“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name!” (John 1:11, 12)
“…to them He gave the right (privilege) to become children of God”, and what a privilege it was to hear His voice saying, “Come, follow Me!” Think of the alternatives – of not following Jesus. Where would I be today? Where would you be today? Think of the alternatives – of going in the direction of our human nature and not in the way of our Lord. Where would we be today?
As I have mentioned before, I was the last of five children. My parents were saved from a life of deep sin and thorny paths about three years before my birth. I have thought so many times, what if they had not found Jesus when they did – I wonder what would have become of them – of what would have become of me. Those are the alternatives we should consider – what if we had not heard the voice of our Lord saying, “Come, follow Me!” I wonder where I would be today and what I would be doing – where you would be today and what you would be doing. Some things are obvious – other things are not.
It is difficult at best to speculate on what would have been, but it’s not difficult for me to say, “Praise be to the Lord who gives us the victory!” That note of praise is expressed in the present tense. The past is in the past and there is not a lot I can do about it whether it is good, bad or indifferent. Tomorrow is yet to be. I have very little knowledge of what I can expect tomorrow, but today I know that my life is in victory with Jesus. I am in victory with Jesus because He called me to come, follow Him, and I said “YES!” and began to follow the Savior. At that moment in time when I was only five years of age, He made me to be one of His children – I am a child of God.
One further thought, when He called me I had no idea where He would lead me – what paths He had chosen for me, but I followed knowing He would never fail me. Wherever I may have stomped my toe it was only because I had for a moment in time side-step His divine guidance for me. It was me who went astray – my Lord never has failed me. But now, it is like He has been leading me toward the sunset – now He takes me to the highest point in the Rocky Mountains (an example only) and He invites me to turn and look from whence He has brought me. At no point can I see one bit of evidence that He has ever failed me or disappointed me. His life and my life have been so intermeshed together that He has become my dearest Friend, dearer to me than my only brother.
I am a child of God. Nothing more needs to be said, except for me to ask, are you a child of God? Here is your answer – your solution to an unfulfilled life, “(To) …as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (privilege) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name!” (John 1:12)