It’s Thursday, so I would like to share some thoughts with you as you go throughout your week. I probably won’t post something every Thursday, but hopefully this will be the beginning of a ongoing dialogue and time of encouragement for both of us.
This song we sang on Sunday really encourages me…
The message last Sunday was from John 1:12-13, becoming a child of God by faith in Christ. Being born into God’s spiritual family is different than just being born a member of the human race. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
Now to clarify, the Bible does reference God as Father to all people by virtue of him being the creator: “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10) Also in Ephesians chapter three Paul writes: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,” (Ephesians 3:14-15).
But when it comes to having a personal, eternal, growing relationship with God, only those who trust in what Jesus Christ has done on their behalf are children of God. Look at the amazing affirmations and promises from the New Testament regarding our identity as children of God and much more: (From Neil Anderson’s book, Victory over the Darkness)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am a member of Christ’s Body (Eph. 5:30)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I am holy and dearly loved (Col. 3:12)
I am an enemy of the devil (1 Peter 5:8)
I am a son of light and not of darkness (1 Thess. 5:5)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I am Gods handiwork, made new in order to do his work (Eph. 2:10)
The obstacle we face on a daily basis is that we do not necessarily feel like new creations, or feel joyful. We disappoint others or we sin against them. We drift from God and pursue selfish pleasures. Difficult things come our way, and we experience doubt and discouragement. We feel the same as we did the day before. But our feelings do not determine our identity in Christ! As we receive and internalize what God says about us—as children of God—we recognize the great love he has for us. We recognize that no outward circumstance, decision, or problem can change the reality that we belong to God. He holds us in his hand and he will not let go! What is more– God has put his Holy Spirit in us so that we might think and live in His power! Take a few moments this week to reaffirm what God says about you—that is, what is true about you because of Jesus. And out of that identity, live as God leads you!
“No person can consistently live in a manner that is inconsistent with how he perceives himself. You must see yourself as a child of God in order to live like a child of God. The blessed hope for the believer this side of the rapture is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory‘” (Colossians 1:27).
Neil Anderson, Victory over the Darkness