We are all created by God – but more importantly, we are God’s daughters and sons if we do God’s will. This is not to be taken lightly. Do you think of yourself as God’s child – really?
Any person who chooses to serve God – and does it, is a “Chosen” person. It isn’t a birthright, but something that is available to people of all nationalities.
3 Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob, and explain to the Israelites: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me. 5 Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, 6 and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
Note the conditional “if”. If you listen to the Lord and follow the covenant, then you will be unique among all people of the Earth. The corollary to that is that if you don’t follow the Lord’s commandments, then you will not be special. Your commitment to doing what the Lord commands is what distinguishes you.
11 He came to His own,
and His own peopledid not receive Him.
12 But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to bechildren of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.
Note that we can become children of God, namely daughters and sons of God.
Notice the Lord’s Prayer, to be found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4. This is the Condensed Gospel rendition, which blends them together –
Jesus was praying, and when he was through, one of his disciples said to him “Lord, teach us how to pray, just like John taught his disciples.”
He said “You should pray like this:
Heavenly Father, we give honor to your holy name.
May your kingdom come soon.
May your will be done here on earth just like it is done in heaven.
us our bread for tomorrow,
and forgive our faults in the same way that we forgive the faults of others.
Do not cause us to be tempted, but instead rescue us from evil.
The kingdom and power and glory are all yours eternally. Amen.”
It starts with us saying that God is our Father. This is a bold statement. God is directly approachable by us. If God is our Father, we are daughters and sons of God.
46 He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him. 47 Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.” 48 But He replied to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.”
If you do God’s will, you are the brother or sister to Jesus. If you are his brother or sister – you are a son or daughter of God.
11 For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father.That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying:
I will proclaim Your name to My brothers;
I will sing hymns to You in the congregation.
Jesus says he is directly related to his followers.
See Psalm 51:16-17, 1 Samuel 15:22-23, Hebrews 13:16, Micah 6:6-8, Isaiah 58:3-11 for examples of what God wants.
God isn’t interested in sacrifices. All the detailed rules in Leviticus are about what kinds of offerings were appropriate in the time of the Temple. But what God really wants is for us to take care of people. Who cares if you keep kosher or you cover your head if you ignore the needs of your neighbor who is hungry or homeless?
I’ve read before that atheists serve God better than many religious people. They don’t think there is a divine being who will take care of people, so they know it is up to them. Actions speak louder than words.