(a post Matt shared on paragonchurch.blogspot.com too)
Today is St Patrick's Day. Around the Sellers' house it is also
"Gotcha" Day. It is the day we celebrate "getting" Endale. It has been
one year since we walked into the transition house and picked up our
son to hold him for the first time. And what a year it has been. Full
of all sorts of fun and learning and most of all... CHANGE.
I look at ADOPTION and I see a picture of what God has done for us... and how He is changing us to be more like Him every day.
Ephesians 1:3-5 (ESV) - Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in
Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
The entire first chapter of Ephesians [READ HERE]
is amazing. It gives me goosebumps when I read it. It is only two
(long) sentences long, but full of the love that God has for you and me.
I love where it says "IN LOVE he predestined us for ADOPTION." Do you know what that means?
Listen to the way JI Packer explains it...
"Adoption is the highest privilege the gospel offers, arguably higher
than salvation. Adoption is higher because of the relationship it
involves with God. Salvation is wonderful, but it does not imply
necessarily an intimate relationship. But in adoption, God doesn’t just
save us, but He takes us into his family as children and heirs."
Our adoption as sons and daughters is just as amazing as our salvation.
God didn’t just redeem you from your sin. He adopted you into His
family as His child. Many of us really struggle to feel God’s love for
us. We hear and sing about it, but don’t really feel it. We don’t
understand or feel the fullness of His love. Some of you don’t even
think that God likes you, let alone loves you. Our view of God is that He
walks around frustrated with us and tolerates us. Or that He just uses
us for His purposes.
You will never fully feel the fullness and depth of God’s love until
you understand the kind of love in which He loves you. It’s more than
just a general love. It’s the kind of love that a dad has for his child.
If someone were to ask you, “How do you know that God loves you?” You would respond by quoting John 3:16 (ESV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
You would argue that God loves the whole world, and I’m in the
world. Therefore He must love me. If that is the fullness of your
understanding of how God loves you, then you do not fully understand the
depth of how much He truly loves you.
The disciple John was talking about this kind of love. At first, he
was just a disciple, but then something happened during the
resurrection. He became a son. That truth blew his mind. He wasn’t just
an apostle, someone God was using to expand the kingdom, but he was now a
child of the Living God.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; (1 John 3:1a ESV)
day my first son was born... my life changed. My mindset changed. My
idea of a father's love changed. My second son came along and
everything changed even more. My daughter's birth took me to a whole
new level of a Father's Love. The day we landed in Ethiopia was the
beginning of something even more amazing. I realized what ADOPTION
really is. And I have seen it play out over the last year. I've seen
God's love come full circle.
LOVE He adopted me. His Love Rescued Me. That love is changing me to
be more like Him. His Love rescued me to Love others. A year ago, we
went to Ethiopia to ADOPT a little boy whose life will ever be changed.
We have given up many things to make this life change happen (and I
don't say that in a way to say "look at how holy we are" but instead
look at what God is doing and what God has done - after all, He gave up
HIS ONE AND ONLY SON to bring me into His family - so much more than the
little earthly stuff I had to give up). The most amazing part of all
of this... I see in the video the life change that has taken place in
Endale's life... but while making the video, I saw just how much that
little guy has changed my life in the process.
RESCUED FOR LOVE - RESCUED TO LOVE.
ENDALE'S GOTCHA DAY - YouTube