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“I still have many things  to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13 ESV)


Interestingly, Jesus did not promise that we would be catchers of men but fishers of men!  This is an important concept if we are going to understand what success is.  There are times when we catch and times when we wait in the boat with our Father just like when we were kids.  The catching is exciting and the waiting difficult. But the worst day fishing with your dad is still better than a regular day not fishing.

Last week I was at a hospital with one of my kids.  I needed to fill a prescription for him for a tooth infection.  While I was handing over the doctor’s note to the pharmacist, a young man sat down.  He was red-faced from crying.  I felt Jesus move with compassion inside me.  His heart ached for the young man.  So, I asked the young man, “Are you okay?” and he responded emphatically that he was not.

I sat down immediately and put my arms around him and hugged him tightly.  He hugged me back hard and cried.  I rubbed his back and mothered him, telling him everything was going to be okay.  I knew this to be true because I sensed the Holy Spirit say so.  I asked his name and shared mine. We had the same last name which was perfect for mothering.  His story began to spill out that he had received an incurable infection from his partner which also revealed that his partner had been unfaithful.  He was completely devastated.

I said, “Sweetie, if I threw a twenty dollar bill on the floor and stepped on it, how much would it be worth at the till?”

He replied, “Twenty dollars.”

“Right!  What if I crumpled it, or spat on it?  What would it be worth at the till?”

He said, “Twenty dollars.”

People are still valuable when they are mistreated.

God’s Spirit began to reach him with truth, “Sweetie, your worth and value does not change based on how others treat you, by your mistakes in judgment or sin. You worth is based on the fact that God made you and loves you very much.  This is non-negotiable.  Value is also based on two other things.  First, is rarity.  There has never been another one of you or ever will be ever again.  You are rare and valuable and the only representation of God’s image in this particular likeness to be on the earth in history.  Secondly, worth is based on what someone is willing to pay for it.  Honey, you were paid for with blood.  Jesus’ blood.  He died for your sins so that you could live forever with Him and your Heavenly Father by removing the offending sin between you.  Do you know who Jesus is?”

“Yes, my whole family prays.”  I was surprised and yet not.  So much compromise has filled the church and the world. Never before had I wanted to set everything in order in one short conversation.  I wanted to put every puzzle piece of life in place with one short conversation.  After all, this was wrong.  I knew the answers-I could fix this!  But God’s precious Spirit reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a friend.  She told me of a new believer she knew had been attending church for about 6 months and one day rushed into the pastor's office aghast at a new revelation from God’s word saying, “Pastor, did you know that pornography is wrong?”  To the pastor’s credit, he kept his face passive and welcoming, “Yes, actually I did.  Tell me how you came to find this out”

With shock he said, “I was reading my bible and the Holy Spirit pointed out the verse that to look at a woman lustfully was the same as committing adultery so I asked my wife if that’s how she felt when I watched porn and she told me yes!  I can’t look at porn now! That’s wrong!” (Matt 5:28)

The pastor was pleased, to say the least!  This is a picture of where things are at right now in society.  Like Nineveh - some do not know their right hand from their left.  But God is still moving by His Holy Spirit, leading people into all truth, even on things we think they know but don’t.

This story flashed through my mind, I knew that the Holy Spirit was saying that this young man was traumatized and would not be able to receive correction about his choices.  Today he was bleeding out and Jesus wanted to stop it and keep this young man from making the ultimate decision to end his life due to the pain, hopelessness and confusion he was experiencing.

God reminded me also of Jesus who said to His own disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13 ESV) Even Jesus could not put all the puzzle pieces together when He wanted to.  He had to leave it to the Holy Spirit for later when they could bear it.

God had this same strategy for the young man and I said, “Sweetie, you have a lot of decisions to make based on what has happened and you will need to put some boundaries in place based on your worth and value.  You also need to get back into God’s word.  It will help with your new decisions and know the Lord better.  But before you even open your bible, ask the Holy Spirit to come and teach you the word.”  He agreed and cried as I held him in God’s consoling love.  I knew that his life was safe and God would begin to move on His word to show this young man the right way to go, away from premarital sex and homosexuality.

