24 September 2016
How the Father sees the Son
Years ago, my late father was sitting in his office at home and I walked into the room. He looked up me and smiled and laughed. I was positioned just so the light above me made me appear to have a halo, a glow around my head. Dad took a picture. He kept it around and printed it out and said he really liked that picture.
Fast forward many years later. Going through boxes from Mom's house, I found the printout of that photo. Dad is gone enjoying actual angels with halos. How I miss him. I have a beard and gray in my hair. And there are some days where I don't feel like I have that halo. However, that is how my father saw me. I heard recently on the Christian radio station that we often are trying to get to a past version of us that we felt was closer to God. That should not be our aim. In Christ, God sees you as He sees Jesus. The Father sees you as He sees the Son.
Every morning, I look in the mirror and see the same guy, though he looks a bit older and tired compared to photos of yesteryear. I will think about how I should get more sleep or something else I should do. Sometimes, I feel like I am not doing enough. It feeds into this feeling that I have to please.
There is something to be said for pleasing others and living in a way that honors God. However, the guy in the mirror falls short. I fall short. You fall short. We all fall short. Consider these verses in Romans 3:10-18 (NIV):
As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."
Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
And consider Romans 3:23 (NASB): "[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
The truth is that in and of ourselves, God isn't pleased with us. We are sinners. He is a holy God. If we are relying only on ourselves and trying to navigate on our own and not believing in Christ, then that is how He sees us -- worthless.
However, in Christ, you please God. Consider Mark 1:9-11 (NASB): "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'" God the Father is "well-pleased" with Christ the Son. And if Christ dwells in you, then in Christ, God is "well-pleased" with you.
In Christ, you are His friend. John 15:13-15 (NASB) states the following:
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Do you know Christ? Did He die for you? Jesus laid His life down for you because He loves you. Do you trust Him? Do you believe in what He has done for you? In Him by the work of the Holy Spirit, we can do as He commands and therefore, we are His friends. In Christ, when God looks at you, He sees a friend.
It cannot be emphasized enough that it is not about what you have done, are doing or will do, but what He has done, is doing and has promised to do and if you trust Him. Our aim isn't to get to a past version of ourselves that we think pleased God more when in fact it didn't. Our aim is outlined in Philippians 3:12-14 (NASB):
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Our aim is Christ. Forget what lies behind and look to Christ. And as God looks at you He will see Christ, a friend, One with Whom He is well-pleased.
In Christ, even if we mess up, He doesn't disown us. Don't abuse His grace as a license for sin and selfishness. Yet, at the same time, take heart in the words of 2 Timothy 2:13b (NASB): "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."
Even if we are doing the right thing and not messing things up (though actually, we all are if not knowingly, certainly unawares), we still need Him. We need Jesus. I need Jesus. You need Jesus. I have Jesus and I still need Him. I need God to look upon me and see His Son and be well-pleased. And if you know Christ, that is what happens. You see, Jesus has completed the work and done so perfectly. He did what we could not (for ourselves). That is why salvation is only in Him. It is in no one else. He covers you!
Romans 13:14 (NASB) states the following:
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Believe and be covered!
Just over 6 years ago, my father died. I still remember his voice. I remember our conversations. And I certainly remember how he saw me. He saw the potential in me and the best in me and it shapes who I am. Yet, Dad is gone and he waits in glory. While Dad's view of me continues to be encouraging to this day, it pales to how God sees me. You see, God loved me so much that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ, the One who completed the perfect Work, to die on the cross in my place and to rise again with the hope of new life. Jesus took my sin - past, present and future - and held it in the place of death on the cross and offers new life, not just at the point of salvation, but every day for eternity. God sees me as a friend and when He looks on me, He sees Jesus with Whom He is well-pleased. And it is no claim of my own, but the perfect work of Christ. If you know Christ, the same is true of you. Do you know Him? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. And as my father -- who looked on me with love -- would say, "Be There!"
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