‘One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are’
(Henri J M Nouwen-Here&Now)
‘Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion’
Many of us struggle with identity- who we are & where we fit in this planet. We can become distracted & develop spiritual amnesia, forgetting who & Whose we really are
If we have turned to God & trusted in Him for forgiveness, we are now a child of God:
‘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 NIV)
‘See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!’
(1 JOHN 3:1 AMP)
Back in Easter 1988 I trusted in God as my Saviour- I was adopted into the family of God, along with countless others who have called to God in Jesus’ Name through the years:
‘But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.’
(Galatians 4:4-7 NLT)
We can call God our Father in heaven. Or “Abba!” (Daddy) We are adopted.
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
(2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV)
“I have called you by name- you are mine!”Isaiah 43:1)
Adoption was once a somewhat abstract concept to me. But this Easter changed that- as I met for the first time three children adopted into the Canez branch of the Coulter family tree!
One photo taken to celebrate their adoption contained a chalkboard with four words written on it:
The Bible uses these words to describe our relationship with God:
‘just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will– to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ].’
(EPHESIANS 1:4-6 AMP)
We need to read & re-read these deep truths & embed them into our hearts & minds.
‘So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.’
(Romans 8:15-17 NLT)
We are no longer a slave to fear- we are children of God. Speak this truth to yourself again & again.
The only Perfect Parent is God our Heavenly Father. He can be trusted. He is a Good Good Father. He is love & He loves us.
‘For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.’
(Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
Yet, we can forget Whose we are. Over years, our close relationship with God can drift.We can turn away from Him & chose to go our own way.
Many of us are prodigals. Of course, we’re still our Father’s children – nothing can change that. But we’re certainly not close to our Father- we’re living in a distant land, far from the Father’s house. We’ve squandered His riches, freely given to us. We’re missing out on the privileges of His children – we’re searching for scraps in the pigsty when we could be feasting at His table.
Maybe today, we need to come home, to return to our Father’s house, to feel the warmth of His embrace and the unspeakable joy of a restored relationship. There’ll be no anger, or awkward questions, just His tender voice saying, “Welcome home” and His deep unconditional love- the love that He’s been aching to show us while we were apart. And we’ll wonder why we were away so long – away from our Father’s house, but we’ll realise that we were never, never away from our Father’s love.
‘You may go through seasons
Of sun & wind & rain.
You may tread the desert
And in out of pain.
You may run through years
Wondering if you’re good enough,
But you will never run too far
That you’re outside of His love.’
We may be unlovely at times but we are never unloved!
‘If we were all to live as how we are loved – everything would change’
‘How glorious the splendour of a human heart that trusts that it is loved’
PS ‘Abba’s child’ is the title of a book:
*Abba’s Child:the cry of the heart for intimate belonging- Brennan Manning 1994
Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash
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