John 1:1-18; 1 Chronicles 5-6; Zephaniah 2
Let’s face it. Part of the reading we are in right now includes 1 Chronicles. If you are following the readings daily, and are like most people, your eyes begin to glaze over as you struggle to read unfamiliar names…nothing but unfamiliar names! It was important to the Jews who wrote the book and to Jews who read because such lineages showed their relationship among God’s chosen people. Family was very important and so we read those connections. So, when we read John’s words here, the teaching is a bit shocking. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John1:12-13) How does one enter into the family of God in the world that has come into being since Jesus walked this earth? We receive Him. No longer is our ability to have a relationship with God dependent on an accident of our own birth; now we can have a restored relationship with God by receiving Jesus Christ. This is the miracle of the second birth. This is the miracle of God’s new family. It isn’t our desires that bring us into God’s family. It isn’t something that we can do or achieve by our efforts. It isn’t something that we inherit from our parents. Our restored relationship with God happens when we recognize who Jesus is, what He did for us and then receive Him. From that time on we are welcomed into God’s family. Obviously, we need to grow. Obviously, changes will happen. Any child that is adopted will soon begin to follow the values of the family. For some their lives may change overnight. For others, it may take a while for their lives to change to be conformed to the image of God. Nevertheless, the process now begins when we receive Him. In an age when people demand and exercise their rights it’s time that we begin to exercise this right: the right to become children of God.
Oh Lord, how often I seek to do things my own way. Whether I am living in rebellion or trying to live for You, I try to do things my way instead of following You. Give me the strength to receive You daily, to grow in Your love and grace, and to be an example of Your love and grace to others.