I am God’s child

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God; and we are!
1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

I will never forget what it was like holding my children as newborn babies. They were so small and seemingly insignificant in the big scheme of things, but they instantly came to mean the world to me. I never got tired of staring at them, from their cute button noses, down to the incredible perfection of their fingernails. The love that I felt for them is one of the purest emotions I have ever experienced, and with each child, I found myself filled with a resolve to care for them with everything I had within me. The primal need to protect and provide for them was almost frightening in its intensity.

Now, it doesn’t take long for the reality of life with small children to come crashing in and cause some of the rose-tinted post-natal feelings to dim temporarily. Changing the endless supply of poopy nappies, routinely cleaning the weird milky sick that only babies produce, and mopping up the copious quantities of all other kinds of bodily fluids can be pretty relentless. Not to mention the sleepless nights. Did you know that sleep deprivation is a legit torture technique? True story!

Yet, even in the midst of the trials and tribulations that make up parenting a young baby, there were still moments where I would be privileged to carry one of my children in my arms as they slept. Where there was once a snivelling toddler moaning about being given the wrong colour plate, suddenly as if by magic, they would transform into my baby again! The glow of parental first love is revived, the stinkiness and hassle are all forgotten, and I’m back to being ready to lay down my life if they required it. This happened once at a friend’s wedding, and while my daughter slept I found myself singing gently over her:

I love you little one!
You are beautiful, so beautiful.
My beautiful girl, I love you!

As I finished singing, I sensed the small, insistent voice that I’ve come to recognise as the nudging of the Holy Spirit stir within me. To my great shock, He was singing my impromptu song back over me:

I love you, my son!
You are beautiful, so beautiful.
My beautiful boy, I love you!

For the briefest of moments, sensing the Father’s love, I allowed myself to feel what I have always wanted my own children to sense from me – just how deeply, truly, and passionately they are loved by their Dad. The tenderness of that moment took me by surprise as I realised afresh that I am loved with a great love, straight from the heart of the Father, expressed supremely in Jesus laying down His life for me and all the other prodigal sons who were far from home.

Unlike my own inconstant heart, our heavenly Dad doesn’t have moments where the hassles of looking after us get too much for Him, causing His affections to dim. Those who trust in Jesus are reborn and are privileged to be called the children of God. He views us with the devoted gaze of a father staring in wonder at their newborn child, always ready to care for us and provide what we need.

Living under the loving care of our heavenly Dad changes everything. We can live free from fear, safe in the knowledge that our Dad is the Lord Almighty and more than able to handle whatever difficulties we’re facing. Knowing that He loves us and that we have His attention, we can tell Him about what is worrying us, what is exciting us, what we would like to see happen and find peace in sharing our hearts with Him (Phil 4:6-7). As our good Father, we can trust Him to empower us and give us what we need to overcome in any circumstance, thriving and bearing good fruit no matter what comes our way (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13).

Perhaps the deepest thing of all is that we can live knowing that we are actually wanted, triply-desired by our Father; the first time when He made us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14), the second time when Jesus died for us even while we were still messed up and filthy with our sin (Romans 5:8), and the third time when we were given the right to be called His children (John 1:12-13, 1 John 3:1). We can live with a sense of significance, knowing that we are loved by the most important Person in the universe, who loves us so much that He literally moved heaven and earth to make us part of His family.

Before you do anything else today, rest in His lavish love.

New blog, new name

RIP Truth on the Way

While this site is currently shiny, clean, and new, it is by no means the first time I have attempted blogging. For the last 8 years or so, I have sporadically written blog posts at a site called Truth on the Way. Sadly, I was affected by the recent administrative snafu by my hosts 123-Reg and that site was killed in one fell swoop. As a professional geek, I know that this situation was entirely avoidable and it would be an understatement to say that I was appalled at what happened. But it has also given me a chance to make a bit of a fresh start and who doesn’t like a clean sheet of paper? You could say it’s Romans 8:28 in action!

A clean start

Having found myself with no easily-restorable backup, I had decided to set up a fresh site under the old name and restore older articles bit by bit alongside writing new posts. Once I had selected a new host, I saw that I had the opportunity to register a new domain name for free and change the site name. As it happens, I had been growing increasingly uncomfortable with the name of the old site – I chose it as a 24-year-old, and spent all of 2 minutes thinking what it should be. It seemed like a good fit back then, but as I’ve grown and (hopefully) matured, it no longer seemed to say everything I wanted it to.

What’s wrong with Truth on the Way?

In many ways, nothing at all. On the one hand, it nicely summarises that all who name Jesus as Lord are on a journey of discovery with Him. However, I decided to move away from the name because it no longer reflects how I see the Christian life working. To 24-year-old Jon, the Christian faith was essentially about knowing what is true from what is false and then living it out. It’s not an uncommon approach to life. After all, didn’t Jesus say “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”?

As I’ve grown, I’ve increasingly found it an inadequate way to live. It’s not enough to get your doctrine all sorted and lined up. It’s not enough to attempt to put good Christian principles to work in your life. It’s not enough to ponder theology and wonder about what makes God tick. While none of these are unimportant, they can easily become dead-ends that trap us from the true source of life. The same Jesus who spoke in John 8:32 also said:

You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.
John 5:39-40 (HCSB)

From Glory to Glory

Starting the hunt for a new name, I threw some name ideas down on a piece of paper. I very quickly found myself drawn to names that were inspired by a verse in 2 Corinthians:

We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (HCSB)

After searching for possible domain names, I decided that the name for my blog would be From Glory to Glory. I’ll be posting a bit to share what it was about this verse that drew me, and precisely why I settled on this name. For now, suffice it to say that this best represents how I believe the Christian life is supposed to be – a life lived in Jesus, devoted to Him, beholding His glory, and finding ourselves changed by His Spirit into His likeness day-by-day as we do so.

So welcome to my new blog. I hope you find it interesting. I hope you find it inspiring. I hope you find it useful. But above all, I hope you meet with Jesus and get to know Him a bit better through the things I write and share.