Category Archives: Book Reviews

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Fourteen – A Tale Of Two Sons

LEARNING TO BE A SON

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

A TALE OF TWO SONS

Jesus told a story of a father and two sons. By telling parables, Jesus used one of the rabbinic teaching methods with great effect. “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” as it is known, is the third in a chain of three stories about lost things. The purpose of the parables was to alert the Pharisees to their bad attitude towards people whom they perceived as lower than themselves. They criticised Jesus for hobnobbing with “sinners”. Jesus insisted that it was sinners who needed Him more than the “righteous”.

The first two stories illustrated how friends and family rejoice on earth when lost property is found and how angels rejoiced in heaven when a lost sinner came home. Jesus’ third story was much closer to the bone. The father received his lost son with joy when he returned home after wasting his inheritance on worthless friends and riotous living, but the elder brother refused to share in the celebration.

The older brother did not realise that he was just as lost to the father as his younger brother. The younger son left home as a rebel, wasted his money, repented and returned home to beg for a place among the servants. His father received him with joy and reinstated him as a son. The older brother remained at home but served his father as a slave. He did not realise that he was a son and that he was always with his father to share in the father’s bounty.

The difference between the older and younger son was the difference of attitude. They were both sons, even though the younger son renounced his place in the family by his attitude and behaviour until he came to his senses. The older son was just as lost to the father, although he remained at home, because he acted and served like a slave.

Both sons had no fellowship with the father, the one because he ran away and the other because he had did not share the father’s heart.

Jesus did not apply the story as He did with many other parables. He left it open-ended for the Pharisees to reach their own conclusion. It is up to us as well to make up our minds which of the two sons represent us. Some of us are sons lost to the Father because we are in the far country. We live and act like orphans. Others of us are like the elder brother who did everything right but had no fellowship with the Father because he lived like a slave. We fear God’s punishment instead of being secure in the Father’s love.

EPILOGUE

The purpose of our journey through this book is to rediscover who we really are – God’s beloved sons and daughters, restored to the Father and to the family of God because of what Jesus did for us.

God has a purpose for us in His family which we discover through prayer – having fellowship with the Father so that we can get to know Him and so that we can learn what He wants to accomplish for His kingdom through us.

It is because we are His sons and daughters that we have access to Him and to all the resources He makes available to us in Christ and through the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will on earth and to re-establish His rule in the hearts of those who believe in and receive Jesus as Lord.

“Son” is our password to access everything we have in Christ. Outside of our family relationship with the Father we are not eligible for anything that belongs to Him and to His Son.

God is writing His big story and He has invited us to be a part of it if we allow Him to write our story through Him. Now that we have the “password”, let us use it wisely because, through it He has given us access to His World Wide Web.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

 

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Thirteen – Lest We Forget

LEARNING TO BE A SON

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

LEST WE FORGET

Fellowship with God as His sons and daughters can lead to problems if we forget who our Father is. We must beware that intimacy with God does not become familiarity which borders on disrespect for who He is and contempt for His word.

Moses had problems in the Israelite camp with two of Aaron’s sons who offered profane fire on God’s altar. God put them to death. Moses himself was refused entry into the Promised Land because he disobeyed God and struck the rock twice. The people in Malachi’s day were sliding back into sloppy worship and had to be warned.

David knew that God was inescapable, but it comforted him, not terrified him because he knew that God responded to those who fear Him. Jesus was the perfect model of one who feared the Lord. He honoured the Father by His submission and obedience to Him.

What is friendship with God? Abraham was known as the friend of God. How did he get a title like that? God put him to the test and he trusted God so implicitly that he obeyed Him immediately. Prompt and complete obedience is the acid test of true friendship with God.

Jesus called His disciples His friends but He qualified His statement with these words:

You are my friends if you obey what I command. (John 15:14)

The fear of the Lord opens the way to intimacy with Him (Psa. 25:14). The fear of the Lord is also the foundation of true wisdom. Everything we do in life in obedience to God’s word works and shows us that respect for God which issues in obedience is the foundation of success in life.

Our relationship with God stands firmly on two legs. He is our Father and He invites us into fellowship with Him. He is also our Creator, source and sustainer. He is sovereign over us and we honour Him and obey Him because He is the Almighty God.

We are to keep these two aspects of our relationship with Him in balance. He calls us to separate ourselves from the world and its evil desires and to be His holy temple in which He dwells by His Spirit.

 

 

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Twelve – Complete In Christ

LEARNING TO BE A SON

CHAPTER TWELVE

COMPLETE IN CHRIST

If we are truly the sons and daughters of God, how can we ever attain the high standard Jesus set for us? Take heart! God views us from His perspective as already complete in Christ. God guarantees that what He began, He will finish.

What has He done?

