Maybe you were adopted by one or both of your parents. I have the distinct privilege of being adopted twice, once by my Dad and once by my Heavenly Father.
The man I speak of as Dad when I write is my step-father. He is the only Dad I have ever known in this life. My birth father and my mother divorced when I was just a “twinkle in my father’s eye” as my Dad always said.
When Mom remarried, my step-father desired to make me his child. He went through all of the necessary legalities and gave me the privilege of being his daughter. Then, I took his last name, and he called me his own until the day he left this earth.
I wasn’t born into Dad’s family by blood and his name wasn’t a birthright awarded me. It was a privilege granted to me as a result of Dad’s love.
Likewise, we are not born into the family of God. Yes, God thoughtfully created each one of us with the plan that we would be his children, but it wasn’t a guarantee. There is a necessary step to be completed if we are to be called his children and it has nothing to do with the court ordered legalities of adoption in the world. It is all about our faith and God’s amazing grace.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave right to become children of God” John 1:12 (ESV)
John 1:12 gives a clear condition that must be met in order to be called a child of God. What is it? Believe.
We are required to believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to be given the privilege of being called a child of God.
If you notice in this scripture, it says, “But to all who did receive him…”. This means not every person is granted the privilege of being called a child of God. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Believing in Jesus means that by faith alone, we believe all that God has told us and all that he has promised.
We believe that God is who he says he is in his holy word. We believe that he can and will do all that he says, and we believe that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
I love how John Piper puts becoming a child of God in his Desiring God article called, How to Become a Child of God.
Receiving Jesus means that when Jesus offers himself to you, you welcome him into your life for what he is.
- If he comes to you as Savior, you welcome his salvation.
- If he comes to you as Leader, you welcome his leadership.
- If he comes to you as Provider, you welcome his provision.
- If he comes to you as Counselor, you welcome his counsel.
- If he comes to you as Authority, you welcome his authority.
- If he comes to you as King, you welcome his rule.
Receiving Jesus means taking Jesus into your life for what he is.
Dear Sister, Jesus is Good, he is merciful, and by God’s mighty grace, he saves.
I pray today that you are one of the all who has believed and received; I pray you are a child of God.