DAILY DEVOTIONAL – March 19, 2021
“If Only You Knew…”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, it’s too often that we forget just how blessed we are that we can take this moment right now and pray to You, the Eternal God, and call You our Father, our “Abba”, our Daddy. Your love for us knows no measure as You gave up everything, dying on the cross for all the sins of humanity, so that You could make us Your children and give us an eternal home and family of faith in Your presence forever. Help us in Your mercy to live each day in thankfulness and worship toward You for this precious inheritance we have in Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Scripture: Galatians 4:4-7
When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Devotion – “If Only You Knew…”
Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Moore was named in 2017 to Politico Magazine’s list of top fifty influence-makers in Washington, and has been profiled by such publications as the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and the Weekly Standard.
Another interesting fact about Russell Moore is that he is the very proud father of 5 boys, 2 of whom Russell and his wife personally adopted from a less than desirable orphanage in Russia. In his book entitled “Adopted for Life”, Russell tells the story of adopting his sons…a story of adoption that not only continues for Russell and his family today, but a story of adoption for all the children of God that continues into eternity.
For today’s devotional, I would like to read you part of the excerpt from this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think you will. As he looked back on that incredible day when he adopted two of his sons in Russia, Russell says:
“When my wife Maria and I at long last received the call that the legal process was over, and we returned to Russia to pick up our new sons, we found that their transition from orphanage to family was more difficult than we had supposed. We dressed the boys in outfits our parents had bought for them. We nodded our thanks to the orphanage personnel and walked out into the sunlight, to the terror of the two boys.
They’d never seen the sun, and they’d never felt the wind. They had never heard the sound of a car door slamming or had the sensation of being carried along at highway speeds down a road. I noticed that they were shaking, and reaching back to the orphanage in the distance.
I whispered to Sergei, now Timothy, “That place is a pit! If only you knew what’s waiting for you: a home with a Mommy and a Daddy who love you, grandparents and great-grandparents and cousins and playmates and McDonald’s Happy Meals!”
But all they knew was the orphanage. It was squalid, but they had no other reference point. It was home.
We knew the boys had acclimated to our home, that they trusted us, when they stopped hiding food in their high-chairs. They knew there would be another meal coming, and they wouldn’t have to fight for the scraps. This was the new normal.
They are now thoroughly Americanized, perhaps too much so, able to recognize the sound of a microwave ding from forty yards away. I still remember, though, those little hands reaching back for the orphanage. And I see myself there.
You know friends, adoption is an incredible act of unconditional love and grace. It is perhaps one of the most selfless things a person or couple can do, and I have enormous respect and appreciation for anyone that has offered themselves as a blessing for a helpless child who had no one else and no family to call their own.
Our text in Galatians says that “you are no longer a slave, but God’s child.” The truth is that everyone enters this life enslaved to sin and separated from God because of sin. On our own, we would have known nothing else but sin and all of its evils. We would have remained captives and condemned under the Law of God. But in His amazing grace and love, God not only fulfilled the Law in His Son Jesus, but also laid on Him the consequences we have earned by breaking His Law. Now by faith in Christ, we have been set free and God has put the Spirit of His only Son Jesus in our hearts through faith in Him, making us not only redeemed children of God, but heirs with Christ. As Galatians 4 says we are adopted in Christ.
All children of God are adopted children. Only Christ Jesus is the True Son and heir. All of us enter heaven as adopted children, who have an eternal Father and family in God only because God in His mercy made us His own, certifying it in the blood of His own Son. God didn’t wait for us to be able to understand how sinful or wrong or lost we were before dying for us and adopting us as His children. No, Scripture says that while we were still sinners – even enemies of God – while we were enslaved to sin and knew of nothing else but sin, Christ died for the sins of the whole world…for all people.
I love what Russell Moore told his newly adopted sons as they looked back terrified, grasping out in an attempt to return to the orphanage; the only home they knew. Russel told his son, “That place is a pit! If only you knew what’s waiting for you.” That is exactly what God tells us in His word. This earthly place is no longer our home…God has made us part of His eternal heavenly family, and as Christ promised in the Gospel of John, “You are not of this world any longer. I have set you free and made you My own. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you and take you to the heavenly home to which you belong and which I have prepared for you”. (My paraphrase of John 14)
Yet, because we still have this sinful nature until that day when Christ returns, we often lose sight of our eternal home and instead retreat to the sins and sinful world we know all too well. But God’s mercies are new every morning. These are the sins He laid on His son in our place. As Russel told his son who grasped back toward the orphanage, so too God calls us to repent of those sins and receive His grace as He tells us, “This place is a pit! If only you knew what’s waiting for you!”
By grace through faith in Christ, we are the children of God…and though we are surely adopted through the blood of Christ, the truth is friends, there are no adopted children in heaven. Only true children of God in Christ Himself. As out text for Galatians says, “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray you find complete joy and fulfillment in knowing Christ our Lord, and in the peace and assurance that in Him we are truly children of the Most High God who has forgiven yesterday, is with us today and has already taken care of tomorrow. Amen.