Monday, January 11, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Children of God
  
1 John 3:1-11
Neena Kurien
Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation
1. 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. 
 

Apostle John in his letters to the Gentile congregations focusses his message on God’s love (1 John 3&4) and the promise of eternal life for all who believe in the Son of God (1 John 5:13). Before the fall of creation, God and man would walk about freely in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:8) and converse with each other (Gen 1:28-30 and 2:16-17). But pride and disobedience brought sin into this world and created a wedge between God and humankind. Since then, God has been longing to restore this broken relationship. He sent his one and only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1John 4:9-10), while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8).
 
This free gift of salvation has only one requirement – one too simplistic for human comprehension – to believe and confess that the price Jesus paid on the cross is all that is needed to buy our pardon. It was the pride of the flesh that blinded the people in Jesus’ day to this simple truth. They knew a lot about God, but they did not know God or His heart. Jesus spoke about this when He quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matt 15:8, 9
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
   their teachings are merely human rules.’”
It is each person’s free will to choose to accept or reject this divine gift of salvation. To those who chose to accept, God gave his Holy Spirit as proof that we live in Him, and He in us. The Holy Spirit guides our conscience to follow the example that Jesus set for us. With prayerful submission, we ought to strive to follow Him as best as humanly possible. God is love, and all, who live in love, live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:13-16). Jesus summarized this in His command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. This is selfless love – love that considers others over oneself. This is the sublime truth stated in Matt 16:24 . Through this love, we are joined together to the one universal body of Christ – of which Christ himself is the head.

 
Today, we too have a choice to make. We ought to examine ourselves to see if our worship is vain, if we merely honor our Lord with our lips, and not with our hearts. Let us prepare ourselves to be called the children of God rather than of the world that did not know Him.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Son, whom You sent for our forgiveness. We praise You for Your grace that qualifies us as Your children. We pray for humility to accept Your call, and live our lives worthy of Your calling. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God isn’t looking for us to know about Him, He wants us to know Him.