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“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…..that we might receive the adoption as sons.”  Galatians 4:5

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name.”  John 1:12

There is something kind of strange in the United States and for all I know it may also take place in other places around the world.  It is the stigma associated in the process of adoption; especially toward those who are adopted.  Now it’s not talked about or makes a lot of press.  But in doing a little research it is very interesting how significantly adopted children feel that they are stigmatized in American society.  There is a significant number who feels that society looks down upon them, treats them differently, that they are somehow lessor than those who are living with their biological parents.  Now please, please understand I neither wish to offend those who are adopted nor the parents of those who have placed children up for adoption. I understand there may be some from both those groups who read this and don’t feel that way at all and that is fantastic.

So why bring it up at all?  Because as children of God Almighty, we are all adopted.  Again I say, but really it’s scripture that states it that matters; those beside Jesus Christ, who are children of God only have that status through adoption.

Understand, we started out as all other things in the universe as creations of God.  There is only one Son and John tells us He has always been with God.  We were creations in the person of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Yet, Our Heavenly Father, in His ultimate mercy, love and wisdom, desired and desires a closer relationship with us.  He wanted and wants us to be His children.  Yet it was not He who did not meet the adoptive requirements.  It was us, the children.  Because of sin we could never enter into a full relationship with Our Heavenly Father.  He was very clear with His law how we could go about being good enough.  Though we were never able to keep His law to allow us the perfection required to have that deeper relationship.  Again that separation was not acceptable to Our Heavenly Father.

What’s a perspective adoptive Father to do?  If it is a human parent, they probably try for awhile then give up; but not our Heavenly Father.  Scripture tells us, that in the fullness of time, Our Heavenly Father accomplished what we never could.  Plus please understand just what an amazing effort it took to allow us to come into a relationship of being His children.  First, because no perfection existed on earth, perfection had to come down from heaven.  So Our Heavenly Father sent His only True, Begotten Son, Jesus Christ down to earth.  Now talk about Fatherly Love, Jesus Christ was going to have to take the sins of all humanity on his shoulders; take on every sin that has or will be committed and then take the punishment for that sin, which is death.  It was only through His taking the guilt and paying the price for our sins that we could become guiltless and hence come into a relationship with Our Heavenly Father.  And you want to talk brotherly love, Jesus Christ, willingly, lovingly, went to the cross for yours and mine sake.

Thus, no matter our earthly circumstances, we should be absolutely certain of this.  We have a Heavenly Father who loves us.  He loves us individually.  He loves us by name.  He loves us so much that He wants us to not just be His creation, but He wants us to be His children.  And He is willing to go to the greatest lengths to make that happen.

Now briefly, some worldly people might say:  “Oh great, look what God did to His own Son, I guess I can expect the same treatment for me!”  Let’s make no mistake about this; only one death could achieve the miracle of redemption.  Only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has allowed our salvation and no other death is necessary.

And what does He want in return?  Only that we believe in Jesus Christ as the one True Begotten Son of God and that we receive Him as our Savior.  Once we’ve committed to that then we are born again of the Spirit into adopted children of Our Heavenly Father.  A Perfect Father, an all knowing Father, a Father who longs to pour out His Love, Peace and Blessings upon us.  A Heavenly Father asking that we love Him in return and share His love with each other.

I, for one, am glad to be adopted.  I am thrilled to be His Child.  I am humbled at the lengths that Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ went through that I might be adopted.  I long to be obedient but I also know that I fail sometimes.  Yet He who called me friend, reaches out His nail scarred hands and tells me, it’s okay, I’ve taken that for you, repent and come back to the family. And I cry out thank you Abba Father.  Praise be to Your Holy Name.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we proclaim and affirm that there is only one begotten Son and that is Jesus Christ.  Yet with a Love too deep to truly fathom and a mystery to fantastic to completely grasp, You have chosen to adopt us as Your children.  We thank You for Your Mercy that would have Your Son Jesus Christ, come to earth, dwell with us, die for us and for our sins, that we might be able to come into relationship with You.  We boldly proclaim our belief in the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  And it is in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, that we pray this prayer of praise and thanksgiving.  Amen

