Ellen Martin | @EllenMartin03
I’m currently working as a nanny to pay my way through school. The family I work with has two adopted children. Today, I was feeding the baby and thought “How amazing is it that she is so incredibly loved, even though she is not with her birth parents?” I then realized that God loves us even more than a parent loves their children.
God originally called the Israelites, or the Jews, to follow Him. The entire Bible is an amazing love story of God chasing after His chosen people, but that is a discussion for another time. When Jesus came, He called the Gentiles, the rest of us, to follow Him. Although I am not an Israelite, I am still loved by the King, and so are you.
Paul talks about our adoption in Christ in Ephesians 1:3-10 (ESV):
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Verse 5 says “he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”. Jesus adopts those who choose to follow Him. He chooses to pour out His love on us. Ephesians 2:19 (ESV) says “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”. When we decide to follow Christ, we are now members of the household of God. How amazing is it that God chose us to follow Him.
In the parable Jesus told about the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), He tells of a son who went away from his father and family and lived in sin. When the son ran out of money to spend, he came back to his father.
Luke 15:20-24 (ESV): “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
When the son came back, the Father welcomed him and celebrated. How amazing is that? Even when we go astray and live in sin, Jesus still desires for us to come back. He loves his followers unconditionally. This prodigal son represents the Gentiles, while the other son who stayed represents the Jews. When Gentiles return to Jesus, He celebrates.
Another passage that represents God’s love for us is.
Matthew 18:12 (ESV): “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?”
God desires for you to follow Him. He cares about you as that man cares about his one lost sheep. I often struggle with believing that the Creator of the universe chose me and loves me. It’s true, though. God sent His Son to die for you and pay the ultimate sacrifice for your sins.
What can we do in return? Jesus says in John 14:15 (ESV) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We need to be obedient to what God commands. Just like children who need to listen to their parents, we need to listen to God’s all-knowing wisdom. He knows best. Listening and being obedient to God, studying His Word, and following Him are what we can do to serve and love our Father, our King.
Ellen Martin is a follower of Jesus Christ from Ontario, Canada. She is currently completing her Master’s of Education degree. She is passionate about apologetics, creation, and children. You can follow her on Twitter at @ellenmartin03.