Those who are in Christ Jesus are children of God.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 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)
My main focus this year is seeking greater intimacy with our Father. This has led me to constantly evaluate my walk with God. It is easy to start judging my relationship with Him as short of the mark – my mark. I can’t do as much in the community we are serving as I would like to; we have our fingers in too many pies; my “quiet times” with God are never quiet, but outside whilst my busy toddler runs past me shouting: “Mummy look!! Loooook at me!!!” . . . Yet God is quietly reminding me that He died to save me for adoption. He didn’t free me from one slave master to be my new taskmaster. He died so that I may be His beloved child. WOW!
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:6-7)
A side note on Roman adoption is important here. Today, we tend to see examples where adopted children are either treated the same as the biological child or, sadly (especially in the third world), taken is as a form of glorified slave. This was NOT the case in Roman culture. By Roman Law, an adopted child had MORE rights than the biological child. For example, a biological child could be disowned, and adopted child never could be; an adopted child was one hundred percent secure in their relationship with their adopting father! (I advise you to look into Roman adoption as there is a lot more to unpack, just not so relevant to this train of thought).
Pursuing intimacy with God is discovering Him as my loving, gracious, merciful Father. It is finding Him to be a Father who delights in time with me, however it looks. He loves being part of my play time with my son; He doesn’t need me to wear myself out pursuing unrealistic expectations; He achieves His purposes in His time and by His strength – not mine. He wants me to rest in His presence and enjoy His love.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:13-17, emphasis added)
Yes, He has set me tasks to do. Yes, we suffer for the Gospel, too. And, yes, there is an urgency in my spirit for the lost. But it is in His strength that we build His kingdom, not our own. It is through His Spirit that we endure. He is our daily bread; He is our sustenance; He is our first priority. The first commandment is “love God”, the second is to “love others”. Everything else will flow out from this.
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (Revelations 2:4, emphasis added)
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)