ABBA, Father.

Almighty

Benefactor

Bestowing

Absolution.

 

Forgiving

ABBA.

Trusted

Heart Reader.

Everlasting

Refuge.

ABBA is Love personified: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

ABBA adopts each of us as His own son or daughter: Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

 ABBA gives us understanding and comfort: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . .     (2 Corinthians 1:3)  

ABBA provides strength and support: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 )

ABBA sends the Holy Spirit to watch over us, His children: 15 “If you love Me, keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.  (John 14:15-17)

ABBA has love enough for everyone: You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. (Psalm 86:5)

ABBA is the Father we share, as His adopted sons and daughters. To Him, we owe our obedience, our devotion, our love. He first loved by giving us this mortal life. He loved us more by offering eternal life through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

Every day is Father’s Day to honor our Eternal Father: ABBA.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/17/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

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LISTEN–AND HEAR THE LORD.

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” 1

 Do we have daily conversations with God where we make sure we are heard—but forget to listen? Are we really even conversing at all in this situation–or are we just presenting a one-sided monologue to the Lord, consisting of our personal list of requests, wants, and needs?

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” 2

To engage in true conversation with our God, we must also be silent and listen to what He has to say to us. There is much that can be heard in silence. Noise drowns out the Word, which the Lord wants to impart to us. Our own words can interfere with and block out His part of the conversation. Maybe WE TALK TOO MUCH–without letting Him speak.

Listening involves a focused mindset. In our society today, such a mindset is difficult to develop and sustain: short quotes on Facebook, short blurbs in ads, condensed recaps of news, texts and tweets, instant messaging. We move from one item to another quickly on Google. In fact, in a recent Microsoft study reported in Time, the results indicate that our focus of attention has declined to a mere eight seconds. The title of this May14, 2015 article by Kevin McSpadler is “You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.” 3

So how can we listen and be silent before God to hear all He has to say when our attention span is so lacking? It is possible! Each one of us can remain absorbed, engrossed, riveted and totally engaged for a longer duration of time in something we love to do—fishing, reading, cooking, sewing, a sport, exercise, camping, etc. We can develop and maintain this intentional focus when the “want to” is there.

“Hearing” God and “listening” to His Word are referenced many times in scripture:

Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2  “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

If we are to truly live “by every Word” coming from God, then we must love this conversation with God more than our desire for anything else—and we must learn to listen and be silent.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 

 

1William Hazlitt

2 Alfred Brendel

3 time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/10/18)  Meditations on God’s Word  teacherforjesus.com

Finding Wisdom on the Narrow Road

                “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,                                                    it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” ― Mark Twain 1

The Lord had a select few at His side during His last years on this earth. They were the ones who were taught the wisdom that comes from God. They walked with Wisdom, ate with Wisdom, and sat at the feet of Wisdom. From Wisdom, they gained– and later preached –wisdom.

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (I Corinthians 1:30)

Jesus was not on the side of the majority. He reached out to the minority– the leper who wanted to be healed, the Samaritan woman at the well, the blind man who wished to see, the sinners He ate with, the tax collector whose home He chose to visit.  He did not choose to be with the Pharisees who desired celebrity from others through their public prayers. His sentence and crucifixion did not come from those who entered the narrow gate, seeking Him and His wisdom– but from those who believed in and purported their own “wisdom” as they boldly walked through the wide gate that led to the broad road where many would see them, hear them, and acknowledge them. Jesus acknowledged them by condemning their hypocrisy: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)

True wisdom can only come from God. That wisdom is identified through the Word:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.              (James 3:17)

These were not the traits of the Pharisees who chose their own version of self-wisdom instead of seeking the truth from God.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 
(Proverbs 4:6-7)

What gate do we enter every day in our choices? What road are we on as we follow our life path? Are we in the crowds of many? Is wisdom drowned out by the noise of confusion from the voices of the majority?

Leaving that road and entering the narrow path, we can commune with God and hear His voice: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

 We need to ask; we need to seek; we need to pray. Wisdom is what the world needs, and we are the select few who must share Him through the example of our lives.

 1Twain, Mark. twainquotes.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/03/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word