Good, good Father

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
of what they think You’re like,
but I’ve heard the tender whisper
of love in the dead of night:
and You tell me that You’re pleased
and that I’m never alone…

You’re a good good Father –
it’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are…
And I’m loved by you –
it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching
for answers far and wide.
But I know we’re all searching
for answers only you provide…
‘Cause You know just what we need
before we say a word!

Chorus

Cause You’re perfect in all of your ways;
You are perfect in all of your ways;
You’re perfect in all of your ways to us!

~ Written and performed by: Chris Tomlin ~

Today is my earthly daddy’s birthday, and I decided to post these lyrics today to honour my dad, who is a very good earthly father, showing me a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father, the Ultimate GOOD Father is like.

No unauthorized use of this image permitted. Copyright laws apply.

Hebrews 12

9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [respect]: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure [think; seem good]; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.  11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

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Matter

All of the dreams that haven’t come true,  (Ps. 38:9, Ps. 119:49, Prov. 13:12)
and all of the hurt that happened to you –  (Jer. 10:19)
it matters, I hope you know it matters…

You felt the pain of a bitter defeat  (Bible verses)
where the weight of the grief is more bitter than sweet –  (Lam. 3:32)
it matters, I’m telling you it matters

to the One Who spoke and set the sun ablaze;  (Gen. 1:14-19, Ps. 8:3)
to the One Who stopped the storm and walked the waves;  (Mark 4:39, Matt. 14:25)
to the One Who took the tree so He could say:  (1 Pet. 2:24, John 15:13, John 10:18)
You matter, I hope you know you matter!  (Matt. 10:29-31)

I know it’s not easy, not saying it’s fair,  (John 16:33)
but close as a prayer, Somebody cares –  (Matt. 28:20, Heb. 13:5, 1 Pet. 5:7)
you’re a treasure, I hope you know you’re treasured!  (Ex. 19:5)

So hold your head high, wait for the dawn;  (Ps. 27:14)
keep hanging on, your sadness will turn into laughter!  (Ps. 126:5-6, Is. 61:3)
Watch it turn into laughter…

Chorus  (Rom 8:31-32)

Let the water spill from your eyes;  (Ps. 56:8, Mark 9:24, Heb. 5:7, 2 Kings 20:5)
let it wash the wounds of those lies…
Oh, let the water spill from your eyes…
All that you are, all that you’ll be –
Someone put the beat in your heart so that you’ll see
you matter…  (Matt. 10:29-31, Is. 43:4)

Chorus

~ Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Seth Mosley
Performed by:  for King & Country ~

Flawless

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjLlLPZderk

There’s got to be more than going back and forth
from doing right to doing wrong  (Romans 7)
‘cause we were taught that’s who we are…
Come on, get in line right behind me –
you along with everybody
thinking there’s worth in what you do…  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Then like a Hero Who takes the stage when
we’re on the edge of our seats saying, “It’s too late…”
Well, let me introduce you to amazing grace…

No matter the bumps, no matter the bruises,
no matter the scars;  still the truth is:
the Cross has made, the Cross has made you flawless!

No matter the hurt or how deep the wound is,
no matter the pain;  still the truth is:
the Cross has made, the Cross has made you flawless!

Could it possibly be that we simply can’t believe
that this unconditional kind of love would be enough
to take a filthy wretch like this  (Romans 7:24)
and wrap him up in righteousness?  (2 Corinthians 5:21)
But that’s exactly what He did!

Chorus

Take a breath smile and say:
“Right here, right now, I’m OK, because
the Cross was enough…”

And like a Hero who takes the stage when
we’re on the edge of our seats saying, “It’s too late…”
Well, let me introduce you to grace, grace, God’s grace…

Chorus

No matter what they say or what you think you are,
the day you called His Name He made you flawless!

~ Performed by:  MercyMe
Written by:  Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer, Nathan Cochran, Robby Shaffer; Barry Graul; Solomon Olds; David Garcia; Ben Glover ~

Ephesians 2:8-10
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away;  behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ… reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them… For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin;  that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

John 19:30
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished“: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”

Further Scripture reading

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, (Psalm 67:1, Psalm 122:6)
comfort for family, protection while we sleep; (Matthew 5:4, Psalm 4:8)
We pray for healing, for prosperity, (Mark 5:23, Psalm 118:25)
we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering… (Psalm 9:13, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33)

And all the while, You hear each spoken need…  (2 Chronicles 20:9, Exodus 3:7)
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.  (Ephesians 3:19-20)

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?  (Psalm 56:8)
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?  (Hebrews 13:5)
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear;  (James 1:5, Hebrews 3:15)
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near…  (Psalm 27:7)
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love  (Matthew 14:31, Matthew 28:17)
as if every promise from Your Word is not enough!  (Joshua 23:14, Hebrews 10:23)

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea  (Exodus 22:23, Psalm 40:1)
and long that we’d have faith to believe…  (Mark 5:36, 9:23, 11:24, John 11:26)

Chorus

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know  (Luke 22:48, John 3:19)
that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home!  (Hebrews 11:13-16)
It’s not our home!

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life  (Proverbs 13:12)
is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?  (John 4:13-14)
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
are your mercies in disguise?

~ Written and performed by:  Laura Story ~

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Further reading:  Heavenly perspective

Overcomer

Staring at a stop sign, watching people drive by,
t-Mac on the radio…
Got so much on your mind, nothing’s really going right,
looking for a ray of hope…  (Psalm 130:7)

Whatever it is you may be going through,
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you!  (1 Cor. 10:13)

You’re an overcomer!  Stay in the fight ‘til the final round!  (1 Cor. 9:24)
You’re not going under, ‘cause God is holding you right now!  (John 10:29)
You might be down for a moment, feeling like it’s hopeless –
that’s when He reminds you that you’re an overcomer…
You’re an overcomer!

