You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christâ€¦
What I am saying isâ€¦
Because you are sons, [a child of God!] God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, â€œAbba, Father.â€ So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 3:26-27, 4:1, 6-7 (NIV)
Christmas. If you turn on your TV or radio or drive down a city street, you are smothered in what the advertising or retail industries believe they can convince you is essential to your holiday happiness! It isnâ€™t the overt jingles that tell you that a diamond is the only thing that can make â€œherâ€ happy. It isnâ€™t how awesome it would be to surprise him with a new car that hooks most of us. It is the basic message that it is only right and expected that we BUY, BUY, BUY so that each person will have 3, 4, 5, or 6 gifts to open from under the overflowing tree! Whether you spend your budget or over your budget or you have no budget â€“ following the instructions given will not leave us happy and content at 8 p.m. on Christmas night when all that is left under the tree is a stray ribbon or a forgotten, empty stocking.
I am a child of God. I am an heir to Godâ€™s Kingdom. I am an equal-share heir! I wonâ€™t be getting less than my pastor or even less than Peter himself. I am a treasured and precious daughter of God. WOW. I may not receive numerous presents wrapped in shiny bows but I have a guarantee of an eternal gift that is extravagant and far more than I can imagine. (And I have a really GOOD imagination!)
Is this what I believe? Is this what I have taught my children and grandchildren? Is this what I live out in my life? Or do my children see that I live differently than I â€˜preachâ€™? To live the life of a child of God is to live against the flow of this world. It is living a life that begins with my choice to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and know that I need only Him. It is walking that faith today in this season of opulence and seeing not what I do not have (envy what others do have!) but keeping my eyes on the Creator God who is lying in a manger, following His footsteps to the Cross, and choosing to crucify my flesh so that I may have the Spirit of Jesus Christ that shows me how to live as He did.
I hear Godâ€™s words that assure me that I am His child. I know that I cannot earn this gift. I call out â€œFatherâ€ and He answers me. He gives me gifts not just at Christmas but every day of the year: faith, trust, mercy, patience, gentleness, kindness, knowledge, compassion, self-control, joy, wisdom, peace, and love. His gifts to me are many, varied, size-perfect, and never-ending.