Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
When I was a boy I looked up to my father and respected him. I never understood all that he did for me during those years, but now I know that he provided for me, he loved me, he taught me right from wrong and he made sacrifices for me. He did these things because he was my father. I wanted to be like him, but I didn’t see much resemblance.
My wife will tell you that I act like him sometimes. My wife loved my father and she could see him in me in ways that I couldn’t s It seems there was more of a resemblance than I was aware of. As I grew older I began to see that I began to look more like my father, but by then I was more concerned with resembling my Father in Heaven.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
I had received Christ and had become a son of God. The Greek word “teknon” is translated “sons” but in other verses is translated “children.” (This includes women, too.)
Many Christians have forgotten who they are in Christ. When we accept Christ we accept the spiritual rebirth promised to us.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).
Being a son of God is a concept which you need to ponder in order for it to really sink in. Do you believe in Jesus? Have you received Him as your Savior? If so, He has given you the right…the power…to be God’s son. That is a privilege which should not be taken lightly. You have rights and privileges because of that birthright, but you also have great responsibility. If you are a son you need to honor your Father.
Many Christians have little or no intestinal fortitude when it comes to honoring God our Father. A spiritual battle rages all around us, but we forget who we are in Christ. Too often a Christian will join forces with the enemy instead of fighting for God in the unseen, but much felt, battle that rages all around us.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (1 John 3:10).
Remember, our battle is against the evil powers of Satan and his minions.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Our power and strength to fight these battles comes from God our Father. As we mature and grow to resemble Him we are better able to fight against the enemy. Christians in every walk of life are entrenched in this battle. Our flesh battles against our spirit, but how long are we going to allow the flesh to win these battles? Ultimately God will win this war, but must hold up our end in each battle of the war. We need to fight together with our Father against the evils of our time.
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” (Malachi 1:6).
Indeed, where is His honor and where is the fear of the Lord? He is our Father and we are His sons, but how can we say we honor or fear God when we won’t even stand up for Him in a crowd? How can we honor Him if we resemble the worldly representatives of evil rather than resembling God our Father? Do we despise His name? Each time we allow the evil in this world to make us cower, we disrespect Him.
Do you pray in public, or are you afraid that you might offend someone? Do you dress in ways that resemble the world, or do you honor your Father by your modesty? Do you gossip and tell dirty jokes, or do you remember that your words also honor God? Think about your actions and words; ask yourself if they honor God. Before we accepted Christ we were a part of the fallen world, but now we need to honor God our Father with our obedience to Him.
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14).
If we love God, and I’m sure all believers do, shouldn’t we stand up for Him and not be ashamed?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
God should be pleased to call us His children, but if we are ashamed of Him and won’t defend Him can we truly be His children? We are to honor God with our lives, because He purchased us with His blood. There should be nothing more important in this life than showing ourselves approved by the only One that counts. The world sees God through us, His children. If we deny Him with our lives then who will show the lost of this world who God truly is? God is love, but if we deny Him we deny His love.
The Apostles weren’t ashamed of God the Father, nor of Jesus Christ. They understood that they were joint-heirs with Christ and that they were not to deny God.
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17).
Because of the obedience and boldness of these men we are given many examples of how we should act. One example is found in Acts chapter 4. Peter and John were arrested because they were publically preaching about Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit they had just convinced about five thousand people of the truth about Christ. Satan was angry; he had just lost a battle and wanted to prevent more losses. Satan inspired weak-minded men to bring charges against Peter and John, two who knew of the power of being a son of God.
They were brought before Jewish officials who commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This sounds a lot like what is happening in our world today. We are being told to not speak of Christ in public…basically to deny Him. Read carefully the response that Peter and John gave to these deceived men.
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).
Do we fear man over God? If we are sons of God as the Scriptures tell us, how can we ever turn our backs on God’s truth, and ultimately on God Himself?
Followers of Jesus Christ can’t live and work in this world without knowing just how perverse a society we live in. God’s Word tells us that we are to live in the world but not be of the world. In other words, we are to grow to resemble God our Father instead of growing to resemble the world led by Satan.
We are sojourners just passing through on our way to the heavenly mansion which God has prepared for each of His children. This world needs to see Christians standing firm on God’s promises. They need to see us conforming to His Word instead of conforming His word to our sinful ways.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
We need to reflect God’s one and only Son in our daily walk and shine as a guiding light.
Where is God’s honor and where is the respect for the Lord that should shine through His children? Standing firm is hardly spoken of among the throng of apathetic Christians in today’s society. Do we trust God our Father to accomplish His will through us, or do we place our trust in men? As sons of God we need to respect Him and honor Him with our lives. God is an awesome Father and we were chosen by Him to be His sons and daughters. We must stop being children of the flesh.
“That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Romans 9:8).
We cannot live our life based upon our fleshly desires and be God’s children. We are not saved based on the way we act, but our actions should be evidence of our salvation. How can we claim to be a son of God if we don’t resemble Him? God sees us as He sees His Son Jesus; that fact alone should humble us and continually convict us. As sons of God we should always ask ourselves, “What have I done with God’s love?” Have we taken it for granted as if we deserve it? God chooses to love us and that should humble us.
One of His commands is to honor your father and mother. Our earthly parents are only human and sometimes fail, but the command is still there. As born-again believers in Christ, God is our Father and He will never fail. Do you honor Him? We make decisions every day that affect the way the world looks at us. We are to honor our Father with our lives right now and forever. We belong to Jesus Christ and no matter what comes our way, no matter what kind of adversity is thrown in our faces we must stand firm.
The end of all things is coming soon. As we read the news headlines we know the Rapture is close, and sometime after that Daniel’s 70th week will begin. Today more than ever it is important to live our lives openly as sons of God. God has enough love for everyone and is willing to adopt everyone.
We need to resemble Him in order that more will come to Him before it’s too late. Everyone faces death and we never know when we will take our final breath. Before death or before the Rapture, you or someone you know needs to know Christ, and through Him become a son of God.
“Son of God.” That is a title that cannot be earned, but is only given to those who accept Christ. It is our choice to accept being a son of God, but it is His choice to love us even when we don’t act like sons.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Let’s make it our goal to be the best sons we can. I am my Father’s son, how about you?
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham