Summary: Abba, Becoming God's Children, Heirs
ONE CHURCH - One God and Father
Romans 8:14-17 (p. 787) July 31, 2016
Life isn’t fair is it? Think about that. I was born in 1960. A stay at home mom (kinda because she was the most active woman I’ve ever met). A father with a successful job that allowed us to go on vacations together and never worry about food or a roof over our heads. If you haven’t notice I’m white.
One of my best friends in High School was black. He grew up in the projects here in Lexington…a single mom worked three different jobs…to just barely survive. He lived with his grandmother a lot of the time. He had no relationship with his dad. he was born in 1960 as well.
Neither of us chose these circumstances. And neither of us had the power to change them. It wasn’t fair.
People would say…Well, that’s the hand you’ve been dealt…and you’d be right…but why was I given such a life…and why was he given such a life?
Is the child I held in Haiti on the trash heap outside of Port Au Prince worth less? Is John Baptist’s life of less value because he has so little? He had no choice in his circumstances of being one of thousands of street children in the poorest country in our hemisphere…I wonder what John Baptist’s life is like today.
I saw my black friend at Wayne’s funeral a few weeks ago…He’s still the gentle, loving, and kind soul he was in High School only a little grayer.
I’ve got a lot of relationships that make me think: “Life is not fair.” A girl Kari and I “claim” as our adopted daughter…her mom was in prison for shooting her dad…raised by her grandparents because drugs had broken this family apart…How come I got Ozzie and Harriet and she got an episode of “Cops?”
I don’t know the answers to those whys or a thousand others…I do not have the ability to understand why you had to grow up alone or abused while I grew up with security, support and an earthly example of a heavenly father…It’s not fair…life isn’t.
This statement from Jesus echoes through my head and my heart…“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded and the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)
The Message version sums it up clearly…“Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities.”
Who determines what gifts are given…and how they are given? Who decides what responsibilities are required?
I. THE ONE WITH A POWERFUL PURPOSE AND PLAN
Our text started out today with these words…“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
Bertrand Russell, an avowed atheist said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.”
And there are many who assume there is no God…life is chance…John Baptist’s birth and life…and yours and mine…Just the luck of the draw…chance…and if this life is all we have then it’s about enjoyment…self fulfillment…comfort…even among many who claim belief in God…life and it’s pursuits isn’t a great deal different than the atheists. Belief doesn’t translate into any responsibilities.
Now listen to the parable, the story of Jesus told right before that - “to whom much is given much is required statement.”
LUKE 12:42-48 (p. 727)
Knowing God’s will and God’s plan is only possible if we are led by His Spirit but that Spirit not only leads us to know God’s will…that Spirit enables us to do God’s will.
There is a huge expectation that those who have been given many gifts…are to use them to help others before the master returns.
Ironically many times the opposite happens…we begin to believe that the possessions are ours…we begin to get comfortable with the “much given to us.” And after all Jesus is taking a long time to return…so I’ll eat, drink and get drunk (I’ll take care of me). Jesus says the one who does this is assigned a place with unbelievers.
If you are a believer in God…or someone who is open to that option let me firmly say, God is a purposeful God. He created us for a reason. Scripture teaches that its so we can become adopted as His children…This is true whether you are born in Haiti or Ohio…Rich or poor…Black, white, brown or purple. Long before you were conceived by your parents you were conceived in the mind of God. Isaiah 44:2 says “I am your creator. You were in my care even before you were born.”
You see if there is no God then we are all accidents…the results of some cosmic petri dish with the odds of it happening being so astronomical they are incalculable. And your life and mine would have no purpose or meaning. There would be no right or wrong and no hope beyond your time here on earth. (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, p. 26)