Matthew West - The Overflow Devo : Day 1
Chosen – twice.
I was adopted to a family that God wanted to touch with His love. My adoptive mother prayed for a child to fill the void of the one-day-old child she lost. God has had His hand in my life. I didn’t find out I was adopted until I was already married and with my first child. You would think that maybe I would have some resentment, but God placed a spirit of peace in my heart.
Around the same time I found out I was adopted, God called me to His eternal family, and I was chosen again – not just from the cry of a mother’s heart but from the heart of God. I am now 50, and God has been so faithful to me. I have been searching for my biological mother, and I am very close to that reconciliation. I believe God is going to bring healing and forgiveness to my birth mother.
The lesson from my life is that we are not our own. God created us for His purpose. “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live”(Acts 17:26)
I hope that all women who have given their children up for adoption can believe that God is with those children and has a plan for them. I give God glory and praise for the life He has given me and for including me in His plan.
Many people on this earth have experienced the life-changing story of adoption. Eight years ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave our family the privilege of participating in the beauty of their story. That snowy winter, they flew to an orphanage in Russia and chose their son, our youngest nephew, Cole. They were travel-weary when the whole family met them at the airport, but I will never forget the tears on every face as we met the little baby boy safely sleeping in his earthly father’s arms. My brother was perfectly his daddy, my sister-in-law, his mommy.
But even more spectacular is the eternity-changing story of being adopted into the family of God. Before our adoption, each one of us lives as an orphan in this world. Without an eternal home, without a forever family, without the privileges of our Father’s inheritance. But God sent His Son, Jesus, so that we might receive His plan of adoption, becoming sons and daughters of the King of Glory.
Spiritual adoption is an act of God whereby believers become members of God’s family with all the privileges and obligations of family membership. When we have been adopted into the family, God, who is holy and sovereign, becomes our loving Father. We are His. We belong to Him. The Bible goes on to teach that when we become children of God, He sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts so that we can call out to God, “Abba,” which means “daddy.”
To belong to the family of God means we are no longer slaves to our sin or slaves to the limitations of this world. We have been made heirs with full family rights and privileges.
At a dinner party one night, two of my girlfriends both told the table of guests they had been adopted into families as babies. One of the adopted women turned to the other and asked, “Did you buy your parents a gift when you graduated from college?”
The other adopted woman said, “Why, yes I did. Did you?”
“Of course,” the other responded. “I was just so grateful for all they have given to me.”
“Me too,” the first agreed.
The rest of us sheepishly sat at the table, completely convicted. It had never occurred to any of us to give a thank-you gift to our parents for our education. We had all taken our family privilege for granted. Our two adopted friends had lived lives of gratitude for having been chosen.
What if every day we remembered what God has done for us? What if we reminded ourselves, “I am adopted into the family. I belong to God. I am His child, and nothing – nothing! – will ever change that. I will be with Him forever. Undeserving as I am, His inheritance is mine. I am safe. I am set apart. I am forgiven. Oh, glory, I am loved.”
And then, what if from our gratefulness, we lived this one life as a gift back to God? Our passionate lives of purpose would be our souls’ greatest thank you. We would act as if we belong to the family. We would love like children of the Father, give as has been given to us, and serve as Jesus has served.
Maybe this world would take notice of our lives, and we would have the great privilege of telling them about our Father, the One who adopts the orphans of this world. And then, wouldn’t it be something if they were able to look at us and say, “Ah yes, I see the family resemblance”?
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