Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "More Love To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 1:4-6 – 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 to himself as sons 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. (ESV)
The glorious, unshakable, objective foundation of our being Christians is that God chose you and me to be adopted and share in His inheritance, bound together by God's grace and love in the one body of Christ!
- The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but of God adopting humans. … It is at the heart of the gospel. … Actively participating in a congregation … involves you in the lives of others and the other way around — their joys and sadnesses, connections, and expectations. But many Millennials are leaving religion, shrugging off the ties that bind, not just loosening them temporarily. – Christine Emba
I am so thankful to know firsthand what it means to be adopted into God's family. I invited Christ into my life at the tender age of twelve, and I have felt led by the Holy Spirit ever since. With other Christians, I am united in the one body of Christ, and I am encouraged, strengthened, and loved as I transform into Christlikeness.
Whenever I hear Bob Gillman's lyrics for the worship song, "Bind us together, Lord," I get goosebumps:
- Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together in love.
There is only one God, there is only one King,
There is only one Body, that is why we sing.
After about thirty moves, I know what it feels like to be the invisible newcomer in a church. Some congregations split into individual groups, matching their own personal criteria, leaving little if any room for growth. This proprietary nature separates the unity of a church by weakening the body rather than building it up! Although it is easy for us newcomers just to run away, we need to trust that God has a special plan for us in the body of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-21, Paul emphasizes that a body wouldn't say to the hand, feet, or legs, "I don't need you, because I only want to hear, see, and smell." Nor would it say to the eye or ear, "I don't need you. I only want to walk and do things with my hands." So, no part of the body is irrelevant or useless. Likewise, newcomers are never meaningless!
Similarly, for those already within the Christian community, our reformed lives should be recognized as a miracle! As children adopted into this sacred family, we should be living proof of God's Holy Spirit at work, including as many others in the family as possible. Pray with me:
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, my heart overflows with gratitude, for You chose me, redeemed me, forgave me, and welcomed me with open arms into Your family. I am an adopted child of Yours! Amen.