Heirs of the Father

June 18, 2021

“…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”  Colossians 1:12

Every May 14 marks a significant day in the life of my family. On that day in 2019, our adopted daughter – our firstborn – Riley, became a full-fledged member of the Baker family. What is known to us as “Gotcha Day” is celebrated every year in our family through a variety of traditions: 

1. We visit the courthouse where legally she was declared a “Baker.” We take a picture with the judge who made that declaration official. 

2. We then rejoice at a restaurant of Riley’s choice, usually involving chips and salsa or cheese and marinara. 

Every year, we anticipate this day as a reminder of God’s goodness to us through her adoption.

And every May 14 also reminds me of greater spiritual realities. My heart resonates with the words of the Apostle Paul in giving thanks to the Father for our inclusion into His family. For just as Riley is a full heir of all things Baker, so we, through faith in Christ Jesus, are full heirs of all things God. He has qualified us to receive the full inheritance as His children. He has adopted us into His family, not as second-class citizens, but as children seated around His family table. We will receive every single benefit that comes from being in God’s family — even, namely, the privilege and joy of calling Him our Father.

Every Father’s Day, I am reminded that adoption is an active endeavor. There isn’t one step in the adoption process where my wife and I were passive observers. The process was long, wrought with frustration and difficulty, and it came at great cost. It required an active resolve to stop at nothing until our home was filled with a son or daughter.

And as I reflect on God’s goodness towards my family, I am reminded that our adoption into God’s family was also an active endeavor. That the process took time, was wrought with difficulty and came at great cost to Himself. As I look at my oldest daughter and think about our active pursuit for Riley to be in our family, my mind goes to God the Father Himself and His pursuit of His people in a much greater way. His desire for us to be full-fledged members in the family of God was strong enough for Him to send His only Son to the cross. 

So how do we respond to this good news? We give thanks. The disposition of our hearts leans towards gratitude. As we spend time fathers this Father’s Day, let us not neglect to give thanks to our Father, who has made us sons and daughters – full heirs – with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Written by Austin Baker, Teaching Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church