Summary: The dreams, goals, and aspirations that God has for His children.
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
OF ALL THE NAMES FOUND IN THE BIBLE FOR GOD, none seems to reveal more about His true nature than the term, “Father.”
The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson that we can learn concerning His designs for mankind.
Now, to speak of God as our Father is to say a great deal about Him. Jesus tried to help us understand this dimension of God. He spoke of His Father’s constant…
Our Lord also helped us to see that the Father forgives and forgets when we meet the conditions. And of course, as our Father, God disciplines us when we need it. He also rewards us—and protects us, and listens to us.
But as we think about God, seldom do we take into account the EXPECTATIONS that He has for us. I believe that God is the greatest visionary of all. There are certain hopes, dreams and plans the He has in mind for each one of us.
Most parents, if they truly love their children, expect certain things of them. They pray and work and do all they can to influence them in certain directions. They have high hopes, big dreams, certain lofty expectations.
Before my two sons were born, I began to form in my mind certain things I wanted them to achieve and experience.
Above all else, I wanted them to have a deep and lasting relationship with God—one that will see them through any crisis here on earth and give them absolute assurance concerning the future. And to that end I worked and prayed until I knew that both of them had received Christ as the Lord—one at his bedside and one at a summer camp.
The second goal I had in mind for them was that they abide in Him. What they do for a living, how much money they make, where they live, what kind of family they have, what kind of education they acquire—these things are really secondary in my mind. In fact, they are really meaningless if they are not in the will of God. As the Scriptures declare, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but looses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Here’s the point: THE BEST GOALS AND DREAMS THAT WE CAN HAVE FOR OUR CHILDREN ARE SPIRITUAL IN NATURE!
This is the legacy of parenthood! And just as we have certain expectations in regard to our children, so also God expects certain things of us. What are God’s expectations of us? I believe they can be summed up in four words.
1. KNOW. God expects us to know Him.
He’s done everything in His power to make it possible for us to know Him. He’s given us…
Evidence of His existence in creation
His only begotten Son
The Holy Spirit to speak to us
The witness of the Church
A hunger within to know Him
A media blitz—TV, radio, literature
The witness of Christian friends and loved ones
What more could God do? We are all without excuse! None of us will stand before God on judgment day and say, “I had no idea that God loved me so.” God is not willing that any should perish. He wants everyone to know Him and to receive His promise of eternal life. That’s the goal and dream of God for everyone that is born.
The moment we are born, God begins to draw us to Himself. He expects all of us to know Him. Do you KNOW Him? Many folks know ABOUT Him. To know someone in this sense, means that we are intimately acquainted with them. It means that we commune with them and have a relationship of trust. To know God is to listen, love and obey Him.
Yes, God wants us to know Him—to know who He is—to know what His will is for our life—to experience His power in our lives.
Of course, I am aware that there are forces in our world under the control of Satan that will do everything possible to keep us from knowing God. But if a person truly seeks after God, he will find Him. Do you remember the promise of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 7? “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you…”