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What Does it Mean for Us to Be a Child of God

What Does it Mean for us to be a Child of God?

                                                              Joyce Webb     2010

Introduction:

Fathers take care of their children. When we are a child of God, we can rest knowing God will take care of us.

Psalms 103: 13 "The Lord is like a Father to his children, tender, and full of compassion to those who fear Him. For He understands how weak we are, He knows we are only dust.

But the love of the Lord stays forever with those who fear Him."

When the Bible speaks of God's children fearing Him ---it does not mean to be afraid and scared---it means a deep respect and understanding of God's power to be God.

God is not a magic Santa Claus that gives you anything you ask for. Your earthly father would not give you everything you asked for.

If you had a good earthly father, you know that he would take care of you. He would give you what you needed. He would give some things just to see you happy and have fun.

Sometimes you did the wrong thing and your father punished you. Sometimes you had to work and learn how to do things you did not like doing---so that you would grow to learn responsibility. You learned to share so that you did not become self-centered.

Our heavenly Father is much like a good earthly father. He takes care of our needs. He gives us some things just to make us happy.

He lets us have troubles so that we learn to have faith and trust Him. So we learn how to feel sympathy for other people. So that we learn not to be self-centered.

God will take care of us. But that does not mean that everything will be good with no problems or troubles.

That does not mean that we will not get sick. It does not mean that we will not die--either from sickness or accident.

We live in a world ---that from the time of the Garden of Eden---sin has brought a curse upon it. God gave a curse on the earth, plants, animals because of man's sin and not obeying God. Because of man listening to Satan---and ignoring God---Satan has much influence and power tempting men to do wrong.

Because men do wrong---more and more sin, sickness, trouble has been in the world. Every year it grows and it is worse.

When we become believers in Jesus---we still live in this world of sin and trouble. We do not live in a "bubble" where nothing bad can touch us.

As believers, we believe that some day we will live in heaven and things will be perfect there.

Who is a "child of God"?

In one way of thinking, every person is a child of God. God is the creator of life. In that way, we are His children.

When the Bible talks about God's children, it means people who have a relationship with God because of their believing in Him and trusting in Him for salvation.

God has given life to everyone who lives---but many of them do not have a relationship with God. They do not believe in Him. Many people in the world worship idols of gold, or stone. They do not know about Jesus and that He died on the cross.

Many people who do know about God and Jesus--- ignore Him. They do not want to know any more about Him. They do not want to know what the Bible says. They do not want to obey what the Bible says. They do not want to belong to God or have a relationship with Him.

God does not make any one obey Him if they do not want to. If they do not want to have a relationship with Him---He will not make them do it.

People who know about God and know that Jesus died for their sins and believe in Jesus can be God's true children.

Our faith connects us to God and Jesus. Our being willing to believe and trust Jesus to forgive our sins brings us into a relationship with Him.

He becomes our Savior. God becomes our Father.

Believing Jesus to forgive us and give us a home in heaven some day is a big step of faith. We are trusting God with our life forever.

If we are willing to trust God/Jesus with our eternal life, we can trust Him for our life here on earth.

If Jesus loves us so much to die for us----He surely loves us enough to take care of us here on earth.

God takes care of us physically (our bodies), emotionally (our feelings, minds), and spiritually (our spirits, souls, minds).

Physically:

Matthew 6: 26-34 Jesus talking:

Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear.

Is not life more than meat and body more than clothes?

Look at the birds, they do not plant or reap or gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you much better than they?

Which of you by thinking about it can add 18 inches to make yourself taller?

So why think about your clothes? Think about the lilies (flowers) of the field, how they grow; they do not work or spin (make) their clothes. Yet, I say to you, that even King Solomon (David's son) in all his glory was not dressed like one of these lilies.

So if God clothes the grass of the field which is only here for a day and tomorrow it will be thrown into an oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry about what you will eat or drink or wear.

For the Gentiles (people who are not Jews and do not worship the true God) seek (look for) these things.

Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.

But seek (look for) first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Do not fret (be upset) and worry about tomorrow: for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Psalms 37: 25 David talking:

I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken (left alone), not His seed (children) begging for bread.

Philippians 4:6 Paul talking:

Be careful about nothing ( do not worry and be burdened with care about things);

but by prayer and supplication (sincere, with much feeling, serious prayer)

let your requests (asking) be known to God.

Paul did not always have plenty. When he was traveling around preaching to many towns, the Jewish people were not happy that he was talking about Jesus. They gave him much trouble. Paul was put in jail many times.

Three times in was in a ship that wrecked in a storm. One of those times he floated in the water all day and all night.

One time the people threw big stones at him to kill him. He was on the ground and they thought he was dead. They left him to die. But some friends came and took Paul to their home, Paul got better.

Three times he was beaten with big sticks. Five times he was whipped. Both the Jewish people and the Gentile people hated him.

He was often hungry, cold, sick, tired, and he was often in danger because of nature or people.

