Broken Oaths

Businessman taking oath.

“When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you.”

Deuteronomy 23:21

Have you ever made a promise you couldn’t keep? It’s an easy thing to do…we say things in our moment of passion and as the days pass by we forget that passion and with it our promises. There is always an excuse, maybe we were too tired or busy, something came up or we didn’t realize at the time the amount of commitment a particular promise required. For example, promising to help someone find a new car or watch their kids. In your mind, you agreed on the assumption that much wouldn’t be required of you. But sometimes it takes time to find a new car, and kids aren’t always angels. But a promise is a promise, right?

In our society words have overall lost their value. Our oaths are just as negotiable as our morals. Even our constitution has lost its power and rigidity, as well as reciting our National Anthem.  It’s as if people are afraid of anything definitive or binding, as well they should be! It is a serious thing to make oaths and sign our names in agreeance to something. Just look at how important oaths are to God. And yet, He has never broken an oath to us! As Deuteronomy 4:31 says:

“For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.”

Every oath we make is important. However, we tend to categorize our oaths based on what we believe to be important. For example, we tell ourselves that our promise we made to our kids isn’t as important as our promise to our boss. Let’s face it, promising your boss that you will get a project done will be first in your mind over your promise to take the kids to the zoo. You inwardly know that your kids will forgive you if you break a promise, your boss may not.

We have discussed in previous posts the power of words. There is life and death in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Our oaths are just as powerful and binding. God even warns us about making oaths we can’t keep in Matthew 5:33-37:

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not break your oath but fulfill your vows to the Lord. But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor should you swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one.”

That is quite a warning! It’s better to simply say “yes” or “no” and promise nothing for the sake of avoiding sin. But what about the unavoidable oaths? When we marry, we make an oath to love and honor one another till death. And yet every day, 40 to 50 percent of married couples divorce roughly within 8 years…that’s hardly till death!

And what about our doctors? Remember the Hippocratic Oath? Granted, some of its attributes are outdated and debatable. But it does speak of the morality doctors once upheld. For instance this line:

“I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”

 How can someone vow to uphold life and then break it? This Oath is no longer required by doctors to recite, the new oath is simpler and less binding. It is very unspecific and basic, so as not to outwardly forbid immoral practices like abortion. Any graduating doctor today will not truly understand the weight of their title (unless they believe in the morality of God). Being a doctor is more than a profession, it is a lifestyle of compassion. The oath unifies this belief, that a doctor should be morally bound to the protection of life. Would you want to be under the care of a doctor who felt oppositely?
What can we do in a world where words, promises, and oaths are seemingly tossed to the wind? We can do all the more to make what we say matter. Maybe we shouldn’t make promises but should only confer our hopes and desires. And if we do decide to make them, we should carry them in our heart, and follow through with them just as our Lord does with His promises. And lastly we can pause…it is better to pause, giving yourself time to think, before speaking. Pausing when you are angry may just diffuse the situation, and your emotions so that you don’t say things you will later regret.
We can retract the words we think, but not the words we say…or the oaths we break.

 

Star Trek: Quotes

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“Above all else a God needs compassion!”

-Captian Kirk

It amazes me that such a statement was even spoken on Star Trek, as I stated before, it is a highly secular show and yet Kirk makes a statement about God and the characteristics he believes God should possess above all else, “compassion.” I am sure that everyone on the face of the earth would at least agree that, given the choice, they would rather serve a compassionate God over one who wasn’t. Why go through the trouble of creating a world full of wonder for beings that aren’t really loved or valued? God put a lot of thought and passion into His creation, He even gave up His Son to see it restored. We truly serve a God who is compassionate towards us, and yet, if the world agrees that a God should be compassionate why don’t they believe that He is?

That is the question, it isn’t that people don’t believe in God’s existence, as Romans 1:19-20 states:

19 because that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

His existence is proven, and yet many people choose to believe He doesn’t exist, why? Because it’s easier to believe there’s no God than in the existence of one who is angry and hateful towards His creation. People pretend for the sake of feeling secure and in charge of their lives. They believe God is morally inadequate and so they have placed themselves on the throne, failing to see that they are far from all-knowing and righteous. What is good and evil gets muddied pretty fast when everyone believes they are God. It’s all too easy to point and judge when you are sitting on the throne seat. In fact, you start to feel pretty entitled to do whatever you please, because as God you can do no wrong right?

