When my sons married, I gave each of their brides a Bible with her new name embossed on the front. It was a gesture of love and a welcome-to-the-family gift. My oldest son had promised me he would never marry unless I alreadyconsidered his girlfriend a daughter. Both of my daughters-in-law are as dear to me as daughters. They have legally taken on our name, and we have adopted them into our family in love. I cannot think about my sons without considering their wives. They are family.
Everyone has a deep-seated yearning to belong.
God designed you to need others and put you in a family to help meet that need. Ultimately, though, only He can fulfill your desire to belong. Some of you may have grown up with a strong sense of belonging in your family. In this fallen world, though, some of you may not have experienced the security that belonging can give.
Whatever your past, you can cultivate a sense of belonging in your own family. More importantly, you can know that thanks to the redeeming work of Jesus, God says you are family. He has adopted you into His forever family.
As we raised our children, my husband frequently reminded them, “Friends are fleeting, family is forever.” He explained it this way—You are our daughter (or son). Nothing can ever change that fact. Though it would break our hearts, you could choose someday to change your name, to move somewhere across the world, and never see your parents or communicate with us again. But that will never change the fact that you are our child. You will forever be our daughter.
Because of Jesus, you are adopted!
God has adopted you into His family; He adopted you into the relationship and position of sons.
You are a joint heir with Christ Jesus. Because of your position in Christ, you can have the attitude of the heir.
Think of the confidence this privilege will give you. You belong to God, adopted into sonship. God does not issue an adoption decree or certificate. He gives the Spirit of adoption who is the guarantee of all that is involved in sonship. The Spirit will lead you into the attitude and thinking of a son. He will guide you to see God as your Abba Father, not a slave master.
Recently, as our son drove home from work, he was talking with his dad on the phone via bluetooth and his car speakers. As our son pulled into his driveway, Jerry could hear their little three-year-old daughter squealing from their front porch, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Our son pulled to a stop, put the gear shift into park, and said, “Oh, Dad, this is awesome!”
God wants you to come to Him with the attitude of His child, calling Him Abba! Father!—Daddy!
The Spirit of adoption is at work in your life to guide you to realize and embrace your position in God’s family and to help you know what has been freely given to you by God. He will also convince you concerning God’s perspective of sin and work to transform you into the image of God. Just as we smile, seeing the family resemblances in our grandchildren, God delights to see you looking more and more like Christ because you are His child.
Confidently say it, “Because of Jesus, I am adopted!”
Romans 8:15-17 “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Ephesians 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.”
1 John 3:1 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavily places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”