Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
“Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family. In adoption, we are given many of the greatest blessings that we will know for all eternity… One of the greatest privileges of our adoption is being able to speak to God and relate to him as [our] good and loving Father… The privilege of being led by the Holy Spirit is also a benefit of adoption… In addition to these great privileges that concern our relationship to God and fellowship with him, we also have privileges of adoption that affect the way that we relate to each other and affect our own personal conduct. Because we are God’s children, our relationship with each other is far deeper and more intimate than the relationship that angels, for example, have to one another, for we are all members of one family.” [Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 736.]
In Christ, we have every spiritual blessing afforded us as God’s children. Let us pray and ask God to help us fully live out all these benefits and privileges, also let us pray for our churches, ministries, and campuses to live in this fullness as well.
Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
“When we do wrong to another person, we feel guilty. But when someone does wrong to us, we feel bitter. Bitterness is by definition our response to someone else’s sin against us, whether it is real or imagined. The hurt of the sin leads to the immediate response of anger. When we can’t or don’t do anything about the hurt, the initial anger settles into bitterness, and intense resentment marked by animosity, hatred, cynicism, and contempt. It is cold, raw, destructive misery. Our bitterness is easy to legitimize, because if someone points out that we are bitter, we can easily point our finger to someone else who has sinned against us and blame them for making us bitter. That answer does not help us in any way, though, because it only explains why we are bitter but does not take away our bitterness.” [Driscoll & Breshears, Death by Love, p. 221.]
Let us get rid of any bitterness or anger that have built up in our hearts towards others, especially those that have offended us. As children of God, we have the power to live freely in God’s love and his forgiveness.
Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV) – Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
The opposite of abandonment is adoption. In Christ, we are never alone. God is always with us. Even in those moments where we have felt alone or lonely, God is never far. Let us thank God for never abandoning us and for constantly drawing us near to him.
Romans 8:14-16 (NLT) – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
The cross of Christ seals our adoption into God’s family, but it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to daily live in this reality. The Spirit helps us call out to our “Abba Father,” and he affirms to us that we are his sons and daughters.
As you take time to reflect on this truth, pray and ask him to fill us with his Spirit today and every day so that we can live this out faithfully.
Ephesians 1:5, 7 (NLT) – God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
“The Christian mind goes at once to the cross of Christ, because there they were reconciled. God overcame our evil by justifying us only because he first condemned it in Christ, and by redeeming us only because he first paid the ransom price. He did not overcome evil by refusing to punish it, but by accepting the punishment himself. At the cross human evil was both punished and overcome, and God’s mercy and justice were both satisfied.” [Stott, The Cross of Christ, p. 301.]
As you take time to reflect on how the cross of Christ has made possible our adoption into God’s family, let us pray and thank God for his loving kindness and grace.