每日诗歌: 永在的父 （https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBSM-4iEvAI）
Isaiah 7 [Read]
Isaiah 8 [Read]
Isaiah 9 [Read]
Galatians 4 [Read]
Disneyworld was our favorite vacation spot when our sons were small. We went there many times, and our sons always enjoyed all the rides and various performances in the park. My wife and I hardly went on any ride with them, but seeing their happy faces was worth all the time and hassles of the trip. This reminds me of the Chinese saying: “raising children make you appreciate your parents”. Such parental willingness to sacrifice helps me understand the deeper meaning of God’s first commandment to mankind: “be fruitful and increase in number” (Gen 1:28). Besides subduing the earth, perhaps the real blessing is hidden in the mysterious emotional connection between parents and their children through childbearing and upbringing.
For this reason, it is not surprising that Paul uses the father-son relationship to describe the closeness between God and his people. He who puts his faith in God receives the full rights of sons (Gal 4:5), has the Son’s Spirit in him (4:6), and is made an heir (4:7). Being sons of God not only means we may call on our Father God when in need, just like my sons know they can always count on daddy and mommy regardless how old they become, but it also means we will eventually inherit all things from the Father (4:30). “…how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32). When we think of that, it does make our worry for the material possession sound petty.
Becoming sons also means that growth is needed, so that we will eventually have Christ formed in us (Gal 4:19). Sons of God must grow out of the “weak and miserable principles” of this world (4:9), so that we may learn about and surrender to the will of God that is good, pleasing, and perfect (Rom 12:2). Just like I did not understand how much my parents sacrificed for me, not until I made the same kind of sacrifices for my sons. Christians become mature through serving others. The more we serve, the more we appreciate how much others put up with us when we were being served. On the other hand, Christians stay immature when they are always being served.
May the Lord open our eyes to see how great an inheritance we have been given, and may that eye-opening experience propels us to grow into his likeness through serving others in an unselfish and uncritical way. Amen.
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