“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:15-18
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:4-5
“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. And since we are his children, we are his heirs.” Romans 8: 15-17
As Christians, we have been adopted into God’s family as sons and daughters. We can freely approach our Father, knowing he hears us, loves us, and wants the very best for us.
But a lot of us live as orphans. We think of ourselves as “outsiders” – somehow outside of God’s favor and family. Deep down, we feel as though we don’t really belong and we think we need to fend for ourselves.
This results in a life of lonely striving. Our orphan mentality keeps us isolated from a deep relationship with God and others. And yet we long to feel included, so we try to earn the approval of God and others.
All the while, our father welcomes us with open arms as dearly beloved children, offering his church to us and sharing his life with us.
Moving from an orphan mentality to an adopted mentality begins and ends with receiving God’s love. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s more than an affirmation. It’s an experience.
Often it comes through the love of others. Sometimes we encounter it directly from him. Whatever the avenue, the key thing is that we are open to it. We must dare to believe that some things aren’t too good to be true, and that our being unconditionally loved and accepted by God is one of them. We must gradually learn to let go of the futile quest to earn something which has already been given to us. We must put more confidence in what Christ did and said than on what we feel and believe.
You are loved, adopted, included, and important. Receive these truths today and every day until you learn to live from them freely.