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What does it mean to be a child of God?

Selena Gomez Credit: Mikey Hennessy/Wikipedia

Selena Gomez Credit: Mikey Hennessy/Flickr

I was reading an interesting testimony given by pop star and actress Selena Gomez, 25, at a Hillsong conference recently held in Los Angeles, California in 2017.

She shared her testimony in the form of a letter to herself. She spoke of the day that she finally understood God’s love for her and realized she was a child of God.

“On your 23rd birthday, Jesus will become real to you. More than a nightly prayer, more than the strength of your friends, more than the name in a devotional, He will become real.

“Selena, you are enough! Not because you’ve tried hard, not because you have loved hard or put on your best face. Not because you have been given a large platform and not because others tell you ‘you are enough,'” she declared. “You are enough because you are a child of God who has been pursued from the very beginning. You are enough because His grace has saved you and covered you.”

From her testimony, Selena seems to have grasped that she is God’s child truly beloved and fully accepted by her Heavenly father.

Many us believe Jesus died for our sins, but we have never truly grasped that we are a child or daughter of the Heavenly father.

And there are even degrees of “Fatherhood.” The Apostle Paul talks about God as our “Abba Father.”

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 NASV)

The word “Abba” is a term of endearment, that can best be interpreted as “Daddy.” Though many of us look upon God as our Father, how many feel comfortable calling Him, “Daddy?”

Moving from a “Father” relationship to a “Daddy” one can be a huge emotional step for many of us.

But it is a step that God wants you to take.

So what hinders you from doing this?

The breakdown often starts with the relationship we have or had with our earthly father and mother.

The Bible says that God created men and women in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The Hebrew word “tselem” translated “image” means representative and is the same word used throughout the old Testament to describe graven images or idols (Isaiah 40:19).

Men and women are the idols that God intended to represent Him, not ones made of rock or wood.

So why did God do this?

I believe God intended parents to represent God’s image to their kids. As they interacted with their parents, children would gain an understanding of who God was and as they matured this was a natural bridge to them developing a personal relationship with their Heavenly Father.

However, sin came into the world and this perfect image of God was horribly marred. And today, all of us to varying degrees have a distorted perception of God that often haunts us into adult hood.

Were your parents harsh or cruel? Did they have favorites? Were they untrustworthy? Did they put huge expectations on you and then reject you when you failed to meet them? Did your parents divorce? The list here can be endless.

If so, we often drag their imperfections into our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We have distorted perceptions of God that hinder us from developing that “Daddy” relationship that God wants to have with us.

So how do we overcome this?

The first step is realizing that this is a problem and the second is a bit more difficult. We need to forgive our parents. Often it requires you to forgive them multiple times for many issues and often many times over the same issue.

Forgive and keep forgiving.


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