A big part of my personal story is that I was adopted into my family. When I was but a bouncing baby boy, my parents brought me into their home and loved and raised me as though I was their very own. They had lost a child in infancy and were told that they would not be able to have other children of their own, hence the journey toward adopting.
Wouldn’t you know – soon after the adoption was settled and I became a part of their home, my mother became pregnant. My sister was born just a year and a half after my own birthdate and then a brother came along a few years after that. And even though I was very young – about five years old, I remember clearly the day my parents sat me down to explain to me that I had been adopted and had come into the family a different way than my brother and sister. Not a better way – just a different way. And to help me understand it, they told me that I was different because they had chosen me. I must admit, even though I was embellishing what my parents had communicated, at every opportunity I had after that I made sure my brother and sister knew that Mom and Dad had gotten stuck with them – but that they chose me!
That is why this Scripture is so powerful in my estimation. Romans 8:15 in the New Living Translation says this. “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’”
The word picture of being adopted into God’s family just blows me away. It’s not an orphanage where God is taking in strays and feeding them and meeting their physical needs. It’s a family. When you are adopted, it means that all the rights and privileges extended to a legal heir are yours. You are officially a part of the family. God has adopted you as His very own child. You are chosen by Him. And because of that, now you can call Him ‘Abba’, a term of endearment which means ‘Daddy’ or ‘Poppa’.
Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we become members in God’s own family, and the Scripture tells us, joint-heirs with Jesus also. Wrap your head around that for a minute!
Note: In Feb. 2011, I read that there were 30,000 kids in Canada waiting to be adopted. For more information go to Waiting to Belong.