Sermon Illustrations

LIFE IN THE FAMILY

After four years of marriage and no offspring to show for it, my wife and I (mostly my wife) decided that we would like to adopt a child. Not long after the tedious process of filling out papers, being investigated for any criminal activity, going to interviews to authenticate true intent, having meetings with Social Services and the Adoption Agency, etc. etc., we were informed that our five-week old baby girl was ready for us to pick up. Two years later our two-week old son arrived.

What a joy it was to possess, nurture, and bring up those two adopted children, who were now part of our family. Of course, all infants are cute, cuddly, and charming when small, but they soon grow up and in need of correction. Quite often, as toddlers, both Denise and Joey would have to be told "No," don’t touch, or "Naughty," you should not do that.

Evidently, it was difficult for them to adjust to the many rules and regulations which were imposed on them for their own good. But, did Denise and Joey have to make all those changes in order to become a part of the family? No. They were made a part of the family simply by the grace of my wife and me. Did they then have to do a lot of hard work because they were in the family? You betcha!. It was tough for them to change, and they had to work at it. But they were motivated by gratitude for the incredible love they had received. Do you have a lot of hard work to do now that the Spirit has adopted you into God’s family? Certainly. But not in order to become a son or a daughter of the heavenly Father. No, you make those changes because of the amazing grace and love that made you a son or daughter. And every time you start to revert back to the old addictions to sin, the Holy Spirit will say to you, "No, that’s not how we act in this family."

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