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Adopted by Grace

But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Set free to experience our rightful heritage - did you catch those words in this passage? It is your 'rightful heritage' to experience all that God has prepared for you from now into all of eternity - wouldn't it be silly to walk away from such an inheritance? How can we be sure we will experience ALL that God has for us? If you have said "yes" to Jesus, asking him to renew your life, you now have the Holy Spirit resident in your life. As a result, you are welcomed into the family of God - and kids of the King have full access to the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

What does it mean to be adopted? The idea of adoption really means a change of family - you take on the identity of the family you are adopted into. There is not only a legal exchange of 'identity', but your new family embraces you, bringing you up as their own. The parent assumes the rights and responsibilities of raising the one being adopted. As we say "yes" to Jesus, our heavenly Father takes on the responsibility of bringing us up in his family. This means we don't remain unchanged - we are embraced into a family that loves us in spite of our differences, difficulties, and past. That's good news indeed!

Do you know one other benefit of adoption? We enter into open and honest discussion with our heavenly Father. We have open access to his listening ear. If you have ever been in relationship with someone who seems to love to talk, but does very little listening themselves, you know how incredibly frustrating this can be. Yes, God talks to us, but he also talks WITH us. He listens, responds, and listens again. Great parents have learned to listen to their children as much as they expect their children to listen to them. As we go through life, we have lots of right intentions, but a whole lot of wrong strategies. Isn't it heart-warming to know we have a heavenly Father who is willing to listen to our 'right intentions', and then help us figure out where our wrong strategies have created even more problems for us?

We aren't alone in our walk with Jesus. We not only have his Spirit within us helping us to talk with God, but we have been given a family of believers who are placed within our lives to help us learn this new family life together. Adoption begins with a change - then we begin to see our lives transformed as we taken on our new identity. We don't always feel like we have this new identity right away, probably because we have all these right intentions to live changed lives, but lots and lots of wrong strategies we have concocted to live as part of this new family. Thank goodness we have a heavenly Father who knows our intentions, listens to our frustrations, and helps us embrace our new family life in Christ Jesus. Just sayin!

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