Summary: Just as we have certain goals and dreams for our children, so also does God for His adopted children. Four words describe His expectations.
I Jn 3:1-3
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 nearness, generosity, mercy, and love.
He also helped us to see that the Father forgives and forgets when we meet the conditions. And, of course, as our Father, God sometimes disciplines us when we need it. He also rewards us and protects us, and takes time to listen to our cries.
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 of all visionaries. There are certain hopes, dreams, and plans that 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, lofty expectations.
Before my two sons were even 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 my wife and I worked and prayed until we knew that both of them had received Christ as Lord–one at his bedside and one at a Christian camp.
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 int 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 shall 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? What are His dreams for us? They can be summed up in four words.
1. KNOW. God expects us to know Him.
To be intimately acquainted with Him—on a personal level.
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
❏ He’s given us the Bible
❏ He’s given His only begotten for us
❏ He’s given us the Holy Spirit to speak to us
❏ He’s given us the witness of the Church
❏ He’s given us a humger to know Him
What more could God do? We are all without excuse! None of us will stand before God on Judgement Day and say, “I had no idea that God loved me so.” God is not willing that anyone 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. And if anyone ends up in hell for all eternity, it will be because they chose to turn away from all these efforts on God’s part.
From the moment we are born, God begins to draw us unto Himself. He expects all of us to know Him. Do you KNOW Him? Many folks know ABOUT Him. But they are not intimately acquainted with Him. They don’t commune with Him daily; they don’t listen to Him by reading His Word; they don’t obey Him. They don’t experience His power in their lives.
I know a lot about President Bush because I’ve read about him and listened to him on TV, but I do not know Him intimately. I can’t call him up and say, “Hi George. Just thought I’d call. How ‘s the family?”