Series: An edited adaptation of the book Prayer, Power, and Proclamation by C.L.Peppler published by Chrispy Publications in 2009 (ISBN 978-0-620-43583-3). Part 7:
|Our Father in Heaven has paid a huge price, so that we can be his children and not slaves
A son uses his resources of time, talents, and treasures in a different way to that of a slave. A son invests in his father’s kingdom and household. A son takes pleasure in giving his time and money to the things that are important to his father. A son initiates and takes responsibility. A son meets needs where he sees them without anyone commanding him to do so. A son desires the wellbeing of the household.
“Who do you say that you are?” “I am a son of the Most High God!” This is a foundationally important matter. I believe that the real underlying reason we are generally so passionless and powerless is that we have failed to realise that we are children of the living God. Our understanding reflects in the way we pray, in the way we handle spiritual power, and in the way we step out with bold authority.
God’s great overriding plan for us is that we come to know Jesus, grow to be like him, and help others do likewise. To grow to be like the Son of God is to develop the character and ministry of a child of God. To help others to know Jesus, and to become like him, is not an exercise in religious conversion, it is discipling in sonship!
Oh, what a price the Father has paid so that we might be sons and not slaves! Sin separates us from the Father; salvation reunites us with him. The price of that salvation was the earthly life and death of God the Son himself! Oh, what grace, mercy, and longsuffering the Father extends to us in order that we can develop into his mature children! Oh, what a cost the world pays when we live in apathetic disregard for our responsibilities as sons and daughters of the Most High!
As children of God, how then should we use our resources of time, talent, and treasures? Surely, we should use them to;
- Build up the household of God – the church.
- Extend the Kingdom of God in our spheres of influence.
- Give to others for the glory of God.
- Impact the world with his will and purpose.
- Subdue the rebellious spirit world with his authority.
Isn’t it difficult to be apathetic about things like this? Surely, the natural response to a realisation of who we are is one of passion and power.
Consider some of the implications of sonship:
The privilege of prayer, both personal and corporate: As children of the Most High God, we have the privilege of boldly approaching his throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16 has: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Because we are his children we can approach God, and we can ask him for mercy and grace. What a privilege! We also have the right and responsibility to gather with other children of God to intercede for our communities and our nation. This too is a great privilege.
The prerogative of revelation: We, as God’s sons and daughters, have the privilege of receiving revelation from on high. God has entrusted the Bible to us to mediate his truth to the world. He has gifted the church with preachers, teachers, and prophetic voices. He speaks to us because we are his children.
The potential for empowerment: The promise of the Holy Spirit is for us, the children of God. He is prepared to fill us with power from on high. He is willing to empower us so that we can glorify him, and powerfully extend his kingdom.
The response of service: Sons serve! It is because we are children of God that we serve. We serve because the love of God is in us, and because his compassion courses like spiritual blood through us. We serve because this pleases our Father. We serve because it is our duty and joy to give – freely we have received, and so freely we give.
The catalysts of revival: The churches of the world are full of children of God who just do not know it. They regard themselves as slaves or, at best, as distant cousins. Revival comes when those who know who they really are proclaim freedom, power, light, and love to those who do not.
Isn’t it difficult to remain unmoved by such a mandate? How can we be anything but powerfully passionate when we realise who we are?
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