Words of Life ~ ADOPTION

What a difference it would make if we knew the true meaning of Christian adoption.
Our relationship with God is not based on a biological birth just by happenchance, but by a desire on the part of our heavenly Father to make us His own children.

We can start with what we know about human adoption. First: there is a couple’s desire to take a child, born to another family, into their home; to love, care, provide, and protect this child.

Secondly: there are rules and conditions that govern the process of adoption. Needy children are not just dumped on a family’s doorsteps; nor does a child choose its parents.

Third: there is the process of finding a child compatible to the couple who are adopting; unless there is a child the couple already knows. Still there is a legal process they must go through.

Fourth: there is a cost to adoption, which we will not go into here, except as we consider the cost of our adoption into the family of God.

Our heavenly Father has only one true Son, Jesus Christ, but before the foundation of the world He desired many sons and daughters and planned for our adoption (Ephesians 2:4-5).

The rules and conditions of His kingdom govern the process, by which He finds and makes known His desires.

His cost was the price of His own dear Son, given for us, to make us joint-heirs with Him (1 Corinthians 6:20).

How do we separate the price our Father paid and what the Son paid?

(Let me share a precious moment with our Lord and Savior this past week during the busyness of my duties as Jerry’s caregiver, and the research of the word “adoption.” The Lord revealed to me the meaning of true love that I have never known. I cannot fully describe this, but He opened my heart to see Him before He came to earth. I saw His great love for the Father, His great love for us and His longing to come to bring us to Him. He was not only willing, but desiring with His whole heart, ready to give His whole life, to live and to die for me. Imagine Him, an only child, desiring more children for the Father and at the same time desiring sisters and brothers with whom to share His monumental estate, His wealth, and His eternal life with the Father in heaven.)

No biological birth or human adoption can offer this.

No biological birth or human adoption requires this process.

No biological birth or adoption comes at such a price as the life of another human being, who is willing and ready to sacrifice with such a love for his father and brothers and sisters.

True, He knew He would be resurrected, but He was, for the joy set before Him, coming to endure the anguish and pain of the cross for those in need of a loving Father and the Life He gives through His Son. (I do not limit this Life to an after-death experience, but to Life now and forever.)

We are not negating the need for “new birth” but understand that He gives His adopted children a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3).  

ADOPTION into the kingdom of God begins here; our heavenly Father protecting, providing all our needs, loving, leading, assuring, and nurturing us as His children through this wilderness and on to glory with Him and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ came to bring many sons to glory with Him (Hebrews 2:10-12).

And He pursues us, knowing whose are His.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…Behold, now are we sons…(1 John 3:1-3).

We do not include any references from the Old Testament for the word  ADOPTION. Though there were incidents of adoption in the Old Testament, it was not a practice of the Israelites. It is only associated with the understanding of our relationship with God as our heavenly Father through Jesus’ redemption.

New Testament G5206
Defines ADOPTION  huiothesia (hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah) from a presumed compound of 5207 and a derivative of 5087; the placing as a son, i.e. adoption (figuratively, Christian sonship in respect to God):–adoption (of children, of sons).

 
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry , Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23

 “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”. Galatians 4:5

How blessed we are to know that before the foundation of the world we were chosen to be His children, in love 
”Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Ephesians 1:4-5

Dear gracious, heavenly Father, who is rich in mercy, the love wherewith you loved us can never be fully understood. It was all planned before we were born, before we sinned and needed a Savior. Open our hearts to such love that would give your one and only Son to die for our sins. We cry, “Abba, Father” in love, thanksgiving and praise for bringing us into your family. Conform us to the image of your precious Son, our Lord and Savior. By your Spirit, spread abroad your love in our hearts so that we love you with all our hearts, our brothers and sisters and our neighbors as ourselves.
Fran

For a related article on adoption see Truth or Tradition.

Image:Julie Johnson (Unsplash)

Locking our Wheels

The fear of falling is only second to the fear of death for the elderly. Many falls result in breaking bones that are weak from the “wasting away” of the body; and some falls end in death. Last night Jerry fell, the third time since his amputation eight years ago.

The first time was after his healing. Standing at the edge of the garage I watched as he confidently wheeled out to check the mail. He did well until he started up the slight incline on the street. He did not have the strength to make it in the turn toward the mailbox. The wheelchair slid backward dumping him. At first I wanted to laugh, but didn’t have time as I ran down the driveway to help. How to help ~ I did not know. With my holding the wheelchair behind he gradually was able to pull himself up backward. By God’s grace we did not require any other help that time. That was the last time he checked the mail in his wheelchair.

A second time he forgot to lock his wheels when he stood up. It took close to an hour for him to get close enough to a chair for me to help him pull up. During these times he has his own idea of how to remedy the situation. There is a trauma when a person falls that we cannot understand. Disoriented in thinking there is also a problem accepting and following instructions.

Last night He had simply reached down to pick up something off the floor. He forgot to lock his wheels and he hit the floor when the wheelchair slid from under him. He is not as strong as he was when he fell the first time; and so after thirty minutes of trying to help him I called our daughter. It doesn’t matter that she is a physical therapist; any two people strong enough could have lifted him back into the wheelchair. She came with our son-in-law and got him situated.

How to Keep From Falling
Wheels are wonderful to get us where we need to go. A wheelchair has four wheels, two large ones and two small, enabling you to go forward, backward, and around as you direct the two large wheels on the side. But, unless you stay in the chair and control the wheels the chair rolls wherever ~ it seems to have a mind of its own.

Upon leaving this contraption you must lock your wheels to help keep you from falling. In the same perspective we see the concept of falling from the security that is ours in Christ. Following are some of the ways to lock our spiritual wheels.

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”   Proverbs 11:14

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10

 “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Proverbs 28:14

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:30

“The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14

“For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the Lord.’” Jeremiah 39:18

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

“Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:24

Jude 24-25
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