Day 18

Joint Heirs with Christ

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 8:1-17, Isaiah 53:10, Mark 14:32-36

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-17, Isaiah 53:10, Mark 14:32-36

Indoor plumbing was a luxury in the Haitian village where my adopted daughter, Missy, grew up. And soft, two-ply toilet paper—that was even more rare. When I brought her home to Tennessee, flushing the toilet with copious amounts of Charmin quickly became one of her favorite pastimes.

How darling!

That was my thought in those early days as I observed her wide-eyed delight at watching massive plumes of paper spiral downward. But after a while, wading through ankle-deep wastewater in my bathroom and writing large checks to repairmen lost its allure.

So I was at my wit’s end a couple months ago when I walked into my bathroom—past my innocent-looking daughter splashing in a bubble bath—slipped on the wet tile, and quickly discovered water gushing out of the commode like Niagara Falls. After a heavy sigh, I morphed into the put-upon persona my mother used when I did something especially naughty as a child:

Doggone it, Missy, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU not to use giant gobs of toilet paper like this?!

I angrily set about cleaning up the mess. The entire time I was plunging and fussing and mopping up that yucky pond with beach towels, I had my back turned to Missy.

As the water and my irritability subsided, I turned around to see my precious little girl staring at me mournfully, big tears streaming down her beautiful brown cheeks. I’d all but crushed her spirit over something innocent and insignificant. She wasn’t trying to cause a mess. She hadn’t been willfully disobedient or disrespectful. This was a plumbing issue—not a heart issue.

I lifted her out of the tub, dried her off with our last dry towel, and rocked her back and forth until she stopped crying. I carefully explained that it was wrong for Mama to raise her voice, that I’d made a very bad choice, and that I was so sorry I’d hurt her feelings.

That night I called my contractor, who seemed perplexed when I asked, “Hey, Jack, you know those really powerful toilets on cruise ships that sound like they could suck your leg off when you flush them? Can you install one of those in my bathroom?”

Less than forty-eight hours later, our brand-new supersonic vacuum version of a toilet was installed. I cheered so enthusiastically after Missy’s inaugural flush, you’d have thought she’d won an Olympic medal.

Our recent toiletastrophes have reminded me just how much I love, value, and cherish my little girl. They’ve also reminded me of how God the Father loves, values, and cherishes me, His kid.

I’m overwhelmed by the beautiful, redemptive ways He’s moved in my life. How He chose a former Haitian orphan, who lost her first mom to AIDS and never knew her biological father, to effectively rip out the last stubborn roots of the orphaned, fatherless spirit that have been growing in my own heart since long before I was Missy’s age.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory
(Romans 8:14-17, NIV).

Children. Heirs. Coheirs with Christ.

God continues to employ my unlikely, only-by-grace, position of motherhood as a constant, colorful illustration of how He cheers Himself hoarse over every ungainly cartwheel we do (Zephaniah 3:17). How He leans down and hangs on every word of our mostly narcissistic prayers. How—despite our proclivity to make huge messes—He is so completely for us.

Lisa Harper is a master storyteller with a masters of Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary. She’s lauded as an engaging, hilarious communicator as well as an authentic and substantive Bible teacher. She’s been in vocational ministry for 30 years and has written 15 books (her latest being, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World) and Bible study curriculums but says her greatest accomplishment by far is that of becoming Missy’s (her adopted daughter from Haiti) mama! They live on a hilly farmette south of Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy eating copious amounts of chips, queso, and guacamole.

Post Comments (45)

45 thoughts on "Joint Heirs with Christ"

  1. Anonymous says:

    By reading Romans 8:14-17, it also made me realize that…since God is the King of the Kings…that makes us Princesses of the King of Kings with spiritual royal heritage! I found this a blessing and makes me want to connect with God even more.

  2. Sally says:

    My husband and I have been praying and waiting for the right time to start the adoption process. This week I have especially felt it weighing on my heart that the time is NOW. Reading today’s passage and devotional have filled my heart and spirit – thank you!

