Our Father . . . (Matthew 6:9)
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He made it clear that the adoration of our adoption must be the fountainhead of all our advances toward the throne of grace. Charles Spurgeon, always a fountain of wisdom and eloquence, explained it this way in his Morning and Evening devotional:
This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with the spirit of adoption, “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.” This childlike spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven,” and ascends to devout adoration, “Hallowed be Thy name.”
To know that we have been adopted into the family of faith is to know enough to keep us adoring our Father throughout eternity. We know what we were before God came calling. We were at enmity with God. We had no interest in the things of God. We, the creature, were living for the gratification of the self rather than glory of our Creator. And yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and God the Father adopted us into His family of faith.
Only when that truth seizes us will we begin to live like the children of God. Why? Because we will recognize that we are no longer “foreigners and aliens” to the people of God, but we have been made “members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19). And the most striking part of that truth is the fact that there was absolutely nothing within us to cause God to want to adopt us in the first place. But God, in His amazing grace, chose us from before the foundation of the world to be His sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:4).
So before you head off to start yet another week, take a moment to consider the comfort in the words, “Our Father.” He had a choice in the matter of your adoption, and He chose you in Christ. He set His affection upon you and brought you into His family for the praise and glory of His name.
There is, however, a challenge that comes with this comfort. We have been adopted to bear the family likeness, which means that we are to put the Gospel on display before a watching world. We are to live, as God gives us strength, holy and blameless lives (Ephesians 1:4).
I am always deeply touched when someone tells me that one of my children reminds them of me (in a good way). But that sweet compliment is a reminder that, as adopted children of the Most High God, those who know us should be reminded of Our Father when they see the way we live. May the adoration of adoption be the confession of our lives!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!