“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
–Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
When I was younger, I remember seeing a funny TV program about a little boy who was angry with his parents. He decided to adopt some new parents, so he ran away.
As the story progressed, he found himself at an adoption agency. The woman working there tried to talk him out of his plan. She told him that adults came there to adopt children, and she had never heard of it being done the other way around. At first he wouldn’t be dissuaded, so she got his phone number and called his parents. They came down to the agency, but instead of scolding him, they reassured him of their love. Then the little boy melted, and ran into their arms.
Like the child in this story, we are all in need of love, but its fulfillment can only be found in God, whose love is more wonderful than anything our minds can conceive.
The Bible says that nothing can separate us from God’s love. His love has carried me through many hard times, and I have also found that His love can turn life into a challenge instead of a drudgery. In other words, some things might seem impossible to you and me, but I know that all things are possible with God. This knowledge transforms the way that I think about difficult tasks. The knowledge that God loves me and that He is in control of my situation, gives me a new outlook during troubled times.
To see everything in the Scriptures clearly, it is crucial to look through the glasses of God’s love. His adoption is based upon and related to His infinite love, and I would like to build upon this foundation.
So having said this, I’d like to take you on a tour of God’s heavenly adoption agency.
On the left, He shows you just how special you are, and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now while we are driving along, let me give you some background.
Just as two parents choose to adopt someone, God chose us to be His sons and daughters.
The idea of God choosing me is staggering and humbling all at once, and I just can’t get over that amazing fact. This also lends a blow to my pride, for I like to think that I have done something to earn my position with God. But as I read the Scriptures each page shouts, “No, you are a product of my unmerited favor.”
While some people have trouble with the concept of God choosing us, it doesn’t bother me in the least. God is the epidomy of love, and He invites you to choose Him today. Because I know this, I can deduce that all of His choices will be just and fair, and it makes His heavenly adoption even more incomprehensible to me.
Unlike our western custom of adoption, though, God’s adoption process has just started. He is constantly challenging us to mature and invest ourselves more deeply in the Christian life. This adoption, then, is not really complete until we go home to be with Him. The Bible makes it clear that while we have the down payment of the Holy Spirit when we ask Him into our lives, God is still molding and conforming us into His image.
Think about it like this: God wants to shape you just as an artist shapes his precious masterpiece. But the artist won’t let anyone gaze upon his work until the official unveiling. God will unveil us in heaven, and because of that anticipation, we can enjoy a fruitful life here on Earth.
Now look to the right, and you can see a replica of the heavenly mansion that awaits you. But for now, Paul says that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. That explains the comfortable chair you can see in front of you.
While it may seem like we have taken a detour, let me assure you that we really haven’t done that. The idea of being seated with Christ combined with God’s adoption, only makes our lives richer. When studied in the context of His heavenly adoption, it adds a new dimension that we will examine.
Just as I would sit down in a chair to rest, I can rest from life’s toil when I realize that I am seated with Christ. This does not mean that I don’t do my best when I am confronting everyday problems. Rather, it means that I can do a better job of facing those problems. Just as you feel refreshed after a physical rest, the knowledge that you can rest in Christ adds refreshment to life.
Instead of listening to others, listen to God, who says that you are more than a conqueror. The apostle Paul tells us that you can do all things through Christ. As Paul has also said, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” If you listen to God, you will discover that the way you are handling problems will be altogether different.
Now I have two questions for you, my friend. First, did you enjoy our tour? If you did, please come back soon.
Second, why not live your life clothed in God’s joy and peace? Today, make a deliberate effort to let God’s adoption challenge you to rest in Christ, and learn to look at life differently tomorrow.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.