Years ago, one of my friends adopted a little girl from China. It had been a long journey (financially, emotionally, spiritually, and geographically), but eventually they were back home in Cedar Rapids with their daughter.
A couple days after getting home, Heather (the mom) put her new daughter in a high chair, then poured some Cheerios on the tray so her daughter could eat a little something while Heather prepared supper for the family. But as Heather turned around to put the cereal box away, she heard a scrambling noise from the high chair. Heather's little girl was frantically grabbing fistfuls of Cheerios and cramming them in her mouth, as if someone was going to come along and take the cereal away.
Heather told me her mama's heart broke in that moment. She realized her daughter was acting like she was still at the orphanage back in China, and not as though she was now part of a family that would not only NOT take her Cheerios away, but could provide her with more snacks than she could ever imagine.
If you follow Jesus, you've been adopted into the family of God through the Gospel. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:15 that when you put your faith in Jesus, you...
"received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!"Romans 8:15b (ESV)
Did you see it? You've been adopted in Christ as God's son! (If you are female, don't be offended by that word "sons." In ancient Israel, sons received the inheritance. God is saying through Paul that anyone (women included) who is adopted by God receives the inheritance!)
Unfortunately, Jesus-followers too often act as though they haven't been adopted. They act like Heather's little girl, not trusting that God can provide for His children. But when you put your faith in Jesus, God didn't just sign an earthly legal document in front of a judge making you His – He, the True Judge, wrote His name on your heart and your name into the book of life of heaven, giving you a completely new identity.
While I have lost touch with Heather, I'm quite confident her daughter no longer grabs panicked fistfuls of Cheerios. Her daughter eventually realized she was living in a completely different place with a completely new family. In other words, her way of living caught up with her new identity as the daughter of Steve and Heather.
Likewise, you have a completely new identity through your faith in Christ. If you do not feel like you are living out this new identity, here are three simple things you can do:
If you are a follower of Jesus, you are now a child of God! May you live out your new identity as an adopted "son" of God in Christ.
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