By Kevin Barsotti
Ark Church 

Pastor's Corner: Learning to be in the family of God


Last updated 9/9/2016 at 6:24pm

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

This fall our adopted dog turns 14. He lived next to us his entire life before he moved in to our home. When my neighbors had to put their previous dog to sleep we did not know if they would ever have another dog. I eventually talked my friend into buying his wife another toy poodle.

My young teenage daughter and I awoke early and loaded up the neighbors into our van and headed to Lincoln where we met the dog breeder and picked up Murphy. The road trip went smoothly, and Kelsie stayed in the van and watched the new puppy while my neighbors and I ate lunch in Great Falls before heading home. Murphy enjoyed a pampered life until his owners could no longer care for him. He started spending more and more time at our home and eventually moved in with us. My neighbors passed away, but before they died they made sure that Murphy would be well taken care of and would have a good life.

The adjustment for Murphy was tough at first. His environment changed and his routine changed. Instead of sleeping in and staying up late he arose early and went to bed earlier. He learned how to go on long walks and he learned how to get along with other dogs. He also learned how to become comfortable with a lot more people in his environment. It took time for Murphy to adjust to his new family and circumstances. Eventually he found his favorite spots to sleep and he would relax and rest with the sun shining on his white coat. He learned how to relax when he was held and not to stop and put on the brakes while walking.

As believers in Jesus we have been adopted into the family of God. We were once lost and not part of the family of God. Some people think that by going to church they are going to heaven. That is not in the Bible. Others think that they can go to church, believe in Jesus, and then live however they want and still hear “Well done” from our Father. That also is not in the Bible.

Like Murphy, we all face adjustments over the course of our lives. He is aging and his eyesight is not so good anymore. His hearing is not the best. Sometimes I think that he has selective hearing. Murphy is slow to come and get leashed up for his walks but he is quick to come for a treat. I call him my hunting dog because he is always hunting a comfortable spot to occupy and something good to eat.

I notice similarities between Murphy and myself sometimes. As a believer I sometimes like to be comfortable and bask in the sun rather than exercise. I might want to stay up too late and sleep in too long at other times. I still work on getting along with others and making adjustments when there are more people than I am used to in my environment. I am still learning how to relax and how to walk with Jesus at His pace. I typically do not like change. I want to hear what I want to hear rather than what I need to hear.

The good news is that God is not finished with us yet. He will complete the good work He has begun in us. We can enjoy all that our Master has for us to enjoy. He richly provides for all of our needs and cares about the details in our lives. Perhaps this week you may consider the topic of adoption in more detail. There are plenty of people who could use some help. Let’s pray that God will lead us to those He wants us to bless and invest in. I love how Jesus made plans for his mother’s care while He was on the cross. John 19:26-27 states: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

May we look out for the best interests of others this week.

May God bless you big.


Kevin Barsotti

Ark Church


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