Point People to God through Actions

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Kind and Present
For some of us, it can be easy to look at the relationships that others have with their fathers and just feel a little jealous. No dad is perfect, but some are certainly more ideal than others from an outside perspective. Maybe you grew up with a great dad, or maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t have an earthly father who was approachable, loving, and had your very best in mind, God – as your Heavenly Father – is waiting to more than make up for what you never had. Psalm 103:17 says, “from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” And Psalm 106:1 says, “for he is good; his love endures forever.” That means not only that God’s patience and kindness never wear out, but it also means that you never run out of chances to be forgiven by him. Psalm 103:12 tells us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  We all long to be intimately known, yet sometimes we hide who we really are out of fear of rejection. Scripture says your Heavenly Father knows you intimately already and still loves your unconditionally. In Psalm 139, David said, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways”. God knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them, and your actions before you act on them. And still, with all that intimate knowledge of you, he continues to love you endlessly.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What Scripture do you most resonate with when looking at God’s role as your Heavenly Father? Pick some of your favorite verses, write them down, and put them in a place where you can regularly see them. 
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Heirs of God
As you read through Scripture, you see that, while God goes by many names, God wants to be known as Father most of all by his children. Romans 8:14-17 tells us that when you received the gift of the Holy Spirit, this brought about your adoption to sonship. Sonship is a word we don’t hear a lot nowadays, but it is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. When someone is legally adopted into a family, they are given the same treatment and permissions as a biological child in that family. Ideally, parents treat their adopted child the same as their biological child, giving them the same unconditional love, forgiveness, and support. Sin separates us from a deep, intimate relationship that God longs to have with us as his children, but Jesus’s death and resurrection changes all that and closes this separation. By having a relationship with Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit into your heart, we read that the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. And if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Being an heir means that, just as Christ, we are entitled to all the good gifts and riches that belong to God, our heavenly Father. In other words, all that the Jesus shares with God, such as peace, life, righteousness, has now been imparted to us as well. DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you often think of yourself as being an heir of God, along with Jesus? How does that impact how you think about your relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?