Power to Become the Children of God

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:10-13, KJ2000)

What a magnificent passage this is! “The world knew Him not. He came to His own and His own received Him not.” He was the very One who created the heavens and the earth, but its inhabitants didn’t know Christ when He came and dwelt among them. Sure, they knew He was from Nazareth and everyone knew that no good thing could come out of that backwater town. But very few who lived in Israel at that time really knew Him. Yet there were those who were given the power to become the children of God. How many who claim His name today really know Him in a love relationship?

Once again we see this Greek word ginosko translated knew and it means not only a mental knowledge of who Jesus was and is, but it means that there is an intimate relationship with the One who is known. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God.” There is a receiving and taking Him into us and not just a mental knowledge of who He is. Formal education of the Bible or theology does all of us a great disservice until we can cut through our mental gymnastics into a heart to heart and Spirit to spirit relationship with Him. The Jewish establishment knew a lot about Jesus and they thought that they knew just how and when the Messiah would come but they did not receive Him. It was the harlots, publicans and tax collectors that received Him into their homes and to them it was given the power to become the children of God. These were the most despised people by the “righteous” ones of Israel, yet it was to these that the power to become the children of God was given.

This week while we were shopping for a car for my wife Dorothy, I met a man by the last name of Singh. It was one of those divine appointments that happen ever so often when you least expect it as we abide in the Spirit of Christ. As I was listening to this man, the Lord spoke to me and said, “He is one of mine.” I asked Singh if he was from India and he affirmed that he came to Canada from India as a young boy and later his family moved to the USA. This man was in charge of making sure that the payment and all the paper work for the cars sold on this lot were done properly. We were in the process of trying to electronically transferring the funds and it was not going easy when the Lord told me to tell Him what He was showing me about this man. Finally I said to him, “God is showing me that you are one of His.” He blinked a couple of times and then said, “Don’t worry about the electronic transferring of the funds, I can see that you are honest people and can be trusted. We will accept your check.” Imagine that a personal check from total strangers from an out of state bank for thousands of dollars!

Jesus spoke of the final judgment.

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matt 25:37-40, ESV2011 – emphasis added)

Mr. Singh received us as God’s children. I had to give him a hug. It was a wonderful moment of the love of God flowing between us even though we were strangers a half hour earlier. After the deal was done, he invited us to stop by and see him again.

This morning I was reading in my daily devotional “Open Windows” this quote from T. Austin-Sparks spoke to me:

All of us reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, we are becoming more like Him with ever-increasing glory by the Lord’s Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ISV)

I believe that if we are living in the radiance of Divine Life, there will be something of it betrayed by our faces. At any rate, the world will know something if we are really living in touch with the Lord, and there will be a language which only the spiritual can enjoy and understand. There will be those spiritual counterparts of the seed of Abraham, a people different from all the rest…

You cannot fit them in with other things, and it is not because they are awkward and difficult and deliberately irritate people, but there is that which by reason of their spiritual constitution marks them off; and if they did but know it, this is the secret of their influence in the world.

The progress and increase of spiritual Life means this, that the gap widens all the time between the children of God and those in the world who are not such. That is not to be taken literally in this sense, that we begin a mistaken system of hiving off, shutting ourselves up, getting out of touch. That is a wrong application of the principle. The Lord Jesus is preeminently our example in that He could move in any circle, and He did so deliberately, publicans and sinners, all classes, He moved among them, but His power over them was in His basic difference from them. Let us be careful how we are caught in this great movement of conforming to this age. To conform is to lose spiritual power.


Photo courtesy of NASA on Unsplash

15 comments on “Power to Become the Children of God

  1. Laurie says:

    I love the story of you and Dorothy meeting Mr. Singh by the Guidance of God! Beautiful to meet others who belong!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Laurie. Yes it is great when the God leads us into such sweet fellowship where His Spirit is working. As Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matt 18:20, ESV2011). When I was younger in the Lord I used to think that the blessing was in coming together as a crowd, but I have grown to see that coming together as two or three of His who walk by the Spirit is where the real blessing is. As you study the gospels you can see that this is where Jesus had His greatest effect. Where the crowds wanted to make Him there king because He fed them, it displeased Him. But He pointed to a lowly woman and others like her who cried and kissed His feet as the ones who really blessed Him. May the Lord continue to lead you into such sweet fellowship with Him and His saints.

      Liked by 2 people

    • wanda says:

      Our simplicity in Christ is wonderful!! So often my mind is on the things of this world that do not matter. Our fellowship in the Spirit is priceless and I hope to look for this fellowship daily.


      Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        I know what you mean, Wanda. It is good to hear from you again. So many things distract us in this world as they press in upon us. Paul wrote,

        So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2Cor 4:16-18, ESV2011)

        Lord, help us to focus daily on those things that are eternal instead of this temporal world and all these things that are wasting away. Amen

        Liked by 1 person

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Oh, I love this!! I have all the Spirit goosebumps! I love when Christ’s spirit helps us, as HIS, to recognize and bless one another!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      I agree, Karla. So often we feel all alone in this strange world of men, but then He provides someone to cross our paths where we can find that sweet fellowship in His Spirit. And when it is His will He knits us together with them in His great love so that we become members one of another in His body. As Jesus promised, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18, ESV2011)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. dimple says:

    How I long to live like this. It has been a while since anything has moved me so…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jim says:

    Its nice to hear from you Michael, I think about you every so often, and appreciate your measure of the gift of Christ, and that you have a heart for God’s saints. It is so good to cross paths with another saint, as you mentioned about the brother at the car dealership, its like a little oasis in the wilderness, I also like you, have realized that we reflect Christ to others,, even when we may not realize it, as 2 Cor. 2:15 says “Because we are a sweet fragrance of Christ to God, in them that are being saved, and in them that are perishing” (thats my version from the greek, its always good to read and explore a little greek)The verse you shared John 1:10-13 is so good, when Jesus came to His own, only the elect remnant of the Jews had eyes to see and ears to hear Him, the rest were in such darkness, and their hearts were hardened. Its such a mercy of the Lord He chose us and gave us eyes to see and ears to hear, and we love Him because He first loved us. Thanks Michael for sharing your experience and portion of Christ with us, the Lord Jesus bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jim. We have been going through many trials and distractions as of late. My wife and I moved to Texas from northern Idaho about two months ago and getting moved and settled in was distraction enough, but then in the process my wife injured her leg and it required minor surgery and it is taking a long time to heal and requires a lot of attention. Then in the middle of a cold snap down in the teens, our furnace quit and we managed to keep the house warm enough to not have frozen pipes, but then a tee off of the main line to the house over to our shop froze and broke so we were without water until I could find the parts (on Christmas eve) and get it fixed so we could have water in the house as well. The furnace is still not working and we have had to haul in firewood for the fire place to keep it going. Thank God for our daughter and her husband who have helped us with that and the weather turned and it is warmer down here now. We are supposed to have a trained furnace tech come out today, now that the holiday weekend is over, but he will have to make two trips at least once he finds out which parts are bad. The first guy looked a it and decided he didn’t have the know how to fix it.

      I am sure that we are not the only ones of God’s dear saints that are going through many trials and hardship… don’t get me started on all the things I am suffering with in my old aging body… but there is a verse that says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Ps 34:19, ESV2011) There is hope, dear brother.

      Thanks for your encouraging comment, Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim says:

        Oh my, you have been having some dealings brother Michael, it reminds me of a hymn using the pruning of a grape vine as a type, a hymn written by Watchman Nee,it has 16 verses, but here is verse 6 ~ In this time of loss and ruin
        Dare the vine self pity show?
        Nay, it gives itself more fully
        To the one who wounds it so,
        To the hand that strips it’s branches,
        Till of beauty destitute,
        That it’s life may not be wasted,
        But preserved for bearing fruit.
        And verse 15, ~
        Not by gain our life is measured,
        But by what we’ve lost ’tis scored;
        “Tis not how much wine is drunken,
        But how much has been outpoured.
        For the strength of love e’er standeth
        In the sacrifice we bear;
        He who has the greatest suff’ring
        Ever has the most to share.~
        May the Lord bless you brother, and your dear wife, that her leg heals up, we love you in Christ Michael, be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus, amen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim says:

        Michael here is that hymn in it’s entirety, in case you or some saints may want to enjoy it.
        Hymn 635
        AUTHOR: Watchman Nee
        COMPOSER: Arranged from Emmelar

