I was adopted as an infant.Throughout my life I always found comfort in looking at my adoption papers from time to time. Sometimes I just needed to see in print the truth that I already knew.

There is a section in my adoption papers that intrigues me. “…is hereby declared the legal child and heir…and is entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to such adoptive parents…”

I was “declared the legal child and heir” to my parents. This put me on equal footing in my parent’s eyes as my brother and sister. It doesn’t matter that I entered my family six and ten years after my brother and sister; I am still “entitled” to the same rights and privileges.” It also doesn’t matter that I don’t look like my brother and sister or have the same interests. We share a common bond that could only be brought about because of adoption.

Perhaps the most interesting item is that the court put the phrase “subject to all the obligations of a child born to such adoptive parents” in this legal document. Being part of a family isn’t just about the privileges, fun and games. There are obligations and responsibilities, too.

What a beautiful picture of God’s family. We are all adopted by God at different times, ages and places, but that doesn’t matter. We all are “entitled” to the same rights and privileges of having God as our father. Someone who follows God at ten years old has the same access to prayer,the Bible and to heaven as someone who follows God at 60. It doesn’t matter that our gifts and talents are different from each other. It doesn’t matter that we serve in different ways. God’s children share a common bond that could only be brought about by His adoption of us.

But, while we are enjoying God’s privileges, we are also subject to obligations as well. With great privilege comes great responsibility.I did not carry out family responsibilities and obligations with a sense of duty. I did it because I loved my parents and was thankful they brought me into such a great family. How much more should my love for God be, that carrying out my responsibilities for Him should be a joy.

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