And so there we have it, those who deny the existence of God so they can be, and those who believe in God. The monotheists and polytheists, and the very many religions under those categories. Believing in many doctrines, and in many types of God. Some believing He is unreachable, others that He is limited. Some believe He cares only about obedience and others still who believe He simply exists and cares not what the world does. And then there are the Christians and Jews who believe He is a good God….but the Christians go even further in that belief. He is so good He gave His one and only begotten Son to save mankind. He is more good than we can imagine!

Compassion? I agree, above all else a God needs compassion. And thank God, ours is so compassionate that He doesn’t just have love, but IS love. (1 John 4:8)

What do you believe?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this quote!

Resound

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“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:1

Walking in a crowd of people, there are so many noises we tend to ignore. The constant buzz of voices and footsteps, the sound of passing traffic, all mixed and to us, insignificant. Yet if a sound, such as a scream, were to break the common chorus around us, people would stop and turn. The heartbeat would quicken and the ears would perk up, looking in earnest and hoping beyond hope that the sound was just as meaningless as the passing cars and playful chatter.

Imagine, for a moment, these sounds; thunder and the gentle tap of rain on a tin roof, a baby crying, the sound of your loved ones laughing, a crackling fire, birds chirping amongst windblown trees, or a piano playing a solemn tune…I am sure all of these brought an image to your mind, positive images with emotions and memories to follow. You probably heard each of these sounds, maybe you even remembered smells such as that of a bonfire or of the earth after a rainstorm.

Sounds are very important, they can awaken our passions, can stir up our emotions and cause us to stop and listen. God gave us two ears for the sole purpose of listening, not just to each other, but to His truth. And yet even with our senses we cannot fully hear, see, smell, taste, or feel all that God has created. We experience it all as if looking through a window or shielded in the palm of a hand, as Moses once was because to see God face to face is beyond what we mere humans can withstand.

I remember walking through a broken city, the sound of church bells rang out and no one turned to listen. It was just a noise, no longer a call to praise. You see, the love of the Father wasn’t heard through those bell chimes, but the declaration of religion could be heard, just as the large pointed steeple could be seen from every part of the city. I’m not saying those bells came from an unloving church, only that there was an unloved society surrounding that church and they didn’t hear those church bells ringing.

In biblical times, before a battle, a Shofar was blown. Everyone would respond to its blast. Passion and adrenaline would rise up in man’s heart and they would charge forward, more alive with purpose and courage than ever before. Today it has been proven scientifically that such resonating sounds affect the human brain in these very ways. They become more alert, emotions run high, and overall brain activity grows…all from a single sound.

From a shofar blast to a church bell’s ring….what have we lost?

There is a reason God “spoke” the world into existence instead of “thinking” it. There is a reason He loves to hear us worship and pray aloud. There is a reason we were created to speak and hear when God could have just as easily made us telepathic beings instead. He knows our thoughts and yet he would rather us speak to Him. It wouldn’t be a relationship without communication. And real communication involves speaking and listening.

And loving.

The world may no longer respond to shofar blasts, but it will always respond to love. So many people are just making noise when we need to make a difference. I believe that through the love of Jesus, we will see the world come alive again. They will respond to the call of Jesus, they will listen and hear like never before.

It’s time to do more than resound, we need to resonate. The difference? Resound means to repeat, like the clanging of a cymbal, but resonate means “to expand or amplify.” So in other words, it’s time to turn it up, to give our voices new depth and meaning, to speak the words of God in a new way.

The Sound of the Lord Walking in the Garden

Stand still and hear with your inner ears
The sound of the Lord walking in Paradise
His lovely walk from afar 
Hear in the rhythms of Nature, His creature
In the tender smiles of the sun on a Spring morning
A light of tiny birds in trees
In the acoustic of drizzle
on roses from a rainbow sky
In the stir of little flowers when kissed by butterflies
In the dance of a peacock
In the flow of a stream 
In the tango of daffodils
hand in hand with the gentle breeze
and in the rhythmic movements of millions of His creatures
the Lord God walks to me
I stay quiet and hear the sound of His walk outside and in inside me. 

 

 

 

Our Anniversary

aaron

Four Years

Four years together

Sharing life as one

Life is so much better

This journey is so fun!

