When I was younger, no one ever spoke of clean living. Today it is a big deal. Many people have invested money and time in items that detox the body. Most places sell items that are organic. We have foods that are gluten-free, lactose-free, etc.
Living clean is not only a concept that relates to consumption. The Bible discusses the importance of clean living. We are to “live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”
How can you live clean? Most would first answer, “Don’t sin,” but we read that clean living is all about not complaining or arguing (see Philippians 2:14). We are to do everything without complaint or argument so that no one can criticize anyone. When we do this, we are living clean so we shine bright in this dark and perverse world. Complaining does nothing to bring glory to God. Today, live clean.
“So that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” – Philippians 2:15 [NLT]
Imagine if you had this precious gem that was worth more than anything else in the entire world. Imagine if you found something that’s more amazing than anything you have ever encountered. Imagine if you discovered something more powerful than anything you have seen before. Now consider the Truth. Consider the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is the precious gem. This is the “something that’s more amazing.” This is the “more powerful than anything you have seen” and so much more!
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). We understand that all truth is God’s truth. As believers in Jesus Christ, we believe that the Gospel is true. Because we believe in Jesus, we are called children of God. We are sons and daughters of the King. Sadly, it is easy to trade the truth about God for a lie. It has happened in the past and it will continue to happen. Paul wrote about people who did just that, and they “served the things God created” instead of serving God.
Be careful not to do the same. Keep your eyes focused on the truth. To be able to detect the lies of the world, it is crucial that you know the Word of God. To know His Word, you must spend time chewing on it. Read it. Remember it. Keep it with you. Study it. Meditate upon it. The more you embrace His Word, the less likely you will trade the truth for a lie.
“They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, Who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” – Romans 1:25 [NLT]
Forever is a very long time. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 61 about a request: “Let me live forever in Your sanctuary.” This is not a simple request. This request is for a sinful man to spend forever with God, Holy God, in His presence.
Despite it not being a simple request, it is a request that can be met. There is a possibility for you and I to live forever in His sanctuary. To abide with Him, we must accept the Son. To abide with Him, we must have the desire. The Bible promises that when we abide in Him, He will abide in us (John 15:4).
Thankfully God sent His Son to pave the way for us to be able to come before God as unblemished spotless ones. Because of the blood of Christ, we are cleansed and we are righteous. We are called children of God through faith (Galatians 3:26). The wages of sin is death, but we accept the free gift of God, eternal life through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). Forever we live in Your sanctuary!
“Let me live forever in Your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of Your wings! Interlude” – Psalm 61:4 [NLT]
As I was walking the dogs, I noticed a car stopped halfway in a parking spot. At first, I had those dramatic scenes from the television shows flash through my mind. But after I shook all that off, I realized the man was being considerate. He had started to pull into his parking spot, but showed us some courtesy by stopping until the dogs moved along, so as to not frighten them.
When he parked the car, he let me know the reason he waited. Perhaps he read my mind when I was having those television flashbacks. I thanked him for the courtesy. He didn’t know that Max has major anxiety issues. What a blessing to be shown courtesy on our evening walk. At least once a week, Max experiences trauma because others aren’t very courteous.
In Luke, we read about doing to others as you would like them to do to you. We hear this quoted often (some call it the “Golden Rule”), but this is something that we don’t always see in action. Be reminded, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” These are the people who are called children of God. Be considerate. Show courtesy. Treat every person as valuable. Don’t look out for your own best interest and neglect others. Take an interest in them. Desire the best for them.
“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” – Matthew 5:9 [NLT]
“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” – Luke 6:31 [NLT]
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” – Philippians 2:4 [NLT]
Everything in life changes when you have a child. All of the sudden you have this other person you are responsible for and life is forever different. I remember the first day I was a mother. I remember staying awake just to watch my son and make sure he was breathing. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. This was repeated with my daughter. Now my children are teens, but I am still the watchful mother. Today I found myself driving by the high school again to be sure that my daughter’s team showed up for practice, that she wasn’t left sitting alone with no communication. When I left her, the team had not yet showed up. Hence, the double check.
On the way home from the double check drive by, I couldn’t help but consider how God watches over us. He doesn’t have to double check to make sure we are still okay. He doesn’t get worried about what is going to happen to us. Things are very different when it comes to our relationship with God. He is our Father. We can cry out “Abba Father,” which means “Daddy.” But we also can rest assured that He is with us always. His Word shares this Truth. He misses nothing; He cares enough to double check, but He needs not do so because He is all-knowing and all-seeing.