  • He guaranteed the success of the venture because of the power of the cross. It is His will that we be made holy.
  • He cannot fail because of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that He would not only be with us – He would be in us to apply all the effects of the cross in our lives.

Both Paul and Peter confirmed this in their letters. They knew what they were talking about because both of them had started badly but, because of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they experienced the transformation that the Holy Spirit brought about in them.

From God’s point of view, the work is complete but we must respond or nothing will change. Our response is to believe Jesus’ words and obey His teaching. This is the way to increasing freedom from the power of sin in our lives and increasing likeness to Jesus, our elder brother.

It is our responsibility to maintain the link, the spiritual “umbilical cord” with God through faith, submission and obedience to Him. As we trust Him, so He works in us to recreate us into the image of our Creator.

Now we must become what we are, sons and daughters of God.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

 

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Eleven – The Father’s Business

LEARNING TO BE A SON

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE FATHER’S BUSINESS

At the age of twelve, Jesus already knew that He was about the Father. His sojourn in the temple after His parents had set off home, had left the religious sages amazed at His understanding and His questions.

From the beginning of time, God was writing His story, and regardless of the intervention of sin, He continued to write, including the revelation of His mercy to sinners. His story climaxed in the revelation of Himself through His Son. Jesus came to reveal the true nature of the Father and to do His business on earth, to establish His kingdom in the hearts and in the society of His people.

He would restore His wayward people to Himself through His Son’s perfect life and sacrificial death so that, through them His kingdom would come on earth and He would be glorified through His redeemed people and His restored creation.

Since we have explored the meaning of sonship and how we relate to the Father as His sons and daughters, it is time to ask what our role is in His story and how we carry out that role as citizens of God’s kingdom.

God created us to have fellowship with Him and to reign over the earth as His vice-regents. Satan lied to the first pair, convincing them that he was in charge and that he could call the shots. They fell for his ruse and became slaves to his tyranny. Jesus exposed his lie and defeated him at the cross, cancelling our debt and freeing us from slavery to him.

Jesus showed us how to interpret and live in obedience to God’s instructions, contained in the Torah, His directions for living the best life. He also gave us access to the Father so that we can approach Him directly through Jesus, our high priest and no longer through human priests and animal blood.

Prayer is much more than talking to a deity, like pagan so-called “prayer”. True prayer is the right of sons and is our way of communicating with the Father. Why should we communicate with Him?  We communicate with Him for fellowship and directions for carrying out our mandate to manage the earth for Him.

Jesus was the model of true prayer. He had fellowship with the Father and received His instructions for carrying out the Father’s will. His testimony was that He obeyed the Father implicitly in everything. He gave His disciples a simple pattern to guide them in their praying – what we call “the Lord’s Prayer”.

He warned His disciples not to model their prayers on the hypocrites who prayed to gain the attention and approval of people, or the pagans who babbled to gain their god’s attention. We are to relate to God as a Father who knows our needs before we ask Him.

His pattern directed His disciples’ attention away from themselves and their needs and problems,and towards the Father who is everywhere and as close to them as their breath. They did not need to inform Him, advise Him or persuade Him to come into their situation. He was already there and fully aware of every detail. They were to recognise that is was God, their Father and the Creator and Ruler of the universe, “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and forgiveness”, to whom they turned. Their primary focus was to be on His kingdom, not on themselves and their needs.

They were to be concerned, first of all with their inner lives and God’s rule over their hearts so that they would be the agents through whom His kingdom would come on earth. Jesus, the living Word, was to be their daily bread, through the written word, feeding and nourishing their souls, like the manna in the wilderness that came from heaven to meet their daily needs.

They were to keep short accounts with people if they wanted to keep short accounts with God and to remember that they were their own worst enemy. They were to recognise and seek God’s strength to overcome the pull of their own selfish and greedy natures.

It was the will of God, above everything else that they were to seek and to do. The first step in knowing God’s will is to give Him complete charge over our bodies (Rom. 12: 1-3) and to renew our minds through the Word so that our lives will measure up to God’s requirements. With bodies and minds under the control of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to discern and approve God’s perfect will.

The purpose of prayer, then, is to have access to the Father so that we can partner with Him in managing the earth for Him and doing His will on earth. Our needs and concerns must fit into His story, not His story be directed by ours.

This is the true nature of a son – to be in submission and obedience to the Father so that we can serve Him and conduct His business on earth.

Summary of the Lord’s Prayer

Abba, Daddy, my source and the one to whom I belong, I turn away from my circumstances                       and become aware of you. You are here, all around me and as near to me as my breath. I                      honour you as holy by my words and my life.

May your just and benevolent rule come and may I be a part of bringing heaven to earth by                   doing your will, not mine, wherever I can and in whatever way I can so that those around me may see you in my life.

