Living to your God-given Potential

On that Sunday morning in 1977 when Bev and I dedicated our first-born son to the Lord, I sang to him: “You are a promise, You are a possibility… you are a great big bundle of potentiality.”  (Bill Gaither)  My head was full of questions that day 4 decades ago. What would he become? What choices would be made to shape him? How would he use the gift of life? Would he allow God, the Holy Spirit, to develop his abilities and choose a path that would honor the God who made Him?  (I am proud of the man he is today, by the way!)

My own father spoke often to me as I grew up about the importance of our choices and God’s gifts, about possibilities and promise – about becoming a person who contributes to the world and remembers the higher purposes of the Lord.

When the Spirit calls you into the family of God, when you are reconciled to your Father and made alive through Christ Jesus, there are expectations of you, too. God sees each one of us as a ‘big bundle of potentiality!’  Yes, there is a whole new way of life opened to us when the Spirit of God takes residence in us, as we are ‘born again’ becoming children of God.

Look at this passage that speaks of the new things that are possible in us and through us. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:14-17, NIV)

  • You have an identity!  Don’t be confused about who you are, where you belong. You are God’s own child. My own children clearly knew who they were. They were connected to a family, that was part of a larger family. From the stories they heard they learned about who they were, where they came from, and how to live.  As God’s child, you too, have an identity. You are shown, in Christ Jesus, how to live.
  • You enjoy access and closeness to Him! I hope that despite my imperfections as a father, that my children never needed to wonder if they were loved. I tried to be a Dad who was available to them, interested in who they were, ready to hear their stories and help them work through their struggles. Some of my most precious memories of fathering are formed around times when I was able to encourage, pray, and help them made the difficult choices that helped them to grow on.  Paul reminds us that we are not slaves of fear, as we once were. We are God’s kids who come eagerly to Him, “Abba.”  That is a word of deep respect and personal intimacy, a way of saying “My Father!”

  • You have an inheritance.  For us inheritance is about something received after death, in the settlement of an estate. That is not what Paul is writing about in this passage. The declaration of paternity in that time made a son one who shared in the family’s wealth, though it was not yet in his control. As heirs of God, we are given riches (please think bigger thoughts than money!) so that we can live without a sense of lack. We live with the knowledge that He has made us to share His love and life, not as recipients of charity but with full rights as children!  And as we stand with our co-heir Christ Jesus, remaining faithful in times of suffering, there is an unwavering assurance that we will ultimately enjoy the glorious existence that is prepared for us in the Father’s house.

Are you living in a way that invites the Spirit to lead you to discover the full expectation of Your Father?

Meditate on this word from the Word. Here the Spirit reminds that the amazingly wonderful truths about our adoption into God’s family are fully declared, but as yet, not fully realized. Pray for faith to accept what He has said, so that you will live to fully inherit His promise. “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse.

All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” (Romans 8:18-23, NLT)


No Longer Slaves

(worship at this link)

 You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

 From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

 You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

 Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser © 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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