Tuesday, April 11

All Rights and Privileges

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- John 1:12

I recently became a card-carrying member of the press. I had to laugh when my press pass showed up in the mail the other day, because I don't consider myself a writer per se. Although I have had a few small things published by different media sources, I have a difficult time convincing myself that I am truly am part of the club along with writers I admire, like Richard Kirk of the North County Times. However, regardless of my opinion of my own writing ability, my writers guild card states that I "am a professional free-lance writer and an accredited member...entitled to all privileges accorded to the working press."

Those who know me personally will probably be wondering how I acquired such status. In truth, all I had to do was sign up and fork over a nominal fee. As I contemplated this simple fact, the words of John 1:12 came to mind. Just as I was able to become an accredited member of the press with nary an opposition, we are all able to become children of God just as easily.

In order to become children of God, we need not pass any rigorous tests, amass a large number of good deeds, or even live perfectly before God deems us qualified to be His heirs. (Even the fee to sign up has already been paid by Christ. ) All we have to do is believe in Christ--believe that He is of God and was sent by God. When we acknowledge the reality of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, we are granted all the rights and privileges accorded to those whom God has called His sons.

The rights and privileges of being a child of God are quite astounding. When we believe that Jesus took on our sins, we are pardoned from the grave. If we have called upon Jesus' name, then we need not fear God's righteous judgment. As sons of God we are looked upon with favor and will escape the wrath the God the Father has reserved for those who fail to acknowledge him.

The most difficult part of the process of becoming children of God involves swallowing our selfish pride. It is our sinful, imperfect nature that tries to convince us that we don't need saving. This same mind-set makes us think that we will somehow be able to find favor with God based upon our own actions, or by being a moral person. This is not so. As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Rome, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In other words, our sin prevents us from being in God's presence as his beloved children. However, even though we all have sinned, according to John 1:12 we all have the opportunity to become children of God. All it takes is the simple act of receiving Him, and believing in His name.

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