Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1 John 5:14-17

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Imagine a man walking into a store notices a homeless vagrant squatting on the ground in front of the store. As the man passes by, the beggar, with a mostly toothless mouth, a shaggy beard, and dirty old clothes, hollering inquires of the man, “HEY MISTER, You’ve Got Some Change?!?” The man pauses for a moment to take in the situation. Obviously the man sitting on the ground has a need, but what would be the best way to help him? As the man steps closer, he notices some drug paraphernalia hanging out of the man’s stained, corduroy, sports coat pocket. When he goes to speak to the man, the beggar shuffles and a mostly empty bottle of liquor slides from under his arm and comes to rest on the ground.  The natural inclination of most is to just walk away, but this man is overwhelmed with compassion, and so he offers to take the beggar into the store to buy some new clothes and get some fresh food. Determined to not be assuaged from his true intentions, the man grunts, “I don’t need any of that stuff, just give me some money.” The kind man, convinced that the money would only be used for substances that would harm the homeless beggar, passes on into the store having never helped him.
Now imagine that this same man is walking into a store and notices his own son squatting on the ground in front of the store. As the man passes by, the boy calls out to his father, “DAD! DAD! Help!” The father pauses for a moment to assess the situation. He notices that his son looks a bit gaunt, and that his clothes are a bit tattered. He sees a bit of mud on his sons face, and smells the week old stench that emanates from his son. Without any further hesitation, the father lovingly embraces his son. Within an instant, the father has his arm around his sons shoulder and is escorting him into the store to get some food and some new clothes.
These are the actions of our loving God. As sons not beggars, we can approach with our petitions. We need not grovel at His feet to get an answer, we must simply ask. He is a good Father. Jesus solidified this point in Matthew 7:11, “If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Like 1 John 5: 14 says, we can come with confidence to God, knowing that as a loving Father He is ready and willing to hear and help.  

Food For Thought: Read Luke 11:11-13. What three examples does Jesus give that point toward the common goodness of earthly fathers?