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Reflections of the Father

I. Love

Definition: God’s love means that God eternally gives of Himself to others.

I John 4

8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

A. God loved us even when we were not reciprocating.

I John 4

10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

B. Our belief that God is love compels us to love others unconditionally.

I John 4

10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1. Speak kindly and offer encouragement to others.

2. Meet others’ needs and carry each other’s burdens.

C. God rejoices over us

Zephaniah 3

17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love.

1. We need to let our own hearts be transformed and softened by the love of God

2. We need to love God above all else and teach our children to do that also

3. We need to rejoice over our children Zephaniah 3:17-18

4. We need to love other people well

II. Holiness

Definition: God's holiness means that he is separated from sin and devoted to seeking His own honor.

A. God Is Holy in his nature.

Isaiah 6

3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!

Psalm 71:22

He is called the Holy one of Israel.

B. Holy people are set apart.

In the Old Testament we see the tabernacle itself was a place separated from evil and the sin of the world.

The first room is called the Holy Place and it was dedicated to the service of God.

God instructed them to place a veil and divider to separate this room from another room called the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, making it the area most set apart from sin and dedicated to God’s service. It was the closest representation of His presence.

Holy translates to being set apart

If you want to reflect the Father then you need to take a stance against sin. God called us to be Holy because he is holy

Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world He created, and failing to be or do what He requires according to His law.

I Peter 1

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 

Hebrews 12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

1. We need to lay aside the sin that entangles us and seek forgiveness

2. We need to teach our children the importance of being set apart from worldly influences.

III. God’s Mercy and Grace

Mercy Definition – God's goodness towards those in misery and distress

Grace Definition – God's goodness to those who only deserve punishment

A. God is gracious and merciful.

Exodus 34

6 The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 1

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

1. David when he was in distress knew to fall into the merciful hand of God. - 2 Samuel 24:14

B. As we understand mercy and grace, we must become people who give mercy and grace to others.

1. Matthew 5:7 - if we sow it, we will reap it.

2 Corinthians 1

4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

1. Our kids are navigating many aspects of life and we need to know how their heart is doing.

2. We need to teach them to help others when they are in distress

3. We need to model running to God in distress and falling on His hand of mercy and grace.

IV. Truthfulness

Definition: God’s truthfulness means He is the true God, and His knowledge and words are both true, serving as the final standard of truth.

God is truthful. His character is authentic and trustworthy. 

A. God is the one true God

Jeremiah 10

10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.

B. God's words are the true and final standard of truth.

1. Job tells us that God is perfect in Knowledge

2. Hebrews 6:18 says that God does not lie

Since truth matters to God, it should matter to us. To grow in God’s character, we must eliminate every form of falseness and hindrance to truth from our lives. We aspire to live with integrity and commit to speaking the truth in love.

Colossians 3

9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[a] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

1. We need to teach our kids God’s truth

2. We need to speak the truth in love

3. We need to be truthful with ourselves

4. We need to be people whose word means something.

Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’

5. We need to be a person of integrity.

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