Our family is a large part of our identity and helps form us into who we become. For many people, adoption is a great option which changes everything for them. But in an important sense, all of us are adopted. None of us were a part of God’s family until he adopted us and gave us our identity as His child. In this message discover what it means to move from an orphan mindset to a child-of-God mindset and how that changes everything.
John 14:1-4; 16-20
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
- many people who are intimately acquainted with adoption
- Orphan Train
- The best chance of any such child is to have a family
- most important metaphors
- central feature of the story line of the Bible.
- unconditional love of God as Father.
- how God can make rebels into sons
- become the family of God.
- willpower of God to create a family
DISCIPLES AS ORPHANS
- how alone the disciples felt
- feelings of abandonment as they huddled behind locked doors. Would they be arrested and executed?
- understand what they could not see- “I am the vine, you are the branches,”
- The Spirit will keep this close relationship alive after Jesus has gone away.
- ancient Christian teachers- The Spirit is the point where God “actually arrives,”
- All of us inherited an orphan spirit from Adam and Eve
- Our identity is not secure, so we invest heavily in our appearance
- interior loneliness which we feel even when we are surrounded by people
- to be free of God, even if accompanied by a desire for his presence
- the difficulty” we have “to see others as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’, but of the same Father
- orphans who have to fight for every scrap that we can get.
CHILD OF GOD MINDSET
- This is how adoption works—like a sacrament, that visible sign of an inner grace.
- The reason he wants to adopt us because he loves us.
- God loves a big family. There is always room for one more.
- The only way God is going to get a family is by inviting imperfect people to come in.
- Though orphans lack a home, we have one being prepared for us.
- Though orphans long for a family, we have been placed in one right here on earth
- The same is true for us once we realize that we are not orphans, that we have a Father who loves us and provides for us. We will stop seeking our security in others; we will stop trying to provide for ourselves, we will stop being slaves and become His children.
- Shortly after the Korean War, a Korean woman had an affair with an American soldier, and she got pregnant. He went back to the United States, and she never saw him again. She gave birth to a little girl, and this little girl looked different than the other Korean children. She had light-colored, curly hair. In that culture, children of mixed race were ostracized by the community. In fact, many women would kill their children because they didn’t want them to face such rejection.
- But this woman didn’t do that. She tried to raise her little girl as best she could. For seven years she tried to do that, until the rejection was too much. She did something that probably nobody in this room could imagine ever doing. She abandoned her little girl to the streets.
- This little girl was ruthlessly taunted by people. They called her the ugliest word in the Korean language, tooki, alien devil. It didn’t take long for this little girl to draw conclusions about herself based on the way people treated her.
- For two years she lived in the streets, until finally she made her way to an orphanage. One day, word came that a couple from America was going to adopt a little boy. All the children in the orphanage got excited, because at least one little boy was going to have hope. He was going to have a family. So this little girl spent the day cleaning up the little boysgiving them baths and combing their hairand wondering which one would be adopted by the American couple.
- The next day the couple came, and this is what the girl recalled: “It was like Goliath had come back to life. I saw the man with his huge hands lift up each and every baby. I knew he loved every one of them as if they were his own. I saw tears running down his face, and I knew if they could, they would have taken the whole lot home with them.
- “He saw me out of the corner of his eye. Now let me tell you. I was nine years old, but I didn’t even weigh 30 pounds. I was a scrawny thing. I had worms in my body. I had lice in my hair. I had boils all over me. I was full of scars. I was not a pretty sight. But the man came over to me, and he began rattling away something in English, and I looked up at him. Then he took this huge hand and laid it on my face. What was he saying? He was saying, ‘I want this child. This is the child for me.'”
- your most defining moment isn’t who threw you out but who took you in.
- adopted children can say, “Someone must have loved me very much.” Adoption never just happens. There is no such thing as an accidental adoption. It takes trouble, time, expense, effort, sweat, heartache and tears. Somebody has to open their heart and their home for children to be adopted. In the very same way, biblical adoption is only possible because God is willing to add more children to his family. That is one of the sweetest thoughts I have ever come across.
- “Who is part of your family, and how will the world know?”