Posted tagged ‘children of God’

The Significance of Our Father

November 30, 2017

Christianpicsco NKFw

Tim Keller[1] says there are no more important words in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray then the first two words, Our Father.[2] The importance of these words is underscored by the way we reference The Lord’s Prayer. We sometimes call it “the Our Father”.

Why are these words so important?

Tim Keller says that these words frame our orientation toward God. He suggests that people either have a transactional orientation toward God or a family orientation. Most of us operate on a transactional orientation toward God and others at times in our lives. Some of us live there. Beginning a prayer by calling God, “Our Father”, orientates us the right way.

A transactional orientation is focused on what we must do in order to have a relationship, a connection, with other people. A transactional orientation focuses on what people (and God) can do for us. A transactional orientation is characterized by offering consideration[3] in order to get something in return.

When we have a transactional orientation toward God, we approach Him completely differently than the way Jesus taught us to pray. We come to Him looking for something for ourselves. We are focused on what we need and want. We feel like we have to offer Him something in order to get what we are seeking. A transactional orientation toward God turns prayer into bargaining.

When we have a transactional orientation toward God, we are not seeking God. We are seeking something from God.

(more…)

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The Choices God Gives Us

April 28, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 7103912 Copyright: kohy81

“But to all[1] who did receive[2] Him, to those who believed[3] in His name, He gave the right[4] to become[5] children[6] of God— children born[7] not of blood, nor of the will[8] of the flesh[9], nor of the will of man, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)

Johns packs a lot into these short verses, tucked into the first chapter of his Gospel that is profoundly full of other significant meaning:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. All things were made through him….In him was life, and the life was the light of men…. The true light…. was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him… he gave the right to become children of God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”[10]

These are some of the most profound and remarkable verses in all of Scripture. God became flesh, and He lived among the people He chose as His own, but they didn’t even recognize who He was. But those who received – who believed Him – He gave the right to become children of God.

I see two choices here: the choice of receiving Christ and the choice God gives us after receiving Christ – the right to become children of God. My Reformed friends might be tempted to overlook the import of this power-packed passage.  I am little unnerved by it myself, truth be told. I don’t trust my own heart to make the right choices!

(more…)

Tuning In To God’s Frequency

October 7, 2016

“When you have two tuning forks in a room and one begins to vibrate the other will also begin to vibrate if it’s tuned to the same frequency. They resonate. They abide in each other’s frequency.” (Ted Dekker from the Forgotten Way)

If we are tuned to God’s frequency, we will resonate with Him and abide in Him. When we are tuned to God’s frequency, “the Spirit Himself bears witness[1] with our spirit that we are children of God.”[2]

God’s Spirit and our spirit are like the tuning forks. When we are on the same frequency with God, we resonate with God.

Such a simple truth, but we struggle so mightily with tuning to God’s frequency. (more…)

Not by the Will of Man

December 7, 2015

Sun Thru the Woods


But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

Although we have the choice to receive God, those who receive God do not grasp on to something that they have uniquely divined. We cannot boast in receiving God. Gaining knowledge of God and becoming a child of God has more do to with God than us.

When people claim that Christians are exclusive and boast of a righteousness and holiness that is exclusive, bigoted and intolerant (to put it in modern terms), they do not understand what they are saying. God presents Himself to us, and we either receive Him or not. It is not our choice (not by the will of the flesh or of the will of man).

The righteousness does not come from us. God extends the right to us to become His children.

If by “child of God” we mean Christian, there is no such thing as a Christian who was born into it. Being a child of God is not something that passed on to us by natural birth; it is not passed down in our genes. People do not become children of God because of birth, but because of second birth[1].

Nor do people choose to become children of God. No one chooses to become a child of God any more than we chose to become children of our natural parents. The event of natural birth is entirely initiated by forces outside our control, and the second birth, without which no one may become a child of God, is also initiated by forces outside or our control – by God Himself.

God does the initiating, and we do the receiving. When we are born physically, we are born through the agents of our parents. When we are born again (born from above), we are born directly through the agency of the Holy Spirit, who is offered to us and who we must receive.

In this process, we are not unwilling vessels. We must receive the offer of new life, but we are not the author of it. We are not the initiators of this new life. We are entirely dependent on God who extends Himself to us.

Children of God are born not by the will of man but by God’s will. God gave His son to the world[2] and desires that no one would be perish, but that all would have everlasting life. Everlasting life comes from God, by being born from above, and becoming children of God. This is what God offers; we only need to receive it.

When we receive what God has offered, we are changed (born again). The proof is in the change.[3] We do not make the change; God makes the change occur within us by His spirit that we receive when we are born from above. All true children of God know this change comes from God, not from within us. The change takes place within us, but it does not originate from ourselves. The Father of this change is God, and we simply receive it and yield to it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6)

[2] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

[3] Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.

God Has No Grandchildren

May 25, 2015

canstockphoto23075865


“God has no grandchildren” is a statement provided “for further reflection” found in The Discovery Bible[i]. We are invited to call God our Father (Matt. 6:9).

“I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord….” (2 Cor. 6:18)

So, why would God not have grandchildren? (more…)


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