The Harvest Is Ripe!
"BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED UPON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE SONS OF GOD: THEREFORE THE WORLD KNOWETH US NOT, BECAUSE IT KNEW HIM NOT." (1Jn.3:1).
I remember the story in a movie (Anne of Green Gables), where an orphan girl was adopted by an old lady and her brother who was also an old man without any child. This old man was spending so much money for this orphan girl called Anne, in new clothes.
I have noticed in life that there is in every human being a parental urge to shower love on somebody. Some folks who had no children or whose children are grown up and left home, sometimes care so much for pets as if the pets are children. It is more visible with folks who have some money to spend and yet have no one to spend it on.
I was thinking about this point, when the Lord reminded me that "do you remember we Christians also become children of God by adoption?" We were adopted into the family of God. Just think about that! If feeble men could love so much as to lavish money on an adopted child because they have a lot of money and no one else to spend the money on, how much more is the Almighty God, who owns everything, waiting and longing to lavish his love upon us? Even as the scriptures say:
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Gal.4:5-6).
Again it was written: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Rom.8:15).
From the encyclopaedia of the bible we quote the following about ancient background on adoption: In Greek practice the adoptive father, because of lack of natural offspring and desiring to perpetuate his family, or because of deep affection for one whom he had come to know in other relationships, or perhaps for religious reasons, could in his lifetime or by his will extend to a son of another family the priviledges of his own family in perpetuity. There was a condition, however, that the person adopted accept the legal obligations and religious duties of the new father." The legal obligations often include the change of name.
No wonder Christian baptismal tradition generally involves the taking of a new name.
What is the joy in having Children? When people who have no children had to go to great extent to adopt a child, sometimes they spend a lot of money for the adoption process. One may ask the question "what is it that make people go to such extent to get a child?" "What is the joy in having children?" Whether adopted or born, the day one becomes part of the child's life is what matters. If a child is adopted from birth, the adoptive parent can be bonded to the child almost as well as a natural parent, especially the fathers. (Ofcourse, a natural mother has an additional nine months of being part of the child's life.)
Now remember we were adopted by God from the spiritual birth. That is why a man must be born again to be part of God's family. God now is our Spiritual Father by adoption. Actually our spirit is reborn by the Holy Ghost, and God became part of our life from the day of our new birth. You should now appreciate the family bonding which God has for us. How then do you think he will not spend and be spent for us?
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom.8:32).
In the African traditions, some men do select an individual spiritist or one with much spiritual power to become their adopted father, who will bear the responsibility of equiping the young men with charms and spiritual power for protection. It's akin to the idea of "big brother or big sister" in the social environment.
Similarly, when we do not know anything about spiritual things, the Lord Jesus brought us out of ignorance and nonentity into his spiritual kingdom, and made us children of God. God became our spiritual Father.
The spiritual fathers in the African tradition only bring these men into a relationship with some "spirits" in the charms and in their rituals. But the Lord Jesus Christ is our Spiritual Father who has brought us into a close relationship with himself, because "the Lord is that Spirit". "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Col.1:19-20).
God adopted us as sons from the day we were reborn as ignorant helpless children, and He is trying to bring us up to be like him. What else do you think parenting is? All we can do as a parent is raise the kids to be like us.
Whether you like it or not, you are building an image of yourself in those kids. Similarly, God wants to build his fulness into us! From a nobody, spiritually, God wants to build us up to be like him. For this purpose He gave gifts in his church "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Ephe.4:12-13).
Parents are actually shaping kids by all the corrections and instructions, to be like them in their opinions, behaviors, and attitudes towards life.
God also is trying to build us up to be like him in our behavior, in our attitude towards life, and also in power: supernatural power to appear and disappear anywhere in the universe when He is through with us. He wants us to travel in the universe like him, in the already ordained means of transportation used by angels.
When I think of the Christian calling in this version, I can only say, Lord, indeed you are a great Father. That is why He is called "the everlasting Father". (Isa.9:6).
When I remember how the adoptive father was spending for the adopted girl in the story, I wonder, "how dearly the Lord longs to give great blessings to us!" How dearly He longs to get immortality for us, desperately. He wants that supernatural power for us, desperately.
What will he get out of this? he wants to have fellowship with us!
God himself became a man and was bringing us unto himself, because he is the Spirit. (2Cor.3:18). He longs for close fellowship with us, one on one!
We need to pray and ask the Lord to make us like him.
Like the adopted parents spend for their kid, God wants to deck us with glory and power. He wants us to be just like him. We can only please him if we take upon us his characteristics, which is godliness. We should pray and say "Lord, help me to surrender to be just like you as you want."
I pray that the Lord will touch all members of His body so that we can surrender to the Holy Ghost fully to do the work in us. He is still working on us. We are not there yet. We have not fully taken up his image as the scriptures admonished when apostle Paul wrote: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephe.4:22-24).
May the Lord give us the grace to aspire to be like him. As the Scriptures said in Hebrews chapter 2, Christ shall bring many more sons unto glory.
"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1Jn.3:1-3).
May the Lord give each of us, the understanding of the hope of his calling.
Yea, indeed, as written by apostle Paul: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
I pray, with apostle Paul, that the Lord "may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephe.1).
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry