Adopted and Grafted In.
Adopted and Grafted In.
“…but you received the Spirit of Adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba Father’ “. (Romans 8:15)
One of the best days in my life is when I got married in 1981. My life changed in so many wonderful ways, as marriage should. But I was not expecting a package deal. When I met my wife, JoAnn, she had an eleven-year-old daughter named Melissa. During the time I dated JoAnn, I also grew to love Melissa… and she, in turn, grew to love me. We would spend precious time together riding bikes on the Asbury Park/Ocean Grove boardwalk, eating “Ducky’s” hot dogs, playing miniature golf, going for ice cream in town and walking endlessly on the beach.
I remember Melissa coming to me one day with a card in her hand asking me if she could call me Dad, because she said she never really had a Dad in her life. (I still have that card). We spoke about it and knowing that I would soon ask her mother to marry me, I said yes and gave her a card as well with my thoughts of how honored I would be to be her father. So, in one fell swoop, I became not only a husband, but also a father. Almost immediately after the wedding, we began legal proceedings to adopt Melissa and gave her our family name. Since then, she has been my daughter and I have been her father… one of the truest blessings of my life. And there is absolutely no difference in any way between Melissa and my two blood children, Heather and David… heirs of whatever I have. I have three children… period!
As I consider how I adopted Melissa, I can’t help but to think that we, as faithful believers, are adopted by God, our Father. We are true children of God, adopted into a spiritual family… heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus. (Romans 8:17) And, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God”. (Romans 8:16)
Adoption means to take by choice into a relationship and to voluntarily take the child of another parent as one’s own. Because our Father loved us so much, He desired and chose to bring us into relationship with Him and, by faith, we chose that relationship as well. Romans 11:17 says that we were “grafted in to partake of the root and fatness of the Olive tree”. Because of Israel’s unbelief, they were “broken off” and we might be grafted in to partake of the goodness and love of God as adopted children with full rights, promises and provision as heirs of the promise.
But God is so faithful that if Israel does not continue in unbelief, they can be grafted in again. (Romans 11:23) Our God is an awesome God!
“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”(Galatians 3:29) “to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons, and because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out ‘Abba, father’”. (Galatians 4:5&6) There is that Spirit of God that rings in the heart of every believer that we are not alone… we are not orphans… we are not fatherless! We are loved by our heavenly Father with a real and everlasting love that holds us, embraces us, protects us and never lets us go. We have a Father who is there for us in every situation and cares for us with a Father’s love and compassion. A Father who is involved in our lives and always has our best interest at heart. A Father who is there every time we call upon Him, never letting us down or neglecting us. That is why in the darkest, deepest valleys of pain, discouragement, fear, hopelessness and weariness, stress and anxiety, seeing no way out of your present situation… you can have hope… because your Father is the God of the universe who loves you and sees and knows it all. That’s why we can say, “All is well”. As Jesus said as He prayed to His father, “you have loved them as you have loved me”! (John 17:23) Wow! I can think of no words more comforting than the words of our Father Himself when He said, “I will be a Father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty”
(2 Corinthians 6:18) Think on that for a while!
Oh, by the way… I let Melissa win in miniature golf. Sure!