OUR FATHER DESIRES THAT YOU BE HIS CHILD

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In his opening account of Jesus’ life and ministry, the apostle John paints for us very comprehensively, yet succinctly, the work that Jesus came to do.

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-13

Jesus came to give us the right to be children of God, and by that definition, co-heirs with Him to our Father’s blessings. And this He gives not to the strong nor to the wise, but to those who would receive Him and believe in His name. For it is said,

“The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

Indeed, the key to heaven and the right to be God’s children is not awarded by merit but freely given to those who would believe and receive Jesus. But what is even more beautiful than that is that this is the will of God our Father.

Beloved, God is not angry with you. He does not count your sins against you. Instead, it is His will that through Jesus, whosoever believes in Him will receive the right to be a child of God. This is the will of God. This is the desire of our Father.

In fact, He desires it so much, He provided Jesus to be the Lamb of sacrifice for our sins because without Him, none of us can ever enjoy such closeness with a perfectly righteous God.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

And since,

“the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23

Eternal life in Christ Jesus can be nothing else but a gift of God (Romans 6:23).

Now, Jesus being the sacrificial lamb which our Father provided is significant because twice in John’s account do Jesus and His forebear, John the Baptist, meet; and in both accounts, John the Baptist calls Jesus the ‘Lamb of God’.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

“Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”” John 1:35-36

So it behooves us to study its significance.

After the flood when the ark had landed on dry land and Noah and his family came out safe and sound; in a show of gratitude and thanksgiving to God, Noah erected an altar and sacrificed burnt offerings.

“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.” Genesis 8:20-21

At that time, burnt offerings were done in thanksgiving, a sign of gratitude to God for His provision and protection. And this show of thanks pleased God and was to Him a soothing aroma.

However, Israel, at Mount Sinai, instead of relying on God’s provision and protection, claimed to be able to do and obey all that God commanded, and in so doing, earn His protection and provision. In essence, they felt that they did not need hand-outs from God and would rather earn their blessings.

“Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Exodus 19:8

“All the people spoke at the same time and said, “We will obey everything the Lord says.” Exodus 19:8[GW]

When they said this, God gave the law of Moses, as well as the law of the altar.

“An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.” Exodus 20:24

The altar now became a place where man had to perform to earn God’s blessings, to earn the right to be in His presence. The symbolic sacrifice of thanksgiving that we saw from Noah had now become mandatory. Not only that, the sacrifice carried with it consequences if not done right.

“‘If his offering is of the flocks—of the sheep or of the goats—as a burnt sacrifice, he shall bring a male without blemish.” Leviticus 1:10

We see from here that the sacrifice had to be perfect in order for it to be accepted and qualify the person making the sacrifice for forgiveness and right standing with God.

So when John the Baptist called Jesus ‘Lamb of God’, he saw prophetically that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that God our Father supplied on our behalf. And indeed Jesus is the perfect Lamb, without blemish, for

“He knew no sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He did no sin.” 1 Peter 2:22

“In Him was no sin.” 1 John 3:5

Now imagine this. You came to your own creation, but they did not accept you. Despite that, you know and even prophesied several times that you would die for them. Is this something that you would do? Even knowing that it is our Father’s will?

Well, beloved, Jesus did it, and not begrudgingly either. For Jesus says,

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

And because He lay down His life for us, we are now justified freely by His grace because

“Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” Romans 3:21-26 [MSG]
Beloved child of God, these things are written that you may know that your Father desires that you be His child. In fact, not only does He desire it, The Message tell us that is our true self and we are God’s begotten.

“He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.” John 1:10-13 [MSG]

So beloved, whatever you are going through, whatever doubts you have about your own standing with our Father, set them at rest and be assured, because above all else, our Father wants you to be His child, to love, care, provide and protect. Live in the consciousness that that is your true self in Jesus and that you are the begotten of God.

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