We prayed together for his life and then God spoke to my heart, “He hasn’t been to church for a long time.”  So I said, “Honey, God says you haven’t been in church for a long time.  It’s time to go back.”  I had to trust the Lord that he would one day walk into a pastor’s office declaring that he knew what was right and wrong because of God’s Holy Spirit.

I wanted to lead him in a recommitment prayer.  I wanted to tell him so much and put all the pieces into the right places and fix everything at once.  I hated not having the conversation I really wanted to have.  But I love Holy Spirit and His wisdom and timing.  I had to wait until he could bear it.  Love is patient and kind.  It believes and it endures, even the waiting.

Today fishing was not catching.  Today fishing was waiting for the fish to be a little hungrier, a little more ready.  Today, fishing with My Father in Heaven was waiting in the boat and loving.  One day soon, another fisher of men will come and that fish will be ready.  Today, waiting in the boat with My Father was still better than a day doing anything else.





15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

                                                --Romans 8:15-17(NKJV)

Faith works through love.  When you know that you are loved unconditionally, it will help you to believe all things, endure all things, hope all things because love never fails.  Love is a person.  God is love.  We love God because we are first loved by Him.  How many of us enjoy building friendship with people who liked us first and pursued us.  We continue to grow in our love, affection and commitment to them based on their love for us and we return that same love back to them.  Our faith in them works through the love we have for them and them for us.

I want to invite you to discover you great worth today to someone who has pursued you from eternity past right through to your eternity future.  When you grasp this, your heart will sing a new song.  It’s titled “I’m so loved!”

When your Father in Heaven imagined you with His perfect and limitless imagination, He knew He just had to have you.  When He could think of nothing more beautiful, creative, intuitive, intelligent, powerful and sovereign than Himself, He fashioned you in His image.  You are literally a chip off the old block.  The chip is the same as the large block it was chipped from.  No different.

It was a like Father, like Son moment.  Image in Hebrew (H6754 tslem), means phantom and conveys that when Adam and Eve walked in the Garden, creation saw a phantom image of God and basically did a double take!  They would have said, “Hey there’s God walking in the Garden. Oh wait, that’s Adam.”  That’s literally what image meant.  You were an exact representation of His being, just like Jesus, that is before the fall. You were created from the best possible template.  God- Love!  Whoa, right?

So He spoke you into being.  God’s words, we know are eternal, that is why we have an eternal destiny and live forever.  Where we live eternally is up to us.

But in order to be truly created in His image you and I needed to be sovereign as well.  So, God gave us a free will.  He’s got one too.  And He knew what you and I would do with it.  Sin.  The wage of sin is death and whoever commits sin, becomes a slave to it.  Alarming isn’t it?  Why would God create you and I if He knew we would sin?  Because He wanted kids who could love Him back by choice.  We want kids so we can enjoy them for our whole lives and God has kids so He can enjoy them for His whole life.  And that’s eternity!  The thought of having you not having a will to love back but be a robot was not an option for Him.   Having you in eternal death and separated was not an option either so here comes the awesome plan.  Being adopted!

Paul used the beautiful picture of Roman adoption to explain to every believer in Rome about their brand new salvation!  Everyone in that day would have been like, “Whoa!  That’s what this is like? Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Father!”  father son roman adoption

In Roman law an affluent adult man who wanted an heir would adopt a male, often a slave to be his son.  This was common because there were a lot of Roman soldiers who did not marry among other reasons.

Adoption was one of the few ways a slave could come into something called the Patria Potestas.  That is greek for The Power of the Father.  The man adopt one that was currently in his house or he could go to the slave market and purchase a slave. Here is where it gets amazing!!!

Colossians 1:13 says that He has delivered us from the powers of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins.  The word redemption actually means purchased from the slave market of sin, never to be sold again.

