In today’s society there are often times when we hear the word adoption and might think less or different about an individual because they were adopted. If you don’t know the family background you might be skeptical as to how someone might turn out. You might wonder why their biological parents gave them up in the first place. If they start to become problematic you might blame it on their upbringing or biological factors. You might even go so far as to believe the adopted individual may be less worthy or even undeserving of those in the same bloodline – treating them like a second-class family member.
Roman culture had a little different understanding of adoption. In Roman times, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family even if he was formerly a slave. He became a full heir to his new father’s estate. He was not a second-class son; he was equal to all other sons, biological or adopted, in his new family.
Likewise, when we become a Christian, we become a legitimate member of God’s family. We lose all rights to our old sinful life but gain all the privileges and responsibilities of the new family – Our Church Family. We become full heirs to God’s estate. We are no longer second class; instead, we are God’s children. God wants us despite all of our blemishes and all of our faults. Adoption agencies today tell us it is much easier for them to find a home for a healthy baby than one with physical handicaps. But thankfully God doesn’t take us in because we are healthy. He takes us in because of his unconditional love.
Because of His great love for us, God wants to give us all the things we need. This may not necessarily include all the things we want. God wants to guide us through our lives and He graciously offers us instruction through the Bible to do it. You may feel at times His guidelines are like restrictions, however, they are intended to protect us. God has a purpose for us. He doesn’t just take us in and see what will happen next. Although we do not outwardly appear to be any different to the non-believer, to God we are!
It is through our relationship with God where we come to understand His great love, forgiveness and discipline. Many Christians, yes Christians live their lives in constant turmoil and suffering, never understanding that their lives are displeasing to God, not necessarily because of their sins. These brothers and sisters never see we have to build a relationship with the Heavenly Father in order to understand His will and purpose for our lives.
Growing up, I (Patty) had a lot of dysfunction in my family and although I was not adopted, by my late teens I felt like damaged goods. At 19, I remember thinking I could not ask Jesus to come into my heart until I quit smoking, drinking and swearing. I felt unworthy to ask for forgiveness until I cleaned up my act. I remember crying myself to sleep feeling so lonely. Looking back I see how sad thinking that was. We have to understand God is truly loving and kind and we need to tell people about this. God sees the totality of our lives and knows what we need. The problem is He can’t give it to us until we let Him in. When we feel alone we struggle to let Him in.
Here’s the Good News! You might say Hope for the Hopeless… Despite all of our mistakes that God knows we are going to make He still wants to make us heirs to His kingdom. Parents understand that there will be times when children fail. When they don’t always trust and obey. God understands as well. Not only does God want to give us His inheritance but He also wants to get to know us to help us through our hard times. And through this relationship He wants us to trust Him for all we need.
I am sure we know many fathers who give us affection and protection, in additional to food and clothing. We may know fathers who share knowledge and show leadership, however, I am sure you will agree our earthly fathers struggle to give us everything. Including the craving I had at 19 for unconditional love and acceptance. This craving will continue until we realize our Hope is in God – the Greatest Father we can ever know who will meet our every need. We need to realize God is much more than a distant figure directing our lives from afar, but a spiritual Father who wants to be active in all that we do. It is He that we can lean on in times of pain and hurt; it is He that we can call on in times of need; and it is He that provides for us in all ways – Practically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Ephesians 1:5 reads: In Love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
In Love, he predestined us to be His sons and daughters… His legal heirs. How can He not be the Greatest Father we can ever know? He has already given us His best gifts: His son, forgiveness, and eternal life. And if that wasn’t enough… He encourages us to ask Him for whatever else we may need.
Today has been a day set aside to honor our fathers. I ask you, do you know the Heavenly Father? Do you have a relationship with Him worthy of honor? Do you meet with Him daily, weekly, or just Sunday’s? I will close by saying I finally let Him in my life a short time before I turned 20. It has been a long journey thus far. Like any parent-child relationship… We have had our ups and downs. Having a personal relationship with anyone takes time and is hard work.
I encourage you today to consider a personal relationship with the Greatest Father you will ever know. You can be hopeful He won’t let you down.
Grace, Peace, and Blessings….. Patty
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
May God be with you,
Patty and Ray