Ever wondered what it would be like to be born into a family of great wealth? If you were born into America’s “royalty” with a last name like Rockefeller or Vanderbilt, life would certainly play out differently. It would seem to be a life of ease and luxury.
Or would it?
I recently saw the movie All the Money in the World, the story of the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson. At the time, Getty was the richest man in the world, but he refused to pay the $17 million ransom—a tiny sum of money for him. J. Paul Getty may have had a little more heart than was portrayed in the film, but even after the kidnappers reduced the ransom to $3 million, he would only give the amount that was tax-deductible: $2.2 million. To show he had some heart, he gave the remaining $800,000 to his son to pay the ransom—but he loaned it to him at 4 percent interest!
What the movie does not tell is the rest of the story. Getty’s grandson was released (minus one ear), but the trauma of the kidnapping and the long ordeal because of his grandfather’s lack of love led to a life of drug and alcohol abuse. His addiction left him a quadriplegic.
All the money in the world can’t remove dysfunction from a dysfunctional family.
John Paul Getty III’s life would’ve been quite different if the family was rich in love and compassion rather than money.
Maybe you were not born into a family of wealth. Maybe you weren’t born into a family of love and compassion either. But you can be.
God the Father desires to adopt us into His family. The One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10) is also exceedingly rich in love and compassion. God the Son, Jesus Christ, made all this possible.
“God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Gal. 4:4-5).
Ponder the significance of that for a moment. Go ahead and ponder; I’ll wait.
The One who created all, the One with all-power and all-knowledge, the One who is truly rich because He truly owns everything—wow!—He has adopted us into His family. Adopted children are not second-class citizens in a family. They don’t live in a closet under the stairwell while the “real” family feasts. They have all the rights and privileges of any naturally-born children.
And that is how God sees those who come to Christ.
“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (v. 7).
We don’t need the wealth of a Getty. We’ve got something far better. God the Father invites us to live forever with Him, in a place with all His majesty and glory. We are children of the King!
Let’s act like children of the King.
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