"...Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may share in His glory." (Romans 8:14-17)
God makes it clear, through His Spirit, that we are His children. He wants everyone in the world to understand and know that He is our Father. In order to demonstrate His Father love, the Lord chose a people group and made a promise to their forefather, Abraham, explaining that His descendants would live in a land prepared for them called The Promised Land--the land of milk and honey. Moses led these people out of bondage in Egypt and told them, "To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set His affection on your forefathers and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today." (Deuteronomy 10:14-15)
In addition, Father God went to extraordinary lengths to show His love by having His Son leave His heavenly throne and come to earth. Yet many have missed it! John tells us, "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him...From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:11, 16-17)
Sadly, the desire of God's heart to be a loving and gracious Father to all has not been realized. A recent visit to Israel confirmed to me that the orphan spirit is still alive in many of the descendants of both Isaac and Ishmael. The orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem lives in abject poverty. They are stuck to the letter of the law and do not know the love of their father in heaven. Many of the Arab Muslim communities are in a state of partial completion and are strewn with litter and weeds. These people are angry, living as orphans, without understanding the love of God for them.
The people groups of Israel live in enmity with one another and are a picture of the entire world. So many are living as orphans and slaves to sin because they do not recognize the gift that has been offered to them through Jesus Christ. When Jesus walked the earth, He explained to the Jews, "Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:35-36) We who believe in the Son of God are blessed to be children and heirs of God. "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29) What is our responsibility to our Father considering this?
We must receive, embrace and return the love of Father God for us. He is a good Father and is lavish in giving gifts to His children. As we develop more intimacy with Him, we delight Him and set ourselves up for more of His favor.
We must celebrate the blessing of being a child of the Kingdom of Light. Be thankful and worship the One who love us unconditionally.
We must live as children and heirs of God. The world will see it in our demeanor and will want what we have. We should let the joy of the Lord overtake us.
On this Father's Day, rejoice in the truth that we are co-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God and that His love for us is over the top!
Joan E. Mathias