Acting Like God’s Children

Acting Like God’s Children
Matthew 5:43-48

Kids make their parents happy and proud when they do things according to the standard of their parents; when they do well at school or perform well in the play or at the field. A father was devastated when he was told by his younger son that his brother had said the s word.  Later, the father was relief to find out the s-word his son used was “stupid.”
Our faith or belief in Jesus makes us children of God.  John 1:12; Gal.3:26; 1 john 3:1-2 Therefore, if God is our Father, then he expects his children to act in ways that resemble his character, his nature, his standard.  There are kids that look and behave like their parents and people would say, wow, he or she is like their father.
Have you ever thought about this when it comes to our heavenly Father? When and how do you resemble God?
In the sermon on the mountain Jesus teaches us how to live or behave in ways that resemble our heavenly Father.  Matthew 5-7 Jesus highlights how God’s children are to act.
Matt.5:1-10 the beatitudes, the standard for a kingdom person. Children of God are known for being peace maker. Matt.5:9
     – Letting your light shine honors your Father in heaven Matt.5:16
     – You get no reward from your heavenly Father when you do things to be noticed by people. Matt.6:1
     – The Father sees what is done in secret and will reward you. Matt.6:4, 6,18 (given to the needy, praying and fasting).

     – When you pray to God address him as your Father. Matt.6:9
     – He won’t forgive you if you don’t forgive others. Matt.6:14-15
     – When you worry about your life, you’re not trusting you heavenly Father. Matt.6:25-34
     – He considers you more valuable than birds (6:26)
     – He knows your needs (6:32)

He gives good gifts to his children Matt.7:11
Only those who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt.7:21

I skipped our text intentionally for I want to spend more time here, so we can see how Jesus teaches us that by acting in this way we show that we are God’s children; all throughout his teaching on the mountain, Jesus let us know what is expected of us as sons and daughters of God.  Matt.5:43-48
God’s children love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. (v.44)
Notice how Jesus emphasizes God’s standard.  “You have heard that it was said, love your neighbor but hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. So that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
By loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you or may not like you, you are showing God’s character.
Some Christians are having trouble loving your brothers and sisters, imagine how hard it would be for them to love their enemies. Praying for those who oppose youLuke added doing good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27

When we do these things are act like true children of God. (so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven).  These actions depict God; his nature and character.
God causes the sun to rise on good people and evil people.  He sends the rain on both the righteous and the wicked. (v.45)

If you love only those who love you what reward will you get? Even tax collectors and sinners love those who love them.
If you only greet those who greet you what are you doing more than others? Even pagans do that.  Jesus is letting us know that God’s standard for his children is higher than the world’s.
If we are not going to abide by his standard, then we should not call ourselves Christians or God’s children for we are denying his very nature, and character.  There is not resemblance between us and him.  We don’t look or behave like our Father.
(v.48) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
How could you be perfect according to God’s standard? By doing what he calls us to do.  So that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
You are perfect in God’s eye when you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  When you are nice to those who are nasty to you; when you do good to those who do evil.  It is when we walk in his ways that God is honor and be happy with us as his children.  “That’s my boy! That is my girl.”

 When Jesus walked the earth, he set out to do the will of his Father in heaven.  Jesus made the Father known to the world and to see him was to see the Father.  He loved and served his enemies and forgave those who mocked him and eventually killed him. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  He made God the Father known to the world.  How are you making God known today?
Does your life declare who he is?
One of the greatest joy for God is that our lives reflect who he is; that we live according to his standard.  God’s children can’t live whichever way they choose; they must live according to their Father’s standard.
Will God say about you “this is my beloved son, daughter, in him/her I am well pleased.”?


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