Already a prince

I am already a prince.

That’s not boasting: It’s a fact.  Jesus acknowledges in John 18:36 that he has a kingdom and he is referred to in Revelation 17:14 as “King of Kings”.  And, as a believer, I am told that I am a brother of Jesus (Hebrews 2:11).

So, I’m a prince.  So what?

Well, this truth should make a difference in how I view myself and my life with God.

If I’m already a prince, why am I working so hard to become a prince?  In other words, why do I think I have to jump through hoops to get God’s attention and acceptance?

This “performance trap” as it’s called is a common disease among Western Christians.  I caught it early in my life as a believer and, in some ways, it clings to me still.  I am learning that I need to remind myself continually that God delights in me just as I am.

Many of us grew up in a culture which emphasized living a godly life according to certain standards.  There was subtle pressure from outside – and within ourselves – to conform to these measures of godliness.

There is no doubt that Christ and the apostles urged us to live godly lives.  But their emphasis was first on God’s love for us.  As the apostle John says in 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.”

Knowing that God loved me when I was unloveable – and couldn’t love him back – should give me a sense of security.  If Jesus loved me enough to die for me, doesn’t he love me still now that I am his brother?

I am sure many believers feel instinctively that this kind of talk leads to inactivity – and even sin.  The thought has occurred to me.

But that discounts the power of a grateful heart.  If I’m really convinced that God loves me, won’t I react with gratitude?

It’s interesting that Jesus links two commandments together in Luke 10:27 where he tells us to love God with all our heart and love our neighbours as ourselves.  Out of love for God comes love for others.

Meditating on scriptures which tell of God’s love for us stokes our love for him.  And it turns the attention away from our accomplishments for God to his accomplishments for us.

He has made me a prince so that I can reflect his love to others.

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