Thursday, May 21, 2009

God Instructs Sinners!

7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:7-9

For the first time in my life I have purchased a “vanity license plate” for my car. Actually, it is for my wife’s car. She is a grandmother and in a few weeks we will see the arrival of grandchild number 19 so I chose the number GRAN19. The plate itself also says CHOOSE LIFE and ADOPTION BUILDS FAMILIES. So now everyone blessed enough to sit behind her at a stop light will have to think about God’s position on life! It is a bold thing I suppose, but as long as the State of Ohio makes such a plate available I think the is money well spent.

An adopted child comes into his new family with all the “baggage” from his previous home. You can’t say to an adopted child, “Just leave all your previous experience at the door because we do things differently here.” As glorious as adoption sounds, truthfully it can be a difficult struggle as the child learns the ways of his father, mother and new family. There must be lots of love and forgiveness along with lots of discipline and training. Then as the days turn into weeks and months and years the new child is not new, but is as much a part of the family as the rest.

When I am adopted into the family of God it is much the same. God does not ask me to learn His ways and change myself before I am adopted into His family. God will adopt into His family anyone who comes to Him in faith. When I believe on Jesus Christ, He takes me in. When I knock on His door, actually He is knocking on mine, He invites me to come in and be a part of the family. There are no requirements that I change first.

Two of our four adopted children were not infants when we adopted them, but we literally gave no thought to how they behaved before deciding to adopt them. Of course, we noticed how they behaved, but that played no role. How badly you have or are behaving before the Lord will not stop Him from receiving you into His family when you come to Him in faith.

But once men put their faith in Jesus, He will “instruct sinners in His ways.” Then comes the change. He lovingly corrects my behavior every day and teaches me how His children act. Then days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months turn into years as I learn His ways! He changes me because He lives with me and His Holy Spirit is in me. I am a part of His family.

Perhaps the best news of all is this: Even after I have become a part of His family, if I walk away and become a prodigal, Jesus is ready to receive me once again!

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