#799. ADOPTED BY GOD’S WILL AND GRACE (24/4/23)
This week, as we take a break from our series on Praying Together, our devotionals are based upon our Sunday message from Dale Barlow about the church being a family.
Summary: If you are a Christian, you are also adopted into God’s family by His will and grace.
You can watch this devotional at:
On Sunday, Dale shared his story of coming to faith having not grown up in a Christian home. Each of us have our own story of how we came to know Jesus. Some of you will have grown up in a Christian home and some have not. Some of you have always gone to church and some started going later in life. Some of you have a dramatic conversion testimony and some of you feel that your story is quite boring. However, the truth is, all of us who have become Christians have had the most amazing thing happen to us; we have been born again and have been adopted into God’s family.
Where as once we were separated from God by our sin, we are now in His household. This is the most incredible thing. We are loved by God as our Father. Our faith in Christ’s death for us, not only secured our salvation, it also achieved our adoption.
‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’ (John 1:12-13)
‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.’ (1 John 3:1)
To enter God’s family a miracle is required. We have to be ‘born of God’ and this happens as we ‘receive Him’ and ‘believe in His name’. However, this faith is also the gift of God as the Holy Spirit enables us to believe on Jesus. If you are are a Christian you have been ‘born of God’ - to Him we be the glory and praise!
Hosea promised how God’s adoptive mercy works and how it will spread throughout all nations:
‘Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ (Hosea 1:10 also quoted in Romans 9: 26)
God has a great plan to adopt immeasurable amounts of diverse people into His family. No matter how far away from God people seem to be, like you and me, they will be called ‘children of the living God’.
Today, let’s remember that if we are a Christian, we are also adopted into God’s family by His will and grace. We are loved by God as a Father. You have an amazing story of grace and love to tell. Let this amazing truth fill you with faith and joy today.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read John 1:12-13 & 1 John 3:1
Did God speak to you or did anything strike you from Sunday's message?
How does one enter God's family?
How does, or should, being a child of God affect our prayer life?
What are the benefits of being devoted to our church family?
What are the benefits of a local church in being part of a family of churches such as New Ground?
SIV (Serve, Invest and Invite) Why does a healthy church family grow?
Let's take time to pray for our church family together.
SIV - Pray for specific people in your community that God wants you to reach.