning, was gripped by vexation enough to cause him also to despair of life (see Ecclesiastes).


Many people today are giving up and losing hope upon facing this chasm.  God, apart from the life, death and resurrection of Christ, is truly unapproachable.  Like students confused by a difficult math problem, we are clueless until we are given the answer.  Christ, our loving Teacher, shows us that HE is the answer.  He is the Rock on which we can stand -  the hand of reassurance, saying "fear not".


THE LANGUAGE OF HEAVEN: GOD COMES FIRST

What insurmountable problem are you facing in your life?  Learning what God is teaching you and learning to let God come first can seem so foreign and so difficult, like learning a new language.  In essence, our life in God is like learning a new language.  Like walking for the first time. We are learning what life is like in our new family. We are learning to speak the language of heaven: God comes first!


God says to us, as we encounter him through discipline or revelation: Welcome to the family!  This is the way we do things here! Look at what Paul says in Hebrews 12:


"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him...It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" Hebrews 12:5, 7 (ESV)


When you face something new or challenging, do not grow weary and do not lose hope.  God is treating you as he does any of his children. He is treating you like family!  He loves you. Through Christ, look to His face and remember he is smiling down on you. He is your loving Father. Welcome to the family of God!

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