A few days ago our oldest son turned six. Our family is not very big on holidays and celebrations, but our kids’ birthdays are different. For them we go an extra mile.
This year I (Oksana) woke up very early to set up Bogdan’s birthday gifts in the living room, so he would have a nice surprise when he got up. Illya took a day off at work in order for us to go to Legoland as a family to celebrate our firstborn’s special day.
Bogdan had an amazing day, enjoying the rides, attractions and water park!
There is nothing surprising about us treating our kids in a special way. We love them! They are ours. We as parents often sacrifice our own interests and comfort to bring joy to our children. We cherish each one of them and treat them as the biggest treasure. Of course, there are days when we are not very thrilled with them. There are days when they drive us crazy, when they disobey. There are days when we discipline them, give them time-outs, remove some privileges. There are even days when we get angry with our kids. But no matter how whiny, annoying, rebellious, disobedient they may be, nothing can ever take away our love for them, nothing can severe our relationship, nothing can remove their privilege of being our children!..
When we first come to God in humble repentance, He immediately takes us in as His children. He claims us as His own. He gives us the right and the privilege of becoming His sons and daughters.
“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
“Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. […] Through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…” Ephesians 2:11-22
“To all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:10
“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!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:12-17
I never seize to be amazed with God’s love to us and His faithfulness, even when we fail (2 Timothy 2:13). I grew up in a Christian surrounding and have been personally following Christ for over 20 years, yet He still reveals Himself to me as a loving Father in some many new ways! Bogdan’s birth also taught me so many things about God the Father and our place as His children.
– As a nursing mother, I never left my baby for long periods of time. Even if I were away from him, all my thoughts were with him and about him. How much more God the Father loves us, His children!
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15
– Amazing thing, I was the only one Bogdan could truly find comfort in! Even the sound of my voice seemed to calm him. Somehow he knew when I was close, and my presence brought him peace. It made me think so many times of how we as God’s children should seek His presence and the comfort He brings. How often we settle for “surrogate mothers” to comfort us, yet there is only One who can bring true peace to our souls!
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62
– There were times when Bogdan was hurting due to colics or because he fell down while learning to walk, or for any other reason. every time I heard him cry, my heart was breaking for him. I would do anything just to take his pain away. Our God the Father, too, hurts when we are hurting! His heart was so much broken for us and our pains, that He even took our pains upon Himself and bore them to the cross!!
“For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye” Zechariah 2:8
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5
– Bogdan was a very grateful child! And his gratitude brought me more joy than any material gift he could ever give me. Sometimes in our relationship with God we start taking His love and care for granted, or substitute our genuine gratitude and affection with things “we do for God”. Even our ministry in His name is not as precious to God as our true love and thankfulness.
I came across a post by Chris Strevel, who writes that “sonship always leads to grateful obedience to our Father”. Here is a quote from that post:
“Through Christ, as God’s adopted sons and daughters, we may approach God freely and confidently as our Father, despite our sinfulness, and seek from him the grace and righteousness that we lack in ourselves. Sonship also brings with it certain duties and the grace to fulfill them. In Romans 8:15-23, one of Paul’s central sonship passages, after declaring our adoption he mentions “suffering for Christ’s sake” (vv, 17,18), groaning under the weight of sin as we patiently await the full manifestation of our sonship status (v. 23), and hope in the promise of God (v. 24). From this passage alone, it is evident that a true understanding of sonship does not lead to giddy spirituality, moral license, or cheap views of grace that ignore the very real implications of being a son or daughter in the world. It leads to the fruit of the Spirit and a virtuous life of patience and hope.”
Indeed, we are so blessed to be the children of the God Almighty! And this is something not to be taken for granted, but rather to determine the way we live.
John Piper writes in his sermon God Predestined Us unto Sonship Through Jesus Christ:
“The ultimate goal of God in election and predestination is that God might be praised for his glory. And the highest point of that glory is grace. This is the final goal of our destiny. There is no higher hope, no greater tomorrow, no more meaningful future, no more worthy cause to live for, than to reflect and praise the glory of God’s grace forever and ever.”
I look at our children and I thank God for trusting us with such treasure! I want to be the best mom for them I can be. Then I look up and think of the Father who IS the best one ever. I am forever grateful to be the daughter of the King of kings!..
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6