You are my work of art created in Christ Jesus. Nothing you have done or will ever do can mar the beauty I created. I am a master craftsman. I created you. See yourself as I see you. How could you be more beautiful or perfect? You are the bride adorned with beauty. You are altogether lovely!
A wonderful thing about God is that we pursue and apprehend him continuously. If we only pursued and never apprehended, we would grow weary and discouraged. But because God is infinite, we can continuously pursue and apprehend him for eternity. What is even more awesome is that God pursues us. God pursues us with his love, his grace, his mercy, his loving kindness. So we are in an infinite, but ever changing, loop of pursuing, being pursued, catching, and being caught. I picture it like this – a child and their father running and chasing each other – laughing as they “catch” each other. In the same way, our heavenly Father overtakes us with his love, and we fall into his arms as a child with loving abandon. Can’t you see him laughing with us? How truly magnificent and wonderful our Father is.
If we truly understood who and what we are in Christ Jesus, would it change the world? I think so. The early followers of Christ lived a supernatural lifestyle, and turned the known world at the time upside down. I believe they knew who they were in Christ and lived from that place instead of trying to achieve something they already had. The following list from the writings of Paul describe who and what we are in Christ now. It isn’t a description of what we are trying to become. Let us strive to grasp the reality of who we are and live from that place of total victory.
Dead to the Law
Alive to God
Crucified with Christ
Christ lives in us
Children of Abraham
Redeemed from the curse of the law
Children of God
Clothed in Christ
Heirs of the promise
Children of Promise
Born through the Spirit
Children of the free woman (Sarah)
Living by the Spirit
Adopted by God
Led by the Spirit
Blessed with all spiritual blessing of heaven in Christ
Stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit
Raised with Christ and placed with Him in heaven
God’s work of art created in Christ Jesus
Brought to life with Christ
Fellow citizens with the Holy People of God
Part of God’s household
Brought close to God
A new man
Reconciled to God
Holy Temple in the Lord
Dwelling place of God in the Spirit
Body of Christ
God’s dear children
Children of light
Filled with the Spirit
Glorious, with no speck or wrinkle, holy, faultless
Fortified with His glorious strength with all power
Transferred to the kingdom of Christ
Christ in us, the hope of glory
Living in Christ
Rooted in Christ
Built up on Christ
Fulfilled in Christ
In Christ circumcised – the complete stripping of natural self
Buried with Christ
Raised up with Christ
Brought to life with Christ
Hidden with Christ in God
Our life is Christ
Chosen of God
Holy people whom he loves
The starting point? I don’t know the starting point. The result? Yes, I am all too familiar with the result. Fear, anxiety, depression, illness, confusion – a long list of dysfunction. Amazingly, despite my journey of self-destruction, my Father continued to sustain, preserve, and guide me to His destiny.
My eyes unveiled, dawn breaks forth, freedom calls me to new territory. New territory in the Kingdom of God – set aside especially for me by my glorious Father. He’s been waiting for my return. He never once stopped looking, scanning the horizon for me. “Father, I’m home!”
This is something a little different and a bit personal. It is journal and conversation with our heavenly Father told from the perspective of a child.
Today I got lost. I couldn’t find my way home. Dark. Cold. Rain. My tears mingled and merged with the rain.
“Papa, where am I? Have you forgotten your little girl?”
“Child, I will never by any means leave you or forsake you. I love you with an everlasting love, and I am the light of your feet. Child, look up! Your deliverance is at hand.”
I got saved today. Lying in the grime all alone, my tears ran out. But someone beautiful picked me up, washed away the grime, wrapped me in warmth, and mended my tatters.
“Papa, how? Why?”
“My little lamb, how could I not search for you and find you and bring you home? I sent my beloved Son, because I love you. I gave him for you – to save you, to heal you, to love and protect you.”
I received a beautiful, glorious robe today. Jesus gave it to me. It’s called the Robe of Righteousness. He gave it to me for free, but it cost him so very much. He bought it for me because he loves me.
“Child, wear the robe always. You honor and glorify my Son when you accept the gifts he gives you. Be consumed in our love.”
I discovered a great treasure today – Me! I am like a treasure chest with marvelous treasures hidden inside waiting to be brought out. Papa, showed me this story about the Kingdom of God. It is like a man who found a great treasure, and sold all that he had to purchase it. Jesus gave up everything to purchase me, because I am of great value.
“It is hard for me to understand, Papa. I don’t feel worthy?”
“My jewel, you are worth the best of heaven coming to earth to save you. No one is “worthy”, because all have sinned and fallen short. But you are of great value and worth it!”
Jesus came to reveal Father – Abba (Daddy) Father. Paul says we can boldly come before the throne of God. Why? Because we are His little children running to our Daddy. There is no fear, disapproval, condemnation in Daddy’s eyes. Only love pours forth from his throne to his children.
It requires a child’s heart to cry out, “Daddy” and to enter the King’s domain. How do we get a heart of a child again? Simply ask Daddy for it. Ask him to reveal his love, his heart for you. Let Holy Spirit heal you and give you a new heart. It may feel like you are being broken into a million pieces, but the end result of a restored heart is worth more than all the gold in the world.
I see two viewpoints regarding our relationship with Father God being proclaimed by Christians. One that sees us, even as followers of Christ, as slaves. We are to work to do the will of God and be obedient servants. We are sinners saved by grace who perform to be acceptable and valuable. It may not be stated quite so bluntly, but that is the gist of it.
The other viewpoint is that Father loved us so much, he sent his son, Jesus, to buy us out of slavery. We were purchased with a great price and then adopted as sons.
So which viewpoint is correct? Paul clearly states that Christ was the firstborn of many sons of God. He also says that all of creation groans waiting for the sons of God to be revealed (Romans 8). In Galatians 4:6-7 Paul states, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
So are we slaves/servants or sons/daughters? Seems clear that Jesus made it possible for us to be sons and daughters of the most high God. Jesus made it possible for us to call God, “Abba (Daddy), Father. The slave/servant mentality is the attitude of the older brother in the parable of the Good Father (a.k.a the Prodigal Son).
What I see in myself and in other Christians is a tendency to not understand that Jesus made a way for us to be children of God living from Father’s inheritance. When we act and teach from the viewpoint of the slave, we dishonor Jesus. To be truly victorious, we have to fully grasp that we are children of God, adopted into His family, living from inheritance, and hidden in Christ. Father has freely given us all things in Christ Jesus. Let us not dishonor Him by acting and believing like the older brother.