Yesterday, October 25th , marked a special birthday for the Welievers. It was 37 years ago that our daughter, Rachél, was born into our family, although her actual birthday is June 4th.
We adopted Rachél.
I don’t remember the day we signed the official papers. But I remember that day 37 years ago that we drove to St Petersburg, Florida, to see Rachél for the first time. She was 4 ½ months old. When we walked into that room of the Children’s Home Society of Florida, she pulled herself up in her crib and stood there smiling at us. It was like she was saying, “Hi Mommy and Daddy! I’m your little girl. Take me home.” And we did.
Our work of the week is adopted.
Listen to these wonderful words: “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 through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:4-6, ESV)
William Hendriksen in his commentary on Ephesians expressed the thought of the text in a beautiful fashion. “When the Father chose a people for himself, deciding to adopt them as his own children, he was motivated by love alone. Hence, what he did was a result not of sheer determination but of supreme delight. A person may be fully determined to submit to a very serious operation. Again, he may be just as fully determined to plant a beautiful rose garden. Both are matters of the will. However, the latter alone is a matter of delight, that is, of his will’s good pleasure. Thus, God, who does not afflict from the heart (Lam. 3:33), delights in the salvation of sinner”
What does it mean to be adopted?” asked the teacher.
“It means,” said Jocelyn, ““that you grew in your mother’s heart instead of her tummy!” Ahh, don’t you just love that?
Norma Jean and I know what Jocelyn meant. It’s special. And Rachél’s special. She grew in our heart.
If you are a Christian, you grew in God’s heart. He’s adopted you. He chose you. He delights in you. He has a purpose for you. It was a decision He made based on love. And it wasn’t a snap decision. He made it before he ever created the world!
Charles Welch in his book, “The Just and Justifier” wrote “In the Roman culture, the adopted son or daughter had four major changes: a change of family, a change of name, a change of home, and a change of responsibilities.” This is exactly what God did when he adopted you!
He wanted you as a son or daughter. You are a part of the family. You have all the rights and privileges that being in the family affords. Jesus Christ is your elder brother. And you’ve been given a new name–Christian!
You are in the will. You are an heir to the Father’s fortune. You have a heavenly mansion waiting for you. Yes, you have a special place in His heart.
Our responsibility? To glorify God. Serve Him. And fulfill the purpose He’s planned for us.
Thank the Father for your adoption.
Oh, and Happy Adopted Birthday, Rachél. You’re still growing in our heart.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman