Devotion: Sons and Daughters of God
Scripture Reading: Romans 8
Welcome to the monthly devotional that Harvest House is going to begin to share with volunteers, staff, and supporters of the ministry. These devotionals can be done individually or as a group within the three ministries. The monthly devotion is meant to refocus our work and our hearts on God and his purposes for each of us individually as well as an organization. Feel free to share your thoughts about the devotion with staff and volunteers throughout the week as a way of encouraging one another and sparking important spiritual conversation.
Romans Chapter 8 reminds us of our identity as followers of Christ. The whole passage is encouragement by the apostle Paul that the Holy Spirit lives within us and that God is our Father. Paul starts by encouraging the Christians that because of the new Holy Spirit living in them they have no "obligation" or duty to do what their sinful nature wants them to do. But instead, they have been given the freedom to have life and peace by giving control over to the Holy Spirit.
The second part of the chapter is the focus of today's devotional. In verses, 14-16 Paul speaks about our identity as children of God.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 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.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. - Romans 8:14-16 NLT
It is easy to read these verses and pass over them without realizing how much hope and confidence we should get from reading that God is our "Abba, Father." We can have confidence because when we encounter situations in our life that make us feel afraid or inadequate then we can go to God and ask him for strength and wisdom. He is faithful to give us wisdom through scripture or bring support through other people in our life. If we were asking a stranger then there would be no reason to have confidence that God would support us. But we are not asking a stranger we are asking a Father who loves us and wants to see us grow.
A few weeks ago my church sang a song in church that kept repeating through my head and these are the lyrics of the chorus:
"We are the sons we are the daughters of God
No matter where we go
We're close to the Father's heart
And though we stumble He will not let us fall
We are the Lord's and He will never forsake His own
We are the sons we are the daughters of God"
- North Point InsideOut
I love the line that says "No matter where we go we're close to the Father's heart." Sometimes I get worried that God might ask me to do something I don't want to do or go somewhere that I don't want to go. I am fearful that if he asks me to make a change in my life that I don't agree with that I will be miserable. But the truth is that because he is my Father he has my best interest in mind and sometimes that means he knows something that I don't know. When a parent asks their child to eat their vegetables they don't do it because they want to make the child miserable but they do it because they know what is best for the child even if the child doesn't understand. In the same way, God knows what is best for each of us individually and no matter where he asks us to go we will be close to him.
How often do you pray to God for direction or support when you need help? Do you allow him to support and encourage you when you need it? If not, how can you spend time with him the next time you are discouraged? ex. (prayer, reading, nature).
Every one of us has a human father and they are not perfect. Do you project the human imperfections of your earthly father onto God, your perfect heavenly Father? If so, meditate on how that affects your faith or trust in God's goodness towards you.
Each ministry has people come through their doors who need to be reminded that they have an identity as a child of God. That identity is more important than social status, wealth, age, or any other attribute. How can you share the love of our Father with them to remind them they are a son/daughter of God as well?
Feel free to share your answers in the comments or share testimonies of ways that you have been encouraged by God, your Father, in your daily life!