Sunday, 29 November 2015

Daily Reading: Galatians 4v4-7 'Can I really call God 'Father'?'

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 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."

In Jesus God makes it possible for us to be his sons. But he does more than that God isn’t just bothered about our legal status, he wants us to live and relate to him as sons to a Father. Imagine a couple adopt a child. How would they feel when the adoption papers are signed and they have legally adopted that child? They’d be thrilled. But imagine the difference when a few months later that child falls over and scrapes their knee and looks up with tears in their eyes and cries out ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ to them. Then it wouldn’t just be a legal relationship but a living, breathing, loving reality.

That is what (6)describes. God sends his Spirit into our hearts to make our legal status as sons a living breathing, relating reality, so that we know him and live with him as our Father. “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

Who out of all the characters in the Bible has the closest relationship with God? Jesus. There is a constant loving intimacy between God the Father and God the Son. God the Father declares his love and delight in his Son at Jesus baptism. Throughout his ministry Jesus relies on his Father, listen to him, speaks to him, and lovingly work to please his Father because their goals, passions and delights are the same. In his bleakest hour Jesus instinctively turns to his Father and places his Spirit, his very life, in his father’s hands because he trusts him.

Now look at how the Spirit God puts into the believers heart is described here; “the Spirit of his Son”. God enables us to enjoy the same relationship and intimacy with him that Jesus did. That’s why the cry is ‘Abba, Father’, a cry of intimacy, love, trust, delight, care, and security.

(7)Paul concludes; God is a loving Father and by faith in Jesus and what he has done for us we become his Sons, not just legally but in a living, breathing, developing relationship with God the ultimate Father.

How do you think of God? It matters because only when you see God as loving Father will you long to know him, and realise he has made it possible, and will you want to trust him. Only then will you see how much he loved us in sending Jesus so we can be his sons. God waits with open arms ready to welcome you as his Son if you will trust in Jesus.

If I’m a son because of what Jesus has done I don’t need to try to earn it, to boast in what I have done, to be driven by and burdened by performance and I can simply enjoy getting to know God secure in his love.

If I’m God’s son I can always speak to God my Father, freed from worrying about saying the right things in a certain way. As we pray – and prayer is us talking to God – we don’t have to do things to be accepted, we are accepted, we are loved children liberated to speak to God confident in his acceptance.

As a Son I’m sure, I’m not scared that I might do something that will jeopardise my sonship instead I entrust myself to my loving Father and joyfully listen to his words knowing he is always for me.

Because I’m a son I can allow the Bible and others to open up my heart and expose my sin because whatever is there will not destroy my sonship because Jesus has already made me a son.

As a son I am liberated to love others not feel threatened by them, superior to them, or envious of them and the gifts they may have because they aren’t any more or less of a son than I am.

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