Thursday, September 15, 2011

Long, Joyful FAD of Adoption

You see, through our faith in Jesus, God adopts us into His family. He becomes our father, we become brothers and sisters…we’re rescued from sin, from bondage, from isolation…and we’re now in a forever family…free to love ourselves, to love one another, and free to love God…

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NLT

John Piper says that adoption is bigger than the UNIVERSE. I think he’s right on. Bible is filled with references to care for the orphan and the widow…in other words, to care for those who’ve lost families (parents and spouses) by welcoming them into yours.

This challenge identifies with the very heart of God:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5 NIV
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the cause of the widow. Isaiah 1:17 NIV

So we KNOW God cares about the fatherless, the orphan, the vulnerable children. But the kicker is that adoption has ALWAYS been on God’s mind…literally.

Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Ephesians 1:2b-4 Message

It was always God’s plan to adopt YOU into His family. It was always His plan to adopt ME.
Before the foundations of time. Before the foundations of the Universe were set. God had a plan, And that plan was adoption.

I can’t even talk about it without getting emotional, because adoption is the road that God has called my wife Jodie and I to walk, and I know that for many at Overlake, for many in my community, God is stirring adoption there as well! This is why we are thrilled to host a FREE Conference on September 24, called Wait No More! Because there are 1000 kids in Washington State who are ready to be adopted into loving homes! And you have one of those homes! Your heart identifies with the heart of God!

Let me give you one last picture of adoption: Pastor Josh and I visited an orphanage called ithemba Letu, in South Africa, and we got a chance to see a little boy get picked up by his forever family, and say goodbye to all his buddies. (He stayed in the rental car, holding hands with his new brother, while all of the other children from the orphanage came out and gave him a hug in the backseat of the car. He didn’t want to get out of the car, because he was afraid he’d be left behind). One of the practices of ithemba Letu is that they’ll ask the adoptive parents to send a photo album over with some pictures of their life that the child is going to be joining. So pictures of family members, pets, car, house, school, etc. are all placed in the photo album, and then it’s given to the child about to be adopted.

The director told us that when this particular little boy received his album, he wouldn’t put it down. He kept walking around with it, he slept with it, he’d keep it with him at playtime, he barely put it aside for bathtime. He just kept holding it tight, then he’d open it again and look at it, showing it to everyone at the orphanage again and again: “I have a brother! I have a dog! I have a bedroom! I have a new last name! I have a family!”

That might be the most powerful picture of adoption I’ve ever seen, with the most powerful connection to our faith. Because of the cross, You have a FATHER! Because of the death, burial and resurrection, You have a HOME! Because of Jesus, You have a new name! You have a family! You have brothers and sisters! You have a clean slate, a future! You have LIFE…abundant and eternal. Hold these truths close to your heart, just like that little boy, excited to walk the road of adoption.

God sent him (Jesus) to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5 NLT

God is the one who started this FAD. It's time for those who follow Him to get on board!


Carlee Avery said...

Thank you for making this brand new, highly emotional adoptive Momma cry! :) We couldn't be more blessed to have OCC as our church home - nor could we be more PROUD!

Debbie Rodriguez said...

I have never seen such a WONDERFUL "FAD!!" LOVE this too Pastor Mike. It was nice to see you at Stephanie's house.