“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” -1 Corinthians 15:17-19 (NIV)
With Easter approaching, many Christians begin to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection. The resurrection is what our faith is based upon. As it says in 1 Corinthians, we have no hope if Christ has not been raised from the dead.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” -Galatians 3:13-14 (NIV)
“Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through he blood of Christ.” -Ephesians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Do you notice our state before God? Excluded from citizenship, foreigners. Other places in the Bible label us as strangers, aliens, or dead before God. I would add without family. We have all been there. Maybe some of you are still there. If you have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, then you know the difference between being an alien and being a citizen. You know the difference between being a stranger or a foreigner and being a family member. You know the difference between being dead and alive. You know the difference between having no hope and having hope. What it comes down to is we have been adopted into God’s family.
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out ‘Abba Father.’ So you are not longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” -Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)
I would venture to say that many children in need of earthly adoption feel some of these feelings- excluded, strangers, without family, and without hope. As Christians, we should not be okay with this. It is not okay that there are children in this world who go to bed at night without a forever family. I know that journey is not easy. I know that journey can be expensive. I know that journey can include heartbreak. I know that journey can be scary. Very often these children have been hurt and may seem “difficult” to bring into your family.
However, I think when you view adoption in light of the grace God has poured out on us, it makes it seem more manageable. Aren’t you often hurt by things that happen in your life? Can’t you sometimes be “difficult”? Have you ever turned your back on or questioned God? Have you ever repeatedly fallen into the same sin? Have you ever disappointed God? We all fall short of the glory of God, yet He loves us anyway. He accepts us in His family anyway. He makes us His sons and daughters anyway.
Grace is an undeserved gift. It is getting something that you’ve done nothing to deserve. When God adopts us into His family, it is by His grace. If you’ve been given this grace, you should be out there giving grace to others. If you haven’t accepted this grace, God is there extending it to you. He wants you to be a part of His family.