Links Daily Devotional

Loved Children, Part 1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV)

How do you love a child?

If you’re a golfer, you might start by handing a kid a sawed off 7-iron and letting him steer the cart. The hours spent together on the course, often in the fading light, go a thousand miles in building this understanding: “I love you, kid. I have all the time in the world for you.”

But how do you allow yourself to be loved as a child, especially when you’re an adult? That’s not so easy. We’re proud and mature and certain we can get it—whatever it is—done on our own. We’ve forgotten just how to be children. And here’s the problem: “That is what we are!

So let’s step back and see how we can manage this in our minds, our hearts, our lives.

To begin, God. This is often forgotten in our time. Argue the course of creation if you must, but let this stand: all has been in God’s hand, from before the beginning of time as we know it.

This God, this Creator, lived in unity as Three: Father, Son, Spirit. Always he understood the joy of family. Here love lived, perfectly.

But God could not contain himself. His voice announced the place where the Son would walk and others—millions of believing others—would be gathered into this family. Then that voice spoke the grand invitation: “Let us make man in our own image.” The family would grow.

The children, we know now, were dysfunctional from the beginning, challenging the Father, looking ever elsewhere in worship and tribute. Most of all they looked to themselves, doing what was right in their own eyes—and yes, this “they” is us, walking apart from God.

But here is the wonder. God himself, as the Son Jesus Christ, sent out the call for all time, the words with which he gave up the ghost: “It is finished.” And in this act, the one way was made—not the way of the children but the way of the Father.

So whether or not we know how to be children, we can come and be made children again, children in faith, joint heirs alongside Jesus. It’s not just a nice idea, not just so many words, that “we should be called children of God.” No, this is what we are, we who believe and are saved.

Know this, child: You have been made a member of God’s family by the love of God. You did nothing of your own to be brought into his family, no more than you contributed to your entrance into the family you have on earth. Step back and live in that love. This is how you make your way as God’s child.

Jeff Hopper

September 17, 2013

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