It tells us in John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” When we are born again into the family of God we become His children. And just like little children we learn by our Heavenly Father’s example. We’ve all seen tiny toddlers attempting to mimic adult actions…it’s how children learn to do things…they model and copy their parents. We are to be imitators of God…modeling our lives after Him, and living as His beloved children.
Here Paul was warning about idolatry and falling into temptation. Probably the most conceited thought a Christian can have is, “That couldn’t ever happen to me!” It’s when you think your “beyond” being tempted…that it’ll sneak up behind and bite you. I’m sorry, but no one is immune to temptation and smugly thinking you are above it is only setting yourself up to fail. We all need to be on guard and wary…for our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
As a Christian we live two lives. One is our inner life…or our vertical life. This is our very intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father and consists of prayer and Bible study. This vertical life is spent getting to know God. The other is our outer life…or our horizontal life. This is our relationship with others as an ambassador for Christ. It consists of being the hands and feet of Jesus. This horizontal life is spent showing the love of God to the unloved and unlovely. Both are vitally important and interdependent on each other…for both are necessary to a vibrant and growing Christian walk. Our vertical relationship with Christ sparks us to reach out horizontally to others with His love… which sends us back to Him to be refilled…only to be again compelled to reach out for Him.
To walk in love means that the love of God has become so ingrained in you that it has become part of your personality. I come from a long line of stoic German farmers who are not huggers, so when I became a Nurse, I had to train myself to touch people…sometimes in very intimate ways, in potentially embarrassing procedures. And over the years, showing compassion and God’s love through touch just became part of me. We all need to determine to walk in love. To respect rather than disregard…to forgive rather than condemn…to show mercy rather than harshness…to be kind rather than cruel.
Jesus wasn’t chastising the Disciples, He was simply speaking the truth, and fulfilling the prophecy spoken of from Zechariah. Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd…the one Who cares for, watches over, and provides for the welfare of His flock…Christian Believers everywhere.
Many of us walk around with gaping holes in our heart…holes caused from personal loss, trauma, or at the hands of someone else. We frantically search for things to fill these holes, but find nothing that lasts or gives us peace of mind. Jesus Christ is the only person or thing that can make your heart whole again. For in Him, you are made perfectly complete…lacking nothing… able to fully realize who you are in Christ.
When you receive Jesus into your heart and believe that He died for your sins, you are adopted into the family of God. As Romans 8:16-17 states, “You have received the Spirit of sonship.” Regardless of whether you had both parents, only one parent, or no parents at all when you were growing up…you have been adopted into God’s family…and in doing so, have been chosen and legally named as a joint heir with Jesus.