Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from October 3-7 are provided by Pastor Yohan of Radiance Christian Church, San Francisco. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four small children.
Devotional Thought for Today
“…but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
In Korea, the stork does not bring babies to their parents—that’s the job of trash cans. For those of you who are scratching your heads, for whatever reason, Korean parents will jokingly tell their kids that they were found in trash cans, under bridges, or several other ridiculous places. It’s like when older siblings torment younger siblings by telling them they were adopted—except the parents do this. Even though I’ve lived in America all my life, I realize I still harass my kids in this manner. So yes, I’ve told them they were found in trash cans. And once in a while, when my youngest son Jon cries for mommy, I will ask him, “Do you really think she is your mommy?” And my wife looks at me like I’m a three-headed monster every time I do this.
Innately, people need to be secure in who they are and from whom they came from. I guess this is why my wife looks like she wants to maim me when I make those “you’re not my kids” jokes. I find it interesting that after Jesus is raised from the dead, He emphasizes not only that is He ascending to His Father, but stresses to the disciples that God is “your Father” and “your God.” Jesus was instilling the truth that because He rose, all who believe in Him are legitimate children of God. In theological terms, we call this the doctrine of adoption. This doctrine is critical to our faith because it secures our standing in the Kingdom and, hopefully, forms the basis for our actions. In other words, as legitimate children of God, we know we always belong to Him, and the work that God calls us to do, we do as beloved sons and daughters—not as slaves.
How do you most often think of yourself as a believer? Do you think of yourself as a worker? A soldier? A hand, foot, or other body part? All of those are biblical images of Christ’s church, but remember that your most fundamental identity in the Kingdom is a “child of God.” Now, believe it and live it!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for making me Your child. Help me live this day with this knowledge and being secure in that truth. Help me to serve not as a worker or slave but as a beloved child, knowing that I represent my Father’s good name. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 8:9-17: You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 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!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.
Questions to Consider
- What are some characteristics of those who are “in the flesh”?
- What are some characteristics of those who are “in the Spirit”?
- What does it mean to be an heir with Christ, and what provisions are attached to this right (v. 17)?
- Those who live in the flesh will/are dead (v. 12) and are slaves of sin who live in fear (v. 14).
- In contrast, those who are in the Spirit are alive in Christ, debtors to righteousness, children of God, and heirs/fellow heirs with Christ.
- In v. 17, we read that we are “heirs of God,” meaning God is our prize and treasure. However, one of the provisions of this inheritance is that we have to suffer with Christ as well. What that means in our context is something we all have to figure out.
Over the last couple of years, identity in Christ as children has come up repeatedly at our church. I realize a lot of people struggle with their identities as children, possibly because they didn’t have “ideal” parents. Whatever the case, take a moment to reflect on the implications of being a child of God and how it should impact your life.