14 Feb Day 16
Spirit of Adoption- made God’s child
WRITTEN BY: Emory Woodard
Scripture: Romans 8:15-17a-NLT- “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.”
Click here to dive deeper into this passage: Romans 8
Observation: We who belong to Christ Jesus are a part of God’s family. We are no longer outsiders but have been adopted by God, positioned to inherit all that God has for us.
Application: “It’s the hard-knock life for us. ‘Stead of treated, we get tricked. ‘Stead of kisses, we get kicked.” That is how one of the most popular numbers from the award-winning musical Annie starts. Adapted to film and television, the essence of the story remains the same. Annie is an 11-year-old orphan who longs for a family. Instead of the mistreatment she suffers in the orphanage, she clings to the hope of a brighter tomorrow where she will find the embrace of loving parents. Her hope is fulfilled when Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, a billionaire businessman, opens his home to Annie and adopts her. Annie moves from an orphanage to a mansion and becomes a part of one of the richest families in the land.
I cannot relate to Annie’s experience in an orphanage. I was fortunate to grow up in a home with two loving parents. We were far from rich, but I had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a family who loved me. I lived the opposite of the hard-knock life, at least materially. It was not until I was in my first year in college that I realized how impoverished I was spiritually. I was at a good school. I was doing well academically. I had a good future in front of me, but I felt empty. I had friends all around, but I felt alone. Something was missing. Like other first-year students, I took advantage of my newfound freedom and explored everything. I guess I was lost because I could not find what I was looking for. It was not until college day at a neighborhood church after a long night of exploration on fraternity row, that I quite literally stumbled into what I had been searching for all along. Groggy from the festivities of the night before, something resonated in my spirit as the youthful preacher offered the invitational prayer. Before I knew it, I accepted the invitation and was standing before the congregation. Through the spirit of adoption, I had found my Daddy Warbucks and joined God’s family.
By asking Jesus to come into my life, forgive me, and be my leader and friend, I joined the most glorious family of all eternity. God became my heavenly Father, and I became his son, with all the rights and benefits of sonship. Hebrews 8:6 says we inherit better promises in our covenant relationship with God through Jesus. Through the spirit of adoption, what are these promises? There are so many, but here are a few: the love of God from which we can never be separated (Romans 8:38-39); freedom from the bondages that result from our sinful nature (Romans 8:2); relief from worry and anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7); victory over anything life throws at us (Romans 8:37); and eternal life (John 3:16).
As believers, we are members of God’s family. Through the spirit of adoption, there is no need for us to wait for the sun to come out tomorrow. Our salvation and the rest of the benefits of being heirs of God are available to us today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I love you and so appreciate you for making me a part of your family. Help me to fully embrace the spirit of adoption by which you made me a joint heir of your glory with Christ. Let me be a child you can be proud of by walking in the promises of my inheritance from you. It is in the matchless name of Jesus that I pray. Amen.
Emory Woodard/Journey Kids Team Leader and Production J-Teamer
Emory Woodard has been gathering at The Journey since August 2021. Emory is committed to building the future Church by sowing into the lives of children today through dynamic ministry efforts in-person and online. Emory has a lovely wife and two beautiful children he adores. Emory is a graduate of the JLI (Journey Leadership Institute) Evening Program.
Connect with your brothers and sisters in God’s family and join a J-Group! Our spring semester of J-Groups has already begun, but it’s not too late to join—have you joined yours yet?
Learn more about God’s promises to you as a member of his family in”God’s Promises for You” through the YouVersion Bible app.
Don’t hesitate to come back for Day 17 of this devotional tomorrow. We’re going to learn more about the Holy Spirit.
Check out this song by Ben Fuller “Who I Am”!