“You Were Chosen” – the Perfect Christmas Gift

Aryka 1The reality of adoption is an incredible blessing of grace in the Christian life.  It is amazing to me that, while I was still in my sin – enslaved, rebellious, ugly, poor, and without hope in the world – God determined to adopt me out of slavery and call me his son, with all the rights, privileges, and inheritance of his only, natural born Son, Jesus the Messiah.   Ephesians 1:4-5, amazes me further when I hear that God’s decision to adopt me was made before the creation of the world.  It says, “For God chose (Christians) in (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predetermined to adopt us in Sonship (sharing in the inheritance of His Son) through (His Son) Jesus Christ. Revelation 13:8 follows this idea, saying that our name “was written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world.”


To illustrate this great idea, it is helpful to know what happened on December 29, on the last day of court in 2015, in Rock Hill, SC.  That day in court was not like the hundreds of other days of the year.  Tuesday, December 29 was not a day of guilt or innocence, of disputes and arguing, of claims of abuse and neglect and mayhem and bullets and killing – and countless people jeopardizing their freedom because of evil and selfish deeds.  Nope.  On that last day of court, the judge didn’t rule with a stern face of justice, but with a delightful and gracious face of joy.

On that day, Aryka Brooke Yontz, was adopted by a loving couple, Phillip and Robin Yontz, who had specifically chosen her to be their daughter.  Eleven-year-old Aryka, said that was exactly we she had always wanted for Christmas.  “I wanted to be adopted,” she said.  Up until that day, Aryka’s life had been one of disappointment – one crisis and one broken promise after another. For years she was passed from one institution to another – from one home to another – yet, no one had ever been willing to pay the price to call her “daughter.”  That all ended on December 29, 2015.  Family court Judge David Guyton – himself an adoptive father, proudy said to Akyra, “You were chosen!”

Aryka 2
Aryka embracing her new father

I can certainly relate to Akyra. In much the same way, my life was also a life of disappointment.  My childhood was painful.  My prospects for a healthy life were at zero.  I was a throw away person in a throw away world.  As I reached the age of nineteen,  I was hopeless and I could do nothing to save myself from the despair, brokenness, and sin that described my life and my heart.  “But God…”  We read those two words in Ephesians 2:4.  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved me, made me alive together with Christ!”  Wow!   Just like Aryka Brooke Yontz, I was chosen.  Someone wanted me.  Someone chose to save me.  And Someone was willing to pay the ultimate price to adopt me.

As I approach this new year of 2016, this remains the ever increasing joy of my heart.  To be chosen – to be adopted – it’s the best Christmas present anyone could ever receive.

*  To read more about Aryka, click here: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andrew-dys/article52128900.html#storylink=cpy

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