Children of God :: By John Lysaught

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1).

The world: I live in it, you live in it and until death or the Rapture─we are stuck in it. The bombardment of “the world” every day and everywhere is overwhelming. But I’m not here to knock on “the world,” because we as believers know all about “the world.” Even though we may live in it we are not active participants of “the world.” To those who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “the world,” I will make it plain. If it is not for Christ, to further Christ’s kingdom for the glory of God and salvation for you or others, then it is “worldly.” I’m going to stop using quotation marks now. I think you get the point.

To my brothers and sisters living in the world, let me first say thank you for reading this and know that I love you. Remember, true believing followers of Christ love you and want nothing but the best for you, which is to be saved by the grace of Christ. I am one of them.

1 John 3:1 says: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

This is the kind of love He has given to those that love and believe in Jesus and sets us apart from those that don’t know Jesus, hence the world. If you don’t know Jesus, then this will make no sense to you.

I didn’t know Jesus for a long time. I was raised in a mostly Christian home and went to church on some Sundays, and of course on Christmas and Easter. I was a nominal Christian. Then I became a follower of Jesus a couple of years ago. Before then I thought I was on a glide path of success and happiness. I was (and still am) a good person and figured out my own plan of salvation between me, and the god of the universe. That is, until I met Jesus.

Okay, I’m not going to say that I wouldn’t been as successful as I am or have most of my health or my family, if I didn’t know Jesus. The world is full of greater material and surface-looking-success stories than my own. The success I’m talking about has eternal consequences for your soul. I didn’t know about this until I met, Jesus.

I’ve known about Jesus since I was a child and through my formative years and into adulthood. I knew He was a guy that supposedly died for all people and came back to life and then went to heaven. The kicker was that if I wanted to go to heaven then I had to believe in Him. When I did go to church I would drink juice as a representation of his blood and stale pieces of bread that tasted like cardboard, signifying His flesh. Whatever, right? I figured that since I did go to church, did the communion thing, and was a good guy, I was a child of God. I was wrong… I didn’t know Jesus. We hadn’t met yet.

I met Jesus a couple of years ago. Actually, He was there the entire time I just never opened my eyes to Him. When I did, I was set apart from the world. Looking back to before I truly accepted Christ, I can see that my transformation has been amazing. For me, it wasn’t an immediate transformation, but more like a slowly moving river, etching changes into the landscape of my heart and mind steadily but surely. The more my heart is etched and changed, the more I realize the world I had been living in was leading to death.

When I left the world and moved into Christ, I looked at the world completely differently than I did before I was saved and accepted Christ. Looking back, with retrospective 20/20 vision, I can see the errors of the world and the errors of my ways. The details aren’t important but the holistic view is, to me. The world was leading me to eternal death. My focus was not heavenly, but earthly. I focused on my career, money, pleasures, always looking to fill that void. If you’re not saved, I think you can relate to the void. The void is the something that is missing in your life. You may think it is money, sex, thrill seeking… or some other emptiness that you try to fill with earthly endeavors. I can tell you, Christ is not the void, but the void is filled with Christ.

If you don’t believe in Christ, you can’t understand. Before I knew Christ I tried other spiritual things to try to fill the emptiness I had within, but I was never fulfilled. I had convinced myself that I was fulfilled, but true introspection revealed I was really just fooling myself. Christ is the water that fills the cup full. Not half, not a third, but fully.

Once I accepted Christ, truly accepted Christ, when I stopped playing church and stopped going through the motions — thinking the motions were good enough (they weren’t, I was still empty), I found true happiness and joy.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, you know what I mean. To my brothers and sisters who don’t know Christ, I urge you to seek Him out. You will be fulfilled. Don’t go through the motions; don’t go to church just to go to church. Investigate Christ in your heart and pray. Pray for revelation and fulfillment. Find friends who are truly filled with Christ, not the ones who are Christians only on Sundays. Find someone who can help answer your questions and guide you in this journey. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. More important, read the Bible─the New Testament─to learn about Jesus and his works and wonders. Read books on Jesus that will help you understand better what the Bible is about, and just who Jesus is.

I urge you to get out of the world and get into Jesus. Be a follower of Jesus, and be set apart from the world. Your eternity depends on this simple choice. Once you truly accept Jesus, you will be transformed into a new person. Maybe not overnight, but maybe so. Pray daily, study daily, and after awhile, when you look back at your previous pre-Jesus life, you will be amazed at how much you have changed and will be eager for the future eternity with Christ. You’ll understand the reason why the world does not know us and we are not part of the world, but are called “children of God.”

God Bless,

John Lysaught