RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOD’S CHILDREN I
Memorise: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 1st Peter 2:2
Read: 1st John 3:1-3 (KJV)
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Bible in One Year: Numbers 20-21, Jeremiah 21:1-10, Hymn: Sing hymn 6
All those who have accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their life are children of God, by the grace of adoption through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). As children of God, while God has some responsibilities to make a success of our walk of faith in this world, we also have some responsibilities we have to bear in this regard. Peter, in today’s memory verse, points out that one of our responsibilities as children of God is to desire things that are beneficial to our spiritual growth. When some new converts become children of God, due to zeal without knowledge, they begin to nurse some good desires which are inappropriate or unhealthy for sustaining their victory in the Christian race.
For example, some converts after giving their lives to Christ immediately begin to desire the office of a pastor, evangelist or Christian minister of any sort. Although these are good desires, they are inappropriate and ill-timed. The first responsibility of a believer when he or she becomes a child of God is to desire the sincere milk of the word so that he or she can grow to maturity through it. It is after this that he or she can think of rendering service to the Kingdom work. Physically speaking, when a little baby desires to eat bread, yam, or rice, such desires could kill him or her.
In the same vein, when a newborn believer desires to be a pastor or an evangelist overnight, he or she would not last long. This is the mistake some Christian organisations make when they make converts out of Muslims and traditionalists and immediately turn them into tools of evangelism. The resultant effect is that such converts, without having depth in the word of God, would begin to see themselves as evangelists. Based on my experience and observations, more often than not, such converts don’t last. For this season, children being born into God’s family must take time to study the word of God and become well grounded in it.
In our Bible reading today, we see another responsibility of children of God, which is that they must keep themselves pure (1st John 3:3). After being cleansed and purified by the Blood of Jesus, children of God have the responsibility of not going back to their old vomit or staining their garment of righteousness with the filth of this world (Ephesians 5:26-27). Practically, you achieve this by measuring your action against the standard of God’s word. Anything that is contrary to the word of God is filth that must be avoided. This is the more reason why all children of God need to be grounded in the word first before anything else.
Action Point : Make sure you read, study and apply the word of God to your day-to-day living as a child of God, and you will grow in faith.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.