By the age of 12, I had lost my mother and father to the AIDS virus in Uganda. My aunt, whom I now call my mother, adopted my brothers and I here in the US. Through my earthly adoption and as God continued to reveal himself to me, I’ve come to understand the awesome privilege and new identity that comes from being called a daughter of the Most High God. The Bible says that as a Christian, I was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that I should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, God predestined me for adoption through Jesus Christ according to His will (Eph 1:3-6).

An Inheritance Through Adoption

As a Christian, I inherited the Spirit of adoption, which meant that I had a new Father whom I could call “Abba Father!” This signified that I could now have a close, intimate relationship like that of a father with his child. Through adoption, I was an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ (Rom 8:17). As an heir, I have the rights to a great eternal inheritance, which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for me (1 Peter 1:4).

A Loving Father Through Adoption

Through God’s adoption, I have a good and loving father. Unlike my earthly father, this Father does not leave me nor forsake me (Deut 31:6); this Father loves me (1 John 3:1) and nothing can separate me from this love (Rom 8:39); He knew me before I was born (Jer. 1:5); He takes care of me (Matt. 6:32) and He gives good gifts (Matt. 7:11).

A New Identity Through Adoption

Adoption into God’s family also comes with a new identity. Part of being adopted, after my parents passed, was that I took on my new mother’s last name. I had to adhere to the rules of her home; I had to listen and obey her; my cousins were no longer my cousins, I called them my brothers. In the same light, once I was adopted into God’s family, I was under a new loving authority (John 14:23). Through God’s adoption, I now align myself with my brothers and sisters in Christ who do the will of my heavenly father (Matt 12:48-50).

Because I am a child of God, by His grace and mercy, I strive to do the works that please Him. As children of God, we must understand that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 4:13).

A new identity in Christ also means that I no longer identify with my old self. The Bible says that I am a new creation; “the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (Cor. 5:17). Because of God’s saving grace, I do not identify myself as an unloved, un-forgiven, hopeless and forsaken AIDS orphan. Through God’s adoption, I identify myself as a loved, hopeful, forgiven and cherished daughter of a King. I am part of “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession” (1 Peter 2:9). I (who was once dead in my sins) am no longer identified by my sins, but was made alive in Christ. My debt of sin was paid through Christ’s death on the cross. My new identity means that I have friendship with God. (John 15:15)

The adopter always initiates adoption; there was nothing I could do to deserve adoption into God’s Kingdom. It is a free gift of love, mercy, and grace. Yet, through this I am called a daughter of the Living God. I pray that we as Christians would bow in humble adoration to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because he has chosen to show us his grace by adopting us and calling us his own.

As a Christian, how has the knowledge that you have an inheritance, have a loving father and a new identity in Christ shaped your understanding of your family, your understanding of God’s adoption, acceptance and love?

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