As a preschool ministry leader, I often consider it a privilege to witness child-like faith every time I am with our littlest c|Lifers. It is so beautiful to see their innocence firsthand. They believe they are children of God, created to look like him. They know God loves them, and sent his Son to save them. They believe Jesus wants to be their very best friend and that the Holy Spirit helps them make good choices.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. — Psalm 139:13–14

If only adult belief was this easy! We seem to forget that from the moment of our birth, we are children of God. There is nothing we can do to change that, ever. We were formed by God’s hands, designed uniquely from a dream in his heart, and created for a purpose in His image. I read a beautiful quote while preparing to write this, and I wish I knew where to give credit. It says:

I am a Child of God. I am of great worth. I have unlimited potential. I can make good choices. I can do hard things. I am amazing, inside and out. I am never alone. He has a plan for my life. I know who I am. I am a Child of God.

This is what we are born with, from the first day of our conception. But to live out our lives as true children of God, a second birth is necessary. A birth where we acknowledge that we believe this. A birth that places Jesus at the center of our hearts and surrenders our lives to him. This is the only thing we have to do to accept our identities as children of God. No amount of good works, thoughts, money, or possessions can accomplish this. Only full surrender to what God has given us through his Son will achieve this — the day we realize we are all in!

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. — John 1:12

To know God — to really know him — is to be a new creation in Christ. Salvation is the only way. However, as a new creation, it is important that we shine in our new role. Not in a boastful way, but in a humble and loving way. We have the greatest gift to share, and we should never desire to keep it to ourselves. There are some important ways that we should shine as children of God:
  1. We should lay down all of the other gods in our lives: sports, politics, addictions, career status, possessions, social status, and anything else that takes up space in our hearts, squeezing Jesus from the center of it all. Jesus should be the Lord of our lives.
  2. We should be truly transformed, never gloating, realizing that we are living a surrendered life. Everything we do should be done from a position of humility.
  3. We should strive to live in obedience according to God’s will for our lives.
  4. We should let our responses to every situation be directed by God. Our faith should be at the forefront of every decision we make and every statement we give — personally, politically, morally, and spiritually.
  5. We should live lives full of serving and giving — of our time, our talents, and our resources.
  6. We should acknowledge that our lives will not be exempt from challenges and conflict. It is solely through faith that we will walk the paths laid out before us.
  7. We should strive to share the gospel truth with the world around us every day, not only in words but in actions. We should want the world to know the love of our Jesus!

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
— 1 John 3:1

By striving to live out our birthright as a child of God and by acknowledging his Son as our Savior, we reap the rich benefits of a new beginning with a new identity full of new relationships, a new heavenly destiny, and a new position. We have new power through the Holy Spirit, and our lives take on a new kingdom purpose. Embrace yourself as a new creation in Christ and live your life out loud in that freedom.