Monday, June 27

Adopted Into God's Family

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--Ephesians 1:4-5


Even as I'm writing this I'm laughing at myself because I never in a million years thought that I would use a family pet to illustrate a Biblical principle.

Last October my family, for whatever reason, decided they wanted a chihuahua. My mom and my sister came home from the local animal shelter with what I consider to be one of the homeliest little creatures God ever put together. When they first brought "Spike" home , he was quite sick and needed some serious attention from a vet. Spike is now healthy and strong and has made himself at home at my parents house. Oddly enough, I think Spike knows he's safe there. He knows his needs will always be met. When he hears someone calls his name, he eagerly goes running down the hall, knowing that whoever it is who called him will be there to pet him or give him a little treat.

I realize that it's somewhat silly to personify a dog in such a way, but doing so helps me demonstrate how it is to be called by God and then adopted into His family. God does not choose us because we are particularly worthy. He doesn't take pride in calling us his sons because of any of our external characteristics or personal achievements. God adopts us because he knows we need a good home. Even in our weakest, homeliest state, he calls our names, takes us into his arms and welcomes us into his family.

Today's verse mentions that God adopts us according to His pleasure. That does not mean that he adopts us merely to treat us as pets or playthings for a certain time and then discard us when He finds something better to do. When He adopts us according to his pleasure, it means that He has so much love to give that it makes Him most happy to be able to extend that love to us. He delights in us as His children. He loves us in ways we will never completely understand.

God also knew that we needed to be protected from the world. He adopted us so that we may at least have a fighting chance against the evil things out there that would threaten to dishearten and destroy us. I know families who have adopted children not only to fill a longing in their own hearts, but to be able to give opportunities to those children who would otherwise become just another statistic. In my opinion, those people who adopt are my heroes because they are clearly demonstrating the kind of love that God has for us--they sacrifice, give and love on a level that most people can't understand.

My parent's dog couldn't care less that he was adopted. Besides, pet adoption pales greatly in comparison to the adoption of children. I may never know personally the struggles, the triumphs, the joys and pains that are part of life for adoptive families, but I know the blessing of having been adopted into God's family. The life I have because of Him is incredible, even when it isn't particularly fun. I hope I never take for granted my status as a child of God.

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