Tag Archives: children of god

Give Love Extravagantly

I grew up hearing my dad jokingly say, “Do as I say, not as I do!” I didn’t understand it as a kid, but as a parent now, I definitely do. It’s funny how the one thing you don’t want them to repeat or do is the one thing they seem to pick up on. The good news is that they pick up your good habits as well. They’re just not as noticeable sometimes because they’re not embarrassing. I love that every trash day my son offers to take our next door neighbor’s trash can to her house. At church, he wants to open the door as people exit. He watches our behaviors and then mimics them. It makes us proud as parents when our kids do the right thing, show kindness to others and make us look good as parents doesn’t it?

Sometimes we forget that you and I are children of God and our actions reflect on Him. Galatians 5 gives us the Fruit of the Spirit that we are to exhibit in our lives. When we spend time with God and learn from Him, our lives reflect the qualities He has. The great news for us is that it’s already in our DNA. Genesis tells us that we are made in His image. Just like a child naturally does things that their parents do, so too we do things naturally that God has put in us. There are times though that our sinful nature takes over and wants us to behave opposite of the way God wants us too. That’s why it’s important to choose ahead of time how we will react to things, know what we will say and choose our attitude daily to reflect the love of God.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (MSG). One of the greatest ways we can reflect our Heavenly Father on this earth is to start loving others the way He does. The verse, “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 NASB),” comes to mind. We need to love others extravagantly whether or not we think they deserve it. The world will know us by our love in action. Don’t hold back. Give God’s love out like you’re made of it, because you are.

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

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Children Of God

I think adoption is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. I have watched many of my friends adopt children and love them as if they birthed them. It gives hope and identity to children who are orphaned. Adoption doesn’t create a perfect family, it opens the doors for love to come in and heal. God has always looked out for the orphan and provided a way to bring them into a family. It’s a beautiful thing.

When sin entered the world, we became orphans ourselves. We lost our identity and our way, but God, in His great mercy, sent Jesus into the world to begin the adoption process. His birth signaled that God’s love for us was greater than our sin, and that He desired to bring us into His family. Spiritual adoption, just like physical adoption, gives the child all rights and privileges as if they were born into that family. You and I are officially children of the King of Kings. We are royal heirs thanks to adoption made possible by Jesus.

Here are some verses on being children of God.

1. When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons…So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Galatians 4:4-5, 7 HCSB

2. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.

1 John 5:1 NLT

3. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

Matthew 5:43-45 GNT

4. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

Romans 8:15-16 NLT

5. For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above–spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus.

GALATIANS 3:26 AMP

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Proper Behavior

One of the crazy things about having children is not just how much they look like you, but act like you too. I’m convinced that DNA does more than give them the physical traits you have. Often my son will do something and my wife and I will laugh and say, “That’s your child. You do that too!” He often demonstrates mannerisms that he hasn’t seen us do and it’s obvious those have been passed down. There are other times though when he sees how we behave end he mimics it. It’s not always the good behaviors either.

Most children will learn their behavior by watching their parents. If you raise your voice when you’re frustrated, they will too. If you laugh boisterously, they will laugh that way too. They are watching you to see how they should act and react. They even use the same expressions. It’s been said that what parents do in moderation, the children will do in excess. In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul took this same concept of children copying their parents behavior and told us to mimic what God does since we are His children. 

He wrote, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (MSG)” Our first step is to watch what our Father God has done and is doing. We learn more about His behavior the more we read the Bible.

I love that Paul wrote, “Mostly what God does is love you.” John wrote that God is love. As believers, we have been called to a life of love. Love for other believers, but also love for the lost. Just like a parent, we don’t always know how to express that love. Sometimes it comes out in doing good deeds for them and in providing for the needs of someone in a desperate situation. Other times it comes out very restrictive. In trying to protect their spiritual security, we do things that they don’t understand. It appears to suffocate them and push them away. We have to be careful in how we love others.

Paul throws in that God didn’t love to get something back. He gave because He loved. That’s huge for each one of us. We need to learn to love others by giving ourselves to them. God held nothing back when He demonstrated His love for us. He didn’t send His highest ranking angel to die on the cross. No, He sent His only son. He didn’t say, “Ok, I gave you my son, now you need to give me more sacrifices and more offerings.” In fact, he required less from us than before. We no longer had to sacrifice our best. We just had to simply accept His gift of love. In return, our love for Him is displayed in giving Him our lives.

Our lives lived for Him should reflect and mimic the love He gave. Spiritual beings should look at the way we behave, look at God and say, “That’s your child. They act just like you!” I’ll go a step further. It shouldn’t just be spiritual beings, but human beings should be able to look at you and recognize you belong to God through your actions. Jesus put it this way, “They’ll know you’re mine by your love.” Go out today and love extravagantly the way God does. Be recognizable to others as His kid because of your actions not just your words.

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