Recently, we celebrated the first anniversary of our son coming to join our family. It was a special day, punctuated with cake, bubbles and thankfulness. It also encouraged me to think a little more about what it means for God to have adopted us into His Family. Here’s a few reasons for us all to celebrate!
- Adoption is grace.
Our adoption into God’s family isn’t about anything we do – it’s based on His incredible love and grace. God chose us, even though there was nothing lovely about us. We weren’t like cute babies gurgling in a pram. We were his enemies; covered in filth; kicking and screaming and biting anyone who came close. Still, He looked at us and loved us. He set his heart upon us and gave His own Son, to bring us into His family, (Eph 2:4-6).
- Adoption is costly.
Our adoption into God’s family isn’t about anything we feel – it’s based on His incredible love and grace. To bring our son home, we couldn’t just say ‘yes please, we’ll take him.’ We had to fill in lots of paperwork. We have to stand up in court and meet the requirements of the law. This was a time-consuming and often costly process. But it was worth it – and more! He is now legally and objectively ours; he’s a Scrivener, for life. In the same way, God doesn’t just set his heart on us – he fulfils the requirements of the law to make us objectively his. He pays the ultimate and most costly price; so that we can be legally redeemed, and adopted as sons, (Gal 4:4-6). This means that, even on the days when we feel like we’ve messed up, or drifted far from his love, we know without doubt, that we are still His – forever (John1:12).
- Adoption is secure.
Feelings are fickle, covenant is firm. God’s Spirit in us also helps to know him as Father. Through the Spirit we cry ‘Abba!’ We can know the Lord of the universe in the most intimate terms; as our heavenly Daddy. Our faith is not just a matter of intellectual assent, or ticking boxes. It’s a relationship, characterised by love, acceptance, trust, grace and dependence. 1 John 4:16: knowing our adoption as sons means that we can start to believe that God loves us; even if it’s something we find hard to accept.
- Adoption is intentional.
None of us are accidents. God chose us in His son before the very creation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4-6). This is incredible news for those who feel unloved, insecure or worthless. If we’re passed over for promotion; if our earthly parents reject us or we feel neglected or overlooked, our hope is this… the Lord of the universe has set His love upon us.
- Adoption is cosmic.
We have been brought into a new heavenly and earthly family that spans the globe and stretches across history, (Ephesians 2:19). As part of this family we share in an inheritance that cannot perish or spoil or fade, but is kept for us in heaven, (Rom 8:16-17, 1 Peter 1:4). We pray for each other, carry each other, comfort, challenge and encourage one another. And God shines out through us as a light to the whole world.
Luke 15:20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”