March 20, Palm Sunday
Through Christ we are God’s Children
God loves us so much that he calls us his children now, while we are still sinners. Oh how great an honor; especially when we are so undeserving of it. This should make us want to become more deserving and encourage us to be like Christ. We should strive to purify ourselves by turning from sin and doing as Christ called us to do: focusing our hearts and minds on loving God fully and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
1 John 3:1-3 (NRSV)
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
These are not easy tasks – impossible in fact – since it is our sinful nature to put ourselves first. Love means putting God and others first. It means showing that we care and not just saying it.
To fully love others and be in fellowship with God is impossible with sin in the way. We must set a path to purification with our focus on the horizon and not on the ground just beneath us, for we will surely stagger on and off that path. At the same time we cannot pretend or convince ourselves we are righteous when we are walking with one foot on the path and one foot off the path.
To be the people we are called to be, we must be in a constant, communal relationship with the Holy Spirit so that we may be changed on the inside, thus reflecting Christ on the outside. We also must seek close, supportive relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters so that we may sharpen one another and grow together to be more deserving of being called God’s children.
Lastly, to love as we are instructed means that we cannot ignore those children who are not called His own. We must tell those longing, “orphaned” children that their Father is in search of them. There is no greater act of love than this.
Are you seeking the help of the Holy Spirit and others to change you into one that is more deserving of being called a child of God?
Lord, I pray that you will help to get “me” out of the way so that I may love as you have called me to love. Draw me closer to you in all that I do and make me more like you so that I may reflect you. Amen.
By Tony Hoyle, CBFAR Coordinating Council member
First Baptist Church, El Dorado
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