Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
My husband and I had the pleasure of coming home from our wedding day with three rambunctious children rolling around in the backseat. The precious man I married, not only said, “I do” to claim a wife that day, but promised to love a family as part of the package. He really is a unique and special man. Sorry ladies, I truly claimed the best one. It was a challenge for sure in the beginning blending all these personalities into a fully functioning family but with by the Grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit it all came together just as He planned.
From the moment of their meeting, my husband and oldest daughter had an immediate connection. They bonded as father and daughter without any help from anyone else. Claiming one another, I used to joke that she sealed the deal for me. Don’t get me wrong, he loved the boys, too. There was just something innate and preordained about their relationship. It was supposed to happen. She began to use his last name even though legally it was not allowed. She affectionately began calling him, “Big Daddy” immediately melting my heart and his I am sure. No one had to tell them to love each other, or to be father and daughter, they just were. It took many years before it would legally be so. It really didn’t matter to them. They have been connected by the heart since the beginning.
Children are born of mankind every single day but few will experience having a father as God intended it. It is just not human nature to love others (even children) more than one self though I can scarcely comprehend such. If I have ever questioned that God has a plan for our life from beginning to end and that He orders our steps to fulfillment, it was answered when he created our daughter for her dad long before the two would ever meet. He is a Good, Good Father. He is our Abba Father. He chose us before creation was complete to be His Sons and Daughters. He made the Way for us even before we knew we needed one and then carefully laid out the course of our life allowing His Kids to find their way home. God was in love with us and intent on adopting us from the very beginning. Why? It pleased Him. God finds pleasure in us. The Father loves the Son, yet His Love for us caused Him to allow His One and Only Son to be tortured and executed for the sin of all his wayward children. God is a Good Father.
Romans 8:14-16 (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.
Just as no one had to tell my husband to love our daughter or vice versa, we have eternity hidden in our heart as hope. We hope to love and be loved from the very beginning. It is the inner most satisfaction and longing that people want fulfilled. Like Garth Brooks used to sing, “We are looking for love in all the wrong places.” People are not perfect. They will never be able to love us meeting all expectations of reciprocation or successful affirmation. My father and I have a good relationship but he does not meet all of my human expectations. My husband loves me, too. He is just as imperfect as I am so he will never satisfy my soul completely. He cannot touch the Eternity in my heart that only Abba Father can. My dad facilitated my creation but honestly I was not planned…by him. My husband did not expect to marry a woman with three small children…but he did. God has a plan for our life that began before creation. No matter how planned or unexpected the pregnancy may have been, God has a plan that supersedes whatever was planned and He carefully wrote out every single day even if all parties involved were caught by surprise. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God made us with a plan. It is a good one with a future and hope. Psalm 139 assures us that God is not surprised by our preordained existence and has every detail written out. Jeremiah 29:13 says it belongs to those who seek Him wholeheartedly. Psalm 139:23-24 challenges us to allow God to search our heart and do away with the offensive things so we can live in the everlasting love of our Father.
Are you led by the Spirit of God? If you have asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, then His Spirit is guaranteed to come live in you. We live in the age of worshippers who must do so in Spirit and Truth. We have the Spirit of God in us who identifies us as Children of the Living God and the Word of God is the Truth to live by. Those who desire to be adopted must live life by the Spirit. Just like my daughter decided who her Big Daddy was that is the same for each of us as we approach this life and decide if we will be Christians. To follow Christ is to accept our role as Children of God. Religion enslaves us to doing things for God’s Acceptance. Our relationship is that of dear children. He wants to lavish His Love on us. We must live in love with our Father.
Mark 14:35-36 (NIV)
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Jesus cried out “Abba, Father…” just before He was arrested and would complete His Journey to the Cross. In those moments of agonizing prayer as His Humanity dreaded what His Spirit longed for, Jesus cried out to His Dad. “Everything is possible for you.” He did not say, “Everything is possible for you…so take this cup from me.” He ended the statement with a period. Jesus fully trusted His Father with His Life. The enemy has attacked the family structure and there are many fatherless children who do not know the love of a father. It has caused a vast deterioration in our society sending forth the message that fathers cannot be trusted. They will leave. Fall short. Let us down. I could go on and on. Men will always have the propensity to let others down in their humanity just as much as women can. The satisfaction we long for comes from Abba Father. It is possible by faith to live in confident hope when we learn to trust our Father in Heaven no matter our experience here on earth. Everything is possible for you, God. Everything is possible for you, Abba Father. Everything is possible for you, Big Daddy. “Yet not what I will, but what you will” Abba Father.
Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Our daughter is now grown, married and gone from our house. She still loves Big Daddy. The confident love that he provided to her allows her to love others unconditionally. She expects more out of life and values herself because her earthly daddy made it clear that she is his greatest treasure. Imagine the potential for each of us if we would allow our hearts and minds to receive the Love of our Abba Father. He gave His All for us to be His Sons and Daughters. His Spirit resides in our heart guaranteeing an inheritance that can be found in Him. He adopted us. He was not appalled by our sin but provided the Blood of Jesus to wash us clean. Now we can come boldly before the Throne as our children do when they need something. His Intentions concerning us are ALWAYS good. He is not a man that can lie or change his mind so no matter what our experience is in the natural – God is always Good! He chose us from the very beginning and will never ever change His Mind no matter what we do, how far we fall, or how distant we wander. His Heart welcomes the prodigal.
When I read this passage today, I thought about Mary and Joseph in the manager alone with the Son of the Living God. Joseph was not his dad, but He chose to love and care for Jesus as his own. Christmas is a great time to celebrate our adoption. To examine our hearts and decide to love our Father even more though we cannot see Him knowing that He is coming for us. It was the baby born in a manager who would be the man who died on the Cross and rose on the Third day to hand us the Keys to the Kingdom. Our Father’s House. He is not like any father, dad or parent who we have ever know. With our Abba Father, everything is possible. It is hard to unlock the recesses of our heart especially if it has been broken. I think that is why we have the Holy Spirit. Our Father knew how broken, empty and hurt this world would leave us. His Spirit allows us to love our Father and become His Children.
Have you cried out to Your Father today? Did you tell Him you love Him? Have you told Him that you trust Him? To small children, their daddy is always better than your daddy? Men are ten feet tall and bullet proof to their sons and daughters. But to those who have never known the love of a father, be reminded today. You are not fatherless. Your Abba Father awaits your arrival. He is whispering to your heart to come. He wants you. Just you. There is nothing that you can do that satisfies God’s Heart more than just loving and trusting Him. You don’t have to do a thing just live with Him. He really is a Good Father. We have a “Big Daddy” who provides for His Children, protects us from harm and works every detail of our life together for our good. Do you know who your Father is? Have you talked to Him lately? He is crazy about you. Those who experience His Love will need no other. He’s a Great Dad!
Romans 8:22-25 (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. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.