Take 5 (September 15-19, 2014)

take5Richard Thompson • Pastor of Children’s Ministries

This week, Michelle and I would like to share with you some of the things God has recently been reminding us of as we go through the process of adopting our six-year-old son.

Monday: Love for Love’s Sake

Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:4-5

One day, a state car drove into our driveway and dropped off an adorable, but very angry and scared, little boy. The description the caseworker had read to us before his arrival could have scared the faint-hearted away. But this precious little boy needed someone to love him; not because he deserved it or had earned it, but just because God had created him. This is how God loved us – while we were still sinners. Think about that – that is truly amazing! Nothing in us is lovable or worthy, yet He loved us enough to die for us.

For Today: Take time to thank God for loving you while you were sinful and unlovable.

Tuesday: Look unto Me

Isaiah 45:22; Psalm 34:4-6

Our little guy has been learning to swim. On a recent day at the pool, I watched him, in his little goggles, as he improved at retrieving dive sticks from the bottom. Eventually, he picked up the three sticks in one dive, but was then too afraid to swim all the way to the wall. I could see the fear on his face as he gazed up from the pool floor, scanning the area, to find my swim suit. As soon as he saw me, he swam directly to me. It made me wonder, when we are “in over our heads,” do we turn our gazes to our Heavenly Father and go directly to Him for safety and comfort? I know how much I love this little boy, and to think that God loves us even more! Oh, how we need to remember to go to Him first, before we try every other possible solution.

For Today: Look to our Father when the world’s troubles seem too deep to bear.

Wednesday: We are Held Safely

John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39

During a trip to the ocean this summer, we were swimming on a day in which the waves were so strong that the yellow caution flags were flying. In the shallow surf, our son got knocked over by a wave. I quickly picked him up in my arms and held him while the waves continued to pound us. He looked up at me and said, “Please don’t let go of me.” My heart was moved as I thought about my Heavenly Father, and about how absolutely nothing can rip me from His strong, safe hands.

For Today: Rest in God’s safe arms, thanking Him that nothing can take you from him.

Thursday: Why Worry?

Matthew 6:25-34

While still in the strong ocean waves I wrote about yesterday, our son began to worry even though I was holding him and had promised I would not let him go. He fearfully watched over my shoulder to see if or when the next wave would hit. I reassured him that I was strong enough to hold him even if the waves continued to pound at us (which they did), but he seemed completely unable to take his eyes off of the coming waves. I realized that we do this with God at times. We worry about what “wave” may hit us next, whether it is financial, physical, or relational. Instead, God wants us to leave our worries with Him and simply rest in His arms of safety – He has it all under control.

For Today: Give God your worries and rest in His love and protection.

Friday: Born Again

John 3:1-16; Galatians 4:3-6

Our family is greatly anticipating the day, in the near future, when we will go to the courthouse and legally adopt our son and change his name. At that point, our son will also be given a new birth certificate. Even though he will not physically be born again on that day, his whole identity will change in the eyes of the state. Similarly, when God adopts us, we get a whole new identity. While on this earth, we may still carry scars from the past, but we are completely changed and our whole future, our eternity, will never be the same! That is something we can all celebrate!

For Today: Thank God for your adoption. If you have not yet been adopted into God’s family, why not trust in Jesus today?