- 1 John 3
- Hebrews 12
During the first week of orientation we will look at what God wants us to be hungry for. We should be hungry for Christ to been seen, heard, known and loved through what people witness from our lives. This is true in our lives, and it is true for what we want to see in our tribal church. Our desire for our tribal church is for them to know Christ, to become like Christ, and Christ to be known through them. Should this not also be our desire / goal in parenting?
What do you want to see in your kids? In 1 John 3:1-3 God addresses us as His “dear children.” He appeals to us to seek to live out His family resemblance. “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children…. he has not shown us yet what we will be like when Christ appears, but we know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” If that is what we are anticipating, then we should be working at keeping ourselves pure, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)
God doesn’t appeal to us as a task master, laying down the law, giving a code of conduct and a list of things we have to try and do, and if we violate it we are going to be severely punished. No, he appeals to us as “dear children.” Appealing to us in love, as a Father, who wants his kids to look like him. Not selfishly, but because he knows that the more attractive our lives are, the more people will want to be a part of His family!
1 John 3:8-9 (My paraphrase) The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil so that people won’t be attracted to the devil’s family and will want to be part of God’s family instead. Those who are part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. In fact, once God’s life is in them, they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God, and as children, the Father pursues them and disciplines them when what they are doing does not display the family resemblance. ( Heb 12:5-11)
We should be hungry for our kids to know Christ, to become like Christ, and eventually for Christ to be known through them. This begins by them being under our authority and discipline when they are young. Our job is to train them to be carrying out their true family resemblance, preparing them to be under God’s authority and discipline as they grow.
1 John 3 lays out a number of things that describe God’s family resemblance. This is God’s desire for His kids:
- keep themselves pure, as Jesus is pure… because we will become like him (1 John 3:3)
- do what is right, showing they are righteous as Jesus is righteous (1 John 3:7)
- do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them (1 John 3:9)
- They can’t keep sinning because they are children of God (1 John 3:9)
- lives righteously and loves other believers (1 John 3:10)
- love our brothers and sisters, proving you have passed from death to life (1 John 3:14)
- don’t just say we love each other, we show it by our actions (1 John 3:18)
- Revel in the truth that you are one of God’s kids, and you know how very much our Father loves you, for he calls you his child (1 John 3:1)
- That you will desire for Christ to be seen, heard, known and loved because of what people witness in your life. (1 John 4:12)
- That you would desire to remove or change anything in your life that distracts others from that. (1 John 3:3)
- That this would be your desire for your children, and you will train and discipline your kids to carry out God’s family resemblance.