Adopted into God’s Family – Encouragement for Today – April 17, 2019

Lauren Dungy

April 17, 2019

Adopted Into God's Family

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

My husband Tony and I already had three children by 1999, yet we felt God calling us to add another to our family, so we began investigating adoption. The agency we contacted had several pregnant women planning to place their babies for adoption, and they sought Christian homes for these unborn children. Knowing of this need spurred us to ready our family for a little boy.

And we believe with all our heart that God placed Jordan with the perfect family.

When we adopted Jordan, God made clear He brought him into our family for a reason. Shortly after birth, Jordan was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called CIPA - Congenital Insensitivity to Pain Anhidrosis.

Jordan is missing the gene that enables the pain sensors in nerve endings to signal discomfort to the brain. Jordan would never be able to feel pain. While this might sound like a good thing, it's not. Because he can't feel discomfort, Jordan has done a lot of damage to his body. He hasn't learned to avoid sharp objects or hard blows because he doesn't feel anything. Cuts and the infections that go along with them are commonplace. He has had sprains, dislocations, broken bones and fractures regularly.

He has undergone over 80 surgeries and spent most of his teenage years in a wheelchair or using a walker. Nevertheless, he is thriving. He will graduate from high school this year, and he plans to attend a culinary arts school. His spirit is amazing, and he inspires everyone he meets.

Our family was always the best place for him. Tony and I had the resources and unconditional love to give him the time and special attention he needs to survive.

Similarly, God has a special place in His family for each of us. Ephesians 1:5a says, "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ." God made a choice to take us in, granting us a new start in the wonderful family of God. The Lord took on the responsibilities of a parent - protecting us, providing for us, nurturing us and guiding us.

When we accept Christ as our Savior, we receive all those benefits, along with eternal life. We will forever be indebted to God for His unfailing love, but Paul tells us this adoption is God's desire: "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure" (Ephesians 1:5b). It gives Him joy to bring us into His family and to love us unconditionally.

If you are struggling today and wondering where you belong, I want to remind you that you are right where you're supposed to be. Sometimes God places us in families that are biological, and other times they're chosen. But most importantly, you are part of His family, chosen by Him before the foundation of the earth.

Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing us to be part of Your family. Remind us that no matter what challenges we face, You are with us, encouraging, guiding, protecting and cheering us on. Thank You for showing Your unconditional love to us through adoption. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

James 1:27, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." (NLT)

Matthew 25:44-45, "Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'" (NLT)

Because of their passion for children, Tony and Lauren Dungy are writing children's books about adoption. We Chose You is their latest project that highlights God's love demonstrated to us through adoption.

Enter to WIN a copy of We Chose You by Tony and Lauren Dungy. In celebration of this book, Harvest House is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one in the comment section by Monday, April 22.}

God has done something awesome for us by taking us in and treating us as His very own children. Pray and ask Him to provide you with an opportunity today to show His unconditional love to others.

© 2019 by Lauren Dungy. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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