Orphans No More
by Zach Neese
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!1 John 3:1 (NIV)
Created to Be
I remember the first time I saw Abigail. She was hiding behind a The Children’s Garden employee—no bigger than a sip of water, hair cropped short, in a little pink dress. Eyes wide with apprehension, she scanned the group of happy-crying Americans. Who would be her new mother and father?
For reasons I can only imagine, Abigail’s birth family had abandoned her at a bus station in Wuhan, China, but that would never happen again. Her new father would never leave her and never forsake her. He had chosen her as his own and would never “unchoose” her. She had a family now—a mother and father who would love her and sacrifice for her, a sister to share her life with, and three big brothers who would smash anyone who ever tried to bother her.
I can’t imagine my family without Abigail. She is not my Chinese sister. She is not my adopted sister. She is just my sister, and I love her.
There is something gargantuan about the heart of our Father God. His heart is so big, the Bible says He is love (1 John 4:8). Imagine a father who has so much love to express that He just keeps expanding his family—He can’t stop bringing orphans home, and He can’t stop loving them. That is God. And this big-hearted God has set His affections on you (1 John 3:1).
In order to adopt you, He had to make great sacrifices. In fact, His Son would have to go through hell to bring you home (Romans 5:8). Can you imagine anyone loving you that much? Well, your Father does. When He adopted you it was with an irrevocable promise and sealed with an unbreakable bond, the blood of His Son. You were not just adopted out of the hell you knew, you were adopted into a household—a family. That means the house of God is your house. You belong there. It means the people of God are your family (Mark 3:33–34)—your brothers and sisters—bound by something even stronger than the blood of your ancestors, the blood of your Savior.
Next time you walk into church, look around. The people you see are not just a congregation, they are your family. A family who loves one another, helps one another, and protects one another. A family who plays together and prays together because family belongs together—bound by something stronger than common interest; bound by blood.
Father in Heaven, thank You for loving me, choosing me, and calling me Your child. Please help me to see people through Your eyes. Help me to love my brothers and sisters with Your heart, and bind us together in unity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Study
- Mark 3:33–34; Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 John 4:9