Children of Light and Love #1: Who We Are:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1).
How many of you have ever felt alone, like you just didn’t belong? I can relate to that. I was raised in a single parent family – my parents were divorced before I was five years old, and I never really got to know my biological dad. He was an alcoholic and a promise breaker who was never there for me. When I was 10 years old, my mom got married again, but I never really got along well with my step-dad (at least not until after I became a Christian). So, like many young people, I spent my teenage years looking for love in all the wrong places—trying to find a place to belong, fit in, and be accepted. I tried many different things to fill that need for love and acceptance. I tried it by going to parties with my friends, by getting drunk and doing all the things that my friends said, “If you do this, it will satisfy the deep need in your heart.” I tried all those things, but it didn’t fulfill or satisfy.
You can imagine how my life was transformed when my friend Jerrold led me to the Lord. He told me the God who created this universe loved me so much that He sent His son Jesus to die on the Cross to pay the price for my sins so that I could be forgiven and saved. When I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, God adopted me into His family—I became a child of God! “But as many as received (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12). How much does God love us? He loves us so much that He adopted us into His family. He’s not ashamed to call us His children!
You see—there’s so much more to being a Christian than just being a part of a religion or joining a club. To be a Christian means to be a part of God’s family—He’s our Heavenly Father, and all Christians are our brothers and sisters. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8). As a part of God’s family, we need to recognize that God wants us to live as children of light and love.
“Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.” (Ephesians 5:1-2). What does it mean to be a Christian? That verse sums it up nicely for us. We are to follow God’s example in everything we do because we’re His children. If we’re God’s children, we should be trying to be like God.
If you’re a teenager, maybe at that age where you’re not trying to be like your parents any more—maybe you’ve grown out of that phase and you’re trying to be cool like your friends. But here’s the thing. Being a father of four children, I’m learning a little bit about what God as our Heavenly Father is like. It’s an interesting thing that used to happens when my kids were younger, whenever my family would go out to a restaurant for a meal. Whenever the waitress came around to take our drink order, my kids always say, “We’ll have whatever daddy’s having!” If I order a Coke, they order a Coke. If I have a glass of milk, they want a glass of milk. Why? Because they were at that age where they want to be like daddy! As Christians, we’re called to be like God, to live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Jesus who loved us and gave His life for us. In part two of this devotional, I’m going to share with you how God wants us to act as children of light and love.
Pastor Chris Jordan