I love to hear your laughter

Will do anything for your smile

And through it all

I can’t believe 

Four years have passed me by.

You see, time just passes faster

When you’re here by my side

Maybe it’s the love we share

That grows with each sunrise

I can’t imagine life without

Your loving hand in mine.

four years, or forty-five

makes no difference in our eyes.

My heart is yours forever

I’m so blessed to be your wife.

Aaron, without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. The woman who is confident in herself, able to be flexible and change. I wouldn’t be living in a house in the country, with a big dog and huge yard. I wouldn’t be much closer to God because let’s face it, without you to push me, guide me, and awaken my passion, I would still be stuck in a lot of ways. I’d still be that shy little girl that I was when you met me. And yet, you chose me, just as I was and here we are four years into marriage and yet many years into a friendship that has molded us into an inseparable team.

I wouldn’t change a thing… I could go on an adventure, live out my dreams…and yet I would truly miss out on what it feels like to share them with you. You have become a part of me, so much so that I can’t truly experience something new without you beside me, experiencing it too. How blessed I am to be on this journey with you, every step of the way. I love you more than words describe.

God, we owe it all to you, every good and perfect thing. Every blessing is from you and you have blessed us immensely. You are the center of our marriage always, just as you have always been our passion. Through our chasing after your heart, we came to love each other, to see each other as you see us. Thank you, Father, for these four years and many more.

Love Riley

Star Trek: Quotes

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“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

– James T. Kirk, “The Corbomite Maneuver”

I remember the first time I watched Star Trek. Having watched 2009’s, J.J. Abrams-directed film, I immediately became captivated by creator Gene Roddenberry’s imagination. So I started at the very beginning, or as it’s called, The Original Series. And haven’t stopped watching since.

Why did I become a Trekkie and what’s this post leading to? Good point, I’m getting there. What first drew me to Star Trek was nostalgia, I have a fondness for the past and that includes TV shows. They take me to another time, to another world. Star Trek takes me there literally, with a whole universe of worlds to explore!

What I really love about the show, however, is that each episode reflects the problems and issues of the day, and asks all the deep questions that many of us struggle to answer. I’m not saying that I agree with the answers that Star Trek provides to these dilemmas, but I do applaud their openminded boldness to even ask such questions and try to tackle them. They are deep and personal things that can be painful to uncover and challenge, and yet this is the only show that I have seen take such a leap.

Lastly, I will say that I love how it explores humanity. It’s never truly about exploring new planets, though on the surface that’s what it would seem. With each new discovery, we also discover something about ourselves that makes us set apart. Whether that be compassion, creativity, love, or the thirst for freedom.

Now on to the point, I really wanted to start a blog series on Star Trek quotes that have stuck with me and have challenged me to think deeper. Although I would say this is a highly secular show, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from it as Christians. In some ways, it gives us a broader understanding of what our society thinks and feels about different subjects from a non-religious background.

The first quote, though spoken by both Captain Picard and Doctor McCoy, originated from John Dalberg-Acton, a writer, politician, and historian from the late 1800s:

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Let’s discuss this quote for a moment, and let’s see if you agree. I believe this speaks to our need of God, in that we ourselves are ill-equipped to handle access power apart from Him. This also shows that evil does exist and tends to take over well-intentioned people of power. I truly believe that without God and His authority over us, we automatically place something else in that place of authority and power, and if we aren’t careful, that something can be ourselves.

We see this in society, this erasing of God and promoting of self. It is a weakness in humans to believe we know and perceive more than our creator does. That somehow we can surpass Him in our goodness, wisdom, and power. When we start to believe this, satan takes over and that is when we start to bring about our own destruction. There is a reason we live in a world that lacks a supreme ruler, power is delegated for the sole purpose of protecting ourselves from such a predicament.

Let’s chew on this one for the time being, what are your thoughts on this subject?

