4. Adopted by God
Ephesians 1:5a “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” (NLT)
My experience with adoption is very limited. But when I think of being adopted by God, I imagine a fairy tale setting: a little girl, orphaned, poor, lonely, dressed in rags, is rescued and brought to the king’s castle, loved and adopted by the king, dressed in beautiful clothing, given all the riches of the kingdom, treated as royalty by others. She will be part of the king’s family forever. She will have an ever-increasing awareness of the unearned gifts her father gives her. He will provide lifelong attention, protection, and purpose as he gives her open access to a relationship with himself. How different her life becomes! Her entire identity is changed.
When I apply this to myself, I realize that all of this is hypothetically true of me. I have been adopted into God’s family. I have experienced God’s love and the fulfillment of serving others in building His kingdom. Why is it then that too often I don’t feel or act like the daughter of the king? Am I one of those adopted children who do not accept the family’s love, who continue to beg and look for scraps as she did as a street urchin? I have the high honor of direct continual access to the king and a commission to do significant and rewarding work for the kingdom of my Father. I want to be an adopted child who fully participates in the love and service of the King and His family.
How can I make this real in my life? By letting the Holy Spirit change my thought patterns and convince me of the truth of God’s love (Romans 12:2). As an example of how the Spirit is changing my thinking, I am strongly aware of my love for my children and grandchildren, and when I stop to realize that God loves me, my children, my grandchildren with a love that is infinitely stronger and deeper than my love is, I am overwhelmed by that thought. I remind myself that God loves me as a perfect parent would love. He is a perfect Father. This study of Ephesians will help me dive deeper into how God sees me lovingly and how I can express my gratitude to Him.
Father, today please help me to accept my identity as Your adopted child. Help me see practical ways I can love You and be about Your business. Help me to see my brothers and sisters as they truly are: my family. Thank You. Amen