The Word That Changes EVERYTHING…

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!” –1 John 3:1

I have a powerful and vitally important word for you today: Your Heavenly Father lavishes you with His love. YOU are His dearly loved child!

At its foundation, the kingdom of God is all about this: a Father and His family. The gospel is all about this: your Father revealing His love for you through Jesus. This was God’s intention from the very beginning, that He would be our Father and we would walk in that identity, in fellowship with Him and one another, as His family FOREVER.

But as was inevitable in a fallen world, we’ve all grown up experiencing wounds, pain, and trauma. Our earthly parents did the best they could to raise us, but they too are flawed human beings. At best they painted a cloudy picture of the unconditional love of God our Father. In this life, our souls remain restless until we find rest in Him.

That word, that you Praise, are His dearly loved child, the apple of your Father’s eye, changes everything.

The good news is that Christianity is not a matter of your earning His love, but rather embracing it. His love abides. We can be sure—

“… neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Jesus said so Himself in John’s Gospel—

“My Father, who has given (my sheep) to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29).

As a dearly loved child of your Father, you can rest in these six words: My Father is greater than all. Nothing and no one can snatch you out of your Father’s protective and loving hand.

One of the most satisfying ways we can embody our identity as children of God is by extending our Father’s hand to others, especially the most vulnerable. This is a ministry after Jesus’ own heart. He said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).

Gregory Dickow

Coffee Break  “Bellhop”

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Philippians 3:13

In the past most hotels had a guy on staff who was called a “bellhop”- some still do. His job was to carry the luggage/bags of the hotel guests when they checked in or out of the hotel. Hotels are not the only place you find them anymore. There are many Christians who do the same thing- they carry around lots of baggage.

Each day they gather up all their “bags”- guilt, condemnation, remorse, shame, bitterness, anger, revenge, etc- and carry them around. One difference between a guy who is hired to do this for a hotel and these others is the destination. These guys carry the baggage to a destination- the guest room or their vehicle upon check-out. We carry them around all the time without leaving them anywhere. As a result, we get weary, hard-hearted, and confused.

The guys who carry our bags at a hotel know which room they will leave the baggage in. We should know where to leave it too. God never intended for us to carry around this baggage endlessly. Like the desk clerk who instructs the bellhop as to where to take the bags, He has told us where we can take and leave it. It is called the cross.

When we catch ourselves carrying around all this baggage that weighs us down and robs from us, we need to make the place of prayer our destination. And while in prayer remember the cross and how Jesus took the burden of our sins and all the “baggage” that came along with it.

Is this you? Are you a “bellhop”- carrying around all this excess baggage? Don’t you think it is time to place it somewhere? Give it to God and place it at the cross. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Have a great day. Are you like a “bellhop” carrying around “baggage” all the time?

For further reading:
1 Peter 5:7
Matthew 11:29
Psalm 38:4; 118:24
Lorraine Nations Ezell