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Loved as a Child
• Angela Stanley • Galatians 4:4–7, 1 John 1:3
As a daughter of missionaries, I had memorized John 3:16 in both English and Portuguese. I knew that God loved me and that Christ had died for me. But it still felt like a generic kind of love. So, God loves me. But with what kind of love does He love me?
In a letter to the Christians in Galatia, Paul declares, “When the fullness of time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as children” (Galatians 4:4-5). We see here the purpose for Christ’s death and resurrection: to adopt us as God’s children.
What does it mean to be adopted? Adoption is the process that makes a child, who was not originally part of a family, now part of that family. When a child is adopted, they can take on their new family’s name and identity.
The legal process of a child becoming part of a new family provides an incredible picture of what happened to me when I trusted Christ as my Savior: I was adopted into—made part of—God’s family. As Galatians 4 says, Christ died for my sins (every evil thing I’ve done, said, and thought—past, present, and future), and He rose from the dead so that I might be adopted as God’s child. I became part of God’s royal family. I went from being an enemy of God to being His precious child and a joint heir with Christ (Romans 5:10; 8:17).
If you’ve put your trust in Jesus, believing that He died for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, God has also adopted you. Once you were not a part of God’s family, but now you are His child, beloved and precious. With what kind of love does God love us? With the love of a father. • Angela Stanley
• Have you put your trust in Jesus and been adopted into God’s family? If you have questions about this, who is a trusted Christian in your life you could talk to? (You can also find more information on our "Know Jesus" page.)
• How might knowing that God loves you as His child affect how you understand His love?
See how great a love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1a (WEB)
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Known and Loved
• Becca Wierwille • Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48
Four different authors wrote accounts of Jesus’s life (called Gospels), and three of them recorded one of my favorite stories about Jesus: His interaction with a woman who bled for twelve years. This woman had spent over a decade suffering physically, but on top of that, in that culture she would’ve been considered “unclean.” She probably felt isolated, lonely, and hopeless. But then, she saw Jesus in a crowd. She edged her way toward Him until she was close enough to touch Him. She thought, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed” (Matthew 9:21). So she touched Him.
The Gospels of Mark and Luke tell the rest of the story in a similar way. After the woman touched Jesus’s cloak, she was immediately healed. Jesus knew someone had touched Him, and He asked, “Who touched me?” Then the woman fell at His feet and shared the truth with Jesus and with the crowd. Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48). Matthew’s Gospel gives us less detail. In his account, after the woman touches Jesus’s cloak, Matthew writes, “Jesus turned and saw her” (Matthew 9:22), then told her that her faith had healed her.
I like to think Jesus knew right away who had touched Him. That He wanted the woman to come forward, but He saw her through the crowd. He saw her years of suffering. He saw her need to be healed, but also her need to be seen and known and loved.
Have you ever felt like this woman? Like you’ve been waiting for healing for so long, but you’re not sure it will ever come? You are not alone. Jesus sees you. He’s waiting for you to fall at His feet and give Him your hurting heart. He is the God of healing. He fills our broken places with peace and love. All we need to do is reach out and touch His cloak. • Becca Wierwille
• Have you ever experienced a time of loneliness, isolation, or suffering like this woman? What fears or anxieties do you think she might’ve had?
• While we can always ask God for healing, sometimes it won’t happen the way we want it to right away. But God always meets us with love and compassion when we come to Him. And we can know with certainty that when Jesus returns, He will fully heal all our hurts. Where do you need hope today? How might God be inviting you to reach out to Him?
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Matthew 9:22 (NIV)