According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph 1:4-6)
What makes being adopted so special? Well, I could tell you that an adopted child is wanted, planned for and cherished...but so are natural born children. What makes the difference is that they are chosen!
There are probably three different directions I could go with this post this morning, but two of those directions are probably not founded in the word, so I will stick to the third...most of us who read this devotion have been adopted into the family of Christ. We were not born of the line of David, we do not and cannot lay claim to duel citizenship in Israel because we are not Jewish...we do not have the heritage described in the Bible as "God's Chosen People". We do, however, possess the same rights and bear the same responsibilities as they do simply because we have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus.
"But what does that mean to me?" It means that we are chosen as well. A command from the King of Kings has granted us the same rights afforded the descendants of Moses, the descendants of Esther, the descendants of David...a royal heritage! It also means that we must know who we are, the history of how we came to be children of God and the devotion he expects from us. We are his heirs and as such, must know him intimately! We don't get to be children of God simply by someone dumping water on us when we are infants, being dragged to church each Sunday and being forced to memorize answers to questions that have no real bearing on the lives we live. We become heirs simply by accepting Jesus as our Savior and walking a path laid before us that is one of devotion, honor and praise. That is what sets us apart.
Knowing that I am a child of God, a princess, daughter of the King, affords me the opportunity to wear a crown. That crown is similar (but not nearly as horrible and painful) to the one Christ wore. His crown on earth bore all our sins - the one I wear does not even bear my own sins - but it does bear his name! I am not worthy to wear is yet God thinks I deserve it simply because I have a certificate of adoption, signed in the blood of Christ. What better decree could there possibly be?
Don't forget that although you are a Christian, there are some Jewish traditions that are important in your life - there are some very wonderful moments celebrated - some triumphs God has bestowed on his children before the salvation of man. Take the time to get to know what they are and why they are celebrated. Don't just pass them off as archaic holy days...remember Jesus was a Jew. I'm sure he celebrated them (we know he celebrated Passover simply by reading our Bible). Even the early Christians celebrated the traditional holy days...it was part of their history.
Know your family history, after all, it is now your history as well! Be proud of the heritage that you've been called to share. Grab hold of those traditions and celebrate them with love...love for God who made the way to Heaven possible!