Nehemiah 4-6
Acts 2:22-47

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

A pastor met with a young man and asked him, “What do you believe?” The man answered, “I believe in the universe.” The pastor said, “I’ve heard of the universe. Tell me more.” The man shared, “If I do good things, the universe gives me good things. If I do bad things, the universe gives me bad things.” The pastor asked, “So, how’s it going?” The man responded, “It’s been tough.” The man went on to explain what was happening in his life.
The pastor said, “This doesn’t work. It puts so much pressure on you because you are constantly trying to get your good works to outweigh your bad works; it’s this constant game and contest that is happening, and you can never quite get there.” He continued, “Here’s the problem: God is perfect. If the passing grade of an exam is 50 out of 100, I may only get 20 because I’m not really good at it and you may get 45, but guess what? We both failed the exam. We’re both in the same place. No one can have a relationship with Jesus because of how good our lives are, being nice doesn’t get you to heaven!”
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.” Why? Because nice people think they are righteous when in reality, the Bible says we are all sinners. How then could we be saved? The Apostle Paul tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is a complete work of God.
The pastor then asked the man, “How does the universe work? Some transcendent out there controlling your life but doesn’t have a relationship with you, communicate with you or care for you? How can you even know the will of the universe?” The man was silent. The pastor goes, “Here’s what the gospel provides. The gospel says you have a Heavenly Father who loves you, cares for you, sent His Son to die for your sins and He has a plan for your life.”
In Knowing God, J. I. Packer writes, “What is a Christian?…The question could be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.” As we celebrate Father’s Day, may we have comfort in knowing the God who created this universe is our Father.
Lord Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and care. How privileged I am to be Your child! Praise You!

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