Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.
PREDESTINED FOR ADOPTION
After an unexpected storm of emotions and legal papers, my wife Beth and I found ourselves walking in to a small, cluttered, fluorescently lit room to meet with the adoption case worker. I don’t remember much about what was said: all of the things that we needed to do, all of the things that we wanted in a child, all of the things we might not. I don’t remember much because I was too distracted by a sheet of paper that was sitting in front of me on the table.
There were these two tiny footprints in black ink. And even though the caseworker was probably saying some of these things in that meeting, I really knew nothing about the person who wore those feet. I had never seen her. I didn’t know for sure if she was sick or well. I didn’t know if she was cute. I didn’t know the shade of the color of her skin. I didn’t know if she was a fussy baby or if she would sleep through the night. I didn’t know where she came from or how she was going to turn out. I didn’t know her genealogy; what she was born in to, what she was born with… all I had in that moment, under the quiet murmur of the caseworker across the table, were those two precious little feet.
One word flooded my heart as I stared at that sheet of paper; one word came to mind as we went line by line through the seemingly endless process: MINE. And right there in that little room, on November 23rd, 2014, right under the picture of those little feet, I signed: RUBY CLAIRE BARNARD
She was mine.
Ruby was my daughter.
And I was her father.
DO YOU BELIEVE
Before we get up in front of a congregation and declare things about our Father in heaven, it would serve us well to let our worship songs diagnose our own hearts. Let’s use this amazing song to ask ourselves three very important questions:
1. Do you believe that you are His and that He loves you?
Do you believe Ephesians 1 when it says, “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world”? Do you believe Jesus when He said in John chapter 6, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will NEVER cast out”? Do you believe Romans 8:38-39 when Paul says, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”?
It is so easy to forget that we are not only saved but we are also kept by the saving work of Jesus Christ. Ruby will always be my daughter. Not just on adoption day, but every day, month, and year that follows it. It is not possible for her to sin her way out of this relationship. And even though a gavel coming down carries a lot of weight, how much stronger is the covenantal blood of Christ? It is absolutely unfailing. It is without condition. You are loved by Him; it’s who you are. Do not be deceived by your failure or your current circumstance into thinking that you are anything but fully loved today. IT IS who you are. And we, as lead worshipers have the awesome privilege to put this love on display week after week!
This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10
I write these things to you who believe in the name of
the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13
2. Do you believe that He is indeed a good Father?
For some of us, when we hear the word “father,” it carries with it a connotation that is FAR from “good.” In fact, because of your experience with your earthly father, or lack there of, the word “father” might sound like a cuss word to you. If that is you, let the good Father of the Bible be a sweet balm to your wounds and unbelief.
God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Take some time to ask the Spirit of God to rightly set this Father apart from anyone you have ever known. There is no one like Him. He doesn’t treat us as we deserve. He is faithful in all of His words, and kind in all of His works. A good, GOOD Father is who He is.
3. Do you believe that He is perfect in all of His ways?
There are many things in my life today that I could look at and say, “This is just not how I would write the script.” What are those things in your life? What circumstance or position are you in that might tempt you to believe that our all powerful, sovereign, good Father is NOT perfect in all of His ways?
Let us be reminded that He is!
There will not be ONE second - not even one, beloved - from now until eternity that there will be anything less than goodness and mercy covering your life (Psalm 23:6). Following you! Right on your heels! Meeting you in the details of your life. And if we believe that our God is sovereign, the implication of this “pursuing grace” is that God has put you where you are today for a reason; He has hemmed you in behind and before (Psalm 139). And by his grace, it is possible to believe that He IS perfect in all of His ways today. It is possible for us, even in our unwanted circumstance, to not want; because we have all that we need in our good, good Father (Psalm 23:1).
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
As we listen, lead and learn this song, let us fix our eyes on the One who loves us without condition. Our good Father who not only created our faith, but who is also perfecting it.