Today, remember your heavenly Father Who is always with you. He cares for you as if you were His only child. He wants to be part of your life—He wants to be your life. He sent His one and only Son to earth to carry the sins of the world on His shoulders, to save you and me—to redeem us so that we are no longer separated from Him by our sin. He died on a Cross, a sinner’s death, though sinless. He rose from the dead and offers us the same resurrection life. He poured out His Spirit upon us. Simply by professing our belief in Jesus Christ we receive a new life—a life with our heavenly Father—an eternal life. By doing so, by professing your faith in Him, you are a child of God. Today, speak to your Father. Spend time in His presence. Enjoy Him. Rejoice in Him.
“God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.” – Galatians 4:5-7 [NLT]
One of the ideas I often hear spoken is that we are “all children of God.” This is something that people say when they are trying to say everyone is equal. Yes, everyone is important. Yes, everyone is created by God. But not everyone is a child of God. This is a mistruth that sadly allows people to find comfort that keeps them from seeing true salvation.
The Bible says that the only people who are “children of God” are those who believe in Jesus Christ. If you refuse the Son, you refuse the Father. Bottom line. This is not me talking. This is the Word of God. We can sugar coat it to appease others, but we are only then loving them to hell.
Look around. There are people around you who are children of God, as the Bible defines, and there are those who do not know the Truth. Speak boldly today. Allow the Spirit to loosen your lips. Let people know that if they want to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ, it is available. When they make this step, they will be called a “child of God.” Thank the Lord that we can call out to God, “Abba Father” and He hears us and He recognizes us as His children. Thank you Jesus!
“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.” – John 1:12 [NASB]
“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:23 [ESV]
In John, we read that the “children of God” became so because they “did receive him,” they “believed in His name.” So often we talk about when we “received” Jesus or “believed in Jesus.” To outsiders it may sound confusing. What does it mean to “receive Jesus”? This is something one may consider.
I remember when I was in college, we had to memorize the Prologue. It was a task I accepted but considered a bit strange because memorization tests are not always very fruitful with time. How many things have you memorized for a test and yet you can still remember today? But I understand the importance of this passage in John, which wraps everything up as a beautiful gift to open for all who read.
The gift we receive is Jesus Christ. The introduction speaks of a forerunner coming to prepare the way for the One Who, since the very beginning, was to come and redeem the world from sin that God knew would separate God from man. Many are overwhelmed by the words that speak of deity, life, light, flesh, law, truth, and grace. First, open the gift of Jesus Christ. Receive Him. Believe in Him. These two things are linked together. You cannot believe without receiving. You cannot receive something unless it was freely given. Jesus Christ laid down His life for you; He has been reaching out to you so you can come to know Him. If you receive, you believe. This is a belief of trust. If you believe, if you receive—you have the right to become a child of God.
“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12
- 4-5 – Predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ
- He knew before the foundation that we would be separated. (1 Peter 4:20)
- He predestined us for adoption.
- Everyone who believes through faith is a child of God. (Galatians 3:26, John 1:12)
- 11 – Obtained an inheritance
- This inheritance is ALREADY ours through Jesus Christ.
- 13 – Sealed with promise of inheritance
- The Holy Spirit is our guarantee
Adopted Children of God:
- Receive New Rights (Galatians 4:4-7)
- Identical legal rights as blood child
- All riches in Christ & citizenship in heaven
- God will care for us
- Adopted parent is granted full rights & responsibility of natural father
- Complete authority over child
- Legal role as caregiver
- Relationships will change
- Our relationship with God changes
- God the Father – not only judge, Loving Father
- God the Son – not only Lord, Savior and Brother
- God the Holy Spirit – not only calls & sanctifies but Spirit of adoption within us
- Our relationship with others changes
- Our relationship with God changes
1 John 3:1-2 – “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” [NIV]
Romans 8:14 – “All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.” [HCSB]
Bible Study Questions:
- Verses 4-5 speak of predestination. The Bible says that before the foundation of the world, God knew that we would need Jesus Christ. What does this term predestination mean?
- Ephesians 1:10 says, “As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” What is this fullness of time? What does this mean?
- In verse 11, the passage says we “obtained and inheritance.” How is this different from an inheritance we may receive from our earthly family?
- God has sealed us with a promise it says (v. 13). The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of an inheritance. But this guarantee is not like a normal promissory note that you hold until the time of the collection. What benefits to we have the Holy Spirit?