John 1:12-13, Romans 8:14-17
- What words or phrases come to mind to describe a child?
- What makes you different from yourself as a child or, how have you changed the most from when you were a child?
- What do you think it means to be a child of God?
Children ask questions and don’t worry about whether or not their questions are smart, right or appropriate. They assume that whoever they are asking will know the answer.
Children look to their parents for comfort when they are scared, sick, or hurt.
Children don’t know everything and they don’t pretend that they do (usually). They love to learn new things and look at the world with awe and wonder. They are unapologetically themselves in any and every situation.
Children do not work to earn their parents’ love—they crawl into their arms and receive it.
You are a child of God. Why are you trying to earn the Father’s love?
We try to pray more, read our Bibles, go to church, serve others, get along with people, try our best in school, please our parents, be a good friend, look good, be good enough, and we present it as an offering before God, our Father: “See God? See what I’m doing with my life? Is this enough for you? Do you love me now? Will I be able to feel your love now?”
What if we stopped trying to prove to God that we can be loved and accepted as his children and instead embraced the truth that we already are his children through no work of our own?
You are a child of God because God created you. And even though you have rebelled against him, run away from him, and attempted to do life on your own, he still came to you. He left his heavenly throne and became nothing. He became a servant to people who didn’t deserve it. He endured abandonment, beatings, mocking and death on a cross.
Not because you’re perfect, but precisely because you’re not. Not because you’re living a stand-up life that God will applaud, but precisely because you can’t.
Jesus lived the perfect life of a Son of God so that instead of relying on our own mess of a life to earn the favor of God, we could rely on Jesus’s perfect life lived on our behalf. You are a child of God because Jesus made a way for you to be one.
And what Jesus did is enough. You can stop trying to “finish” the work that has already been done by Jesus. He already said it is finished.
How do we live like a child of God? How do we live in this finished work?
We come to God like a child. We ask questions no matter how smart, right or appropriate they may or may not sound. We just know he’ll know the answer. We tell God all about our days—just like a child would when they hop in the car after school. We go to God when we are scared, sick, or hurt because we trust that he will bring the comfort we need. We know we won’t find it anywhere else. We don’t pretend we know everything or have it all together and so we willingly share our mess and brokenness with God and others. We embrace who God made us to be instead of hiding parts of ourselves from the world. We don’t try to work to earn God’s love, we just receive it.
When you receive God’s love it’s amazing how you will start to live differently as a result.
- Practice talking to God like a child would. Tell him all about your day and ask him anything
- Find something that reminds you of God’s love and do something to bring up that reminder. (For example, the mountains remind me of God’s love. I feel like he created them with me in mind. I often like putting pictures of mountains as backgrounds on my electronics so that I see them often.)
- Every time you catch yourself trying to earn God’s love, turn your thoughts to what Jesus already earned for you. Start thanking God for Jesus’s finished work so that you could freely be a child of God through no work of your own.