Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him. 1 John 5.1
Have you been fathered by God? What exactly does that mean? Mark 16.16 tells us that the one that believes and is baptized will be saved. In the first part of John 3, Jesus talks about the necessity of being born from above. We must go through a second birth of water and Spirit to enter God’s kingdom. The birth of water refers to baptism by immersion in water at which point we receive the gift of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. We become adopted children of God the father. God becomes our father. We become part of a spiritual family including brothers and sisters, with Jesus being our oldest brother. If I love the Father, I will also love the ones who are fathered by him by being born from above. I have blood brothers who make up a part of my earthly family. But I do not always agree with them or even at times get along with them. My own three children often did not see eye to eye on things or get along all the time. But the effort was made. Love is not the gushy emotion that we have made it out to be. It is a decision to do what is best for the other person. I watch out for God’s family. I am not a watch dog. But I do try to encourage my spiritual family to remain faithful. And I welcome when someone helps me to remain faithful by correcting me and encouraging me when I need it. We all need help. It is good to know that I have someone who is watching my back.