I appreciate these words from David Platt. He begins by reflecting on the joy he and his wife Heather found in adopting their oldest son Caleb from Kazakhstan. Then he correlates his family’s experience with the amazing blessing all Christians enjoy as God’s adopted children.
Knowing this, then, I am awed when I read 1 John 3:1. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” John cries, “See it! See the delight the Father has in you and me as his children!”
The rest of the New Testament beckons disciples of Jesus to see that God our Father delights in forgiving us, providing for us, leading us, protecting us, sustaining us, comforting us, directing us, purifying us, disciplining us, giving to us, calling us, and promising us his inheritance. God on high experiences pleasure in doing all of these things for us as his children.
For a time, my adopted son Caleb and I were doing this thing where I would point at him across the room and yell, “I love Caleb!” Then he would look back at me and yell, “I love Daddy!”
One day we were doing this, and Caleb was laughing until all of a sudden he stopped, looked and me, and said, “You love me?”
I said, “Yeah, buddy, I do.”
And then he asked what seems to be his favorite question: “Why?”
“Because you’re my son,” I said.
So he asked the question again: “Why?”
This time I thought to myself, Now that’s a good question. Out of all the children in the world, why is this precious little boy standing in front of me my son? I thought about all the factors that had come together to lead Heather and me to Kazakhstan and all the ups and downs we experienced in the process. There were times when we wondered if we were ever going to be able to have kids. I teared up, and I could tell Caleb was confused, wondering if he should ever ask his daddy why again. But I looked back at him and said, “You’re our son because we wanted you. And we came to get you so that you might have a mommy and daddy.”
Doesn’t it take your breath away for a moment to hear God say, “I love you”? To which we, in our sinfulness, must certainly respond, “Why?” And then to hear him answer, “Because you’re my child.” To which we ask the obvious question, “Why would I, a hopeless sinner, now be called your cherished child?” Only to hear him say, “Because I wanted you, and I came to get you so that you might know me as Father.” (Follow Me by David Platt, p. 103-104)
1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (ESV)
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 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.” (ESV)