Everybody’s been down, hit the bottom, hit the ground…
Ooh, you’re not alone!  (1 Peter 5:8-10, Matt. 28:20)
Just take a breath, don’t forget, hang on to His promises –
He wants You to know:

Chorus

The same Man, the Great I am, the One who overcame death,
He’s living inside of You!  (John 11:25-26, 1 Cor. 15:54-57)
So just hold tight, fix your eyes on the One who holds your life –  (John 10:29)
there’s nothing He can’t do!  (Matt. 28:18, Col. 2:9, Eph. 1:20-23)
He’s telling you:

(Take a breath, don’t forget, hang on to His promises…)
(2 Peter 3:9, Rom. 4:21, 2 Cor. 1:20, Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:15, Heb. 10:23)

Chorus

Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer!

~ Written by:  David A. Garcia, Benjamin Glover, and Christopher E. Stevens
Performed by:  Mandisa ~

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer;  I have overcome the world.” ~ Jesus Christ

Romans 12:21 
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

1 John 4:4
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

1 John 5:4-5 
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:  and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Revelation 17:14 
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them:  for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings:  and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Come as you are

Come out of sadness, from wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted, let rescue begin
Come find your mercy, oh, sinner, come kneel
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face!
Oh, wanderer, come home – you’re not too far…
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless and all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table, come taste the grace…
There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure

Chorus

Fall in His arms, come as you are

There’s joy for the mourning, oh, sinner, be still…
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

Chorus

~ David Crowder
Album:  Neon Steeple (2014) ~

Matthew 11
28  “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  30  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God…”

Psalm 34:18  “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

Psalm 51:17  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Psalm 147:3  “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Isaiah 57:15
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Isaiah 61
1  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” ~ Jesus Christ  (See Luke 4:17-21)

In the shadow of the Cross

In the shadow of the Cross

Wounded, our stripes were laid upon Him
He was bruised; a crown of thorns for our iniquity
A Man of sorrows – despised and rejected:
He was nailed to the Cross to bear the sins for you and me

In the shadow of the Cross, I stand forgiven
And by the power of His precious Blood, I’ve been set free
In the Cross I’ve found the love that only He could give –
In the shadow of the Cross on a hill called Calvary

Suffering, in shame He hung upon that tree
An offering for sins – His life’s Blood He freely gave
They laid Him in the tomb, so soon to be forgotten…
But He arose – He is the Victor over the grave!

~ Unknown author ~

Isaiah 53

1  Who hath believed our report?  and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  2  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  He hath no form nor comeliness;  and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  3  He is despised and rejected of mena Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from Him;  He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  4  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;  and with His stripes we are healed.  6  All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned every one to his own way;  and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  7  He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth:  He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth.  8  He was taken from prison and from judgment:  and who shall declare His generation?  for He was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was He stricken.  9  And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death;  because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.  10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;  He hath put Him to grief:  when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.  11  He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied:  by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many;  for He shall bear their iniquities.  12  Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong;  because He hath poured out His soul unto death:  and He was numbered with the transgressors;  and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Further reading:  Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19

Don’t Quit

Romans 5:3-6 
“… we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Don’t quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
and the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh.

When things are pressing you down a bit,
rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
you might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems, to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
when he might have captured the victor’s cup.

And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

You never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
it’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

~ Author unknown ~

1 Corinthians 10:13 
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Mark 13:13
“And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Kindness & compassionate love

~ Ian Maclaren ~

~ Ian Maclaren ~

“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”  And he (the certain lawyer) said, “He that shewed mercy on him.”  Then said Jesus unto him, “Go, and do thou likewise.”  Luke 10:30-37

“A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” And he divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son…”  But the father said to his servants, “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” ”   Parable told by Jesus in Luke 15:11-24

Consider the compassionate kindness of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ:

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  … according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…” Titus 3:3-6

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”  Joel 2:12-13

“And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, “If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.”  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, “I will; be thou clean.” ”  Mark 1:40-41

See also Isaiah 54:8, Jeremiah 31:3, Jeremiah 32:18, Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 15:32, Matthew 20:34, Psalm 143:8.

How do we compare to Jesus’ compassionate kindness?  Most often, somebody first has to get hurt (sometimes not even by ourselves), tears has to flow, sickness must come, before we start showing compassion toward others.  Even though it is good to be compassionate and kind toward the sick, those with heartache, and those going through difficulties, it is a fact that we do not always see other people’s battles.  Some battles are fought privately in one’s heart or mind, and it is obvious that we have no idea what battles strangers fight.  How kind are we toward the cashier at the supermarket (or the person packing our goods in plastic bags)?  Or toward the administrator at the bank when we’ve stood in a long queue?  Or with the car guard, the person who sells newspapers on the corner, or even the girl who sells her body for an income…?   (Luke 7:37-50)  Jesus showed compassion toward everybody, and so should we.  Had we known their battles, surely we would have more compassion, kindness, and maybe even a sincere smile for them.

What if we’ve been hurt?  Often in the Word of God “kindness” (or “lovingkindness”) goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness.  Jesus set the perfect example:  “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him…  Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” ”  (Luke 23:33-34)  Peter also encouraged the believers to “be… kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)  See also Colossians 3:12-15, 2 Peter 1:5-7.

May Jesus Christ make us more into His Nature (John 3:30), that we can be “having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”  (1 Peter 3:8).  May we “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another,” (Romans 12:10) to bring God all the glory.

You are what you are for a reason

You are who you are for a reason.
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb.
You’re just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

~ Written by:  Russell Kelfer ~

Psalm 139:13-16
“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Genesis 1:27, 31
“So God created man in His Own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. …  And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

1 Peter 2:9
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”