Weight of Glory

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“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Corinthians 4:17

Glory is measurable. Its definition is, honor won by notable achievements. Beneath that description is another term, magnificence. These are terms of divine royalty, something that we both carry and display as beings made in God’s image. Upon searching for verses about glory,  here are some that stood out to me:

 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Philippians 4:19-20

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14 

The term “glory” is found throughout the Bible in relation to God. However, when I searched for verses that talked about “weight of glory” only one popped up, Corinthians 4:17, listed above. And to my surprise I found it was directed towards us, “...are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” I believe this is the “heavenly treasure” that is mentioned in Matthew 6:20:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

When we think of treasure, we think of man-made items, things that tarnish and are eventually lost. Generally what we perceive to be a treasure, is garbage to someone else. But when it comes to glory, honor, and love….these are universal treasures, because they all cost something. They are created and birthed from God’s own being. His kingdom is filled with this kind of treasure, and we each have a storehouse.

Through sacrifice, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin, he took care of our debts and put us in right standing with God. Through this offering, we have eternal salvation. Hence the fact that we all have a storehouse in heaven with our names on them (symbolically). If we want to fill those storehouses, that is entirely up to us, right here and now. If this wasn’t so, the Bible wouldn’t say that we can store up treasure, or that we can achieve glory in heaven that outweighs any earthly glory.

So what does that mean for us? It’s time to start investing! Nothing precious is free, nor should it be. Everything comes with a price and that price is sacrifice. If this makes you uneasy, let me explain further. We all have sacrificed something. The moment we became a Christian we sacrificed the old self and its ways. When you asked him/her to marry you, you were willing to give up your single life for the sake of a lifetime united with them. Maybe there was a time in school when you could have walked past someone being bullied but decided to defend them, sacrificing your own security. Life is full of these sacrificial moments both small and large, as a Christian, though we are tested greatly, we aren’t alone.

Jesus knows sacrifice, he understands how difficult it can be for us humans to let go sometimes. I’ve read stories of martyrs who felt the presence and comfort of God in their great moment of sacrifice. And that same peace and comfort is there for us in our small sacrifices too. The fact is, the more in love we are with Jesus, the more we will sacrifice, and it will even be joyful! It’s like the saying goes, “it’s better to give than to receive.” When you are motivated by love, their joy becomes your own. As Christians, the bride of Christ, our Lord’s overflowing joy should overflow in us. More of him is the answer to any problem we may face. It really is all about relationship with Jesus.

God deserves all the glory. And yet He places crowns on our heads and gives us the keys to His kingdom, where the first become last, and the weak become strong. What king would lower himself? Would give His only Son? Would pour out glory and love that cannot be weighed on His people? …He gave it all for me….now what can I sacrifice for Him?

 

 

 

Just for You

Jesus and child

Just for You
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
I’d come running when you fall
Wipe your every tear
Hold you in my arms
Fight away the fear.

I’d face the hardest trials
To simply know your heart
Your name is My Beloved
We are never far apart
I pray for you unceasingly
Sing many lullabies
Remind you what I see
When I look into your eyes
There’s no mountain
And no valley that
Is too tall or wide
I’d fight your every battle
And would gladly give my life…

-Jesus

Happy Valentine’s Day

The Hidden Agenda

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This picture isn’t pretty to look at. And yet it clearly shows a battle that is taking place in our society. A battle between what is morally right and true, against what is perverse and false. How did all this come about? What has become of the world where truth was once prized above all else?

I must say part of this shift in our society is because we have failed to be the church God called us to be. A church of love and full of the Holy Spirit. Without these components, the church becomes self-righteous, prizing the law above the Covenant of Jesus. The church becomes a place of judgment and condemnation, and lacks power, which was never God’s intention or will. Naturally, people would rise up hating the church and the God they follow, never knowing the true message of Christ or his love.

It is a tragedy that can still be reversed. God is the redeemer, and He is awakening the church again to the great call. I have seen first hand, the impact such a church can bring about. Amazing testimonies of healing and redemption all because a church surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit, who is Christ with us.

What has become of the world while we were sleeping? What damage has satan inflicted on our brothers and sisters? What is his hidden agenda?

I believe satan’s ultimate goal, is complete rebellion against God. This involves more than we realize, as one cannot just rebel against their creator without also rebelling against themselves, “the creation”. To slam the door on God is to slam the door on our identity as children of God, designed with a purpose, handcrafted by one who makes no mistakes. It isn’t  surprising that people are more depressed than ever, hating their bodies and even their gender.