  3. Nyla says:

    Roman 8:1-17
    I am reminded, when I live in the flesh, I am living apart from Him. He promise that when I submit to Him (time and time again) that NOTHING, nothing, can separate me from the LOVE of God. His love for me goes beyond what I can comprehend. He died once for all, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:3MSG‬‬

    This week, began with a huge ache in my soul. I couldn’t see God. I could not see Him in the lives of the ones I love the most. I was filled with fear and anguish. I was reminded of the darkest days of my childhood. I feared greatly. In reaching out for prayer, my dear friend reminded me of the times as a child, I KNEW God was with me. I hadn’t yet accepted Christ, but I knew God innately and had a relationship with Him. I was still at the age of innocence and unaccountability. I knew God and I loved Him, with the child like faith the Jesus speaks of. Again, I am reminded that His faithfulness started long before I was born. Isaiah wrote of His coming and what He would do. In the same way I can look back at my life and see Him walking with me in the dangerous perils of my childhood. He was ALWAYS with me. All I had to do was remember and look. In the same way, He is always with those I love most.
    This isn’t just about the ones I love. This is about every decision I make. Do I choose to live relying on Him or myself?
    Do I choose to let my feelings about things drive my actions or do I submit them constantly to Christ?

    1. Blankenship Sally says:

      Very good word!

    2. Adelphia says:

      Wow I must confess you make some very trhnaecnt points.

  4. Karen From Virginia says:

    I love Romans! Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. So long to walk in the Spirit moment by moment. And being reminded that Spirit in us cries “Abba Father “. Thank you Papa for revealing yourself to me. To know you graciously care for your girl. Thank you for all the ways you tenderly, lovingly, wisely led. It wasn’t always the easy path but you showed me you’d always be there, you’d see it through and you are faithful. Worthy are you to be trusted. My Abba Daddy. ❤️

  5. Ana says:

    “those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
    This reminded me of “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your MIND”.

  6. Missy says:

    Oh how I love Romans!!!!!!

  7. Kelsie says:

    When it talks about the law, does it mean the law of the land or the 10 commandments?

    1. Hannah says:

      Kelsie, I believe Paul is referring to the Jewish law of the Old Testament days. This is why he speaks of circumcision in our past reads. There is now a New Testament covenant which is explained in two commands – love God & love people. We are set free from trying to live up to the standards of the Jewish law because now we have Jesus as our atonement. Someone correct me if I’m wrong!

      1. Kelsie says:

        Thank you for clarifying!

  8. Veronica says:

    “To set your mind on the spirit is life and peace.” -Romans 8:6

    “The Sprit does not make you slaves, so you may fear again, rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” -Romans 8:15

    Does anybody else need these words today?

    It’s easy to live in a state of fear, internally worried about any and everything. But as children of God, He grants us peace in the rough seas and grace in our mistakes.

    We do not need to fear what the future holds- it’s out of our control and entirely in his loving hands.

    We do not need to fear when we make mistakes – there is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus.

    We do not need to fear when our dreams crash down around us and good things end- the wonderful thing is as long as we are on this earth there is a purpose and a plan for us that is much more beautiful then where we’ve been.

    He is not finished with you yet. He has dreams for YOU, his child, his love. He listens desperately to our prayers and knows our darkest places.

    Today, I’m leaning in. Facing our fears and giving up our worries and anxieties and cares to our Father is hard. Letting go of that control is HARD- even though it was never in our hands to begin with. Thanks be to God, he is much more capable of handling our worries, our mistakes, our futures then we are. Praising him today.

    1. Lana says:

      Thank you for this, Veronica. Took a screenshot of your comment so I can refer to it throughout the day. It really touches my heart. So grateful for this community.

    2. Emily B. says:

      Love this. I needed to hear your words. Thank you for sharing them.

    3. Rhona says:

      Hi Veronica,
      Thank you for your words today. I’m sitting here worrying about things I cannot control. I turned to she reads truth to help make me feel better and of course the first comment I read was yours and it instantly made me realize I need to stop worrying about things I cannot change as I have to leave it up to God.

    4. churchmouse says:

      Praising Him with you. I turned back to SRT this evening with a need for encouragement that grew throughout the day. Reading your words a second time – well they shouted out to me and I’m so grateful for them.

    5. Karen From Virginia says:

      Amen. Thanks Veronica. No longer a slave to fear. It’s been a life long process for me to learn to trust and as you say Lean in to Jesus. And boy is it a wonderful journey. Not always easy but Jesus has been so faithful. Knowing Him is worth everything.

    6. Kylee says:

      Got this copied+pasted into a note I can peek at on my phone – your words speak to my soul! Thank you for honoring God by sharing this.

    7. Trecia says:

      Praising Him with you. This is what He is teaching me over and over! His perfect love casts out fear. So thankful and prayers to live this truth.

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