Posts Tagged ‘Child of God’

What’s In a Name?

May 12, 2016

Names…they can mean a lot.

My parents–who had to come up with a LOT of names (I’m one of 13 kids)–always tried to name us after Biblical characters. They took the names seriously.

My name–David Matthew Joseph Johnson (‘Joseph’ was my Confirmation name) means “Beloved, Gift of God, Increasing Faith, God is Gracious”.

Now that’s a mouthful! (Can you imagine my mom when angry calling me by all those names? Nope…”David Matthew!” was enough!)

I had a dream the other night about names…some lady had named her child ‘Schwan’s’ after the frozen food delivery service! (How would you like to grow up with that one?)

Yes…I have weird dreams!

It does seems that, lately, parents think more about what their kids’ names sound like, more than what they mean.

But names here on earth are not nearly as important as the name that God gives us.

He calls us all ‘My Child‘, and knows us each by name.

We are given that ‘name’ based on our Relationship with Him, through our faith in Jesus, the Son. Because of that relationship, we are adopted into the family of God.

John 1:12-13:“…to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” 

That ‘adoption’–God adopting us into His family by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ–changes everything!

It is this loving, grace-filled and life-giving relationship which motivates us to change.

We no longer try to ‘avoid sin’ out of fear or legalism, but rather, we find ourselves increasingly changed within so that we don’t want to sin–because of our love for God!

We want to love and obey Him!

It’s like the child who grows up in a loving, affirming, Biblically-balanced home–they are not those who ‘can’t wait to get out’ and live sinfully. Rather, they know that, even when the parent isn’t around, they want to honor that relationship, so they don’t do the things that would sabotage or hurt it, because that relationship is still important to them, and they know that the relationship has been based on love and is for their good!

That’s what God works in us when we become ‘Children of God’. His Spirit begins working from within–changing our hearts, motives, desires–making us more like Jesus, NOT because we ‘have to be’, but because we ‘want to be’ like Him. It is our new nature!

Romans 8:11-14: “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

This is great news! We don’t ‘have to’ sin!

We can walk with the Spirit, enjoying our relationship with the Father, through our faith in the Son, and…as a result…we realize that we don’t want to sin!

Why would we jeopardize that relationship?

It all hinges on that new relationship…the adoption into His family.

Romans 8:15-16: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

Your name, your destiny, your direction, your eternity…ALL have been changed, due to His adopting you into His family–the Family of God, through Jesus Christ.

Child of God is what you are now…that is what He calls you.

Enjoy Him. Love Him. Worship Him. Draw close to Him.

You’ll find that sin–whatever it is–suddenly has very little power over you.

You are a Child of God!

Start thinking that way, and He will change you!

December 8             The Angel-Bell Ornament / Fear Not                 Nicole Perry      

December 8, 2015

Have you ever been frightened to the point you couldn’t move?  My first semester at college I experienced that very thing. I was fresh out of high school, living on campus and away from home for the first time. It happened between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. My roommate and I put up a few Christmas decorations to distinguish our otherwise dull dormitory surroundings. Among the decorations was a two foot Christmas tree which we placed on a table just below the window on the north wall.  The only actual decoration on the tree I remember vividly was a three inch, clear glass, bell ornament which encased a ceramic angel clapper.

 

One evening I sat alone in my dorm room studying at one of the desks which faced the south wall. The only entry to our room was to my left and in view for me to clearly see if anyone entered. My back was to the Christmas tree (and the angel-bell ornament). Out of the silence, I heard behind me a sound like the smashing of a wine glass against a brick wall. Rather than turning to see what it was, I sat frozen, paralyzed by fear. I called out the names of my suitemates. I hoped to hear one of them respond, reasoning one of them may have slipped past my view and entered the room. There was only unnerving quiet. Still gripped by fear, I managed to turn slowly. There in the middle of the room stood the angel from the bell ornament. It was free from the crystal bell which lay patterned in almost a perfect circle about it. There seemed no logical explanation for how the ornament made it to the center of the room before shattering and leaving the angel clapper standing upright.

 

To this day I have no idea what happened that eerie night, but I have come to understand with God, no one ever has to be a slave to fear.  In Isaiah 41:10 we’re encouraged, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” All we need to do is place our trust in Him as the Psalmist in 56:3 writes: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. I love the Bethel Music song titled “No Longer Slaves” in which the lyrics eloquently depict we need not fear, simply rest in the arms of God:

 

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song

Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God


From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God…

 

– I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God

 

Read and Consider:

 

Philippians 4:6-7

2 Timothy 1:7

Deuteronomy 31:6

Psalm 34:4

1 John 4:18

 

Are there things in your life that you are fearful of, that God would want to give you victory over?

 

As we get closer to Christmas, what is one way that God’s perfect love—as seen in Jesus—can give you victory over your fears?

 

Watch the video, and Sing Along!

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