Romans 8:22-23, 26-27 NIV – We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
John Piper says this: “Nothing in us, or in the nature of the world required that God would go beyond all redeeming, forgiving, rescuing, healing love to this extreme—namely, to an adopting love. A love that will not settle for a truce, or a formal gratitude, or distant planet of material pleasure, but will press all the way in to make you a child of God. A member of the family.” Our Father’s love presses all the way into us.
We are children of God, which is a permanent status, no longer abandoned, but transformed by the power of the Spirit!
Prayer: Lord, as your perfect love presses all the way into us, may we live in this new reality as children of God by the Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Romans 8:14-17 NIV – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
We all need this supernatural love. We need it poured out, lavished upon in our lives through the Spirit over and over again. The Spirit groans in us and by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies that we are God’s children. This is who we are!
As the theologian NT Wright puts it, we are playing a whole “different piece of music now…even if our fingers slip sometimes and play some wrong notes, notes that belong to the music we used to play, that doesn’t mean we are going back to play that old music for real once more.”
Let’s worship to “Love Like Fire” by Hillsong Worship (Click here).
Prayer: By your Spirit, we cry Abba, Father! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 27:10 NLT – Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
“Rocky childhood but big God…He loved me and knew me and could redeem me and restore me…the template wasn’t amazing, but God is so big and so kind…we are overcomers and overcoming…by the grace of God…through the Holy Spirit.”
“We are not intended to be like our earthly fathers and mothers. The hurts we’ve experienced are real, but [it] is no longer our identity, what we hold on to, because of God’s grace and love. To live otherwise is to deny that truth.”
[Beth and Matt Redman]
We no longer need to be defined by our past hurts, our past failures, or even present hurts and failures. We no longer need to look left and right, or grasp for the imperfect, fleeting “love” that this world puts on display. We aren’t defined by broken families or abusive situations. We no longer need to be defined by whatever “template” we think we are constrained to. This is the truth that you and I live in because our Father in heaven has loved us so. We overcome by, in and through: BY the grace of God, IN our Father’s Love (“lavished” upon as in our adoption), THROUGH the Holy Spirit.
Let’s worship to the song “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for holding us close. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Colossians 3:3 NIV – For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
God’s love is not simply an emotional expression but purposeful, with great effect. His love is a creative act and we belong to God as surely and permanently as children belong to their parents. We do not simply look at a love that is external to us and marvel at its greatness; we know a love that resides within us.
This love is lavishly expressed in our unmerited and unearned adoption into his household — as his children. In this new identity we can find comfort, assurance, and security because we are now “held close” by our Lord. This is because our new identity is entirely in the Father’s hands. It is an absolute, unyielding decision initiated by God on our behalf. It is a divine choice. God gives us this privileged designation only because that is what we are by his grace, whatever other people may think or say. We are assured: this is not imaginary, and our ‘life is now hidden with Christ in God,’ as it says in Colossians 3:3. It is finally possible that we not only experience perfect love but be assured in it.
Let’s sing to “Touch of Heaven” by David Funk (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this truth that our lives are now hidden with Christ in God! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
1 John 3:1-2 NIV – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
When we read these words “great love,” we have to first realize that what is being spoken of has never ever been seen in this world – has never ever been manifested in this world by human beings. It is out of this world. It is alien. It is extra-natural: supernatural. The expression “how great” originally meant “of what country.” It is as if the Father’s love is so unearthly, so foreign to this world, that John wonders from what country it may come. It is a love that could only fully manifest in human history through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In adoration, let’s sing “The Father’s Song” by Matt Redman (Click here).
Prayer: Our Father, thank you for the great big love that you’ve lavished on us, calling us your children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.