Imagine you were royalty…and didn’t know it. Here’s the scene: you were kidnapped as a baby. Then, after years and years, your family finds you! But even after they do, you’re not sure how to live like royalty. You’re offered a place to live in the palace, but you’re afraid of the change, so you opt to keep on living in an old shack. Your parents, the king and queen, even bring you beautiful new clothes, but you decide not to wear them and choose to keep wearing your dirty, raggedy clothing. Wouldn’t this be strange?
Yet, as Christians, we sometimes live out a story like this. When we enter a relationship with Jesus, we become royalty. We are adopted into God’s family as His beloved children. Our Father is a King—and not just any king, but the King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
But sometimes, we forget that we’ve joined Jesus’s glorious kingdom of light and justice. We’re tempted to go back to our old, sinful ways of living—to move away from the love God has for us and believe old lies, even if we now know those lies aren’t true. Sometimes, we fall into believing we are worthless, insignificant, unlovable, or just plain bad. We’re tempted to run away from the rest God freely gives us and the royalty Jesus bestows on us, instead choosing things that reflect the world’s sin-broken system: things like greed, power-grabbing, hatred…the list goes on. Simply put, sometimes we forget to embrace the new life Jesus has given us. We act as if we don’t know we’re children of the King.
But, when we run to those old lies and dress ourselves in them like dirty rags, let us remember our true identity: we are children of God, His beloved heirs. We can know that we are infinitely valuable to God because Jesus died and rose again to save us and bring us near to Him. Whenever we stray from the goodness He has for us, Jesus pursues us and guides us home (Luke 15:1-7). What He says about us is true, and His Holy Spirit empowers us to receive these truths and live more and more like Jesus—reflecting our beloved and royal identity as children of God. • A. W. Smith
• In what areas of your life do you struggle to embrace your new life in Jesus? Consider taking a moment to talk to Him about this. (Romans 13:12-14; Colossians 3:1-17)
• Read Luke 15:20-24. We all struggle with sin and stray from God’s good ways. When we confess and turn away from our wrongdoing and come to God, how does God receive us?
Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And…his heir. Galatians 4:7 (NLT)