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7

“‘Come’, he said”  Matthew 14:29

Jesus Christ was in His element.  He had just preached His Father’s word to a great crowd.  He had just fed them, 5000 and more with five loaves and two fish.  He sent His disciples on ahead as He blessed and dismissed the crowd.  And now it was time for Him to go back to His disciples.  So He walked to them.  You see this is the One who was there at creation.  This is the One, John tells us, Who was there at the beginning; that through Him all things were made.  So it was very natural, having made all things, that Jesus was in control of all things.  So, for Him, it was not a miracle to walk on the water that He, Himself had a part in creating.  It was His element to control.  So as Jesus approaches the boat where the disciples sat and looked upon Him with great fear; He very naturally tells them to have no fear.  It is natural for the Son of God to be doing this.  But here is one of the most important points.  Peter asks to be with Jesus, in His element.  He asks to walk on water, himself.  Now Jesus could have said: “Peter, this is not the element for you.  You are not the Son of God.  You were made for the boat so that is where you must stay. (In other words, you were made from this world so you must stay in this world) No, Jesus invites Peter to come, to come into His element.  And Peter does, Peter enters into the element of Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ and Peter also walks on water.

Alas, Peter doesn’t stay in Jesus’ element.  Why?  Jesus tells us why in the very first parable that He teaches with.  It is the parable of the Sower.  You see dear Sisters and Brothers, we have an enemy.  We have a spirit of darkness who loathes that, through Jesus Christ, we can enter in the element of God, Our Heavenly Father.  Satan will try all things to stop us from entering into that element.  Jesus Christ, the Sower, sows the Word.  Satan comes and hardens some hearts and makes them like stone.  So the Word can have not the slightest effect on them.  However, should their/our hearts be receptive, Satan doesn’t stop there.  He brings persecution and condemnation because of the Word.  The world calls the people who will listen, stupid, delusional, losers and some can not withstand the persecution and they leave the element of the Word.  Yet some, withstand the persecution and Satan does not give up (and this is what happens to Peter).  For now Satan brings all of the world that he can against them.  Satan will bring worry about life, storms, not having shelter, making a paycheck, having an illness against us.  If that doesn’t work, Satan tries the other route, he can make us worldly successful, where the cares and pride of maintaining that success, cloud our thoughts and block the Power of the Word and it is not fruitful.  Peter sees the wind and the waves of this world and they block him from Jesus and he starts to sink.

But, Praise be to God the Father Almighty, through Jesus Christ the Son and to the Holy Spirit that testifies to the Word in us, Satan does not have the last word.  For Jesus Christ is there.  He lifts Peter back up and the Word becomes mighty in Peter, who becomes the “Good Soil” and produces a crop “thirty, sixty and even a hundred times what is sown”.  Jesus Christ is never defeated.  One might look at Saul as one of the “first soil”.  For Saul had heard the Word of Jesus Christ and it had no impact on him.  He persecuted the Word and all who believed in it.  But Jesus Christ came to Saul and overpowered Satan within him.  He turned Saul into Paul, a man of “Good Soil” and Paul reaped a great harvest.

So it is dear Sisters and Brothers, that Jesus Christ calls to each of us to come into His Element, the Element of Our Heavenly Father.  He asks us to seek, He asks us to knock, He asks us to ask.  Know when we do those things that Satan will come against us.  Satan will do everything in his power to keep us from the Element of Jesus Christ.  Christ knew this; Our Heavenly Father knew this.  They both knew that, on our own, we had no power to defeat Satan and enter into the Element.  So Our Heavenly Father sent His Son to do what we could not.  Jesus Christ through His victorious death and resurrection once and for all defeats Satan and opens up the path for us to enter into the Element of our Heavenly Father.  May it be that through the Holy Spirit that is given to us, we will find the path, we will enter into the Element, that when the defeated Satan still tries to defeat and dissuade us and we indeed stumble, that through prayer and repentance, we will call upon the One, Jesus Christ who is victorious every time for all times, to bring us into that same victorious Element.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise Your Most Holy Name that You have seen fit to invite us to be in Your Element.  Thank You Dear Father that to make that possible, You sent Your Son Jesus Christ, first into our element.  Forgive us when we stray from you either through hardened hearts, fear of persecution or worldly concerns.  Through Your Holy Spirit, bring us back to You, through and in the power of Your Once and Forever victorious Son, Jesus Christ.  That our lives may be in Your Element and thus be lives of Praise to Your Most Holy Name.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

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