Monday, September 20, 2010

"Becoming God's Children"

One of the resources I use for my daily devotions is Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional. It's made up of excerpts from the writing, sermons, and table talk on Martin Luther. The entry for yesterday, September 19, was a gem. Here it is, in its entirety:
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
John 1:11-12

To everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, God offers the privilege of becoming his children. Yet this greatest of all offers is despised, ridiculed, and laughed at by the blind and condemned people of this world. In addition, God's offer is abused and even regarded as blasphemy. Although those who confess his name and trust his words are children of God, they're executed as though they were children of the devil, blasphemers, and revolutionaries. The religious leaders did the same to Christ, God's only Son. They accused him of stirring up trouble among the people, of keeping the people from paying taxes to the emperor (Luke 23:2), and of claiming to be the Son of God (John 19:7).

Sometimes the devil attacks devout Christians so fiercely with his flaming arrows (Ephesians 6:16) that they forget about the endless glory they have as God's children. They begin thinking the opposite and wonder if God has forgotten about them, abandoned them, and thrown them so far away that he can't see them anymore.

Our faith is still very weak and cold. If our faith were as strong and steady as it should be, we would practically die from sheer joy. But we praise God because we know that even those who have only a little faith are also children of God. That's why Christ said, "Do not be afraid, little flock" (Luke 12:32). So we always need to pray with the apostles, "Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5), and pray with the man in the book of Mark who cried out, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

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