Growing up, I always wanted to be older. But then, I ended up longing for the days of sleeping in, prepared food, and little-to-no responsibilities. Over time, I got to play with the “big kids”, sit at the “grown-ups table”, make plans, and earn money. The chance to participate, be trusted, helpful, independent, and contribute always signals our coming of age. We all know what it means to be a child. We know what it means to have to grow up, not want to grow up, maybe even not be allowed to grow up. I think it’s fair to say that learning to act our age is really a lifelong adjustment.
Growing up spiritually means we’re “adopted”, through Christ, as God’s sons and daughters. This spiritual adoption can offer a life-changing perspective in how we respond to grace and salvation.
Paul writes to a group of young Christians in Galatia about coming of age, spiritually. He contrasts an impulsive child with a strong young man who accepts responsibilities of adulthood. We tend to think of being a child of God as helpless or only able to receive. However, the word, ‘adoption’ in scripture actually means the “placement an adult son”. In other words, God ‘adopts’ or ‘saves’ us with the idea that we grow and mature into trusted contributors in God’s salvation on earth.
In his book, Becoming Who God Intended, David Eckmann highlights “a crucial difference between the ancient world and the modern world…they rarely adopted babies, but instead they adopted adults. When a childless couple was getting so old that any possibility of child-bearing was gone, if well-off, they would legally adopt a young man whom they loved and trusted to take over the family business and handle the family wealth. This was so the couple would be taken care of in their old age.”
Similarly, God has placed us in a family – with Christ – and wants us to live with a new identity. We are invited to come of age as a trusted heir! Friends, our Heavenly Father looks to adopt not as a helpless, consuming child. Rather, we’re invited to be valued contributors a part of the Father’s business. Mission Hills began with the hope of helping you “come of age” wherever you are in a journey of faith. We want to think differently in how we experience, teach, show, share, and leverage God’s love through a Living Faith…in Austin as it is in Heaven.