From a Biblical theology perspective – we, those of us who are believers, are God’s children. We are His daughters and sons. That means we have His DNA. We have been born again of His Spirit. Because of that, we have His Spirit living in us and directing us.
The Scripture tells and shows of many characteristics of God. Nature also shows many characteristics of God. Nature displays much about God. We, as His creation, display many of His characteristics.
We, as His Spiritual children display many more of His characteristics. In fact, we are His children and we are recognizable by His characteristics seen in our lives. His life in us. His life through us. That is our life.
So, as we live, we live to show our Father in heaven to the world around us. We live lives that illustrate that we are children of the Heavenly Father. If we are indeed born again, we do not have to try to be God’s children. We are. That is who we are. That is how we live. That is how we behave.
We grow as we love and study His Scripture:
John 6:63 It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.
We are changed as we focus our hearts on Him:
II Corinthians 3:17-18 And the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror,
are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit.
Real Love – what is it?
• I will never intentionally harm you
• I will always work in your best interest
• I want you to be all that God made you to be
• I will always speak truth to you
Love is sourced in truth, not in feelings.
Love gives people what they need, not what they want.
God’s children share real love with each other.
God’s children are brothers and sisters.
God’s children share real love with the world around them.
Here are some Bible examples of people who showed real love.
Sadly, they were not received well.
Did Jesus love the Pharisees?
Did he treat them in a loving way?
Did the Pharisees feel loved?
How did they respond? Were they Jesus’ brothers?
John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me,
Did Jeremiah love Judah?
Did he treat them and speak about them in loving ways?
Did they feel loved?
How did they respond? Were the leaders Jeremiah’s brothers?
26:7-11 –false accusation of disloyalty (“he spoke against city”) threat of death to him
37:11-21 – false accusation of disloyalty and prison (“he has joined the enemy”)
38:1-13 – false accusation of disloyalty, cast into dungeon of mire
Did Stephen love the religious leaders?
Did he treat them in loving ways?
Did the leaders feel loved?
How did they respond? Were they Stephen’s brothers? He calls them brothers
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
Did Paul love the Galatians?
Did he treat them and speak to them in loving ways?
Did they feel loved?
How did they respond? Were they Paul’s brothers?
Gal.4:16-20 – Have I become your enemy because I have told you the truth?
Real love is rare. People seldom know how to respond to real love.
Real love does not always make you feel loved.
Real love makes you a better person.
Real love can hurt.
Real love develops your character.
Real love tells the truth.
Real love risks your wrath.
Real love speaks the words of God
God offers real love.
God’s children offer real love.
God is love. That is His character. That should be your love also.
Honor those who love you with real love.
They are your real brothers and sisters.
People are hungry for meaningful relationships.
People are hungry for peace.
People are hungry for truth.
People are hungry for meaningful conversation.
People are hungry for family.
People are hungry for the Word of God.
People are hungry for love.
People are hungry for kindred spirits.
People are hungry for security.
People are hungry for significance.
People are hungry for community.
People are hungry.
People are hungry for God.
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
William D. Longstaff – 1882
1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth But far from their mind.
3 But You, O LORD, know me; You have seen me, And You have tested my heart toward You.
10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us.”
11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.
13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.
14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”
16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him.
18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion.
19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
God has a family. He is the Father. We are His children. We are known by our faith and by our obedience to His will and by our love for each other as brothers and sisters.
Cain and Abel were earthly, biological brothers but they were not Spiritual brothers.
Jesus and the Pharisees were Jewish brothers, but they were not Spiritual brothers.
Jesus told them, “If God were your father you would love me”
John 8:38. God’s children love their Father and they love each other.
As children of our Heavenly Father, we submit to His will. We do not follow our own way but we follow His way and the Scripture. His will is sourced in truth and we are guided by His Spirit of truth.
In God’s Spiritual economy, everything proceeds from truth.
• Love proceeds from truth.
• Unity proceeds from truth.
• Fellowship proceeds from truth.
• Everything Godly and everything of value proceeds from truth.
• Truth is primary.
• Truth is the non-negotiable.
• Brotherhood proceeds from truth.
There is a false family of God
In Revelation 17 the false church is filled/drunk with the blood of the righteous.
Revelation 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
The organizational, institutional, false church persecutes.
The organic, Spiritual, Biblical Church is persecuted.
John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
43 “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
In a clear allusion to Cain and Abel, Jesus identifies the religious leaders with rejection of God and replacing God’s word with their own will.
Abraham tried to do life his way instead of God’s way. God promised him a son. He and Sarah tried to make that happen in their own way. The son of the bondwoman mocked the son of the free woman. This continues to happen all through history.
Gal. 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal. 4:30 Nevertheless what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free
Abraham took matters in His own hands – he became God to himself and his world.
Inherent selfishness and self-determination is the spirit of rejection of God. The free woman is the legacy of Abel. The bond woman is the legacy of Cain.
We are persecuted as Jesus was
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Even in this commonly quoted Romans passage Paul notes that we are not able to go through this life unscathed. They persecuted Jesus and they will persecute you. The unfailing promises of God, however, stand firm.
You either lose your own will to the Spirit of God or
You forge your own will to the rejection of the will of God.
The spirit of Abel seeks and knows the heart of God.
The way of Cain seeks self and rejects the will of God.
The spirit of Abel is the family of God
The way of Cain persecutes the family of God
Faith and obedience says, we will do life God’s way. Self and control says, we will do life our way.
The legacies of Cain and Abel are still with us today. But God is there reminding the legacy of Cain that they do not need to live in that legacy. God is also there supporting the legacy of Abel and blessing them with the presence of His Holy Spirit.
What is controlling you? Is it God or is it self? Are you a member of the family of God? Make sure of your legacy today.