No Natural Children

Romans 8:15 (ESV)
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Ephesians 1:3-6
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

“Receive” – lambano
To take, to receive what is offered, to receive what is given.

“Adoption as sons” – huiothesia
Outline of Biblical Usage:
1) adoption, adoption as sons
a) that relationship which God was pleased to establish between himself and the Israelites in preference to all other nations
b) the nature and condition of the true disciples in Christ, who by receiving the Spirit of God into their souls become sons of God
c) the blessed state looked for in the future life after the visible return of Christ from heaven
— a compound of huios (a son) + tithemi (to set, put, place, make)

My thoughts –
Have you considered that no one can choose adoption for themselves?

If my son Nick had WANTED us to adopt him, he could not adopt himself. He could not force us to adopt him. He could only to receive what was given, to take what was offered. He was adopted as a son because we chose him and caused him to be our son. He has only to RECEIVE what is given.

And he was not chosen because he deserved it or earned it. He was not somehow better than all the others. No. He was adopted because his parents chose him because we wanted to.

My three biological children grew in my womb, but in God’s kingdom there are no ‘natural children.’ Every single one of us must be adopted. Every single one. Whether Jew or Gentile, whether first generation Christian or fifteenth, we must each receive adoption. None of us can ride our parent’s coat tails into the kingdom.

Praise God that He saw my need. He saw me, a slave, and yet He set His favor on me, choosing me as His daughter. Thank you, Lord, that You showed Your love for me in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. Thank you, Father, for calling me out of the dark and putting Your name on me that I can now call myself daughter and so I am. Wow!

Let me not fall back into fear when I have received the spirit of adoption, that I can cry out Abba, Father, as your daughter.

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Thorn (?) in the flesh

The Cross of the Twin Buttes, Crook, CO

I must say that the past three weeks have been filled with events to keep me on my knees. To keep me humble. To keep me from becoming conceited. To keep me weak. I pray that The Lord has looked at me and said “Have you considered my servant, Kim?” (Job 2:8) and that in all my response I have not sinned or charged God with wrong. (Job 2:22)

I’d say it probably began when our family returned (July 14) from a week long trip to Colorado, knowing we had only ten days to pack up and move our whole house of stuff accumulated over 18 years of marriage. Our closing still held looming uncertainty yet we continued to take steps daily by faith that The Lord would bring this about.

Last day at our old house

Incredibly, two days after returning our oldest son, Nick, developed a killer, killer headache which was only getting worse as time went by. We rushed him to the ER where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

After a spinal tap and 36 hours in the hospital, it was determined that it was viral, rather than bacterial, and he was discharged already starting to feel better.

Nick in excruciating pain.

I praised God for Nick’s quick improvement, and yet my strong, able bodied, #1 moving assistant was down.  In God’s great goodness, our church family, His hands and feet here on earth, stepped up in a MIGHTY way to help us pack and move.  We successfully closed on the sale and purchase of our houses and moved the weekend of July 25.

The whiteboard in our ER room!

Just as I began to think we’d have a few weeks of smooth sailing, along came poison ivy to keep me humble and weak and on my knees. I ended up with a severe reaction resulting in extreme swelling on the right side of my face and another ER visit. (This time for me.)Yet, once again, God’s grace is sufficient!!!

The week I came home from Colorado, I began memorizing 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 and God has given me plenty of opportunities to put them to use. I remember reciting these verses while Nick bent over holding my hand as the doctor drew spinal fluid out of his arched, pained back.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

This story so far has been about the past few weeks, but what God is working on me now is in Romans 8:18-25.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  Romans 8:18-25.

My hope stands firm in the coming return of Jesus. My hope is not found here. The whole earth is groaning in the pains of meningitis and poison ivy reactions, yet these sufferings are not even worthy comparing with the GLORY that is to be revealed to us.

 

Tower of Babel Sandcastles

Today as I sit in the shade watching Noelle and Daniel build sand castles with plastic cups, my ears are filled with the sounds of a language foreign to my ears. I pick out certain words I recognize – ‘nina,’ ‘y,’ ‘si’ – and my heart turns to ponder Emily and Nick heading to Mexico tomorrow to serve at Rio Bravo, a children’s home in Reynosa. There they will be the outsiders, the ones who don’t speak the language, but here these young ones struggle to communicate with ours. So, ours build their own structures of sand while they construct an elaborate reservoir of water.
It makes me think of the unity God desires in His body, the church. He desires for us to be ONE, to be co-laborers with Him, building up His body here on earth.
I pray for our team from Collierville Bible Church to be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Mexico, whether they speak English or Spanish, whether they are from intact families or not. I pray that the God of endurance and encouragement grant them to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together they may with ONE voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

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More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat – audio uploads

Hi!  Yes, after two months, I am finally posting a link to the audio for two of the talks from the March retreat.

I pray they would be a great blessing.

More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat Attendees
More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat Attendees

Talk #2 – More Than My Current Circumstances.  Click here. (Are you being ruled by your feelings?  By human wisdom?  I share on the importance to walk by faith in our everyday lives, especially in making tough decisions and enduring trials.)

Talk # 3 – More Than a Hearer.  Click here.  (Truly, the Lord wants us to know the Bible, yet we must be MORE than mere hearers of the Word, and even MORE than mere “doers” of the Word.  God’s best for us is to to live & move & have our being in Him.)