After church on Sunday I was asked if I would recommend a good book for family devotions. I immediately thought of Sinclair Ferguson’s excellent little book, Children of the Living God: Delighting in the Father’s Love. From the Preface:
You cannot open the pages of the New Testament without realizing that one of the things that makes it so ‘new,’ in every way, is that here men and women call God ‘Father.’ This conviction, that we can speak to the Maker of the universe in such intimate terms, lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Through Christ, says Paul, we have ‘access to the Father’ (Eph. 2:18). References to God as Father are exceedingly rare in the Old Testament. By contrast there are over two hundred different references to God as Father scattered throughout the New Testament. That is an astounding testimony to the new sense of God’s grace that came with the message of the gospel.
Could there be anything more practical and faith building than thinking through the implications of our adoption into God’s family? As we begin to think more and more like a child of God how will our worship of Him be deepened and our love for people strengthened? What radical acts of service will a study like this promote? What resolutions will result from considering the Father’s adopting love? What sins in my life will be weakened (even destroyed) as I embrace my freedom in Christ? In a word, how will we be changed?
I don’t know about you, but I want to look more like Jesus. I want to more clearly reflect His glory to my family, friends, church, co-workers, neighborhood, and city. I want them to see not Mike, but Jesus. Isn’t this the essence of Matthew 5:14-16?
Would you join me in striving to live as one adopted? In doing so I am convinced that the effort will have value not only for today, but also for eternity.