God’s care is a foundation for life. It brings us freedom to stretch out and take risks in faith, knowing that as we go trusting Him, He will pick up the consequences. Because He cares we have the freedom to really live!
God the Shepherd
God cares for us because He loves us as a Father. Rather than give text book descriptions of His care, the Bible tends to tell the stories or give the testimony of people who have been through difficult situations and seen His care. One such is Psalm 23 which describes the relationship between God and man in the terms of a shepherd to his sheep. We will look at this in parts.
- How does David the author feel about his shepherd God?
- What needs are looked after in this situation?
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
- How does David feel about being led by his shepherd God?
- What characterizes the paths that they take together?
- On what basis does David not fear?
3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,*I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
- How does David express the level of confidence he has in God?
- Notice the degree of abundance that David experiences in God’s care.
- Why would God go to such lengths for a person?
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Assured of God’s Care
Jesus assures us of God’s care, and expresses it in a way that asks us to depend on Him. Matthew 6
Matthew 6:28-34 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
- How important to God does Jesus say that we are?
- How does Jesus want us to trust in God?
- For what does Jesus want us to trust in God?
- How could you discover that God cares for you?
God is our Father. He is our Father because He created us. We are very precious to Him and He longs for us to respond to His love. He is also Father in a special way to those who have received His Spirit. They are His Spiritual children, children born of God. However none of us compare to the only one who is God’s Son by nature, Jesus. In this section we focus on God as creator of all – Acts 17:24-28
Read Acts 17:24-28 24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man* he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. 27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
- What has God made?
- What place does God have over creation?
- What special place do people hold in God’s heart?
- How does God want us to approach Him?
The fact that God is Father gives us an amazing picture of His relationship with us. Many think God is like earthly fathers, but fathers are far from perfect. We need to understand what kind of a Father God is. Jesus gives us great insights about our Father, and what we can expect from Him. Jesus trusted His Father completely, and He teaches us the Father’s values and attitudes.
Read Matthew 7:9-11 9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
- How does Jesus contrast our giving gifts with how God gives to us?
- What makes a GIFT GOOD?
- Why does our Father want His children to ask for things?
God is one! There is also Jesus and the Holy Spirit, both of whom are described as God. How does that work? The arrival of Jesus and the Holy Spirit had many people thinking it took a couple of hundred years for scholars to explain it consistently with the whole Bible. What the scholars came up with is that there is one God, and that this one God is made up of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This maintains the fact that there is unity without uniformity; it allows for the three relating together, so each having an identity and will, yet they are one God. 1 Peter 1:2 draws out the work of the Three, in one work – our salvation, done with one purpose, but each having a slightly different role.
1 Peter 1:2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.
- What is the end to which all Three are working?
- What are the distinctive roles of each?