Are You Adopted?

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Ted always felt the chill of those cold gray prison walls as he walked into the State Penitentiary, but still he returned as often as he could. In his heart was a deep desire to help those men who were bound, not with actual chains, but with sin from which only the Lord Himself could cleanse them and give them power to be free indeed.
As the prisoners walked into the chapel that evening, Ted noticed that one man's face was quite a contrast to the glum, noncommittal expressions of the others. Jim's face was "alive" with a glow of joy in his eyes. Ted just felt that something special had happened. "Perhaps he is going to receive a parole or something," he thought to himself.
After greeting each other, Jim said he'd like to tell him a bit about his past life. This is his story: "When I was only five years old my parents deserted us. We were put into foster homes to be cared for, and from then on I was moved from one place to another.
"Sometimes a couple would come and visit one of these places, looking for a child to adopt, so that they could have a boy or girl to raise and love as their own child.
"As I watched these people looking over the group, I always hoped that I'd be the one they would adopt. I wanted a home. I wanted so much to have a 'Mom' and 'Dad.' As the years passed, that hope grew into a burning desire to 'belong.' I would ask the matron, 'Will anybody ever adopt me?'
"She would have to say, 'Well, I just don't know, Jim. Maybe some day you will be chosen.' But it never happened.
"In all those homes no one ever told me about Jesus. The only thing I remember in the way of prayer was what one house mother taught me: `Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep. Amen.' "I think the Lord answered that simple prayer in spite of everything!
"As I grew older I got into trouble and was put into detention homes, then reform school, then jail, and finally I had to be put into the penitentiary. God saved me about two years ago while I was being held for trial in the county jail. A man came there with a Bible and spoke to us of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I accepted Him as my Savior.
"The other day as I was reading in my Bible in Rom. 8:14-17, it suddenly dawned on me: I had been chosen! I was adopted into the family of God, and God is my Father. I am His child! No one else would have me as their child, but God adopted me and I belong to Him!
" 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.' "
Ted and Jim had a happy time together there in that prison rejoicing in the blessed truth that all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior are adopted into God's family, are His children and are soon going to inherit glory forever!
"According as He hath chosen us in Him... unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved: in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Eph. 1:4-7.
Have you been adopted into God's family?