March 20, 2011


Romans 8:12-17

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves … rather, the Spirit … brought about your adoption …
Romans 8:15


The movie The Blind Side gives a wonderful illustration about the power of love to change our lives. The movie focuses on Michael Oher, a big strong homeless young black teenager whose mother is a crack addict and prostitute. Through an unusual set of circumstances, he is admitted to an exclusive Christian school, where he doesn’t fit at all. He is lost, until the wealthy white mother of two fellow students invites him home for dinner with her family, and then to spend the night.

In the morning he leaves before anyone is awake. But she pursues him, buying him clothes, helping him with homework, giving him his own room in their home, including him in the family. Eventually the family adopts him.

Michael’s life is dramatically changed by this adoptive love.

He comes out of his shell, makes good grades, is accepted by the other kids, and becomes a star football player. Indeed, he is later drafted into the National Football League (U.S.) as a first-round pick in 2009.

Our slavery to sin is broken, says Paul in Romans 8, by the Spirit of God. And one of the things the Spirit does in liberating us is to convince us that we are the beloved children of God. The cross of Christ demonstrates that God loves us as our Father, and the Spirit of Christ completes the circle of love by assuring us that we are now the adopted children of God. Is God your Father?

Abba, Father, thank you for loving me into your family. Help me remember that I am your child, adopted by grace. Amen.

About the author — Stanley Mast

Beginning in 1971, Rev. Stanley Mast has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan. After teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary for a few years, he was the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his retirement in 2012. Stan and his wife, Sharon, enjoy time with their two sons and five grandchildren.

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