“Jesus loves me this I know… For the Bible tells me so…”
Growing up in a Pentecostal church, I have heard over and over again that God loves us. For years, I have known in my head that God loves me, but has it traveled down eighteen inches and truly penetrated the depths of my heart? Ephesians 1:5 says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ (NLT).” Though there is a distinct difference between earthly adoption and spiritual adoption, there are several lessons that can be drawn out from the former that help us better understand the latter.
Orphans are Helpless
Orphans have no parents, no resources, no home to call their own and perhaps the most saddening part is that they are completely incapable of doing anything to change that. In the same way, we, as sinners, are completely helpless to save ourselves. Spiritually speaking, we are all dead in our trespasses and sins. It is only because of the love of God and His merciful act of adoption that we are saved from ultimate destruction.
No One Orphan is More Deserving
Is there any one orphan that “deserves” a family more so than the others? Absolutely not! In the same way, we are not more deserving of God’s grace than any other person on earth. Once again, it is solely the grace of God that has called us out from darkness into light. We read in Ephesians 2:8: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (NIV).”
Orphans are Unknowingly Fortunate
Children that are adopted while quite young will arguably never have to grow up and experiences lonely, hopeless, and loveless existence that they might have had they never been adopted. Similarly, as children of God, we will never fully experience the eternal wrath and fury of Hell from which we have been saved through our adoption into God’s family.
Orphans are Chosen
Having children of your own is truly a blessing in its own way. But, parents do not get to decide how smart their child is or how tall he or what the color of their child’s skin will be. When it comes to adoption, however, parents get to choose which child they would like to adopt. Imagine the immense love that must overwhelm that child – that out of everyone, his adoptive parents chose him. In the same way, God chose us. He pursued us and loved us, welcoming us into His family with unconditional love. Even before we were born and in our mother’s womb, God chose us. Ephesians 1: 4-5 tells us, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ (MSG).”
Adoption is Costly
Adoption can take over a year and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Along the way, there will be many obstacles, and false hopes, and disappointments. Similarly, our adoption into the family of God was extremely costly. Though completely free for us to receive, the price paid upon the cross of calvary was a hefty one. Ephesians 2: 4-7 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (NASB).”
If we take just a moment to ponder about the love of God, we find ourselves enthralled and completely overwhelmed. How someone could love us so dearly, is beyond our wildest imagination. How someone could see our mistakes and failures and still say “I want you to be my child” – this kind of love is truly beyond any human rationale or reason. My challenge to you is this: make it a point to earnestly seek after God and to not only know His love, but to experience it in a completely new way.