Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adoption: A Stiarway To Heaven
By Munther Shahatit
As Christians, understanding adoption from a biblical point of view is important, as it motivates us to love and care for each and every child who is in need of a father or mother. Adoption is designed to bring healing to a child that has been abused, neglected, abandoned or simply denied the care of his biological parents. We must, in turn, think of ways to bring healing to those children in need of our help.

Genuine religion
Have you ever asked yourself, as a Christian, what God considers to be pure and genuine religion? The answer can be found in the Book of James, verse 1:27, which reads: "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 being polluted by the world". God Himself places the highest importance on their pain and suffering, their emotional and physical needs and their need to be loved.

God’s Idea
Adoption is God's idea—not ours. In the gospel, the term "heavenly Father" is often used to describe God (Matthew 5: 48, 6:14). Furthermore, The Lord's Prayer, the best-known prayer in Christianity, starts out: “Our Father who art in heaven”. Clearly, fatherhood is one of God’s main characteristics and, as such, He encourages us to in turn be fathers to the fatherless and mothers to the motherless. Such is evident in this verse about God almighty: "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you" (Isaiah 66:13).
Further explaining God’s role as our adoptive father, Ephesians, verse 1:4-5, reads: "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 to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will".
As John Piper, the Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, so eloquently puts it, "Adoption is greater than the universe. Adoption was part of God's plan. It was His idea, His purpose. It was not an afterthought. He didn't discover one day that, against His plan and foreknowledge, humans had sinned and orphaned themselves in the world and then come up with the idea of adopting them into His family. No, Paul says, He predestined adoption. He planned it".

Helping orphans
There are many ways in which to help orphans in need of financial and emotional support. A woman who used to visit orphanages told me that she once came upon a child who was crying loudly, taking him in her arms to calm him. Even if you cannot provide financial assistance, a hug goes a long way.

Things to remember
· We adopt a child not for our own glory but for God’s glory: all good things we do in this life should be not for bragging rights and personal glory, but for the glory of God. The Bible explains: "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4).
· With adoption, we model the mercy and justice of God for others—it is a clear message that we care about what God cares about.
·Caring for children in any capacity can certainly bring heartache, stress and suffering, but it also brings joy.

There are many ways in which you can bring sunshine into an orphan’s life. Just think, pray and be creative and you are sure to find a way.

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