A child of God?
The Word tells us, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God.” (1 John 5:1a NLT)
And our heavenly Father says we are His children, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:18 NKJV)
Oh, such incredible love! The disciple John said, “Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called ‘children of God’ – and that is not just what we are called, but what we are.” (1 John 3:1 Phillips)
Matthew Henry said, “A sanctified soul bears the image of God, as the child bears the image of the father.”
A child in the image of the Father…
Let’s bring this closer to home.
Are you a parent? Does your child resemble you as father or mother in any way? Same hair or eyes or build?
Who does he or she act like? Whose character traits do they have? Do they have your same mannerisms, talents, interests, and so on?
Jesus referred to Peter as a rock or a stone, as a chip off the solid, boulder Rock, Christ Himself. Not Him, but like Him.
What does a child do?
First, to receive Jesus, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12 NKJV)
Along with that, Jesus said, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3 NKJV)
Second, we are to obey Him. Jesus said, “When you obey Me you are living in My love, just as I obey my Father and live in His love.” (John 15:10 TLB)
And third, we are to imitate Him. If we are made in God’s likeness, then we must put on His behavior and act like Him. We are His Name’s sake.
Paul told the Ephesians, “Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].” (Eph. 5:1 AMPC)
The Father desires His children not only to obey Him but also to learn of Him, to listen to Him, and just to be with Him. But until we sit at His feet, we will never resemble the Father or our Brother.
A child imitates…
Does your little boy follow Daddy around like a little shadow, wanting to imitate and pattern everything after his father – to walk like him, talk like him, act like him? Does your little girl dress up and pretend she’s grown up like Mommy? Little kids love to imitate. That’s how they learn.
So, how do we do that? We manifest the Father’s character in our daily lives, as Paul said, by living “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:12 NKJV)
Paul said that we also imitate our heavenly Father by putting on behavior marked by “tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of (ourselves), gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].” (Col. 3:12 AMPC)
Only by close interaction and contact with a parent will a child pick up the same habits, tendencies, likes and dislikes, and character of a parent. And so it is with us. To learn to be like God, we must be constantly in His presence, following Him around like a little shadow. (Or is that in His shadow?) *
Are you one? A child of God? An imitator?
May you always remember to whose family you belong…Lynn