Adopt or Adapt?

It’s amazing how one letter can change the meaning of things. It’s easy to mix up words like affect and effect, alter and altar, compliment and complement, desert and dessert. But we probably don’t have trouble keeping straight adopt and adapt. Or do we?

Have you been adopted into God’s family? Or are you just trying to adapt to the church environment around you?

God went to great lengths to make available to us salvation. It cost him a great deal. But with Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling upon our acceptance of this free and priceless gift, God sealed the deal.

God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5 NLT

As adopted children, we’ve been given the important command of loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. And Christ called us to go and make disciples of all nations.

Of course, the Apostle Paul made it a point to find common ground with everyone. But why? To fit in? To be popular? No. He did it so that he could save some. (read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Now even within the family of God, there is a need to adapt. There are times when someone is in need. There are times when we mourn and rejoice along with our brothers and sisters. There are times when we disappoint each other. But again, Paul calls us to something else.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT

As we serve alongside each other, let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). We will do well to humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts (adapt), for it has the power to save your souls (adopt). Then we may become adept at living for Christ.

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Are You Finished?

The other day, I finished a movie I was watching. I also finished my lunch, finished getting dressed, finished a phone call with my mom, finished baseball practice. I’ve even finished my taxes; there’s not much time left, you know. But you know, I’m never really finished with them. I’ll have to do them again. They’re recurring tasks.

There are some of you who will finish school in a month or so, but you won’t stop learning. Your children will move away from home, but you aren’t finished being a parent. These are processes that last a lifetime. Continue reading

What if…?

Ever wondered what might have happened if you had done/bought/said/thought something different? Maybe that “something different” could have made someone’s day. Or it could have broken someone’s heart. Sometimes it would be nice to know what woulda/coulda/shoulda been. Like in “A Christmas Carol”, or “It’s a Wonderful Life”. But really, most of those “what if” encounters were pretty disturbing. So, simply rejoice when you obey that prompting by the Holy Spirit to talk to your neighbor, write a friend, accept that invitation.

I’d like to share with you a song that I’ve enjoyed over the years. It is titled “What If” and written by Jadon Lavik. It’s about some of the events we experience as we walk along life’s road and how we oftentimes feel about ourselves.

Sometimes we do things that are pretty impressive:

What if I climbed that mountain / what if I swam to that shore
What if every battle was victorious / then would you love me more?

Sometimes we do things that we’re ashamed of:

What if I ignored the hand that fed me / what if I forgot to confess
What if I stumbled down that mountain / then would you love me less?

But God is constant:

You say I belong to you / apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you / I’m in awe of why you do

Lyrics in italics by Jadon Lavik, Lavikmusic ASCAP

I am in awe. I know that I’ve done some pretty ridiculous things in my life. I’m glad that my God has always loved me, just where I am. And loves me enough not to leave me there. To be conformed to His likeness. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve been saved by the Son…

But, what if… Forget about it. (Romans 8:38-39)