Living for Jesus, living with Jesus…”What’s the difference?” The difference is huge! God wants a personal relationship with us!
12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion [against those who are not His], but his favor is like dew on the grass [for those who are His].
The hymn, “Living For Jesus,” says,
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
“Yielding allegiance” I like; “glad-hearted and free” I like. “Living for Jesus” and “striving to please Him,” not so much. There’s a basic assumption that we are saved to serve as slaves. Yes, that terminology is used in the New Testament, but there’s a different terminology that plays a bigger role in our lives:
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
- We are led by the Spirit of God. That in itself takes the “for” out of the equation. He is inside and in charge. He leads and we follow–not out of slavery, but because we recognize His role in our development as sons of God. We live WITH Jesus. NOTE: We all have the same rights as sons. Women in the ancient world could not vote, hold office, or own land, generally speaking. In God’s kingdom, we are all equals in God’s sight. See Galatians 3:28.
- Having the Spirit of God is what makes us children of God. We are not slaves, but children. Consider verse 29 just a little further in the chapter, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.“
- “Abba” is the equivalent of, “Daddy!” It’s a very personal and intimate term of endearment.
- We are siblings with Christ!
- Sharing in His sufferings is what happens when we follow Him, look like Him, and act like Him. The world turns on us pretty fast!
Our choice is this: As children of God, shall we operate in the flesh or in the Spirit? Romans 8 addresses this issue, as well, but we will cover that lesson tomorrow. Today, let’s focus on enjoying our adoption and our sonship in the family of God, shall we?
Abba, thank You for loving me, dying for me, redeeming me, and adopting me. It really is ALL YOU! All I did was receive your gift of salvation. And boy, am I glad I did! You are amazing, Abba! I love You. Amen.