Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believedÂ in his name,Â he gave the right to become children of God.Â John 1:12
To see yourself as a child of God is truly an empowering belief.
When I was a child, I knew that my parents loved me. I didnâ€™t have to do anything to earn their complete dedication, support, training, and love. Thatâ€™s security. I grew up secure as a child. Which is a great gift, I had great Christian parents.
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Likewise, when I became a father, I loved my children simply because they were my kids. They didnâ€™t have to do anything special to earn my love. They were loved, cared for, supported, educated, encouraged, disciplined, etc. They received all the â€œbenefitsâ€ of family membership simply based on the merits of being our progeny.
So â€¦ How much infinitely better it is to receive the benefits of being adopted into the family of God!
Now a big problem I see in our culture is an â€œorphan spiritâ€, where you feel like you have no family, no one who cares. Maybe you have been rejected and ignored and feel like there is nowhere you belong.
Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The message of the gospel is â€œyou belong here!â€. You belong to the family of God. Now look, it’s not perfect, it can often be broken and dysfunctional, but with the Spirit of Jesus comes the spirit of adoption.
Check out Romans 8:14-16
â€¦14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, â€œAbba! Father!â€ 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Godâ€™s children.â€¦
When we join the family of God we receive more than we could hope or imagine â€“ favor, blessing, intimacy, fellowship, healing, forgiveness, provision, compassion â€“ on and on it goes!
Yet, as John notes, many people rejected the gift of God.
Listen to John 1:10-11 (NRSV)
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. John 1:10-11 (NRSV)
Jesus was right here in the flesh, walking and talking and healing and all the amazing things he did – and people just flat out rejected him!
Why? They did not see Him for who and what He really was. There were blind to what right in front of their eyes.
Like Adam and Eve, we have the free will to be in a healthy relationship with God â€“ or not. When the direction of our living is towards God, there is blessing. When we move away from God, there is darkness.
When we make that defining choice to â€œreceive Himâ€, and all that means in terms of love and obedience, we become more powerful than we could possibly imagine.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12
So my friends, In this Season of Light, renew your decision to be born again, to believe in his name.
You are part of the family. You belong here.
Father thank you that you have adopted us as your sons and daughters, that we are no longer slaves to fear. God, I pray for those who may be prodigals or may have drifted away, and especially all who feel like they are orphans – that they would remember who they are, and come back to you. May we chose today to walk in your light and receive the good gift you offer us.
Daily Worship Devotionals is a 5-minute podcast dedicated to studying the Word of God and hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. Currently, we are following the Christian year calendar as our framework. Weâ€™re in the season of Epiphany â€“ theÂ Season of LightÂ and exploring the early life of Christ.