Pastor Bill McKinley
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
How are you connected to Jesus?
This is an important question, possibly one of the most important of your life. Often it seems we think of him as far off, or not able to have a relationship, or that he is oppressive – “don’t do this” or “do this”. In the early part of our being in relationship with Jesus, we may need to feel this way – that he is telling us what to do. A lot of us coming out of trauma, addiction, struggle may need more structure or guidance. Even if we don’t have those experiences, we often may feel that Christianity is a bunch of rules – we are the bottom and Jesus lords it over us.
We can’t be connected to Jesus long term like this, thinking of ourselves as a “slave” to be told what to do and when to do it, not having any agency ourselves. This passage reminds us that to be connected to Jesus is to realize that we are his children. When we are baptized, we enter a special relationship where he captures us and sets us free. Free from sin, shame, guilt, addictions – whatever is holding us back, whatever is separating us from being connected to God at a deeper level. When we are his children, this frees us from our feelings of slavery. We can have a relationship built on love and not guilt or oppression – this becomes a lifelong walk in love instead of slavery.
We are now heirs! Jesus has given us all authority, power, and knowledge to go out into the world, to be connected to him as a father is connected to his children and gives them all he has when he leaves the world. We have been given authority, power, and the love to not be equal with Jesus but to take over here on earth for him to spread his work. If you see yourself connected to Jesus and feel as a slave, you haven’t grown into a real relationship with him. But when you see yourself as a child and heir of the Heavenly King, you live out your relationship out of love – you accept that love and are able to impact the people and world around you because you have power and authority that has been given to you by your father.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for rescuing me from my sin and shame. Change me to see me as a child and heir of the Heavenly King. Lord Jesus, help me to grow deeper in connectedness to you, to see my sonship/daughtership in my relationship to you. Help me to see the freedom that I have in you. Lord, send me out in the world as your child seeking to bring your message to those around me. Amen.