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I John # 4 - The Family Resemblance

I John # 4 - The Family Resemblance

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Published by Ron Lair
Do you have the right DNA? If you've been born into God's family, you do!
Do you have the right DNA? If you've been born into God's family, you do!

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Published by: Ron Lair on Nov 01, 2010
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11/01/2010

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The Family Resemblance
I John 2:28 - 3:10
See what sort of love the Father has given to us:that we should be called God's children — and indeed we are! 
(I John 3:1)I ran across some interesting material the other day with the answers to science test questions as rendered by5th and 6th graders. For example, one described the law of gravity as saying, "no fair jumping up withoutcoming back down." One defined a monsoon as a French gentlemen.A couple more. One youngster said, "When planets run around and around in circles, we say they are orbiting.When people do it, we say they are crazy." One defined the spinal column as "a long bunch of bones. Thehead sits on the top, and you sit on the bottom."None of those have anything to do with the lesson, but this one jumped out at me because it surely does. Oneyoungster wrote, "Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if you don't, why you should." In thecontext of our lesson, this one really hits home: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should becalled children of God; and that is what we are..." Is there any family resemblance? There SHOULD be.When you talk about how important your faith is in your life, the world doesn’t get it. They want tocompartmentalize. Faith is what you practice for an hour on Sunday and it may pop up here and there duringthe week. It’s more of a hobby or an area of interest than the overarching influence of your life. But we view our faith not just an important element among all the pieces that make up our lives. It’s the one thing that defineswho we are.You can’t choose your family. You’re stuck with them. But, it’s your family that does the most to shape you intothe person that you are. It’s all about genetics. I have my Grandma’s nose and lips, My Grandpa’s build, andmuch of my personality comes from my Dad. Ok… and I can be a little scatterbrained… that was my Mom’slegacy to me. those traits (among others) are what I have to offer as proof of the family that I belong to.John wants us to understand our spiritual genetics. If you’re part of God’s family, there will be a familyresemblance. You’ll be a chip off the old block. There will be family traits that will be evidence that you’re in thefamily.
I. Abiding - the Secret to Confidence (2:28-29)
 This idea of Abiding is such a beautiful concept to me. It really describes the Christian life more than anything.Jesus used the picture of a vine to teach the idea of abiding. He said that the branches get their life from thevine. They don’t have to do anything, but stay attached. Abiding is resting.John says that the day is coming when the Lord will appear. He’ll be standing before us. It will be impossible toavoid him. That thought sends a shiver down the spine of many Christians. It used to scare me. There was atime when I wasn’t abiding in any stretch of the word. The last thing I wanted was for Jesus to come back. But,I’m more confident now. I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll see my Lord face to face. Not that I’m a greatChristian. I have my faults, for sure… But, I am abiding. I’m continuing in the faith.
 
 
It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re living in a close relationship to him. It’s not just about dreading his return,but that confidence plays out in the way you live. You don’t have to go through life looking over your shoulder,so to speak.Verses 28 and 29 are sort of a bridge between the topic of false teachers and today’s topic of being children of God. One of the big things John told us about the false teachers is that they went out from them, they showedtheir true colors by leaving the fellowship… they didn’t abide. The opposite is true: when we continue walkingin the faith, we’re giving evidence that we do belong. When we abide in Him, we take on His characteristics;we carry the family resemblance- righteousness. However you want to define the concept of abiding, part of your definition must be a desire to do right, to live rightly.
II. All In The Family - Our Genetic Makeup (3:1-3)
 A. Lavished Love
Remember how we said that John is so overwhelmed with the love of God? Here, he is just absolutelybubbling over with the thought of how much God loves us. He says that we’ve been lavished; not just thatwe‘re recipients of God‘s love, but it’s lavished upon us, we’re smothered in love!
Lavish: expended, bestowed, or occurring in profusion: lavish spending. to expend or give in great amountsor without limit: to lavish gifts on a person.
I’m not sure we really appreciate that. God loves us so much that He is willing (even anxious) to make us apart of His family. It’s a big deal to be a child of God.Imagine: Bill Gates meets a little boy. The boy has no one. He’s been sleeping in the alley and eating out of dumpsters. Bill felt compassion for him. He knew that the boy’s future was pretty bleak… and he knew that hecould help. He could make sure the boy had food to eat. He could fund the boy’s entire future, make sure thathe would always have a great life. Bill Gates has the resources. He could write a check for a few thousanddollars without putting a dent in his bank account…and that would be enough… that would be wonderful! But,what if Mr. Gates decided he wanted to do more? What if he decided to adopt the boy and make him amember of the family and an heir to all that he has…billions of dollars? That’s more than charity, that’s morethan compassion… that’s Lavish Love!That’s the kind of love the Father has lavished on us. He didn’t JUST forgive our sins, He didn’t JUST save us,He didn’t JUST give us a bright future. He made us part of His family. We are NOW children of God. This isn’ttalking about the future in Eternity.
B. It’s OK to be Misunderstood
It’s a fact of life: if you’re trying to live a Christian life, you WILL be misunderstood. I hate that! It sucks to thinkI’m bound to be painted as someone that I’m not: arrogant, bigoted, “holier than thou.” But it will (and does)happen. Why would I expect anything different? They didn’t understand Jesus. Is there anyone in the worldthat was ever more misunderstood than Him?Yes, we are now children of God. But, we don’t look any different to the world. They don’t necessarily see thefamily resemblance. But that’s ok. They misunderstand the Lord, too.

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