I learned an interesting thing today (surprise! Its from the New Testament.) When His disciples ask who is to be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven, Christ invites a child over and says to his disciples, in so many words, you must be like this child or you will never see the kingdom of God.
I had always thought along the lines of ‘I need to be like a child, but they really aren’t very disciplined.’ This, I thought, couldn’t be what Christ meant. And it turns out he doesn’t. Children are, because of their youth and inexperience, willing to (and sometimes insistently) rely on their parents for help, assistance, advice, and more. This reliance, and subsequently humility are the qualities we need to garner within ourselves. This will make us ‘like children.’
But this concept was taken one step further. We are not just to become like any children. We are to become the children of God, sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Now, wait, you say: the scriptures already tell us we are children of God (see Romans 8:16-17). True. They do. But this isn’t the easy ‘Oh yeah, I’m a child of God’ relationship. That isn’t the doctrine Christ teaches.
Christ teaches we must do and not just hear. We are to become disciples, followers who will do all He asks them to. And the blessing that come is we will receive the inheritance Christ did. But to receive the same inheritance, we must follow his example and do all in our power, relying as we do on His infinite grace which will help us rise above ourselves.
The idea of inheritance is obvious: the gifts are God’s to give and it is God who sets the terms we must meet in order to receive them. Like with earthly inheritors, there are some gifts we receive solely because of who we are. But also like earthly givers, God is (1) much more likely (infinitely so) to give to those who keep His commandments (not just the Ten) and (2) not going to give His children what they don’t deserve or never worked to obtain.
So our goal is to work to be able to be blessed as Christ was, therefore becoming the children of the Father, the same children who will submit their will to His and do all he asks of them.
So my eyes were opened and I realised I lacked quite a bit as I strive to be like Christ. but I know as I do, I will truly become the child of Father, so my relationship with Him will be as Christ’s and I can say to my Heavenly Father, as young Jewish sons say to their earthly fathers with respect and affection, Abba, Father.