From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Does every Christian have the character of Christ?

— C.C.

Dear C.C.: Every Christian life is closely bound up with the life of God because in Him we live and move and have our being. He breathed into us the breath of life. He has put something within us that is like unto Himself, something capable of developing into the rich quality of Christlike character when we are saved and abide in Him.

Because God is the giver and source of our life, He has a legitimate claim upon our lives. He is our Father, and He has the right to expect us to be loyal and loving children.

The story of the prodigal son is a revelation of God’s desire for human fellowship. He yearns over His children who have wandered far from Him and longs for them to come home and be near to Him.

All through the Bible we see God’s patience and perseverance as He pursues misguided and obstinate men and women who were born to a high destiny as His sons and daughters, but who strayed from His side. From Genesis to Revelation, God is constantly saying to such, “Return to me, and I will return to you.”

Incredible as it may seem, God wants our companionship. He wants to have us close to Him. He wants to be a father to us, to shield us, to protect us, to counsel us, and to guide us on our journey through life.

When we become Christians we can say “Our Father;” for those who receive Christ have the right to become children of God (John 1:12). We are to put our trust in Him and come to know Him. We can have a personal sense of His love for us and His interest in us, for He is concerned about us as a father is concerned for his children.

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