God's Rights

“Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”  (Matthew 20:15).

The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for individual liberties. But we seldom hear about God’s rights. This week, we’ve been exploring God’s role as Lord, and how that relates to us as His children. Yes, God has rights and we, His servants, have obligations.

We should rejoice over God’s rights, because they benefit us in so many ways. For example, He has the right to forgive us:

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—he then said to the paralytic—‘Rise, pick up your bed and go home’ ” (Matthew 9:6).

God reserves the right to raise someone from the dead:

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18.

One day God will raise us up, too. We should be glad He exercises His rights. God also has the right to confer eternal life:

“Since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him” (John 17:2).

We tend to think that God might exercise His right to hurt us in some way, but God cannot do harm to His children. Think of all the positive things that occur when God exercises His rights. He commands the winds to cease, and armies to retreat. He can and does change the heart of a king (Proverbs 21:1). Here are two thoughts to consider:

1. Recall the many times God brought us out of misery.
Often we bring such misery on ourselves, but God, in His power, brings us out of the situation. It might have felt painful at the time, but He knew what was best for us. We wanted to go forward in our own way, but God said no. He brought us out, sometimes with a strong arm. Now as we look back, we thank Him for overruling our foolish ways.

2. Pray for His leading.
We do not wait for trouble to call out to God. Why not pray for wisdom now? Why not ask for His power now? Why not do it ahead of time? “Lord, lead me in the way I should go and guide me into Your perfect will.” Ask God for guidance today, but be willing to accept His response.

God will not lead you into anything that will not help you spiritually. As a loving and wise Father, He leads us where we need to be. We, as children, should praise Him for that.

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