The purchase price was death and blood.  Jesus was the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:13).  Good Fathers, if they have an ounce of love in their hearts for their kids, would die for them.  So as Jesus died for sin, it was to represent to you what the Father would do.  Doesn’t this give new meaning to the verse in 1 Pet. 1:18-19.  You were not purchased with perishable things such as silver and gold but with the precious blood of Jesus.  

When the price was paid, you and I were freed from the authority we were under - bondage to sin, fear, death, Satan’s power and legal dominion in our lives.  He who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

Next the one who purchased the slave would go to the magistrate who would ask the Father if He wanted to adopt the slave as a son and He must say “Yes”.  Then he would ask the slave, “Do you permit it to be so?”

He had to say, “I permit it be so.”  Seven witnesses were required to be present.  The reason for this was, it would be easy for a few people to say the adoption never took place, that the new son was not free and had no inheritance.  But it was impossible to get 7 people to agree to do that.  The Holy Spirit is the Sevenfold Spirit of God.(Revelation 1:4)  Cool eh?  

Rom 8: 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

Take a look at what the slave would deal with and contrasted with the son.

 A Slave                                                                                    An Adopted Son

Considered illegitimate The possession of the Father John 1:12.  Whoever believes in Jesus has the right, (magistrate and jurisdiction and super human) to be called a child of God
Without honor The Adopted Son was expected to bring honor to the family name and legacy.  By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit.
Heavy labour A son was free but served the Father, the Family.  Come to me and all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Matt 11:28
Sexually exploited or beaten.  Under the dominion of a task master In Christ we go from being powerless and harassed by the enemy to being in under the power of the Father.
Considered to be without family In Christ, we are in The Family of God and are members of His body.  We are accepted in the beloved.  Eph 1:9
No access to the Father For through Him we have access to the Father by the Spirit.  Eph 2:18

We approach the Father with boldness and confidence Eph. 3:12

Must give access to the family resources.  God does not deal in “requirements”  It is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.

Must give affection.  The Father loves you even as He loves His Son Jesus.  John 17:22

Indebted Col 2:14 Jesus paid our debt and removed the handwriting that was against us.

The son lost all rights to His previous life.  Romans 6:11 Reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God.  

The old life has lost all rights legally to the adoptee.  Satan is not allowed to speak to you about your old life or condemn you.  Your old life has literally been wiped out by the magistrate and you have lost to right to even discuss it with the enemy.  It has ceased to exist.  You are now, before the magistrate a different person with a different identity.

 No influence of the father The Father has same control of Patria Potestas, the Power of the Father over the adoptee as the natural son including property, acquisitions, controlling relationships, having the rights to discipline.  Heb. 12:5-8

The Father was liable

for sons actions.  Each owed duties to each other.  The Father: gave name, protection, status and inheritance.  Son owed honor the name and legacy.  Matt 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the gospel- making more children of God

No rights Adopted son has the same rights and a natural born son.  That’s why it says in the word that we are seated in Heavenly places in Christ and we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.

The adopted son had one advantage over the natural born son.  Every person living in Rome would have understood this as Paul shared.  A natural born son could be disowned but the adopted son never could be.  

When did all this become possible?  Even before the foundation of the world the lamb was slain.  Rev. 13:8

For God so loved you and the whole world that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16.    When? Before He created you and me.  We were predestined to adoption and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Heavenly places.

You have not received the spirit of slavery again that you should be in fear, but the Spirit of adoption.  You are in the power of the Father and fully endorsed to live from the place of a son or daughter in His house to be the exact representation of His being, once again, with exactly the same mandated as Jesus our brother.

Jesus did it all and says to you today,

As the Father sends Me, so I send you.  Receive the Holy Spirit.  And He breathed on them.   

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me, therefore Go into all the world.  Matt. 28:18-20

Heal the sick raise the dead and cast out devils.  Matt. 10:8

Be blessed today brothers and sister in the Lord.  Represent Him everywhere you  go!

--Tyrelle Smith

PDF Version of Roman adoption