Feed me every day on Jesus, the living Bread.

Let me be merciful to those who offend me by cancelling their small debts, just as you have                been merciful to me by cancelling the huge debt I owed you.

Do not allow me to be pushed to the limit of my confidence in you either by severe trials or by alluring temptations, because you know how weak I am, and how strong my sinful flesh is.                      

Save me from the anguish of my own self-destruction.

 

 

 

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Ten – The Father’s Blessing

LEARNING TO BE A SON

CHAPTER TEN

THE FATHER’S BLESSING

Unlike slaves who have no rights in the house, a son has a right to his father’s name, his father’s home and his father’s inheritance.  As children of God the Bible teaches us that we have these rights.

The Father’s name

It was Jesus’ mission to do two things – to reveal the Father and to take us to the Father. Jesus took pains to teach His disciples the true nature of the Father, both by what He said and by what He did. He was in constant conflict with the religious authorities because He insisted that the law of God was more about mercy than about rules.

In His high priestly prayer on the eve of His death, He assured the Father that He had revealed His name to His disciples – not the names by which He was known in the Old Covenant but by the name “Father” which was foreign to them because they did not understand the fatherhood of God.

Adam and Eve lost their rights by rebelling against God, and became slaves to fear through Satan’s deception. By His death Jesus would reconcile those who believe in Him to the Father and they would be “adopted” into His family as His beloved children, restoring to them everything they lost at the Fall and especially the fellowship He intended from the beginning.

His first message to His disciples through Mary after His resurrection was:

Go . . . to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ (John 20:17b)

His death had brought about a new status. From God’s perspective they were now on a par with Jesus – He was not ashamed to call them brothers (He. 2: 10). Everything that Jesus was as a son was potentially theirs as well. The Father loved them just as He loved Jesus. They were given the Spirit of adoption, and the witness of the Spirit that they were children of God, as are all those who believe in Jesus.

Jesus not only told them about the Father; He also showed and taught them how to relate to the Father as His sons and daughters in loving submission and obedience. He gave them the right to use His name as their authority for approaching the Father. He revealed the nature of His Father enshrined in His name.

The Father’s house

It was the Father’s desire from the beginning of time to dwell with His people. Even when sin drove the first pair from God’s presence, He still desired to live among them. The tabernacle was His way of showing them His desire and at the same time, making it clear that they could not approach Him except through animal sacrifices. These were a picture of what He had promised – one who would crush the head of Satan and bring them back into fellowship with Himself.

The temple was the permanent structure in Jerusalem which took the place of the tabernacle for the same purpose. But even the temple was symbolic of something better. God cannot be contained in a building, but He has chosen to make His dwelling in the inner shrine of His human temples. All those who have been bought by the blood of Jesus are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Satan targets what is most precious to God – our fellowship with Him. Sin and all its spin-offs, independence and its fruit, i.e., making our own rules, cuts us off from fellowship with the Father.

But not only does He want to have continuous fellowship with us through the Holy Spirit, as sons our role is to “continue the house”. As His sons and daughters, it is our role both to reveal who He is and to bring others back into the household of God.

The Father’s inheritance

As the children of God we have a legal right to His inheritance. As co-heirs with Jesus we have an inheritance which is far superior to material things. Our inheritance comes to us through what God has promised (Heb. 6:12; 2 Cor. 1: 20). What had God promised? He has promised that we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 3-4)

The problem is that the earth and all mankind have been corrupted by sin. God is untainted by corruption and He cannot have fellowship with that which is corrupt. God took care of the problem by sending His Son to deal with our sin and to restore His nature in us so that we can escape the corruption that is in the world. Just as Adam passed on his corrupted nature to every generation, Jesus has restored His nature in all who believe His promises, the perfect nature of the Father which He refines and purifies in us through the discipline of hardship and suffering (Heb. 12: 10)

The inheritance is already ours because the testator, Jesus has already died. It is our responsibility to make the promises of God ours through faith and patience, not what we want to make our lives cushy and comfortable, but to form in us the fullness of God’s nature in the likeness of His Son.

He calls us to leave the world and it corrupting influences and be separated to God. He has promised to dwell with us and to be our Father and we will be His sons and daughters                                                                      (2 Cor. 6: 16-7:1).

The Father’s nature

God is holy love. He is separated from everything that has been corrupted by sin. As His children, He insists that we be separated from sin to Himself. God is generous. He requires that we show who He us by our generosity, not only with our resources but with our attitudes.

The manifestation of God’s sons

Sin corrupted the whole universe which is waiting in pain for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom 8: 19-21). This will be the sign that everything will be restored, including the heavens and the earth. Jesus’ return will be the cue for the restoration of all of creation and the final judgement of the rebellious angels who followed Satan. They will be condemned when God is vindicated.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

 

 

 

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