God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
We have had great success with the pet adoption process. With each dog came a great deal of enjoyment, as they each had zany personalities. There was Ally, a golden-lab mix who loved everything to do with water. If she could swim it, she was in it! She also loved playing frisbee and going down slides at parks. She loved to get scratched right above her tail. Then came Cheyenne. She was a sleek, pure white lab-shepherd mix. She loved to run, and she was super-fast! She also was our escape artist who constantly broke out of our backyard. Cheyenne loved to be scratched on the top of her neck right behind her ears. It was a bit awkward for house guests, as she would come and bury her face in their lap hoping for a scratch. Now we’ve got Denali, a Siberian Husky. Denali is the laziest dog we’ve had. But, when he gets the zoomies, he’s pure entertainment. He likes it when Michelle or I take him for a long walk in the morning, but sleeps the rest of the day. He doesn’t bark. He yodels. Oh, and this dog loves his belly rubs! One other quirk: when he meets new people, he tends to pee on them. It’s awesome.
Though our adoptions have been a great success, they pale in comparison to the great adoption God has made. He isn’t wanting pets to entertain Him. He wants children He can call His own. And, because He is King of the Universe, these children get adopted into a royal family. In this family, they experience an unfathomable love, joy, security, peace, hope, fun, and grace.
As we look at our verse today, you’ll see something even greater than what we receive. We get to see how God experiences our adoption into His family. As Paul wrote, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family.” In other words, before He even created the world, He decided He wanted you to be part of His family! How cool is that?! And, He paid the ultimate price for the right to adopt us. He died for us. Jesus died so we could be part of the family of God. The crazy part? As the Scripture says, “it gave him great pleasure.” In other words, as Jesus breathed His last breaths, there was still joy in His heart because He knew that one day you would have the privilege of being called a son or daughter of God. And, on your adoption day, the day you were baptized, you can bet Jesus was beaming with pride and joy.