Dear fellow disciple-maker,
While on earth, Jesus described His relationship with God in heaven as one of Father and Son. This is how Jesus saw Himself and this is how God wants us to see ourselves – as God's beloved children.
The first glimpse we get of Jesus' personal relationship with God is at age twelve. He stayed behind in Jerusalem, sitting in the temple courts among the teachers. When His parents realized that He was not with them, they anxiously looked for Him. Jesus calmly replied, Why are you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my father's house? (Luke 2:49). At age twelve, Jesus saw Himself as God's Son and God as His Father.
A Pleasing Son
Another significant episode happened at His baptism when Jesus was around thirty years old. While He was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21). Jesus heard His Father's voice publicly affirm His identity. Jesus was God's Son, a beloved and pleasing Son. Wouldn't you agree that Jesus' identity was strengthened after hearing those words? Jesus referred to God as My Father over forty times in the gospels.
A Secure Relationship
An emotionally satisfying relationship with God can never be achieved through rule-keeping or comparing yourself to others. Rather, it begins with knowing our Father in heaven. Through Christ, God gives us our identity – an identity that produces a sense of security and confidence. When we become obsessed with pleasing, we are depending on others to give us an identity. Other people cannot give us our true identity because other people cannot love us like God does. Our identity must come from God alone. The most wonderful and satisfying relationship in the world is knowing you are God's child. The Bible says, Yet to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God (John 1:12).
In his book, Classic Christianity, Bob George tells the true story about a small boy, not quite three-years old, who grew up in Washington D.C. This three-year-old boy actually lived at the White House. He would confidently skip past armed servicemen, government officials and staff members. The youngster would run right into the Oval Office and climb onto the lap of the President of the United States. The child’s name was John-John and his daddy was President John F. Kennedy. When John-John ran into the Oval Office to hug and kiss his daddy, those present simply had to wait.
photo courtesy of Steve Evans
What a difference it makes when a child knows who his father is, and also knows who he is. Our Father in heaven wants us to have the same confidence in approaching Him. It is not a matter of irreverence. Rather, it is grasping what open access to our Father really means.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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