“Adopted!” – A “Child of God!”

I’m rejoicing to be a “child of God” today.  I had no right to that title or relationship but because of what Jesus did on my behalf (and yours) I have both title and relationship.  Consequently I enjoy “adoption” and everything it entails!

Three of our children are “adopted” (see the pic – Shari, our birth daughter was not able to be there the day this pic was taken).  They are from a Native American background and culture, but they have become a part of the Bartel clan (and I happen to be German and my wife Sharon, Norwegian).  They didn’t cease to be Native American but they became “Bartels.”  My desire always has been that their relationship would be more than simply a legal reality (on paper) – it would also become an existential reality (they would “feel” like sons and daughters – and finally, one day they would become “heirs” of what I have…  I want them to experience all three things… I want them to be our children on paper – legally our children; I want them to feel the relationship; and finally I want them to profit from it as heirs.

Well, when I read Galatians 4:1-7 today, that is what happened to me through Christ – a “child of the Devil” (born in sin) became a “child of God”!  Here is how Apostle Paul puts it… “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son… to redeem us… that we might receive adoption as sons (i.e. His children).  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’  So… you are no longer a slave, but a son!  And if a son then an heir through God!”

Through Christ, I’m legally a “child of God”!  But more than that, His Spirit is at work within me producing the sense – the “Abba Father,” the inner witness, the feeling – of being God’s child! 

And ultimately?  Well I’m also an ‘heir’ and enjoy the benefits and blessing of being God’s child in every way.  As I said earlier, today I’m rejoicing to be a “child of God!”

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