Rebellion against God includes rebellion against His morality. What God has established as right and wrong has been our moral compass for generations. Our societal laws are formulated by God’s commandments. Today we see those laws being attacked and rewritten, and we can continue to see a new “morality” take its place. One built around relativity and convenience.

Do you see why we can no longer hide behind our church doors, condemning the world and using the cross as a means to strike fear into unbelieving hearts? It. Doesn’t. Work. Hell fire and brimstone teaching may outwardly produce results in some places, but inwardly breeds fear of punishment, not love. Love is the only thing that can heal, restore, and truly change a person.

In a society so far gone, we can’t expect people to know they are doing wrong. We can only show them what they are lacking. Satan has handed them all the counterfeits, he has given them the weapons to destroy themselves, disguised as everything they thought they ever wanted. They are so hungry and they don’t even see it. It’s our job to show them what they are truly hungry for, to love them as Christ does, and to live our lives set apart. That we would be in the world but not of the world, dispelling darkness and never missing an opportunity to demonstrate the heart of God the Father.

I want this to be a message of hope, a call to rise up and take back the world from satan’s grasp. He stands defeated, but we still have a job to do. If we didn’t, Jesus would be here already!  Let the Holy Spirit move, let his presence rest upon you….I believe he has much to tell us…and show us.

Love people, with no hidden agenda. That’s all there is to it.

 

Photograph

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“We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time’s forever frozen still”

-Song: Photograph by Ed Sheeran

I love looking through old family pictures. Sometimes I will dig them all out and allow myself to fall into a time that has slipped away. I find myself forgetting the names of the faces that held me close at one point in my life. So long ago it seems, but in the face of time, happened only yesterday. Taking pictures can be an obsession, I used to snap pictures of everything in my haste to remember, and yet I failed to make a memory. Fear of time passing tends to make it pass faster. My fondest pictures are, truly, the ones only in my mind. The moments I put the camera down and lived.

It can be painful, always being so nostalgic. Maybe that’s why I love photography, antiques, and old TV shows. They all preserve a time that has passed, a time that can no longer be. People and stories that shouldn’t be forgotten, and yet, also shouldn’t be brought back to life. What I mean, is God places us all in the right era and time. We take the stage of life right on queue, singing our song and leaving our mark, preparing the scene for the next lineup or generation. We dishonor our past by living in it. What they sacrificed and died for was for us to live in now. Our freedom, for instance, we enjoy now because our distant relatives understood what it meant to be on the stage of life. They could have lived only for themselves, and yet they recognized that once they left the stage others would fill the space, their children and grandchildren needed a better world, and so they took it upon themselves to make it so.

When I look back that is what I see. Men and women sacrificing to make the world a better place for their children. Did they always get it right? No. Were their times of selfishness? Yes. But it was their time, to live, love, and die. Each chasing what they thought had lasting meaning and purpose, hoping their story wouldn’t be forgotten, but never desiring that the future generations would look at their time and long for it. They always wanted the future to be better than what they had, just as much as we want our children to live in a better world and society.

As Christians, we have forgotten what others have paid the price for. We have failed to secure the ground that has been won by our ancestors. There shouldn’t be doubt today about the spiritual gifts, we shouldn’t be stuck in religion, love should still be our legacy! Instead of looking back and declaring that God only worked in those times, we need to remind ourselves again that God NEVER changes, He is the same God in every era, and He didn’t start off big to become smaller in His works and wonders! It was His desire that we would look back and see what is possible through Him, and do greater things now because of it. And we have accepted the past as our endnote just as we have accepted the final page of the Bible as the end of God speaking to us. I say this with caution, He wouldn’t contradict His Word, but He will compliment it and work in new ways through it. The Bible doesn’t contain Him. To be honest, what really could? He is infinite and full of mystery.

The past should be remembered, it’s ok to take pictures and to be nostalgic once and awhile, but if we find ourselves always longing for the past we need to ask ourselves, why? I long for the morality of the past, the patriotism and simpler times. I also long for the innocence and naivety of my youth, the days spent with people that are now asleep, or have moved beyond my reach. No matter what I wish, I can’t fall into those pictures and relive those moments. I can’t tap my heels together and bring about a new world. Our world would not gain anything to go back in time, just as we wouldn’t gain anything to go back to our youth. We would be living in a museum.

