Tag Archives: discipleship

Gotta Love THIS

I was so sad to miss out on this baptism service, as we almost always attend. But, you gotta love THIS coming across your Twitter feed…

One of our student’s Taylor recorded on her blog:
Jesus saved me. I got baptized with 700+ of my closest friends on Easter while we celebrated Christ’s death and resurrection.

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4

Oh, praise the One..

Adopted Into God’s Family Forever

Every time I walk by the guest room, I am reminded.

Every time a thunderstorm rolls through South Carolina, I am reminded.

Every time I open my now child-locked cabinet doors, I am reminded.

When I look out the bathroom window and see that *@#% shed, I am reminded. :)

I am reminded that out of the 146ish million orphans in the world and the half-million children in the foster-care system in America, there is a precious little one out there somewhere who God has ordained to be ours…

I wonder if they are even born yet? I wonder if they are safe? I wonder if they are in a foster home yet? I wonder if they can sense that there are 2 very excited people, very excited to come and get them? I wonder if they know that great preparations are being made to bring them home?  I wonder if they know they are so deeply loved?

At the same time, I wonder if they will know that they have to do absolutely nothing to receive this home, this  family, and this inheritance and community of love? I can’t imagine how hard it would be for a continually displaced child to grasp that nothing is required of him/her in order to be added to a forever loving family.

This week, I experienced the mystery of grace in a really tangible way. A completely undeserved gift of grace, from someone who knew me by name, yet whom I’d never met. Someone who extended a legacy of love; yet someone I will not be able to repay. This earthly example filled my heart with a spiritual reality. The weight of the cross flooded my heart. I was even more aware of the act of grace given on my behalf 2040ish years ago. My adoption into God’s family took on a whole new dimension and it made me even more hopeful for the picture of the Gospel that an earthly adoption paints to the world.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7

When the lead shed delayed our ability to check one more thing off the list, we were initially really bummed. But, after a nap and a phone call from my sister, reminding me that “God knows and His timing is perfect! Perhaps your baby just isn’t ready for you!” My perspective was adjusted and my heart was at rest knowing,

Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

After all, it’s one thing to make arrangements to adopt, (travel to another country or fill out paperwork or prepare your home, etc.), but for God to leave heaven for earth and adopt sinners is an act of amazing grace. He’s totally got this!

“While it costs us a lot to adopt children, it cost God the blood of His own Son. It cost Christ to give up His whole life, in obedience to the Father. Christ the one who “endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2) came to redeem us and make us part of the family! In light of the unspeakable joy that awaits the believer when his adoption is fully realized, Paul’s words are an encouragement, ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.’ Romans 8:18″ –Orphanology

As I reflect on all of this and on the beauty of this Easter weekend, I am reminded that there is nothing more precious or more worthy of life’s efforts than enjoying my adoption into God’s family and extending that to the billions of spiritual orphans dying each day, not yet having the inheritance Christ secured on our behalf.

It may sounds crazy to you if you’ve not been adopted by God, yet. Even if you have, it still may sound crazy! Joel and I are here to dialogue, if you so desire. I have a strong feeling that God, in his complete completeness, has those same longings for HIS children. He longs for you to be born again, to receive a new name, a new identity, to be safe in His will, to have a forever home in Heaven, to  have Jesus come to get you and bring you home, to know you are deeply loved and given an amazing inheritance of love…God longs for you to be His…do you know that his amazing grace is free? I know that it is hard to grasp. I’m daily reminded that my adoption was free, not something I have to be on my best behavior to deserve or maintain! It’s not cheap, but it is free! I pray you too will grasp this free gift of grace afres, today.

I’ll leave you with this sermon and video…and my prayers!

Raise up your arms!!