As most of you know we have a full house this year with my daughter and her family living with us. As I endeavor to count my blessings, family is at the top of the list. This morning my day started with cheers as 11 month old Selah took another step, last night being her first as she went to an overjoyed Papa! I played kick ball downstairs with 2 year old Cohen and we both belly laughed as we knocked each other about with great soccer shots! Then over coffee my daughter shared a thought around yesterday’s sermon that was something I will carry with me all day long. It is only 10 am as I write this! The blessings of family are far too many to count yet as joyful as these are they pale in comparison to the blessings and benefits we receive when we join God’s family. Through the birth and death of Jesus we have a means of adoption into a most amazing family with an incredible dad and all that He owns. 

Growing up I had a rather unique and very loving father. I remember at 16 asking him if I could use his car. His response was immediate and weighty. He said, “don’t ever call it my car, it is our car”. He wanted me to know that whatever was his was mine. I realize this was an odd parental response but I think the Lord was setting me up to understand the depth of what it means to be His child. Whatever is His is mine….

 Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on the greatest gift of all time, adoption as sons and daughters of the Great King.

C.S. Lewis said it so well:

“ The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God” 

Son-ship comes with great benefits. 

Psalm 103

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits—

Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;

Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Oh soul (my mind, will and emotions) don’t forget one of His benefits!. My dad would not let me forget that what belonged to him belonged to me, he always reminded me through his words. God does the very same.

When I first heard the message of God’s incredible love for me at Young Life camp I knew the moment I made a decision to be His child that I was home. My guilt over large and small mistakes were forgiven and washed clean. I was free! However it has taken years of study to really learn of all of the benefits that were available to me the moment I was adopted. I simply had no idea how much my new Father owned or promised me! 

This psalm does not cover all of our inheritance however it highlights a few prominent ones. Forgiveness of all of our sins, no more guilt, no shame and out from under the enemy’s condemnation. He is our healer, over every “dis-ease”, physical, emotional and mental. 

We are redeemed: we have been bought back. We no longer fear death. 

Regardless of how we see ourselves; perhaps broken or imperfect, God declares that He will make us beautiful. He gives us dignity as His child. We are crowned with His love for us, His kindness is shown toward us and He lavishes on us tender mercy.  

Regardless of our age verse 5 promises that God will take care of our needs, our desires at this time of life, to such an extent that our youth, energy, hope and joy are renewed. His promise to us is that we will be strong, we will overcome and that we will soar above our circumstances! 

As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ lets remember to celebrate the reason God became man, so that we could become sons and daughters of God. 

“ Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs….heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:16-17

As we rejoice as David did from the deepest parts of our hearts over this amazing fact remember that He too is rejoicing as only a father can: He takes great delight in you, in His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

11 For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!

12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [[c]after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven ([d]a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [[e]men of goodwill, of His favor].

1 John 3:1

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are.