Day 18: Adopting Love
Read: Romans 8:14-17
My husband’s little brother is eight years old, but was adopted when He was three. By appearance it’s clear that he’s adopted, but it doesn’t take long to see he belongs. He acts like his four other siblings and never shows any signs of feeling like an outsider. They all share many of the same mannerisms, inside jokes, character traits, even interests. He fits in perfectly, and yet comes from a completely different genetic line. Despite this, he is loved as one of the family, who truly, not just figuratively, belongs.
In Romans 8:14-15 we read, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Christianity is an interesting breed of religion, because we are not a part of it by our own merits—we’ve been adopted into an ancient heritage, the children of God (Deut. 14:1). We are adopted into the family of God our good Father, and this by His love for us. Our intrinsic human need for deep belonging and our natural dependency—like we talked about last time—attests that we were meant to be His from the beginning.
When I see my Husband’s family I see a beautiful illustration of what adoption into God’s family looks like. Their story is beautiful, but even it is only a shadow of the greater adoption of people into the family of God the Father. Of course, no human being is perfect, no earthly father or mother is perfect, yet the Father we now have through Christ is perfect.
Simple as this concept is, it can be hard to wrap our heads around. This is a huge stumbling block for many world religions, the idea that God could be our Father. We were not created just to be servants or slaves of God. He didn’t create us to lord over us, but to grow, nurture, provide, love, and lead us into greater degrees of life with Him! We are His children and as such we are valuable and cherished by Him.
Paul continues, in Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” I don’t think we often think about what it means to be “heirs of God”. Being heirs of Christ means we gain an inheritance from Him. Since we are followers of Christ we are to die with Him, and because we died with Him we can then be glorified with Him—life in perfect and uninterrupted unity with God just like Jesus has with the Father. We can’t appreciate this fact now as much as it deserves, but we can know that there is no better gift possible, and hope in its fulfillment as we live life as children of God, reflecting His attributes in everything we do.
Write a letter to your heavenly Father—your Abba. Pour out your heart to Him like you would to a loving and good-hearted father. Don’t hold back, don’t try and make it perfect, and don’t overthink it. Just write what’s on your heart, good or bad, remembering that your Father loves you and knows you intimately. He cares for your soul like no one else, so be vulnerable. He is good to you.
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