What it means to be adopted

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

A first grade teacher was discussing a picture of a family with her class. One little boy in the picture was obviously from a different cultural background than the other members of the family. This caught the attention of the children and one little girl suggested that he was adopted. “I know all about adoptions because I was adopted,” said the girl. “What does it mean to be adopted?” asked another child. “It means,” said the girl, “that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.”

What a charming story. It made me think of how I was adopted. I was headstrong and defiant, preferring to try and make my own way in the world without any help from anyone else. But then I heard from several people about someone who desperately wanted to adopt me. I must admit it sounded strange. At eighteen years of age I had enough confidence and arrogance to consider adoption right out of the question. When you’re used to looking out for number one it’s difficult understanding why someone else would want to be involved in your life.

Yet, behind my tough exterior I knew adoption would be a good thing. There was a part of me that yearned for love. There was a deep‑seated desire to be part of a family. I was groaning inwardly and waiting eagerly for my adoption (cf. Romans 8:23), and when I heard there was a Father who had been wanting to have me in His family, I felt compelled to investigate matters further.

That set me on a course that totally changed my life. I was finally adopted into the family of God in the last week of November in 1979. It was phenomenal. I confessed my sin, asked Jesus to be my Saviour, and it was a done deal. Everything was signed and sealed. My name was written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

It still leaves me in awe. I was a child of the world but God adopted me as His son. For “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” Ephesians 1:5. Thus, like millions of other adopted children, from every tribe and tongue and people, I’m one of the children of God. I have a new life, a new name, a large family, a secure future, daily protection, and a Father who ceaselessly loves and nurtures me.

Furthermore, God has given me a joy which is a thousand times better than the pleasures of my sinful life before I was adopted. In this sense my life is now complete and I can truly give praise “to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given” me “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade . . .” 1 Peter 1:3‑4.

What about you? Are you adopted into the family of God? If not, why don’t you ask Him to adopt you today? Believe me, it will be the best thing you’ll ever do.

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