16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children,
Court cases are often in the news these days. Lawyers will call on expert witnesses to give their version of the truth based on their experience, education, or eyewitness perspective. To testify means to make a statement based on personal knowledge.
Romans 8:16 says the Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit, reminding us that we are no longer estranged from our Heavenly Father. We are no longer lost and alone. Instead, we have a daddy, an Abba, who loves us. Through the voice of the Spirit, we have an expert witness who lives with us and who is always telling us that we belong to the Father, that we are not forgotten, that we are loved. That voice is constantly telling us love stories.
My earthly father basically abandoned our family after I was born. He was in and out of the picture during my life, sometimes around for several years and sometimes for several hours. His voice and his actions during those years told me that I didn’t belong, that I was fatherless and forgotten, that I was unloved. It seemed to me I was caught up in a terrible tragedy.
But then I met Jesus. The Holy Spirit began to talk to my spirit about this truth from Isaiah 43:1, “I have summoned you by name….you are mine.” It sounded something like this, “Hello little girl with the broken family and the broken heart. Guess what? You are mine. I know your name. In fact, I’m calling your name. You are part of my family. Not only are you not forgotten, far from it. I gave my life for you. I love the sound of your name and I’m going to keep saying it over and over.” And He did.
Years later, in the redeeming way that only God can work, He gave me another earthly dad. This man was the father of my husband. His name was Jack, and he is now in heaven having a great time with Jesus. Here is what was true about him. He was an includer. Everyone was welcomed. He loved people and gave his life and resources to care for others. His proudest accomplishment was serving on the board of the Nashville Rescue Mission. Jack’s greatest joy was spending time with his family. He opened his arms to me as his daughter from the first day I met him. One of the things I miss most about him is the sound of his voice saying my name. I miss the sound of the certainty that I was his.
In the redeeming way that only God can work, the Spirit keeps calling my name. He keeps saying that my Abba Father cares for me more than I can imagine, that He answers my prayers when I can’t see the way, and that He sees me when I feel unseen. The expert witness keeps telling me love stories. I will never have to live without the sound of His voice. “I have summoned you by name….you are mine.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Many of us have brokenness in our families that continues to affect us as adults. It sometimes impacts our closest relationships. How can you find a way to process your brokenness in a healthy way? Pray and ask your Heavenly Father to put people in your life who can walk with you as He takes you through this process.
- Name the people in your life who have helped you understand the reality of God’s love for you. Thank the Lord for them and take some time to express your gratitude to them through a note or a phone call.
- What encouraging truth from the Bible has the Holy Spirit made real to you recently? How could you share it with a non-believing friend?
Pray for vision and passion in the lives of our global workers to share the gospel. Pray also for the sending church family here, that we will feel the burden of lostness around us and be moved to share.