Archive for the ‘Personal Reflections’ Category

tapestry03lgOur daughter is almost seven years old. I have heard others say that this is around the age she will begin to question more about her adoption, her birth family. And I have seen it. With the understanding of a young child, she knows the story of her adoption and is very proud of her ethnic heritage. But I know the day is coming where she will wrestle with her identity.

This past Sunday, our pastor taught from the book of Acts. He showed us “the big picture” of Paul’s life. How God used his life to impact the early church in a dynamic way. You don’t have to look very hard to see he has a sordid past. Throughout his ministry, God used Paul’s history (family and education), his brokenness and sin, his conversion, his associations and relationships, and his circumstances to further spread of the gospel and bring thousands to salvation. (To see the full sermon, click here and look for the Sept. 20, 2009 sermon entitled “It Is Written.” You can download the sermon notes there, or listen to or watch a video of the sermon.)

In our ladies’ Bible Study last week we learned about shifting control of our past. For some this may be family issues, for others it may be facing personal sin or the sins of others. Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 speak of Immanuel, “God with us.” Coming face-to-face with Immanuel makes me ask the question, was God there even in the yucky parts of our past? And if so, how does this change how I view the pain from the past? My conclusion is this: He was there, He knows all.

And so when we come to Him with our pains from or questions about the past, it’s not new to Him.  Romans 8:28 also tells us that He alone draws on the canvas of our lives and uses it for a greater good. Like the backside of a tapestry, we may see only a mess, but God sees the big picture, a masterpiece. And like He did with Paul, God can us our past as a platform for His greater purpose.

And so I am comforted with the knowledge that the circumstances of our daughter’s life are part of a bigger picture. One that God has been painting since the beginning of her life. He knew her in her birthmother’s womb, and she is fearfully and wonderfully made. He has great plans for her. She is His masterpiece.

Though she knows Jesus, I look forward to introducing her to Immanuel.

Read Full Post »

I wonder if we really understand the state into which we are all born—a stranger to the family of God; a slave to sin; an object of the justified wrath of God.

But when you turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death for your sins you, at that moment, are adopted into a new family. God the righteous Judge becomes your merciful Father.

C.J Mahaney says, “It would have been extraordinary enough for God simply to redeem us, to forgive our sins, to declare us righteous. But he does not stop here– he makes us his children (Gal. 4:4-7).”

Think about that. What would that look like if our salvation stopped at being declared righteous? If you have adopted a child, you have experienced the point at which you cross over the line from caring for the orphan and abandoned, to grafting them into your family. That’s exactly what God, the Father, has done for us.

Have you ever wondered whether God loves you? Wonder no longer. His adoption of you is the richest proof. If you have never trusted in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for your sins, if you have never been grafted/adopted into the family of God for eternity please read more here. Today could be your adoption day.

Read Full Post »