Pearls of Great Value

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls... - Matthew 13:45

A simple blog. For those in love with Jesus.

Pearls Blog

Pearls Blog

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. - Mat 13:45-46
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  • Jul24Mon

    We are family

    Who I am is in Him July 24, 2023
    Filed Under:
    Pearls Blog

    Reading the story of the prodigal son and just focusing on the Father? I have a new level of appreciation for the Abba heart of God. Here he has a rebel son on one hand and on the other a son bound by works, and both are not seeing what’s right in front of them. The younger son is a picture of one who inherits (without being a true faithful son) and therefore what he is given is wasted. The older brother is a picture of one who is in the home and is a true son all along but does not understand that being a son entitles him to everything of the Father. Both cases are problematic. Both brothers need a revelation of relationship, for both don’t have a clue. They both needed the voice of beloved identity to rescue them. I realized something lately, do you know that in this story, the Father called both of the brothers his sons? He never called them prodigals. The only person who called the younger son a prodigal son was the older brother. The Father always called him a son. When this younger brother came home, the Father called out,"This son of mine that was dead is now alive!” This son of mine!

    The whole story isn’t actually so much about the two sons as it is about the Father. The redemptive, restorative heart of the dad. We can all relate to the sons, for we’ve been in their shoes at one point or another. Both of these sons did not know their true identity. The Father knew their true identity and chose to love both into that identity. Both of the sons, though they were sons in the family, acted as slaves. Both were identifying themselves by the authority, by the inheritance, by their own self effort, but the Father was saying that both should identify themselves in the fact that they were and are beloved children of Abba.

    The thing is this. We can’t receive the inheritance without first knowing our identity. I can’t quite wrap my mind around the depth of this, but identity is so crucial in how we walk the Christian life. How can Abba Father entrust to us visions, dreams, or inheritance if we don’t even have a grasp on who we are? Some things are withheld until we can handle it. Paul gets pretty descriptive about getting the old out of the way to make room for the new. He says that Hagar and her son must be expelled from our lives: Throw out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never inherit with the son of the free woman. We are not the children of the slave woman, we are the supernatural sons of the free woman, sons of grace! Paul goes on to say, Christ has liberated us into freedom! Or in a different version: what the Messiah has freed us for is freedom! Therefore, stand firm and don’t let yourself be tied up again to a yoke of slavery.

    Hagar is representative of “doing it my way”. She is a version of the older brother in the prodigal son story. Expel the voice of self effort! Expel the legalistic leaven. Expel the need for constant working to get into Gods Grace. Is it easy? No, it’s never easy fighting against the impulses of the flesh. Anyone who has had any sort of addiction can testify to how hard it is, especially in the beginning, to say no to the desires of the flesh. One might ask how can living by the law be a desire of the flesh? Well, Paul answers that question in Galatians 3. In fact he goes so far and calls them foolish for trying to live this new life by the law: “Are you so foolish and senseless? Having begun [your new life by faith] with the Spirit, are you now being perfected and reaching spiritual maturity by the flesh [that is, by your own works and efforts to keep the Law]? Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing—if indeed it was all for nothing? So then, does He who supplies you with His [marvelous Holy] Spirit and works miracles among you, do it as a result of the works of the Law [which you perform], or because you [believe confidently in the message which you] heard with faith?” Galatians‬ ‭3:3-5‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    Paul goes on to say: “Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “THE RIGHTEOUS (the just, the upright) SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” But the Law does not rest on or require faith [it has nothing to do with faith], but [instead, the Law] says, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM [the things prescribed by the Law] SHALL LIVE BY THEM [instead of faith].” Galatians‬ ‭3:11-12‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    One thing is sure, it is not the spirit of God within us that is making us live by the law, or for the law. God sent his son, and let us not forget Jesus was born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the law was the norm, so that he might redeem those in subjection to this legalism. Why did he do this? So that we would be able to be made God’s sons. Sons. There is a huge difference between a son and a slave. And now because we are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, the Spirit who cried out, Abba! So through Jesus, we are no longer slaves with a slave mindset, but beloved children.

    How do we expel the Hagar within us? It isn’t by focusing on expelling that old leaven, but by feeding the new leaven until it overtakes our life to the point where there is no longer any room for Hagar and her son. What is in you that is not of the Father? What is in you that is not of loves kind? See, we are of a kind. Created in His image. We are of His kind and should be growing and multiplying that which we were created after. Anything that is not of loves kind will be expelled in and through Jesus. We are to image Him! That is, call yourself a mirror. When people look, they see Him.

    Do you realize that Jesus continually called God, “My Father”or “Abba”? To the Jews this must have been scandalous. To call the God of creation, the Holy one of Israel by such an intimate name was outside of their legalistic thinking. That God could be both Jehovah and Abba was beyond their understanding. But Jesus! Jesus came showing us the very nature of his Father in heaven. Jesus came to show a slavery minded group of people what it meant to be a son. He fully showed us how relationship trumps religion. Intimacy is what produces the fruit that gives proof that the marriage is real; it’s not the paper with words on it. The reality of the love of Abba is made manifest in the person of Jesus! And Jesus is the One who takes us, a fruitless people, and pulls us into the same love, and in Him we become so infused with being beloved that out of our heart flows the very zoä life that is in the Father. Jesus pulls us into the same relationship that He has with the Father and in John 17 prays that we will be one as they are one. That is quite the prayer!

    ““I do not pray for these alone [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for [all] those who [will ever] believe and trust in Me through their message, that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me.” John‬ ‭17:20-21‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    I’m realizing more and more the difference in living as a son or daughter of God and living as a slave. The more I see it the more I can’t unsee how Paul would call us foolish as well. We continually hug the line between the two, wavering between the fear of man and the fear of God. I wish I could say that there is more freedom in the church in this area than in the world, but I can’t. I see that we are catering to pleasing man and are more focused on the visible in front of our eyes than the eternal which we don’t see and therefore don’t deem as crucial. I pray almost daily for an eternal perspective to take ahold of our hearts and that we would be gripped by the weight of it.

    Father, give this generation a hunger for holier things to be made manifest in them and through them. Create in us a clean heart. We can’t possibly do this on our own. Take away these hard hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. How can we grow in Sonship? Teach us how to grow in sonship! Make us aware that we are all part of your family and help us to treat each other as such. Help us to value our siblings, to honor, respect and love them with an unconditional love. Remind us of the garden of Eden, how you came and walked with Adam is still how you come and want to walk with us. Family. Belonging. Beloved. This is who we are. We are identified as Yours and being yours is so precious! We appreciate You. We adore You. We honor You as Father. Thank you for giving us a place to belong and call home! Your heart is home to us! You are home to us. Write it on our hearts, let it be bound to our mind. You are home and we are in You, You are in us. We are family! In Jesus name, amen.

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