"I am adopted, I'm a special kid you see. I'm proud to be a member of God's royal family." I remember singing that song as a child and singing it at church when dad taught the children's sermon bringing in an orphaned baby calf... Adoption is truly a picture of what God does for us.
Four years ago, I watched my sister and her husband adopt little Abigail. I've watched many at our church in Billings, adopt internationally from Ethiopia. I've see the sacrifice made on the part of the adopting parents and how the adopted children receive all the rights of natural-born children.
However, reading in Hosea 2:23, "I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,' and her who was not beloved, 'beloved.'" In 1:10, "In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' instead they shall be called sons of the Living God." As I contrasted those words not My people with sons and beloved, and see that God says I will call, meaning He chooses to call, it totally struck me that God chose to adopt me. Just as my sister and brother-in-law chose to adopt Abigail, God chose me. I am awed by this. I don't have much to bring to the table. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that He would decide to call me beloved and daughter, but totally humbled!
As I further study the idea of Christ adopting us in the Word (I'm realizing how much I find, so this is by no means extensive) I began a little list contrasting life as adopted or not adopted. Paul teaches in Romans 8:15, that we are not given a spirit of slavery which leads to fear but a spirit of adoption as sons. As a daughter, I am not called to be fearful for John says in 1 John 4:18, "perfect love casts out fear." As a daughter, I am heir to God and His glory (Romans 8:17). And reading through John, I am surprised to find how much Jesus talked about sonship or adoption. In chapter 8:34-35, Jesus says the the "son abides forever in his father's house," but a slave to sin (not adopted) does not live forever. In John 10, Jesus gives us the word picture of a good shepherd. As His daughter, He's my good shepherd and He knows me (verse 14). Contrast that with not being adopted, where Satan is given the title of "hired hand" who doesn't care about his sheep (verse 13). As the parents of an adopted child really get to know that child and truly care about their precious child, so Jesus cares about His children! In John 11, upon Lazarus' death, I believe Jesus weeps because He cares that His children are hurting.
Not Adopted
No fear
Abides forever
Does not abide
Jesus is a good Shepherd
Satan as a hired man
Knows His sheep/children
Does not know his slaves
Cares about His children   
Doesn't care about his sheep/children
Look at the list, there's no doubt in my mind that adoption is a better way. The only way to life that never ends! But seeing this list convicts me and breaks my heart for those who haven't yet been adopted. May I live my life and love unbelievers so that they too may be adopted by the One who knows them.

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