Devotional & Reflection
John 1:12-13 - Child of God
John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
I hardly knew my late father. He was a distant figure, stern and uncommunicative. I told a friend that the only father I knew was God the heavenly Father. She offered me God’s number - Jer 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Yes, our heavenly Father is just a call away, any time.
Believing that there is a God, believing in God, does not necessarily make us a child of God. Another friend has told me that she believes in God, that she prays to Jesus, but she is not a Christian. Why is this so? She has not called on Jesus to save her; she has not accepted the Lord as her personal Saviour. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved …. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:9-13). She is, then, not a child of God - not yet.
With believing must come the receiving of the grace that God extends to each of us – the grace and the gift of salvation that only Jesus, and Him alone, freely offers (Rom 5:15-17). It is Jesus Christ who has made us worthy to be in God’s family. Jesus has covered our sins with His righteousness. He has paid for our sins with His blood. He has sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts – the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” (Eph 1:4-14, Gal 4:4-7)
What does it mean to be a child of God? Scripture tells us there are many privileges. We are co-heirs with Jesus, we will rule with Jesus when He comes again to establish new heavens and a new earth. As children of God, our Father disciplines us, so that we may grow in spiritual maturity.
With privilege comes responsibility. Scripture, too, gives us many commands for our lives as children of God. We honour God our Father. We love one another, because God first loves us. We walk in truth, in love. We do good to all people, especially to the family of believers.
Being a child of God does not mean that we will be free of the trials and problems that life brings. “The Christian life is not a bed of roses.” These were the first words that my mentor, a staunch and mature Christian, spoke to me when I told her about my invitation to Jesus to come back into my life. The rose, with all its beauty and fragrance, comes with thorns.
And so, the storms will continue to rage in the Christian life. But the difference is that, as children of God, we have Jesus with us - Jesus who rides the storms together with us, Jesus who gives us peace in the midst of the storms. Let us remember Peter who was able to walk on the sea of Galilee so long as he focused on Jesus but sank into the water as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, when he saw the wind and was afraid. Children of God, let us keep our eyes on Him and walk by faith, not by sight.
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