        1 Let us contemplate the grape vine,
        From its life now let us learn,
        How its growth is fraught with suff’ring,
        Midst environment so stern;
        How unlike the untamed flowers
        Growing in the wilderness
        In a maze of wild confusion,
        Making patterns numberless.
        2 But the blossoms of the grape vine
        Without glory are and small;
        Though they do have some expression,
        They are hardly seen withal.
        But a day since they have flowered
        Into fruit the blooms have grown;
        Never may they wave corollas
        With luxuriant beauty shown.
        3 To a post the vine is fastened;
        Thus it cannot freely grow;
        When its branches are extended,
        To the trellis tied they go.
        To the stony soil committed,
        Drawing thence its food supply;
        It can never choose its own way,
        Or from difficulty fly.
        4 Oh, how beautiful its verdure,
        Which in spring spreads o’er the field.
        From life’s energy and fulness
        Growth abundant doth it yield.
        Till it’s full of tender branches
        Twining freely everywhere,
        Stretching ‘gainst the sky’s deep azure
        Tasting sweetly of the air.
        5 But the master of the vineyard
        Not in lenience doth abide,
        But with knife and pruning scissors
        Then would strip it of its pride.
        Caring not the vine is tender,
        But with deep, precision stroke
        All the pretty, excess branches
        From the vine are neatly broke.
        6 In this time of loss and ruin,
        Dare the vine self-pity show?
        Nay, it gives itself more fully
        To the one who wounds it so,
        To the hand that strips its branches,
        Till of beauty destitute,
        That its life may not be wasted,
        But preserved for bearing fruit.
        7 Into hard wood slowly hardens
        Every stump of bleeding shoot,
        Each remaining branch becoming
        Clusters of abundant fruit.
        Then, beneath the scorching sunshine,
        Leaves are dried and from it drop;
        Thus the fruit more richly ripens
        Till the harvest of the crop.
        8 Bowed beneath its fruitful burden,
        Loaded branches are brought low-
        Labor of its growth thru suff’ring
        Many a purposed, cutting blow.
        Now its fruit is fully ripened,
        Comforted the vine would be;
        But the harvest soon is coming,
        And its days of comfort flee.
        9 Hands will pick and feet will trample
        All the riches of the vine,
        Till from out the reddened wine-press
        Flows a river full of wine.
        All the day its flow continues,
        Bloody-red, without alloy,
        Gushing freely, richly, sweetly,
        Filling all the earth with joy.
        10 In appearance now the grape vine
        Barren is and pitiful;
        Having given all, it enters
        Into night inscrutable.
        No one offers to repay it
        For the cheering wine that’s drunk,
        But ‘tis stripped and cut e’en further
        To a bare and branchless trunk.
        11 Yet its wine throughout the winter
        Warmth and sweetness ever bears
        Unto those in coldness shiv’ring,
        Pressed with sorrow, pain, and cares.
        Yet without, alone, the grape vine
        Midst the ice and snow doth stand,
        Steadfastly its lot enduring,
        Though ‘tis hard to understand.
        12 Winter o’er, the vine prepareth
        Fruit again itself to bear;
        Budding forth and growing branches,
        Beauteous green again to wear;
        Never murmuring or complaining
        For the winter’s sore abuse,
        Or for all its loss desiring
        Its fresh off’ring to reduce.
        13 Breathing air, untainted, heavenly,
        As it lifts its arms on high,
        Earth’s impure, defiled affections
        Ne’er the vine may occupy.
        Facing sacrifice, yet smiling,
        And while love doth prune once more,
        Strokes it bears as if it never
        Suffered loss and pain before.
        14 From the branches of the grape vine
        Sap and blood and wine doth flow.
        Does the vine, for all it suffered,
        Lost, and yielded, poorer grow?
        Drunkards of the earth and wanderers,
        From it drink and merry make.
        From their pleasure and enjoyment
        Do they richer thereby wake?
        15 Not by gain our life is measured,
        But by what we’ve lost ‘tis scored;
        ’Tis not how much wine is drunken,
        But how much has been outpoured.
        For the strength of love e’er standeth
        In the sacrifice we bear;
        He who has the greatest suff’ring
        Ever has the most to share.
        16 He who treats himself severely
        Is the best for God to gain;
        He who hurts himself most dearly
        Most can comfort those in pain.
        He who suffering never beareth
        Is but empty “sounding brass”;
        He who self-life never spareth
        Has the joys which all surpass.


      • Michael says:

        Thanks, Jim, for sharing this poem by Nee in its entirety. If anyone knew this process of the Master and His vineyard, it was brother Nee. He became famous for His writings, lectures and deep insights in Christian circles, but he also suffered much at the hands of his fellow Christians and their leaders. Finally, he suffered at the hands of the Chinese Communists in prison where he died for his faith in Christ and chose to stay with his “Little Flock” rather than have his freedom purchased by rich Christians in the West. There is a book about his life that is well worth the read called, “Against the Tide; Story of Watchman Nee.” My favorite book by him is “The Normal Christian Life.” I wish all Christian could read it and understand the way of the cross that comes upon them. Some of his writings are a hard read, though. As with everything written by man, one must seek the witness of the Holy Spirit and not be taken at face value.

        15 Not by gain our life is measured,
        But by what we’ve lost ‘tis scored;
        ’Tis not how much wine is drunken,
        But how much has been outpoured.
        For the strength of love e’er standeth
        In the sacrifice we bear;
        He who has the greatest suff’ring
        Ever has the most to share.

        Love IN Christ,

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim says:

        Amen brother, what you said is so very true,thank you for what you do with sharing your measure of the gift of Christ to encourage and edify the members of His body, ~ From whom all the body, fitted together, and connected by every joint of supply, according to the working in measure of each one part, works for itself the increase of the body to it’s self-building up in love. Ephesians 4:16 ~ New Translation~ The Lord bless you brother, 1Peter 5:7, Casting all your anxiety upon Him; because it matters to Him concerning you.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s