Imagine growing up in a tribal nation without anything. All you had to wear was rags. All you had to eat was what you could kill or scrape together that the drought had not destroyed. You drank the same water from the river where everyone bathed and livestock waded. Death was a normal part of life for the people in your community. What disease and famine did not kill off, fights and war would.
One day a wealthy person from America came and adopted you. You knew this man was wealthy because he had shoes and socks. Only rich people wear both in your world. This man got you cleaned up, put two layers of clothes on you (under and outer), and put you on an airplane to another part of the planet.
You would not know what to expect. You would know the future held good things; things could not get any worse than where you lived at the time. On that plane, your young mind would not be able to comprehend the changes that were coming. You would not understand all those tall buildings you saw as you flew into your new home city. You would not understand the smiles you saw, the cars, the trains, the boats, the books, the electronics. You would not understand the language or the logic behind this civilization. Going from survival to luxury would take your breath away.
You would know you someone loved you
What amazing love that someone would take an unknowing, “worthless” person and make something great out of them. Your heavenly Father has done that. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (I John 3:1). A child rescued from the death and misery of his tribal home would be transformed into a new person after being given a good education, good health, and good manners. His people would not recognize him or know what to think about him. So also, your worldly friends do not know what to think about you. “Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (3:1).
Still, we do not even know what we are. We have yet to see what our homeland will be. Our Father has cleaned us up and put us on the plane so to speak, but we have not yet arrived. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (3:2). One day soon, those who are in Christ will see His face. We do not totally understand the hope of the resurrection now, but we will on that day. By faith, we have His likeness now. By faith, we live in His nature. That day, it will all be tangible reality and will never fade away.
Don’t throw away your adoption!
A child who had gone from ghetto to glory would want to live worthy of pleasing the father who adopted him. We who have gone from children of the devil to children of God want to walk worthy of our Father. “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (I John 3:3). We see the value of our new citizenship and will not let it go as if it were some freebie. We know where He brought us from and we do not want to go back.
Take a moment and thank your Father for adopting you. If you doubt whether He has, then ask Him right now to accept you as His child. To do this, turn from your old sinful lifestyle and tell Him what you have done wrong (I John 1:9). Next, get baptized in Jesus’ Name (this legalizes the adoption, Galatians 3:27). Taking on the name of the Son of God makes you a child of God (Ephesians 3:14-15). Also, let Him fill you with His Spirit (Acts 2:4, 38). The Spirit within us is how we know we are children of God (Romans 8:15-16; I John 3:24). Then we continually live in harmony with our Father: putting away sin and doing what is good, loving, and pure.
If you have questions about entering the family of God, feel free to respond and I will be glad to help you with transferring your identity. The benefits are out of this world.
Now, live in harmony with what God has called you: “My child.”