…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. Romans 8:14-15
At the close of a battle in World War I, a young man lie dying on the battlefield. A fellow soldier stopped to render him assistance. As he moistened his lips and made his head rest easier, the dying man said, “My father is a man of large wealth. If I have the strength I will write him a note and he will repay you for this kindness.” This is what he wrote: “Dear Father, the bearer of this letter made my last moments easier. Receive him and help him for Carl’s sake.”
The war ended and the soldier could not find employment. Eventually, in tattered garments, he sought out Carl’s father. The father, seeing only an unkempt ruffian at his door, refused to see him. Then the soldier said, “I have a note for you in which, I believe, you will be interested, sir.” He handed Carl’s father the little soiled piece of paper. The father quickly recognized his son’s handwriting. His eyes softened as he read the message. He threw his arms around the soldier and held him tight as if he were embracing his own son. The soldier was invited into his home and everything the man had was put at his disposal.
That’s a beautiful story, but it hardly compares with the great story of the heavenly Father’s love for us. So we might be saved, Jesus entered this world for the express purpose of giving His life for us. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the heavenly Father doesn’t just welcome us into heaven, He adopts us into His family of faith as His own dear children. Through Word and Sacrament, your past, filled with apprehension and anxiety, is left behind. Because Jesus took your place and died the death you deserved, you have a new future, a new family. By the power of God’s undeserved grace, you can be moved into your new home of heaven.
Being part of God’s family has its immediate as well as eternal rewards. As an adopted child in the Lord’s household, you need no longer tremble with terror at tomorrow’s uncertainties. You can be sure, as a forgiven and adopted member of God’s family of faith, you have forgiveness for all you have done wrong and help in every situation. And that news, the good news of our adoption, is the best news of all.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on June 8, 2003
THE PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for welcoming me into Your family and providing me with Your inheritance. Please guide me with your Holy Spirit so that I may share the good news of our adoption with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.