Daily Archives: April 27, 2021
Psalm 31:1-8 (ESV)
Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit
31 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
3 For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
John 8:31-42 (ESV)
The Truth Will Set You Free
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
You Are of Your Father the Devil
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
Fatherhood and sonship seem to be at the center of the debate here between Jesus and some of the Jewish leaders. Weren’t they sons of Abraham? Didn’t God choose them from all the nations and call them to be his own?
Well, yes and no.
There are two ways to understand what it means to be a child. You can conceive a child, and genetically that child is yours. However, unless that child lives under your roof and takes on your reasoning, your outlook, and your approach to life, then an essential element of sonship is missing.
For many of the Jewish leaders, being a son of Abraham was a lot like the first kind of sonship. God had adopted them as his own, and that’s all there was to it. To the extent that they didn’t try to take after their father, they missed out on the deeper – more satisfying – aspect of being children of God. Of course, not all the Jews approached their faith like this. But some were content with just being a descendent of Abraham, without sincerely opening themselves to experience the joy and freedom that God intended for them.
Brothers and sisters, we can become children of God in the deepest, most powerful way possible. We can begin to take on our Father’s habits, his likeness, and his philosophies. This is why Jesus came to us in the first place. He didn’t come just to do away with sin. He came to make us into his brothers and sisters, bearers of the family resemblance. “Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong to God’s family, to live in conformity with his way of life.”
Every day is filled with opportunities to take on the family resemblance. It’s not always easy, but neither is it all that difficult. We can refuse to join in gossip. We can forgive someone who has deeply hurt us. We can lend a helping hand or perform anonymous acts of service. As often as we do these things, we are showing the whole world that we have accepted the privilege of being members of God’s family.