Our past should stay in the past, but we record the past so that we remember where we came from. A photograph can bring you back in time and remind you of who you were, and that should give you hope, should spur you into growth and hopeful expectation of the future. I want to be more than that girl in the photograph, I want our world to be more than it was back then, I want my ceiling to become (the next generations) floor.

Yesterday

Forever apart

And a part of me

Were the days 

I spent playing

Along the stream

The waters still moving

Though never the same

Time had erased

The river I claimed

No sound of laughter

No gentle breeze

Water no longer

Up past my knees

But maybe it’s not the river

But me

That has undergone change

Like the current I see

Yesterday is gone

Like a seed to a tree

I don’t regret

Those changes in me

Though I no longer

Play by the stream

I’ve learned a great lesson

About legacy

Yesterdays’ seed

Is tomorrow’s tree

Forever apart

And a part of me.

The Grafted Branch

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“Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

-Romans 11:19

Someday it is my hope to adopt a child…though it will be wonderful to have our own children, I can’t ignore the many kids who don’t have a family, who deserve to belong and grow up safe and loved. That child would be my own regardless of DNA, in my heart I would be their mother and they would be my son/daughter. How I love them, and I don’t even know them yet.

Adoption today is very expensive, more expensive than getting an abortion! Many mothers feel that abortion is more merciful than putting their child up for adoption, writing off their life story as a failure before it ever began. They hear about the horrors of being an orphan, and for many children, those fears are warranted. Moving from home to home, with no one to call mom or dad, never fully rooted and never fully knowing their worth. Instead, they feel like a burden, a waste, a mistake…never was it God’s intention for us to give up our children. If we root ourselves in Him, we are the only ones who were made to raise our children. You may not believe me, but His original design is always the best.

It’s time we put a new face on adoption. We were adopted into the kingdom of God after all, and are very far from understanding what that means. The symbolic image of the grafted branch found in Romans gives us only a vague understanding of what it means to be included in this family tree. It also gives us a dire warning to not fall into pride or self-righteousness.

18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off.23 And even then, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. (Romans 11:18-23)

Through Jesus sacrifice, we have been given salvation (grafted-in). Something that originally wasn’t possible. In the Old Testament, we had the law and fear of God. Only a few could even stand in His Presence without perishing. Some were even considered close to God. But after Jesus, the veil was torn, signifying that we no longer were held to righteousness by the law but through Jesus. Through him, we can all now have a personal relationship with God, and not just as friends. “And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”‘ (2 Corinthians 6:18) We are God’s sons and daughters! What does that mean exactly? Well first, remember that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, which means “of the same kind.” We are human and God is not. Jesus has always been with God and is a part of God. We are God’s creation, therefore when He calls us sons and daughters, He is inviting us, adopting us into His family, the Trinity.

We aren’t the black sheep of this family. God doesn’t call/label us adopted ones or outsiders. He calls us His children. When He looks at you He thinks, “that is my son,” and, “that is my daughter.” It’s more than we can imagine, more than Adam and Eve experienced in the garden, and they walked with God!

As son’s and daughters we’re not only grafted into this amazing family but we also now share its inheritance! Jesus blood paid for a lot more than we realize. The Bible isn’t just a story of salvation, it’s also the greatest story of redemption. What does God do with anything that satan has taken or destroyed? He repairs the damage, yes, but on top of that, He multiplies His blessings and outpourings. He is the ultimate redeemer, and guess what? He has ultimately redeemed you. The Bible is, in fact, a story of a God who romanced a world, died for her and brought her home. Not so sure? Why is it that our favorite fairy tales are those of sacrifice and love? We were made to be loved, so much so, that we crave stories that involve someone giving themselves up for the sake of rescuing us. Our heart of hearts knows what it is lacking, and so it speaks freely in our literature, art, and music.

Our power is in the root, Jesus is our root. Through him, we have been grafted into this great family, given a heritage we are still learning to walk in fully, and have been given an identity that no one can take from us, children of God. Our job now is simple, accept this great identity and share with others the great news! That they too can join this family. God wants to adopt them! We live in a fatherless society, a world of people who believe they are orphans, hungry for the love of a father. It’s our job and privilege to tell them that they have exactly that. A father who loves them and paid the price for them to walk in relationship with Him forever. We have a home and a family, we are branded with love, and God’s heart is for us, His children.

I’ve been grafted in, have you?