Jesus Bids Us Obey
by Joseph Franks
All of us should hunger and thirst to be in the family of God. As the Heavenly Patriarch, God is majestic and without comparison. There are no adjectives that can fully describe his honor, might, wisdom, and power. And regarding his love for his own, that is legendary! Towards his family members he is compassionate, encouraging, kind, slow to anger, and slow to wrath. He makes plans to cover their sin. Then he casts these sins as far as the east is from the west. Regarding the future, it is oh so brilliant and blessed. The Father holds the world in his hand, and with never-changing resolve he promises to bequeath this world to his children. Yes, in some sense the Father has a common grace to all men who occupy his planet, but there is no doubt that he shows special and prejudicial grace to his own. What a privilege it is for men to call God “Our Father.”
Not only does the Father love us, but we are equally adored by the Firstborn Son. He longed for men to enjoy the glory he has enjoyed with the Father, therefore he gave away his life to make sure children of the devil could be redeemed, converted, justified, and adopted into the family of God. He purchased reconciliation for rebels. Oh friends, we were not born into this family. We deserve not to be included in this holy huddle. However, thanks be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who worked and works so faithfully and perfectly to adopt and add brothers and sisters around the family table. Who would not want a Father and a Brother like this?
However, it gets better. Not only are we children, brothers, and sisters, but we are the betrothed of the King. Jesus Christ, the Divine Groom, secures his bride and delights her with his affection. He dances over us with joy. He delights in our presence. There is no one he would rather be with than us – his bride. Can’t we see his grin? Can’t we hear him walking near? His voice is calling us; he loves to see us walk into his presence for spiritual consummation and communion. We can come boldly, with confidence, almost like we belong there. And the fact is, we do because he said so. We belong in the house, in the king’s court, at the throne, even on the throne and in his arms because – as his beloved — he wants us that close.
Reader, are you a part of the family of God? Are you elect by the Father, atoned for by the Son, and regenerated and filled by the Spirit? Have you heard his general calling through nature and your conscience? Have you heard his special calling through the Word of God read, heard, and taught? Have you now the special and irresistible calling going on within your heart? Then do what you were destined to do – hear, believe, trust, call, pray, draw near, confess, profess, and repent. The Bible says that anyone who desires to be adopted by the Father, purchased by the Son, and filled with the Spirit can have this blessing. You can be “one” of the “anyone.” Just do what you mysteriously desire to do. You do not have to figure out the divine mysteries. You only need to respond to his free offer of grace being presented to you right now. All of us should hunger and thirst to be a part of the family of God. Please, come in and join the unworthy but unfathomably privileged clan. He has more seats at his table of myrth.
Then family members, what ought we to do today? Let us enjoy his blessings and walk worthy of the calling we have received. Let us honor the name we have been given. Let us seek to please our Father and Groom. Throughout the day, let us pray that the Holy Spirit might manifest himself more and more through our thinking, affection, conversation and actions. Let us pray that the Fruit of the Spirit might be more regularly experienced and expressed. Yes, walk in the Spirit and do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Ask God to help you look and smell more like Jesus. And, when you sadly but surely see your old habits rearing their ugly heads, repent and remember the Gospel. God loves you no less than yesterday. He revokes not his promises. There is no de-adoption in the family of God, and there is no Cinderella-like dungeon or tower to which he banishes us for a time. Family members, enjoy God’s favor. Enjoy his love. Do not let your fickle affection and faithfulness cause you to forget his unconditional love. But then, in worshipful response, hear his word, and for God’s sake do it. This is what it looks like to be in the family of God.
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:19-21)
As his family members, we are saved in our sin and from our sin. Let us seek to walk in our sin no longer. Let us hear his Word, see our sin, see our Savior, hear again his Word, and endeavor to do it through the power of the Spirit.