Did these things make Paul upset, angry, bitter? No. Did he think that God was not taking care of him? No. Paul said in Philippians 4: 11-13

"For I have learned, in whatever state (way, condition) I am in, to be content (satisfied). I know how to be humble and be brought down low, and I know how to be lifted up: everywhere and in all things I have been taught and I am being taught to be both full or to be hungry, to have much or to suffer with needs."

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Paul was never forsaken (left alone). Through it all, God was with him. God was watching. God kept Paul. God asked Paul to do a hard job. There was much suffering with it. But God was with him. Paul was successful in what God asked him to do. Most of the books we have in the New Testament were written by Paul while he was traveling or while he was in jail.

These books were letters he wrote to groups of believers that he had preached to. When he went to another place, he would write a letter to the group he had just left. When he was in jail, he would write more letters to these groups.

Now these letters are part of the Bible for us to read and it helps us understand how to believe and live by faith.

There are many stories telling how God took care of people.

Genesis 21: 1-21 Hagar

Genesis 24: 1-67 gives and wife and direction

I Kings 17: 1-24 gives food

II Kings 6: 1-7 finds a lost axe

II Kings 4: 1-4 gives money

There are many, many more such stories in the Bible.

Healing:

In the book of James, we read that we are to ask for prayer for healing.

James 5:14-16

Is there any sick among you? Let him call for the elders (leaders) of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing (putting) oil on him in the name of the Lord:

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has done any sin, it will be forgiven.

Confess (tell) your faults (shortcomings, failings) to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

Prayer is of great value

if it is made expecting an answer,

if it is made with deep true feeling,

if it is made by a righteous man."

We do not always get healing. But we should ask for it---pray for it.

Some people would say that we do not get healing because our faith is weak. That is not always true.

Paul had a problem and he asked God 3 times to make it better. God did not give Paul the answer to his prayer. God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient (enough) for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness." II Corinthians 12: 8-10

We are not sure what this problem was. It could be an eye problem.

When God first came to Paul when he was traveling to a town of Damascus,

God knocked Paul to the ground. Then He spoke to Paul. God also made Paul blind for a time.

God sent a man to pray for Paul. The blindness left and Paul could see again. Acts 9: 1-22

People have wondered if there may have been some weakness in his eyes after that. People wonder if God let his eyes be weak to help him remember the time God came to him and spoke to him.

Whatever problem it was, God did not take it away. God wanted the problem to be part of Paul's life to help him depend and trust God---to help Paul remember that in himself, he was weak, but God was his strength.

God does not take away all our problems and sicknesses either. God will be our strength, too. God knows best what we need. Maybe it is better for us to have a problem that makes us depend on God-----than to be free of problems and go along in our own strength.

God is always more interested in having a relationship with us. If we need problems to help us stay close to God----then God may see that as a good thing.

Emotionally/Mentally:

Our emotions (feelings) have to do with our minds and our spirits.

There is a small difference between our minds and spirits.

Our spirits influence our thoughts and a our thoughts influence our spirits. Our feelings come because of our thoughts.

Our bodies (health) can influence our thoughts. If our bodies are not working right it will influence our brain and how well our brain works.

If we are healthy, our thoughts are under our control. If you can decide what to wear, or what to eat, you are able to make choices.

We can control thoughts. We can choose what we will allow to stay in our mind. Some thoughts just come into our minds---they just "pop" into our minds---but we choose if they will stay there. We can choose which thought we will continue to think and which thought we will stop.

Choosing what thoughts we will think is so important!

You will not succeed in life at anything---if you allow unhealthy thoughts stay in your mind---filling your mind.

Many kinds of thoughts can "pop" into your mind. But you do not have to let them stay. You decide what thoughts stay!

People who get depressed, discouraged, mentally sick,---have not learned to control their thoughts. There are some people who have chemical brain problems that make depression. Most people do not need medicine. They need to learn how to choose thoughts that are healthy thinking.

Paul writes in Philippians 4: 7, 8 "Think on these things."

"Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest,

Whatever things are just (right), whatever things are pure (clean),

Whatever things are lovely, whatever things have a good report;

If it has any virtue (goodness, value), If it has any praise (worth praise), Think on these things."

Verse 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Healthy minds need healthy thoughts. You can not fill your thoughts with horror stories, murder, killings, hurting people, dirty sexual pictures, sinful actions people do, and have your mind be at peace.

You can not allow thoughts that put yourself down, call yourself names, tell yourself how stupid, dumb, unwise, and still have peace of mind.

You can not have thoughts of hate, meanness, bitterness against people or God and have peace of mind.

You can not have thoughts of criticizing people, finding fault with people and have peace of mind.

You can not have thoughts of always wanting your way, having things be the way you want them, always thinking about yourself and what you need or want and have a healthy mind.

All kinds of bad, evil, selfish, critical thoughts come into our minds----but ----we do not have to let them stay there.

We do not have control of what "pops" into our minds, but we do have control to say if we will continue to think on that or if we will stop that thought and think something else.

