Have you ever watched the T.V. show Long Lost Family? I love to watch it because they always show these touching stories of kids and adults who have been reunited with a birth parent or birth family. Maybe I like it because I feel a personal connection to the show. I was adopted from Children’s Home Society in St. Paul Minnesota when I was nine months old. I don’t remember the first time my parents told me that I was adopted, but I know that they told me ever since I can remember. I have never met my birth parents, so I wonder from time to time, where did I come from? Why was I put up for adoption? Did my mom and dad love me?
In a spiritual sense, many people have the same question. Is there a God? Does my life matter? If there is a God, does this God even know who I am? These are the questions that come up again and again and until we settle them, they surface and resurface at different periods throughout our lives. Often people stop short of searching for God because of three common misconceptions. These misconceptions actually keep people from developing a deep and meaningful relationship with their heavenly Father.
The first misconception is that God doesn’t even know me. I remember lying on my bed growing up wondering about God. I thought that will the billions of people on the planet how could he possibly know who I was. How could God possibly know who I am? Do you ever feel like God doesn’t even know you?
The second misconception is that God doesn’t care about me. Even if God knew me why would He care? The world has much bigger problems than I do. I figured that for the most part I flew under the radar and that God didn’t really care about me because of all the other stuff going on. Have you ever thought that your life and problems are so insignificant that God they don’t even hit God’s radar?
The third common misconception is that God wants to punish me. One friend had a series of bad things happen to him. He lost his job, couldn’t pay his bills, wound up getting sick and was hospitalized when he didn’t have any insurance. As we talked he said “I think God is punishing me.” I said for what? He said “For all the stuff I did in the past, it finally caught up with me.”
Sometimes God does let us reap the consequences of our sins. But other times bad things happen to good people. Good people get flat tires. Good people get sick. We live in an imperfect world and people hurt people. Evil is rampant and sometimes good people get caught in the crossfire.
My friend Nate is a police officer. Every week we ride to hockey together where we play in Chaska. When I am in the car with Nate I am not tense or nervous because he is a cop. I drive the speed limit and if I go over by a few miles an hour or turn without using my blinker he doesn’t yell at me or scold me. He might notice but he doesn’t harp me because we are friends, we have a relationship. In my mind, he’s not a cop trying to bust me for every mistake I make, he is a friend who plays on my hockey team. I give you that picture because God is not like a Super-Cop in the sky who wants to punish you for everything you do wrong. If you fear God and think that all he wants to do is punish you for every little thing you will grow to resent him not respect Him.
It is possible for you to go deeper in your relationship with God if you know why God wants to adopt you. There are three realities that explain why God wants to adopt you.
The first reality is that you are wanted. God wants you to be a part of his family. God wants to adopt you and put your picture on his refrigerator. Sometimes I imagine how big God’s refrigerator has got to be with all these pictures of His family there.
The second reality that explains why God wants to adopt you is that you are loved. God is pursuing a love relationship with me that is real and personal. God is not some unknowable force, God is knowable and we can see God the Father manifest in God the son, Jesus Christ.
The third reality that explains why God wants to adopt you is that you are a child of the King. You come from royalty. You did not come from random chance, you did not evolve, you were created in the image of God and God adopts you into the family making you a child of the King.
Last week I was in Haiti with a team from Freshwater. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. We spent a week building a classroom for seventh grade kids. We also spent time with orphans at “Hope For Life” where we have been doing a lot of work. These kids are so awesome so we wanted to treat them to a day at the beach. When we arrived at the beach with all the kids we were all responsible for three kids which made it manageable. None of them know how to swim and several had never been to the beach or seen the ocean. But they were all eager to get in the water. When I stepped into the water all three of my kids were holding tightly to me. I had one on each hand and one was holding my shorts. I looked at the other guys and their kids were holding tightly to them too.
The further I went into the ocean the tighter they held onto me. They had no idea how deep the water was or what was lurking beneath it, but they knew that as long as they were holding onto me I was never going to let go off them. The truth is, I loved the fact that they trusted me and wanted to be with me even as I went further into the ocean.
In the same way, God wants us to cling to Him. He has adopted us as His own. We are His kids. He takes great joy when we hold on tight by faith to his promises. He loves it when we go deep with him and enjoy just being with him. So today will you cling to the king? If you believe in Jesus you have been adopted into the family of God.
The Bible says this: if you believe, you belong. If you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and is the Savior of the world, God adopts you into His family. Knowing that you are wanted, loved, and a child of the king changes everything. You are part of the family of God so Cling to the king and don’t be afraid of going deep. The deeper the water, the tighter the grip you need to have. Amen.