Parenting is a quiet, unassuming word  – at first glance! It is, more accurately, an umbrella term for way-more-than-a full-time job. It includes, but is not limited to, loving, feeding, bathing, holding, rocking (essential), nursing when children are sick (and even when the nurse is sick), training, teaching, introducing life skills, manners, boundaries, sexual and moral behavior, lots of things about Jesus, the Bible, prayer, holiness, loving some more, etc. It often includes dealing with hard things, like losses (sports, pets, relationships), injuries anywhere from scraped knees to broken bones. Then there’s the list of the most favorite things of all: schooling and bedtime and curfews and discipline. And listening (or hoping to listen to the ones rarely open to talking). Small wonder it takes two people to accomplish this task in just eighteen years without running up the white flag of surrender. So, KUDOS to all parents! I’m sure there’s an extra special reward in heaven for your commitment and sacrificial giving.

Our Heavenly Parent knows all about this extensive list of duties. He, too, watches over us with the goal of making us His and then raising us up to full maturity. His loving commitment to us was revealed in Jesus, who, in his death, demolished the sin barrier and brought us Salvation. Salvation, in turn, afforded us forgiveness and Eternal Life, here and now. And these were but the initial signs of the extravagance of the Father’s love shown to us in Jesus! Scripture says: “For at one time you were not God’s people, but now you are. At one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it!” 1 Peter 2:10, TPT.

In God’s transforming of us into a people, He’s made us: a Re-created people, a Pentecost people, a Beloved people, a Missional people, a Being people (as opposed to a Doing people), a JOY people, a Listening people. But that’s not all! God has an end view in sight – that we would be His completed Masterpieces, His Magnum Opus. As we live out our new, in-Jesus, lives, with their vast provisions, our Father continually sculpts and chisels and smooths and hones us. How are you enjoying His artistic investment? We’ll talk more about it tomorrow at 10 AM, 4 PM.  PD

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