I’ve been thinking a lot about my Heavenly Father.  There’s a lot to wrap your mind around there.  I know that He has given us parents here on earth that are representative of His love and caring for us.  How do I know that?  Well, I guess it just has always been my thought.  If someone has Biblical reason why I’m right or wrong, I’d love to hear it…I can’t do that study now, because I’m still inching my way through James.  The only scripture I can think of off the top of my head is where Christ says in Luke 11:11-13 “…how much more will your Father in Heaven…”  That’s all I can think of where there is a comparison to earthly parenthood and Heavenly Parenthood.

The more I think about my earthly parents and the legacy they’ve given to me the more I wonder at the way God has set up everything.  The fact that now I’m an “heir of God and joint heir with Christ” seems almost incredulous.  This time of year is so full of memories and emotions for so many people.  I think of all the things my family has done for Christmas and Thanksgiving  over the years and the memories I have of my father reading the Christmas story from the Bible before we pray and then share gifts with each other and the times around the table with my brothers and sisters and family.  I remember those things more than any gift I was ever given.  In fact, so many gifts I’ve received over the years are either no longer in use or taken for granted by now.  Unfortunately, some of those memories and relationships are taken for granted at times too.

We are called the family of God and, like I said, I can’t help but compare that to the Family on earth that God has given me.  As I look back at the years of being a part of God’s family, I can see times and memories and moments and remember and still feel the same emotions from those times.  I don’t remember so much all the individual times He has provided or helped as much as I just know His overall protection and provision and grace and mercy.  Sometimes I take those things for granted.  Sometimes I forget those gifts He has given me and treat them as if they weren’t bought at a price or as if I now have a special claim or ownership of them.

I know that if I have kids someday and they get all spoiled rotten for a moment and take a video game controller away and say, “Mine!” that I’ll have the attitude some have.  I’ll say, “Um, who paid for it?” and I’ll take it back and probably spank them or send them to their room.  I’m glad God doesn’t do that.  What does He do though?  If I get an attitude about forgiveness that expects it even when I’ve intentionally missed the mark, what is His response to that?  Being a part of God’s family is an honor and a privilege, not a right.  People who treat it as a right are so ignorant.  The problem is, we all do that at some point.  I’m not going to try to combat the idea or theology of Eternal Security or anything, but we are adopted into Christ’s family and even on this earth, when someone is adopted they can (well even some who aren’t adopted) remove themselves legally from their family.  It’s a choice that has to be made, but it doesn’t mean we were never a part of that family.  We can remove ourselves from the family of God too.  We can choose to take ourselves away from any claim to the inheritance and birthright of that Family.   Hebrews warns us multiple times to be careful not to drift away.  Anyway, I’ve digressed.

Christmas is coming and we need to take a look at our families.  We need to figure out if we are taking any of them for granted or worse, intentionally ignoring and mistreating them.  We also need to look at our relationship to God and to the Family we’ve been adopted into.  Are we taking any of our brothers and sisters in Christ for granted?  Do we need to make some things right?  Do we need to talk to our Heavenly Father and make things right with Him?  I know that I must search my heart daily to make sure that I don’t take His blessings and my loved ones for granted.

Father, please search me and know my heart?  Show me where I’ve placed myself higher than You or higher than any one else.   Please help me to push down my own selfish desires and be an example of Your love to those close to me and anyone who is watching.  Thank you.  I love you. Amen.