Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Children in a Loving Relationship Romans 8:14-15

S-1063 7/13/08 8SAP/3A (O) #242; (S) # 43 SOD; L.S. #574; #338; #276; (C) #45

Texts: Isaiah 55:10-13; Romans 8:12-17; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Theme: “Children in a Loving Relationship” Romans 8:14-15


Question: “Are you in a relationship??

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the book of Romans. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father” (Rom. 7:14-15).


Saints in Christ, relationships are very important. Relationships identify us. Relationships make us who we are. These relationships begin early in our lives. It starts with the first “ma-ma, da-da.” It grows into messages like “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!” This shows the relationship between parents and children—a relationship built on love, trust and security. A relationship of belonging to a family where you know that you are cared for and loved. These simple words—“ma-ma, da-da.” “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!” bring a feeling of joy and warmth to the hearts of mothers and fathers everywhere. By voicing them, the children are stating and declaring that they are friends of their parents and not their foes; that they live in harmony with them and not as their adversaries.

This is the message of the text that is before us today. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles as he writes to the Roman Christians wants to assure them that they too, as Gentiles belong to the family of faith. They, too, are led by the Spirit’s power to be identified with the relationship as sons of God made possible through Jesus Christ. And they too, can call Him “Abba” Father.

In the words of Paul we, modern day disciples know that we, too, belong to God as His beloved children—His treasured possessions. We are part of the family of God here on earth. Paul wants us to know as members of this family, we are loved, cared for and desired by our heavenly Father.

We must acknowledge that it takes a lot of hard work to build up a human family. There must be a spirit of love and trust, forgiveness and acceptance between its members and exchanged to make this family to grow. Where this spirit dwells, there is concrete evidence that love is also present. Sometimes this love comes in a disciplining way, and at other times love is dished out when you least expect. This is the relationship between the parents and the children.

And so it is also in the family of God. God has a relationship with us. He at times disciplines us when we sin against Him and His holy Word, and at other times blesses us in ways beyond our understanding. We, His beloved Children declare that He is God and we are His created beings. That He is in total control and He deserves all our honor and respect to the utmost degree.

By the leading of the Holy Spirit, we come to see the value of these words of Paul, that we have an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father, so much so, that we can call Him, “Abba!” Father!

On our own, we would never dream of claiming to be the children of God, we would never dream of calling Him Father. But His Only Son, Jesus Christ when He walked around the Sea of Galilee taught the disciples one of the greatest prayers ever recorded—the Lord’s Prayer. In the opening statement of that prayer, Jesus tells us how to call upon Him, as “Our Father.” He is not some other Father. But ours—yours and mine. We the beloved in Christ have God as our Father.

That is why we can call Him “ABBA!” the most intimate of words. Ask any father here present today, what happens when they hear their children cry out to them with that term, “daddy.” You have been there too. You come home from a long day. Your day at work has been terrible. The boss jumped at you, your coworkers didn’t respect you and you didn’t feel that good. But as soon as you step out of the car, your little girl or boy begins to cry out, “Daddy’s is home! Daddy’s is home!” At the hearing of these words, your day changes, your attitude changes and your outlook changes. You pick up your child in your arm and you say, “Yes, daddy is home.” What a feeling of love and security. What a relationship you have.

But like any family here knows all too well, is that relationships breakdown. As the children grow older, they no longer think daddy is that special. They no longer come to daddy for help. No longer do they think that he knows what he is speaking about. Rather than coming to daddy for support we begin to look for other things or persons to fill that void, and the relationship is slightly damaged. Sometimes the relationship is damaged so severely that they no longer speak with one another. That is sad. It happens all too often.

Yet, Paul tells us as the Children of God, we have the Spirit that leads us to come to our senses and realize that it is us who has broken that relationship and the only way that relationship can be restored is by a third party. By the Holy Spirit, we are moved to realize that our relationship between God and man has been restored through His Son, Jesus Christ the MEDIATOR between God and Man. This relationship is built on love, love of the Son for the Father, and for the rest of creation. It is that LOVE that enables us to come to Him, confessing our sins and asking for His mercy.

Here in we see there is a relationship of love between us and our heavenly Father which pervades our entire being. He is the One who chose to make us His children through His Spirit. He is the One who took action to adopt us into His family. He is the One who sent our Redeemer, Jesus Christ to give us the robe of righteousness. He is the One who stands at the gate eager to welcome us prodigals back home.

Is it any wonder that Paul speaks to our hearts today as he spoke to the hearts of the Romans and telling us that we should be delighted to call Him by that familiar, BUT delightful term, “Abba!” Father! In that loving relationship is embodied some marvelous blessings and bounty, privileges and promises.

First, there is the privilege of talking with Him daily as your dearest and most precious friend. I love it when my children call me and say, “Baba, (Arabic for father), how are you, what is new with you?” Likewise, every day, and in every circumstance, we can place our hand in His through prayer. We can place upon Him our perplexity, our problems, our sorrow, our woes and our worry and also prayers of thanksgiving and rejoicing.

Second, there is peaceful confidence. It is the trust that our loving Father, will not give us a stone when what we really need is bread. It is the certainty that in Christ God will work everything for our good (Romans 8:28), and give us the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Third, there is the sure and certain confidence that our heavenly Father is always with us. {speak about my culture dinning experience.} There is the abiding presence that comes to us in His Word and as we dine at His table by giving us His body and blood. We can know for certain we have a strong relationship with Him as His beloved children and we are not out of His sight or presence. With God as our heavenly Father, we lack nothing.

Oh, the joy of calling God, “Abba!” “Father!” What peace fills us our hearts as His beloved children? Through Christ’s death and resurrection we have a perfect relationship that is enjoyed now here below and someday forever in heaven. Amen.

Now the peace…

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