Walking With Jesus 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to
fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry “Abba! Father!” it is that
very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of
God and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:14-17a.

My how I love to be with my family. I dearly loved, and continue to love our two sons and their families.
Each time I am with them and their children, I can see that family is very important to them also. Their
relationships are filled with security, happiness, abounding in hope for the future. They have faith in
each other, and they honor each other’s differences most of the time. They all have placed their faith in
God, and they all worship God so when I am with them I feel that we are all in God’s presence together.
What more could I ask for?

I only have grandsons, no granddaughters, and even though I would like to have had a girl or two in
that group of six, I can’t get enough of these guys. These grandsons, at times, have taught me to be a
child again, and at times to ask them questions to make them wonder about something that might
stretch their imagination. This Fall one of my six grandsons will be living with me for the first year of his
college education. I am sure this will mean I will also get more visits from his parents next year. Yea!
How I loved watching two of my grandsons play baseball as children, and one who played ice hockey.
It has been so much fun watching them grow up and become responsible adults and putting their trust
in Christ. I love my children, their wives, and my grandchildren. They bless my life because their love
is alive, and important to both them and me. Our grandchildren can remind us anew of the importance
of our relationship with God and how we need God’s guidance in our daily lives.

As Paul speaks of the power of the Spirit he points to our presence in God’s family. The Spirit makes
us “children of God” and connects our lives with Christ, who has become our brother so that we now
know God as our Father. Paul implies we are “heirs” with Christ (8:17). In other words, all that Christ
shares with the Father as God’s Son (peace, life, righteousness) has now been given to us as well.
The Holy Spirit works in us to strengthen our relationship with Christ. This means the Spirit must be
very busy indeed. In our uncertain and faltering attempts at faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit is always at
work, helping us to overcome our own desire to be in control, or have our own way. When we seek
comfort, the Holy Spirit reminds us of how Christ seeks the lost sheep and forgives a betrayer like
Peter. When we need correcting, the Spirit helps us recall Christ’s command to not let love of money
control our thoughts and actions, and our need to forgive others — even our enemies.

The Spirit reaches out to embrace and encourage us to stay connected to other family members. The
Holy Spirit is not something we manage or direct. God seeks to make us his children by adoption.
When a child is adopted by a family the child usually has little to say about the process. It happens to
them because a couple is seeking the child and social workers help them to make that happen. Neither
do we earn membership in God’s family. Martin Luther commented on the work of the Holy Spirit in the
third article of the Apostles’ Creed when he said “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I
cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me
through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith…” The
work of the Holy Spirit continually draws us to Christ and God’s family, in spite of our desires.

Questions:

  1. How are you relating to your whole family of God, not just those in your congregation?
  2. What can you do to reach out to some of those family members who are lonely or seem to be
    outside the family of God in their relationship?
  3. How has God blessed you as his child with other family relationships?