Salvation by Faith Alone & Grace of God | Devotion #1: John 1:12
Chuck Lindsey | Reach Pastor
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12 NKJV)
My sister and brother-in-law are foster care parents. In seven years’ time, they have provided a home for and cared for over 30 children. Most of these children come from absolutely devastating situations. Many are born addicted to drugs. Others are the only surviving child in a violent home. They come from physical abuse and neglect to sexual abuse and more. Each story is crushing. It is often painful work. It is thankless work. It is late nights, exhausting, tears, fear, frustration, and it can be overwhelming. It is especially painful when that child you love and have cared for, is put back into unacceptable situations. Some have a chance, and some will not make it. It is more than just “hard.” With each phone call that comes to take another child, my brother-in-law and sister ask Jesus what He wants them to do. Very often, they say, “Yes, we will take them.” We watch them make those children their own until their season together is done. It is thankless work. It is Jesus’ work.
Now imagine if the richest man in history began to be burdened for abused children and decided to start doing foster care. Not just foster care, but his goal was the adoption of as many needy kids as possible. What if the richest man in the world began to adopt every child who wanted him? His mission was to make them his children. They would live in his home with him. They would eat from his table. They would bear his name. Each child would, from one day to the next, move from the devastation they had only ever known to the immeasurable blessing they would now only ever know. All that he has was now theirs. They were his children.
This is what the Bible says has happened to us. It is what God has done for us. From one moment to the next, everything is different. We were lost in our sin and guilt, wandering around in the darkness, without hope, without purpose, and without joy. We were broken people. We were blind people, staggering around in a broken world. We were trying to find anything that seemed like life, anything that resembled purpose, anything that would make us happy even temporarily, and life failed. In every real way, life would fail. The key is “But God.” But God stepped into our lives. God stepped in with a mission, a goal, a plan, and a desire to adopt as many as were willing. He went to each lost, broken, and hurting child and offered them life. Therefore, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” We became His own. We bear His name; we are Christians. We will eat at His table and live in His home with Him forever, and all that He has is ours. For, we are His.
And this all happened because we “received Him” when He came to us inviting us. We believed in His ability to do what He offered to do. Rejoice you “children of God” for He has received you!