Saturday, February 28, 2015

Teach us to pray, part 5: The Great Adoption

And He said to them, "When you pray, say: ' Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 'Give us each day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" (Luke 11:2-4 NASB)


The word translated here as "Father" is pater and comes from a root word that means "a nourisher, protector, upholder". This is a terribly difficult concept for me. I don't have any problem understanding God as the Father of Jesus. After all, He was perfect, sinless. What boggles my mind is that God willingly chooses to be Father to me. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I am neither sinless nor perfect. None of us are. 

Ponder that a moment. If we choose a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His Son, He adopts us as His children, sons and daughters of God. It's absolutely incredible! Equally incredible is that, as Scripture tell us, Jesus is "not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters". (Hebrews 2:11, Mark 3:33-35) and that we are "joint heirs" with Jesus, the Son of God. (Romans 8:17) 

Jesus is not ashamed to be my brother. 

I could ponder that for a lifetime and never get over it. Just to be sure we are on the same page here, I was so sinful that there could never be enough sacrifice on my own to make up for all the sin I had piled up and continued to pile up, and so were we all. God created us for a relationship with him and I messed it up terribly, we messed it up terribly. Something had to be done, so Jesus did it. He wasn't in love with the idea, but He saw it as the only way to save mankind, so Jesus laid down His life to pay for my sin, to pay for your sin. 

He left Heaven, which was a major sacrifice in itself, and came to earth. Consider leaving your beautiful and comfortable home, and all the people you love, to live in the most desolate place on this earth for thirty-three years, knowing that the very people you've come to help will hate you, spit on you, and kill you, then realize that His sacrifice was greater than that. 

On top of leaving Heaven to come to earth, Jesus took my Sin on Himself and died in my place, in your place. That is such a spiritually incredible event that I cannot begin to understand how such a propitiation happened, how He stood it, why He would do it, but He did. I know that's true because of the change His sacrifice has made in my life.

After all of the sacrifice to save my eternal life, made necessary because of my sin, I have the unmitigated gall to continue to sin and ask for more forgiveness. I have not taken sin seriously enough, and few of us do. When I look at the price my sin cost Jesus, it makes me sick. What is even more mortifying is that I continue to sin. I dare to have a haughty heart, a condescending nature, selfishness, greed. You name it. If it's sin, it threatens to entice me, and I'm not the only one. We are all easily entangled by sin. What is heartbreaking is that entanglement is not as horrifying as it should be. If I'm not entangled by some sins (the ones of others, for example) I'm not so worried about the ones that do entangle me, and this should not be. 

I have been given the greatest gift imaginable in this unfathomable adoption by Almighty God, despite my bent for sinning. I have not always understood the magnitude of this gift, but I pray that I will not only get an inkling of understanding, but that I will never get over the wonder of it, and that I will choose to live in accordance to the gift. Oh dear ones, the right to call God Father is something we should treasure, for in that gift He has transformed our lives and changed our eternal destiny.

Selah. Pause and consider.

Today, before we dare to speak His name, let us consider the price that was paid for our adoption, as well as the audacious insult of our ongoing choice to continue in sin. May we treasure the gift of our adoption so much that we choose to live accordingly.