Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~ Romans 8:12-17
Children (and grandchildren!) are beautiful gifts to their parents. Even when they misbehave or embarrass us, we love them more than anything in the world. Children are blessings to parents and to the people around them, no matter what. They are loved and cherished, kept safe, and provided for by parents who love them. In the passage above, we are called Children of God, brought into the family in a spirit of adoption. But what does it mean to be a Child of God? Have you ever really taken the time to think about it? To be a Child of God is to be claimed as special and beloved, chosen by God for a special purpose in the world. This week, as you prepare for worship on Sunday, take some time to reflect on your status as a beloved Child of God and to think about the special purpose that God might be calling you to!