Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Do you know how to tell if you are indeed a child of God and not a child of what John says is "the wicked one" (1 John 2:13, 14)? The right answer will spell either great happiness or despair.
Well, Paul gives us a simple litmus test whereby we can tell. It's in Romans 8:15, 16: "You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." That word "abba" is the Hebrew for "father," the simplest syllable a baby of any language utters, "ba-ba." You may never have uttered a formal prayer, but if in the depths of your heart your soul cries out in your distress or agony, "Father ... , Father ... please help me!" then you have the witness of the Holy Spirit that you are a child of God.
But you say, "How can that be?! I'm a sinner! I have guilt!" Well, don't forget that the scribes and Pharisees accused Christ, "This man receiveth sinners!" (Luke 15:2). In fact, sinners are the only people that Jesus does "receive." You may not yet be a perfect "child of God," but if your heart cries out "Father!" then this Heavenly Father simply cannot turn away from such a cry. "What man [father] is there among you who if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? ... If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father give good things to them who ask Him?" (Matt. 7:9, 11). Did your father starve you if you didn't behave?
You may object, "YES, my earthly father was a meanie and I hate the word!" (I have met such people.) Never mind; dig down a little deeper and you will discover that when you were a baby, a child, your heart yearned for "abba, Father!" even if you did not realize the pleasure of fulfillment then. And your heart is still the same today. That's your deepest longing. Your heart is bursting to let those words come out. Let them come! Say them! Believe the Good News even if you don't feel like it. Choose to believe! There is the difference between happiness and despair. You will "overcome the wicked one."
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 21, 1998.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."
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