Devotional Thought 40: Far From the Tree

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. (Ephesians 5:1)

When someone points out the beauty of the Temple, where Jesus had been teaching, He took that as an opportunity to prepare His disciples for the soon coming destruction of the Temple and His far-flung return as King of kings. He tells them not to be deceived, not to be scared of the signs preceding His return, not to premeditate their witness before authorities, and to watch prayerfully and alertly for His coming. The signs He describes are to be indicators of His return, like trees are indicators of the seasons. In all times and seasons, however, they should be spiritually awake and ready, being about their Father’s business.

We tend to look like our parents. No matter how hard we try to fight it, the genes win, and we end up mirror images of the ones who brought us into the world. Jesus applied this truth to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we place our faith in Him as the Son of God, we are adopted into the very family of God; His Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and causes us to be born again, crying out to Him personally as Abba (Galatians 4:5-7)! If we’re truly sons and daughters of God, Jesus says, we’ll start to resemble Him!

But, what does it mean to look like our Father God? When we love our enemies, doing good to those who do evil to us, we look like our Father, who is kind and loving to the unjust and just alike (Matthew 5:43-48). When we live out the same love for others that Jesus had for us on the cross, we look like our Father (Ephesians 5:2). When we have the same humility and grace that God had when He answered the pleas of Moses (Exodus 33:12-23) or that Christ had when He took on flesh and blood (Philippians 2:1-13), we look like our Father! Long story short: as God is, so His children are! Peter says that since God is holy, we are called to be holy too, meaning that we should be set apart from the world to look like Him (1 Peter 1:14-16).

This is what we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, should be striving for until He returns: to do the will of the Father by living out His love and humility in the power of the Holy Spirit! As the signs of Jesus’ second coming manifest themselves all round us day after day, we must be ready; we need to be about our Father’s business, becoming mini snapshots of His character and essence everyday. We shouldn’t be afraid, we shouldn’t get caught up in the world’s shenanigans, we shouldn’t worry about persecution or witness, we should be focused on spending time with our Abba Father and radiating His glory to the world around us. In the Kingdom of God, the apples don’t fall very far from the Tree. And, as Paul was called to be an apostle for the sake of bringing God’s beloved to faith and knowledge of the Gospel, the Lord calls some to lead, teach, and edify His children so they would resemble Him, and those who don’t know Him would meet Him for the first time. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

  • The goal of the Church is to do the will of the Father by living out His humble and gracious love for others; to be as He is in all things. We are called to resemble our Father closely, as Jesus did. As He is, so His beloved children are! This is what it means to be “godly”.

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

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