Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Who I Am in Christ Series: Child of God

I can think of no better place to start this series than square in the lap of Daddy God, as His beloved, adopted child.  And that is where we find ourselves, in John 1:12...
Two children I love:  nieces Hazel and Claire 

John 1:12 (NASB)

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Godeven to those who believe in His name...

Nothing comforts me more than the knowledge that I am a child of God.  Though that has not always been the case for me, my Father God did some pretty intense work in my heart and circumstances over the years to convince me deep in my soul that nothing matters more than my adoption in Christ.  What about you?  What comforts you when life falls apart, when the daily grind weakens your soul, when you have questions but no answers?  May I implore you....explore your adoption as a beloved child of God.  You see, I had a pretty firm footing in my own sufficiency and accomplishments, and it wasn't until those things were ripped away from me, that I began to see clearly.  
What does the word 'child' conjure up in your mind?  For me, I think of innocence, vulnerability, and is pretty simple as a child, isn't it?  Your meals are taken care of, your chief task for the day is play, and getting along with any siblings or friends usually presents the greatest challenges in most healthy and stable homes.  This leaves space for the hard work of learning to grow up, the discipline and training aspect good parents engage in.  Thinking of childhood largely depends on someone else caring for you, and I hope someone did care well for you.  Children don't need resumes, job or homemaking skills, or financial savvy to make it.  As a child, your identity is based largely on the family you come from.  And that is usually a good thing.  It helps you form your ideas, opinions, and values in a safe setting, while the rest of life is taken care of.  
And that's part of what I think of when I think of my adoption in Christ....I can rest in my Father, and in the family of God, as I continue to learn, grow, and express my need for that structure.  What riches and eternal inheritance we have in our Father's love for us!  There is such a wealth there, and I'm not speaking of worldly wealth....I'm speaking of things money can't buy.  The spiritual fatherhood and brotherhood, the relationship we have in Jesus, our Father, and the Holy Spirit.  
Let me leave you with one of my favorite passages, that speaks to me of the passionate and intense love my Father has for me....though there are many, Psalm 18 has always spoken to me of the direct link I have to my Abba, especially during trials (please read in entirety for the full blessing of what lies within, and try to picture your Father acting on YOUR behalf...):

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
   my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
   He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
   and I am saved from my enemies.

 4 The cords of death entangled me;
   the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
   the snares of death confronted me. 

6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
   I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
   my cry came before him, into his ears.

 7 The earth trembled and quaked,
   and the foundations of the mountains shook;
   they trembled because he was angry. 

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
   consuming fire came from his mouth,
   burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
   dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
   he soared on the wings of the wind. 

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
   the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
   with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
   the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies,
   great bolts of lightning and routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
   and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
   at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

 16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
   he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
   from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
   but the LORD was my support. 

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
   he rescued me because he delighted in me.

I had the privilege of being a part of a fellowship group before I was married that showed me this passionate love, and I hope that you have the chance to experience this kind of community.  A dear friend from that group is now living out adoption....with her two darling Ethiopian boys (and one of her own) and you can catch up with her here.  Through friends like this, I have learned that nothing can separate us from the love of God, Romans 8:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My hubby and I also just finished listening to Adopted for Life, and this has greatly contributed to my understanding of the Biblical doctrine of Adoption.

As one final encouragement:  if you are a child of God, please know and find comfort in the fact that God is wildly, fiercely, devoted to you.  May that knowledge cause us to live for Him with the same passion!
Here is the link to the entire list of verses we will be going through....
Blessings on you,

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