God calls us to care for, to love and to protect vulnerable children. Throughout the bible, he is calling us, his people, to act this out.
This won’t manifest itself in the same way for everyone. Ben & I have specifically felt the Holy Spirit call us to grow our family through adoption. For others it may be fostering, respite care, becoming a teacher or a social worker, or through political means, through policy, social justice, charity work, fighting against abuse, against child trafficking. To get alongside and support those doing these things. Spiritually, practically, emotionally. All roles as important as each other in Gods plan to set the lonely in families.
There are so many ways we can respond. I urge you to ask God how this is to look in your lives, to be open to the Holy Spirit, and to act!
As a church, we need families to wrap around vulnerable children with unconditional love and the rest of the church to wrap around those families with unconditional love. So that when we get to the end of our tether, you guys have already tied your tethers to ours!
Let me fill you in on my journey behind the motivation to respond to God’s call. And that’s our position, that we are all in fact vulnerable children that have been adopted. That God gave us redemption and salvation SO THAT we can be adopted as sons and daughters into his house.
Imagine you’re one of these people that gets crazy excited about getting the new iPad, you’ve saved up for a long long time, monitored the rumour websites, watched the keynote, camped outside the apple store for days until finally it’s yours! You own the new iPad. You’re excited, you bring it home, look at it and feel really pleased with yourself and that it’s yours!
But you don’t plug it in and you don’t turn it on. Knowing you have it gets you excited. But that doesn’t captivate your attention for long and you soon move onto the next thing. Sometimes, maybe after a conference or weekend away, you get excited again, take it out and look at it but again, but just owning it isn’t enough to keep you going for long. Especially when things gets tough!
And that’s because buying the iPad was not the purpose of buying the iPad.
This is my story. Not camping outside the Apple Store! But, this is how my faith has looked for a long time. Until recently, when God revealed himself to me as father and is teaching me about my position as his adopted child. And when we truly understand that, it changes everything.
It’s like I became a Christian again, after 10 years! It brings a longing and a desire to be with Him. This new understanding brings with it real relationship, true devotion and a sustained motivation to act, even when it gets tough, because I am now learning to live in the surety of my position and with the authority of “do you know who my dad is?”
God’s plan has always been adoption. It doesn’t end at salvation and redemption. He sent Jesus SO THAT we may be adopted.
The whole goal of Jesus coming into the world was to secure the believers adoption. Jesus jumped through all the hoops of the adoption process to bring us into His fathers house as God’s children.
Adoption means a transfer, you get a new name, you belong to a new family now. You get a new identity. A different way of recognition. It means you have new rights. There’s things you can do which previously you couldn’t do. We are joint heirs with Christ, we’ve been brought into the fold of the trinity with the Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit. So we can say with authority and surety – “Do you know who my dad is? Who my brother is? Who my helper is?”
So when that’s your motivation… it changes EVERYTHING!
(Part of ‘Adoption Sunday’ at Beacon Church London. Listen to the whole thing at https://soundcloud.com/beaconchurch/03-11-2013-adoption-sunday.)