As a new social worker, I was so excited to attend my first adoption finalization. This family had patiently waited a year and a half to finally hear the judge pronounce their son forever theirs. The moment was incredibly moving for all who were there. Already beaming at the sight of this family union, I then heard the judge say these profound words, “And Jacob, as your legal son, has the right to your inheritance…”
It was there when the tears began to really fall and chills were sent down my spine. Hadn’t I heard that phrase before? There it was, the Gospel right in front of me like I have never known before.
“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” Ephesians 1:14
In our day, little is talked about or expected regarding inheritance – at least for most “average joes,” but in biblical days this was a huge deal. It was the right of every child who was born to a family.
We are spiritual orphans apart from God.
I grew up in the church but can honestly say I never heard a sermon preached about our adoption and inheritance into God’s family. Yet, I remembered that day reading the Word of God and seeing that kind of language written all over the New Testament. It was as if at that very moment the Holy Spirit unveiled my eyes to see what adoption was really about.
In the book of Ephesians, the writer opens with a greeting to the Church in Ephesus, reminding them that their security is not in what they have done but in what God has done for them. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5-14)
I love to share the Gospel through adoption language to our 7-year-old daughter. She gets it. She was adopted into our family and understands this concept so well. But what I love even more is to share this truth with other adults who, like me, never heard of one of the greatest ways God brings himself glory.
Our salvation and then our service to God through our love for Him was written with adoption in mind.
You see, we are spiritual orphans apart from God. We were not born into the family of God – we were born of sin. Through Christ’s death on the cross, you and I are no longer estranged from God, but we are ‘grafted’ or adopted into His family. Because of this, we have all that is our Father’s. An eternal inheritance in this life and the life to come. And why? Because it gave him great pleasure to see Himself glorified! God is about lifting himself up so that all men would be drawn to Him.
Why did God call me to start my family through adoption? Why did He call me to start a nonprofit that mobilizes the church to live out James 1:27, ” True devotion to God is caring for orphans and widows in their distress”? He delights to see the adopted church be His hands and feet– to bring more into the family of God. Our salvation and then our service to God through our love for Him was written with adoption in mind.
I will never forget sitting at the dinner table doing a devotional with our daughter. At the end of it was a question – “What is the greatest gift you ever received?” She paused, took our hands, looked at us in the face and said “parents.” Her adoption has changed her whole world. How about those of us in God’s family? How have we been affected from such love lavished on us?
Yes, you too were adopted for a purpose, friends – to make much of Jesus! Now that you are safe, secure and set apart by God, what are you doing to make much of him? How can you share with others about the greatest gift you ever received? Through mentoring kids in foster care? Through loving on your neighbor’s kids? Who is spiritually orphaned around us who needs to know they can be adopted into a forever family? A family member? Our coworkers?
Now that you are safe, secure and set apart by God, what are you doing to make much of him?
Like my daughter, I can say that the gift of my adoption into the family of God is most precious. I see now that this act of love was more than just about me. It was and is about the name and glory of Christ dwelling in me. To Him be the praise!
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. If you are feeling called to learn more about how you can live out the Gospel through bringing a child into your family through adoption, visit City Without Orphans for this month’s seminar.
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