Don’t you love when I write an attention grabbing title like that one;)? Over the past few weeks, I have received countless emails from families persuing adoptions who, sadly, do not have the support and encouragement of their friends and family. Most recently, I got a comment from an other adoption friend mommy requesting I share some verses that show adoption is Biblical so others could use this to share with their families. I’ve thought much on this as of late, and how to give the best response–but in everything I think we have to go back to our foundation–the gospel of Jesus.
I figure God thought enough of adoption to allow His only Son to be adopted by Joseph—but it was His idea long before that. With the adoption of Moses, God’s people were set free from bondage and led to the Promised Land. I could go on and on how adoption is God’s idea–but I think Russell Moore in his book Adopted for Life does a much better job on that than I do–so if you want to prove your case on that one…just buy or gift that incredible book that links adoption to the gospel OVER and OVER and OVER again. It’ll blow your mind! God’s ideas SHOULD blow our minds…after all—His ideas are much grander than ours…so for most…His ideas just won’t make sense. BUT with the help of the Holy Spirit THEY can—and that is what I feel most led to write about today.
Is Jesus an adoption advocate? Absolutely.
Moreover—is Jesus an orphan advocate? Hands down…yes!
And who do you think Jesus wants to advocate for the orphan, widow and the poor (the CRY of His heart!) for???
“In you the orphan finds mercy.” Hosea 14:3
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.” Psalms 68:5-6
“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” Matthew 18:5
Whether or not God is for adoption—is truly undebatable. If you know the gospel—you know God is for placing the lonely in families. If you believe the gospel—you know God leads each believer in a different way to serve the orphan, the widow and the poor. And if you live the gospel—you are not only serving the orphan, the widow and the poor—but you are serving, supporting and encourageing those who are running this race along side you. The very last thing, we as believers, should be doing is hindering the work of the gospel…the very things the Bible speaks to us as believers to do in taking care of the orphan, the widow and the poor.
“Doesn’t the Bible say to just VISIT them?” you say? Yes, the Bible does say to visit orphans and widows—but it also says much more than that. The Bible also says he places the lonely in families…that he even finds a home for the sparrows. Trust me…my baby is way more important to God than a sparrow. He loved him enough to cause me to ACHE for him. Praise Jesus! “I think it’s going to be very hard for them and your children to be so different…I’m just not comfortable with this—I don’t think it’s Biblical,” you argue. The gospel never promises that we will be comfortable.“You’re taking them out of their culture!” you defend. My question is…who are we truly defending when we ask these questions? What good do we do when we chose to cause division by our opinions and prejudices? Your not comfortable with being uncomfortable?
Following Jesus is often not comfortable. Following Jesus will require you to leave your opinions, your prejudices and your wants at the cross. Following Jesus will mean raising your hands—surrendering your will—and saying, “It just doesn’t make sense to me—but help me Lord to understand Your ways and not mine.”
Asking questions and trying to come up with a sound argument if Jesus is about this or that will do no good if you are debating with someone who has not surrendered to the Holy Spirit. So really–instead of arguing your case…pray. Pray not that they would get you and your calling—but pray that they would TRULY get the gospel, GRASP the gospel and begin to receive understanding from the Holy Spirit. Because EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING all comes back to the gospel.
As I sat in church today, the sermon hit it dead on—and I thought of the recent question…how to help someone’s parents understand. That is something you nor I can do—because if you are a follower of Jesus there will be many things in your life that will only be able to be explained through the power of the Holy Spirit. AND…as a result, as the Holy Spirit leads you–and takes you on a wild adventure of following Him—your life will only be able to be explained by “Wow—GOD did that!”
Today’s sermon at church was on being in a Spirit-filled church. A Spirit-filled believer looks the same and has the same characteristics of a Spirit-filled church. I share this with you today to encourage you to follow Him in ALL things—and to give you a picture of what being Spirit filled looks like. Let this be an encouragement to you as you follow Him…
1. Christ is exalted (Jn. 15:26-27; 1 Thes. 1:2-10)Is Christ being exalted as you follow Him in this way?
2. There is a passion for His work (Jn 16:13; 1 Thes. 16)Do you see Him working around you as you persue Him in this way?
3. Intentional Unity (Eph. 4:1-4a; Gal. 5)Are you creating unity? Are you a peacemaker or a divider? Have you surrendered to allow Him to work? There is no such thing as unity without sacrifice. It will mean giving up your opinions and prejudices for the sake of unity. It will mean giving up your rights to focus on what is objectively right.
4. Deliberate Dependence on the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-4)Are you following the Holy Spirit or are you allowing the world to give their input? Are you following Him no matter what or are you being influenced by the world and your own opinions or comfort? You don’t want to win the argument and lose the eternal opportunity! Don’t give in to man’s ways—give in to the Holy Spirit and depend on Him alone.
5. Be a place with prayer prevails (1 Thes. 5:17; Romans 8:26)Pray without ceasing. The mark of a true Christian is one that the Holy Spirit pushes Him constantly in prayer. Are you praying about your problem? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you instead of yourself? Be in prayer about all things—and trust Him to change the hearts of those who don’t get it.
6. Supernatural discernment (1 Cor. 2:9-13)Are you able to discern the Holy Spirit’s leading? As you follow Him, your life will be a WOW…only God could have pulled that off! Don’t you want your life to be unexplainable?!
7. People are loved (1 Cor. 13)Even the unlovable, those hard to love, will be loved by the Spiritfilled believer. Even those who argue with you and object to how the Lord is leading you, will be be loved by the Spiritfilled believer. All people are welcomed, valued and loved deeply by the Spiritfilled believer. It doesn’t mean you have to “get” everyone—but it does mean we must love, encourage, die to our flesh, build up and—even support one another as they follow Christ even when it’s hard.
Eventually, those filled with the Spirit—will get it. Unfortunately, not everyone you love will be filled. They won’t understand that they shouldn’t argue or stand in your way or share their prejudice or opinion—and we as believers must remember that it is NOT our jobs to make them understand. If you are following Jesus, then much of your life just won’t make sense and this…whatever it is this week…just won’t make sense. So while I do believe Jesus is for adoption…while I do believe Jesus is for defending the orphan…and while I do believe in the gospel…I must also humble myself and remember that it is the work of the Holy Spirit Himself that will be what changes hearts…and I want to believe BIG that if He could change mine…then He can change theirs too.
Let us not give up running the race to Jesus. Look not to the left or right—and do not be discouraged. Follow Him with your hands high—trust Him to provide and carry you…and with confidence I say, “It will all be worth it.”