I grew up in an imperfect, but truly lovely family. My mom and dad loved each other, and they also loved me and my brother fiercely. They showed up to all of our sporting events, we ate meals together in the evenings, and we had a lot of fun. Don’t get me wrong, there was some sass and spunk and of course the usual bickering, but from an early age they taught me what it looked like to have a healthy view of family.
I write all of that to say this: Some of you reading this don’t share that sentiment. When you hear the word family, it stings because, rather than family being a place of safety and love, it was a place of chaos and wounding. And whether you come from a safe and loving home or a broken one, God’s family – the one He’s adopted us into – is far more glorious, safe, and loving than anything our hearts could imagine or long for. I think that’s important to wrestle with before we dive into God’s Word today.
Our Scripture for the day says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (Ephesians 1:5-6 NLT).
Now that I’m a parent, this verse hits a bit differently because we have both biological and adopted children. And one of the questions we get asked often by friends is, “Is there a difference in the way you love your biological children and adopted children?” And I love getting to look friends in the eyes and say, “Absolutely not. My children are my children. How they arrived in our home is different, but my love for them remains the same.”
And so, when I see that God, my heavenly Father who loves perfectly, has chosen to adopt us as sons and daughters, I weep. Because I know that my earthly love doesn’t compare to His perfect love. And the pleasure I get when I see my kids – all of them – thrive, pales in comparison to the joy that it brings God our Father to call us sons and daughters.
This is good news, dear friends. Those of us who come from broken homes can hope and rejoice in God drawing us into a diverse and unified family, where sacrificial love is what ties us together. Those of us who come from amazing homes with loving parents and siblings can rejoice because we’ve been given a tiny glimpse of the beauty that comes with our spiritual family. This is good news for both the rich and the poor, the married and single, the young and the old – Christ has come so that we can be sons and daughters of Father God on high!
So, what is our response?
Colossians 1:12-13 says that we should always be thanking the Father for He “has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves.
Because of the work of the cross, we’ve been rescued from brokenness and the kingdom of darkness. And this family that we get to belong to is one of light and life! We are people of the cross, but also people of the light. Whatever family situation you come from, spend time today rejoicing and thanking the Father for bringing you out of the darkness and into the light.
Week 3 Challenge:
This week, reflect on what it means to have citizenship in heaven. How does your citizenship affect where you are able to live and work on earth? How does knowing that, in Christ, you have eternal citizenship in heaven affect your life today?
Week 3 Reading Plan
Week 3 Memory Verse
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