Religion

Faith Matters: First and foremost, know that you are perfectly loved by God

“When you see God first and foremost as your perfect loving Father, you will see yourself perfectly loved.”

It would be fair to say that most believers in Jesus, when asked what religion they follow or describe the faith they identify with, would respond Christian, and rightfully so.

But I want to challenge you today to cultivate your identity first as a son, a daughter, a Child of God. In turn see Him as your perfect loving Father. I am convinced that this powerful truth will change your life, the life of His glorious church and the people around you that have yet to say yes to Him.

The term Christian is found in the New Testament only three times, while the term son and sons is found 479 times. In the Old Testament, the term people of Israel is found 10 times, while children of Israel appears 621 times.

Please note, these numbers were pulled from the New King James Version.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to begin with these two words: “Our Father.”

He did not say our provider, our healer or our deliverer, though all that and more is true, in regard to what He will do for us.

What He wants most of all is a relationship, intimate time with His children. He loves you and wants you to include Him in your everyday life by being aware of His presence throughout your day.

Don Sturiano.jpg
Don Sturiano is the senior leader at Kingdom Life Christian Church in Bradenton.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew meaning of the word children from the phrase “children of Israel” means first and star. You are God’s first priority and you are His star. With the millions of prayers rising up to heaven 24/7. Your perfect Heavenly Father is able to hear each one, your prayer, as if it was the only one being spoken on the planet.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. — Psalm 139:1-6 The Passion Translation

But those who embraced him and took hold of his name were given authority to become the children of God! — John 1:12 The Passion Translation

Cultivating your sonship is paramount for you to live a life of victory. Heaven is your inheritance, Jesus died to give you that inheritance and you get to enjoy it now.

Ephesians 1:17–18 (TPT) I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him. I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling —that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones.

“Without the revelation of Sonship, you will live in the false reality of a spiritual orphan.”

The foundation of an orphan is doing, the foundation of a son, is being. The foundation of an orphan is lack, the foundation of a son, is love, and love is endless abundance, because God is love.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV) For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Walking in sonship is walking in love, walking in love is walking in assurance, walking in assurance is walking in abundance, and walking in abundance is walking in peace and joy.

Romans 14:17 (NKJV) for the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

When you are comfortable with love you will be comfortable with The Father. When Jesus said: “When you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” what this means is, when you have seen Jesus, you have seen love, for God is love.

Orphan spirit = I do, so I can have ...

Sonship = I am, so I already have it all ...

The Prodigal “Son” was a son who had forgotten he was a son.

Luke 15:17–22 (TPT) “Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing, and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.’ So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.

“Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be —’ The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’ Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son.’ ’’

I no longer pray, asking God to make me a better husband, father to my children, a better pastor and so on. I pray: “Father, help me to further discover and be a better son to you.”

When I become a better son to Him, I become more like Him, thus becoming stronger at everything else.

Don Sturiano is the Senior Leader of Kingdom Life Christian Church, located at 3700 26th St W. in Bradenton. They meet every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Visit kingdomlifechristianchurch.org to learn more. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Bradenton Herald written by local clergy members.

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