Life at its best: Accepting our privileges as children of God
By Jim GraffI recently heard a story about a Sunday school teacher, teaching a class of young kids about salvation. At the end of her lesson, she asked, "OK, class, what's the first step to being saved?"
One little boy's hand shot right up. "All right, John, tell us." John replied, matter-of-factly, "Well, before you can get saved, you have to sin first." Now, obviously that answer wasn't the one the teacher was looking for, but it was a solid answer.
It reminds us all of a fact that's easy to forget, and that fact is this: We all start in the same place. We all start as sinners in need of salvation. We all start out in need of someone to rescue us from the terrible things sin has done to the human race. But while many of us accept our salvation through Christ, we may not be living our lives to the extent we're meant to live them. Why? Because we haven't learned all that being a child of God really means. When we become a child of God, we don't just get the title; we get the privileges that come with it.
Think about it this way: Can you imagine your parents looking at you lying in a crib at the hospital and saying, "Well, I'm glad we had you, but that's all you're going to get. Now, go figure out life on your own." No way. Why should we expect that from our Heavenly Father?
God doesn't just stop at salvation; He continues to show us how to live so that we experience the best life possible. But it's up to us to recognize Him for who He wants to be in our lives.
John 1:10-13 says, "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." Because of His grace in our lives, we're not only saved from sin, we can triumph over it every single day of our lives. It's our right as His children. How can you say no to that?
Sometimes, I picture God like Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather." I can just imagine Him looking down at us and saying, "I'm gonna make them an offer they can't refuse." And in Jesus, He did. So will you accept it? Will you accept not only God's invitation to become adopted into His family but also His promise to help you face anything keeping you from living life to its fullest? Will you receive His offer to give you a life greater than you've ever dreamt of?
We don't have to live a life that's broken; we can live a life that's growing stronger every day because we have a Father who loves us. There's no sin He can't undo, and no dream He can't outdo in our lives.
Jim Graff is senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com