Sometimes the wrong thoughts are hard to stop and get them out of our mind. But it can be done. It must be done if you want to have a healthy mind.

Your thoughts influence your feelings---so for you to feel well---you need to have healthy thoughts.

You can not expect God to keep your mind in peace if you allow wrong thinking to continue.

God will not control your thoughts----you have to.

II Corinthians 10: 5 "Cast down (throw down) every imagination (thought) and every thing that puts itself above the knowledge of God, bring into captivity (under control) every thought to the obedience of Christ."

II Timothy 1: 7 "God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound (healthy) mind.

If we have fear--it did not come from God. Satan sends fear.

God wants us to trust in His power, and love.

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you."

Do not let your thoughts stay on the bad things. Keep your thoughts "stayed" on Jesus---that He will help---and you will have perfect peace.

Nehemiah 8: 10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength."

II Corinthians 7: 6 "God that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Timothy."

Paul was allowing some thoughts of discouragement. He was asking for God's help. God sent Timothy to come and be a comfort to him.

Paul is saying that God sees us. He knows that we get discouraged.

God has tender love to us and He sends us help to comfort us.

There are times when in our weakness, we allow ourselves to think thoughts that bring us down to discouragement. These are the times to put ourselves into God's hands. Tell Him your thoughts. Ask Him to help.

Psalm 3: 3 "You, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of my head."

A shield is something a soldier of long ago would hold up to keep the arrows or a sword of hitting him.

Satan would send "darts of fire" our way, trying to bring us down.

Ephesians 6:16

God is our shield. He protects us. He will lift up our head.

When thoughts come in so strong---you need help to think right---you feel your head is down because of so many thoughts---God will lift up your head. He will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to help. Acts 9: 31 "Walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost,"

John 14: 18 "I will not leave you without comfort: I will come to you." John 14: 25 "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you."

God will not control your thoughts for you---because that is under your control and will. You must choose. But you can ask God to come beside you and help you when you feel so weak and need help. You can ask the Holy Spirit to help your spirit when thoughts come in so strong. The Holy Spirit will come to help us.

We must choose to ask God for help. He can only help us----if we obey what the Holy Spirit tells us to do----to help us think according to "the mind of Christ."

Spiritually

God takes care of us spiritually by sending the Holy Spirit to teach us.

John 14: 25 "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you."

John 16: 13 "When he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: "

We learn to grow spiritually when we know what God says to us. We can only know what God says----by reading the Bible, God's word.

Many Bibles in our America, are written in old English from a long time ago. A King in England wanted the Bible written in the English language so the English people could read it.

The Bible was written in the language of the people who wrote it.

The Old Testament was written by people who spoke Hebrew---so they wrote in Hebrew.

The New Testament was written in two languages---Greek and Aramaic.

King James of England called together men who knew these old languages. They were the smartest people in these languages. They had studied the Bible, and they had studied these languages. The King had them to work together until they wrote the Bible in the English language. It is called The King James Version.

It is a very good English Bible because the men who put it into English knew the old languages very well. That is important---so you get the right meaning of what was written.

The King James version was written in the 1600's. That is a very long time ago, and the English language has changed some. In the United States, we use English differently, too.

Today we have Bibles that have been written in English that is more like the way we talk today. Some Bibles have been written so that only easy English words have been used.

These Bibles are easier to understand.

Some books in the Bible are more easy to read.   The book of John in the New Testament is a good book to start with. The New Testament is more easy to read than the Old Testament.

All of the Bible is important. There is much to learn in it all.

When you begin to read--pray that God will help you understand and remember.

Take time to read carefully. Think about it. Think about the truth and how it could work in your life.

The Holy Spirit will show you how this truth is for you.

You can not obey something you do not know. So you must know what you are to do. You can only know that if you read God's book.

You can read what other people say about God---that is good. But the best is to read God's book for yourself.

Pray---talk to God. You can talk to God all day long. As you work, you can talk to God in your mind.

It is important to give some quiet time to pray---when that is all you do--just pray.

Pray about all things---little or big. If you lost something, pray to find it. If someone has cancer--pray for their healing. Pray about everything.

When you pray about things that has to do with the will of another person, ----it may take God time to work it out. God does not go around making people do things.

God can bring things to their minds. He can make things happen in their life that will make them think about God. He can speak to them, but they must listen and obey.

Prayers that ask for others to accept salvation and live for God may take time. Prayers that ask for others to do this or that---may be able to have the answer you want or not---the other person's choice and will may not co-operate.

Pray anyway. Ask. Wait. Trust God to work out the answer.

Be willing to see the answer God has for you. Maybe His answer will come in a different way than you thought. Be open to how God may answer your prayer.

Your relationship with God is the most important thing to Him.

Things and people in your life are not as important as your relationship to God. Your relationship with Him is forever. Things and other people are not forever.

Even people you love that go to heaven---your relationship with them in heaven will not be the same as the relationship you had with them here on earth.

Your relationship with God will go on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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