Day 58: Part of the Family

Read: Romans 11:17-21

            I have a close friend who is adopted. Her name is Sasha*. She has just one other sibling who wasn’t adopted. The fact that she was adopted and her sibling wasn’t has never affected their parent’s love for them. They are loved equally and have always been. When Sasha was adopted, she became part of her family. Her sister often forgets that she was adopted in the first place. But when she went through her first breakup, a feeling of being unwanted suddenly came back into her life. Her thoughts went from her ex-boyfriend not wanting her to remembering that her birth mom gave her up. She kept wondering why she had been rejected by the person who gave her life.

            One day, Sasha’s mother found some documents about her birth mom. Apparently, Sasha’s birth mom attempted to abort her several times during the pregnancy. Somehow, Sasha lived. You’d expect her to feel even more discouraged by this news, but the complete opposite happened. Instead of feeling hurt, she felt empowered, and special. She realized that God had a purpose for her. Her birth mom tried to end her life more than once, but God allowed her to live. How she sees it, is that she needed different people to raise her to be what God wants her to be. She wasn’t an accident.

            Adopted or not, we all have a story like Sasha. God wanted to adopt us in His family and gave us an opportunity for life . . . a life with a purpose, and a hope for the future. In Romans 11:17-21, Paul is deflating the egos of the Gentile Christians who may have been in danger of taking their salvation in Christ for granted. In the previous verses, we see Paul explain God’s plan to include Gentile believers in the Jewish community of faith, despite their “outsider” status. God changed that status and made them a part of His family.

In Romans 11:17, Paul speaks of the Jews being natural branches to a tree, but because of their unbelief, they were broken off and discarded. This allowed for the Gentiles to be grafted in to partake of the root of the tree, enjoying a portion of its fresh nourishment.

Gentiles were grafted into God’s eternal family on the basis of faith, but if they stumbled into unbelief like the Jews, they too could be removed from the family tree, “For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you(Romans 11:21).”

Think about your privileged position in Christ and the eternal family you’ve been grafted into by His grace. In what areas do you take your salvation for granted? Do you look down on unbelievers who don’t know God as well as you do? Humble yourself and recognize that we are nothing without Christ.

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