Adopted as His children
Do a Google search on the word “adopted” and you’ll find heartfelt story after story of a child being adopted and given a new life when the birth parent(s) would only be able to provide much less. There are countless examples of the famous and obscure enjoying a fresh life thanks to being adopted, to being chosen.
God is the ultimate adoptive parent. He has given us the choice of whether or not we want to be adopted by Him, through His Son. And, being the omnipotent God that He is, He knows what our choice will be while urging each of us to become His child.
The next gift? Adoption. “In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:5 NIV)
Now, some people get hung up on “predestined.” Some would suggest that if God has predestined whether or not I go to heaven, then I don’t need to get caught up in His decision. I can act like I want… and since it is mentioned in several other places in the Bible that God wants everyone to be saved… I’ve been predestined to go to heaven… then it doesn’t matter how I act, right?
Predestination means God has the plan… and it’s a good and great plan…. But WE do the choosing whether or not we’re going to follow that plan. When we choose God, we receive the inheritance, like sons and daughters. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) speaks of God’s plan for us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, why wouldn’t we want to accept the plan God has for us? It’s a great plan. It’s a wonderful gift!
John Calvin, one of the great leaders of the Christian faith in the 1500’s wrote and preached much on predestination. He suggests that no one can live a Godly life without the Holy Spirit being in him… without God having called that person to be a Believer.
Why would a person want to be God’s son or daughter? God’s love for each person is so immense that nothing can contain God’s love for us (Romans 8:38-39). Calvin suggests: “When we have our adoption engraved in our hearts, then…we have a good and infallible pledge that God will guide us unto the end, and that since he has begun to lead us into the way of salvation, he will bring us to the perfection to which he calls us, because, in truth, without him we could not continue so much as a single day.” 
God has called us. God has elected us. John 1:12 (NASB) says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born… not of the will of man, but of God.”
God has predestined us to follow Him, to embrace the great things He has for us, to love Him. And I am thankful for that gift… because with it, He is the One who guides us through this life on our path to spending all of eternity with Him. He guides. We choose.
So, gift #2 is the Gift of Adoption, of being called God’s son or God’s daughter, and all the love that goes with it.
Thank you God, for this Gift of Adoption, of being Your child. We joyfully choose to be your child and receive all the love you give to us as our unfailing Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.