1. We believe that adopting is near and dear to God's heart. All over Scripture, the Lord commands us to look after the fatherless. This is not a request or an option, but a command. Now that does not mean that every Christian in the world is called to adopt, but it does mean that we are all commanded to look after orphans. Here are a few examples of God's feelings about the fatherless and about our responsibility to these precious children.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after
orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from be polluted by the world."
"Father to the fatherless, defender of the widow is God in His holy dwelling. God
sets the lonely in families."
"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow and loves the foreigner
residing among you, giving them food and clothing."
"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in
hand. To you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless."
2. We have been adopted into God's family. We were once orphans, lost in our own sin, but God sacrificed His own Son so that we might spend an eternity with Him, our Heavenly Father. The parallel between adoption and what Christ has done for us is so beautifully clear. God CHOSE us to be His children. It was not an accident or a whim; it was an intentionally planned sacrifice. And the absolute best part is that He WANTED to do it. That glorious truth is all over Scripture.
*Ephesians 1: 4-6
"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and
blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in
accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely
given us in the One He loves."
(This one is my personal favorite!)
"For 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 share in His sufferings that we may also share in His glory."
When we look at the language of these verses, we can see that the Lord desired to bring us (little, tiny, insignificant us) into His family. And in order to fulfill that desire, He had to make a sacrifice: sending His only Son to die on the cross in our place. Atonement had to be made for our sins, and God provided the Lamb. And in doing so, He saved us and adopted us into His family, all the while bringing glory to His great and powerful Name. Look at the above verses from Ephesians. He has adopted us according to His pleasure and will. Not only did He want to adopt us, it pleased Him to do so. Oh my gracious! That reality is almost too much! But He does not stop there. Once we become His children, through salvation in Christ alone (through faith alone, by grace alone), we become heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Wow.
3. We know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that the Lord has called us to grow our family through adoption. God spoke to both of our hearts on the same day, at the same time, with the same message. Things like that do not happen to us very often, and so we are trying to follow our Heavenly Father's plan for our life. We know that the Lord never promises that His plans for us will be easy, but He promises that He will ALWAYS be with us, and that is what empowers us to go forward. Not that we are necessarily strong enough for this calling right now (we are probably not!), but that He will give us His strength and courage and endurance and patience and love as we walk this path.
"The Lord Himself goes before and will be with you; He will never leave you
nor forsake you. Dot be afraid; do not be discouraged."
*2 Timothy 1:7
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and
God does not just call us to do amazingly crazy things and then say, "Well, good luck out there! I wish you all the best!" No, no, no. He goes with us. He is right beside us, in us, for every trial, every obstacle and every victory. What's more, He actually promises victory when we follow His will for our lives. Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do ALL things through Christ. Now, that does not mean that we will have only success at every turn, but it does mean that when we are in God's will for our lives, we cannot fail. Cannot fail. Let that one settle in. So we walk forward in faith, believing that God did not only send us, but also came along with us, and, actually, He even went before us. So we are trying to rest in that assurance. Even when life doesn't seem to make sense, even when it feels like the adoption is moving too slowly, even when there are delays, we have to trust that God is sovereign over all of it and that we are right where He wants us. We find such encouragement from
2 Corinthians 4: 15-18. It says, "All this is for your benefit so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
We pray that the Lord would use this adoption to bring glory to His name so that more and more people might know salvation through Jesus Christ and be adopted by our Heavenly Father. Let me leave you with something beautiful. This is Jesus speaking. Listen to His promise.
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18