This Good Friday I have been meditating on the death of Christ today and the price He paid for our redemption and adoption. Here is a great selection from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that stirred my heart to worship:
Adoption comes to us by redemption. Beloved, prize redemption, and never listen to teaching which would destroy its meaning or lower its importance. Remember that ye were not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish.Remember this; and whenever you feel most assured that you are a child of God, praise the redeeming blood; whenever your heart beats highest with love to your great Father, bless the “firstborn among many brethren,” who for your sakes came under the law, was circumcised, kept the law in his life, and bowed his head to it in his death, honouring, and magnifying the law, and making the justice and righteousness of God to be more conspicuous by his life than it would have been by the holiness of all mankind, and his justice to be more fully vindicated by his death that it would have been if all the world of sinners had been cast into hell. Glory be to our redeeming Lord, by whom we have received the adoption!
While at the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta this past weekend we came across this picture and quote. I agree with King and would like to have the audacity myself to believe that “every child orphaned in the USA, Canada, and the world would have a family to call their own,” and “every unreached people group would have a gospel-proclaiming, disciple-making church established among them” (Matt 24:14)
What do you have the audacity to believe…?
In preparing to preach in Atlanta, GA this weekend, I have been meditating on the nature of God as “Father of the fatherless” and came across this quote by Charles Spurgeon. It is from his book “Faith’s Checkbook.”
“In God the orphan finds mercy.” (Hosea 14:3)
When a child is left without its natural protector, our God steps in and becomes his guardian: so also when a man has lost every object of dependence, he may cast himself upon the living God and find in Him all that he needs. Orphans are cast upon the fatherhood of God, and He provides for them. No trust is so well warranted by facts, or so sure to be rewarded by results, as trust in the invisible but ever-living God.
Better have God and no other friend than all the patrons on the earth and no God. To be bereaved of the creature is painful, but so long as the Lord remains the fountain of mercy to us, we are not truly orphaned.
Lord, let me find mercy in Thee! The more needy and helpless I am, the more confidently do I appeal to Thy loving heart.
Dan Cruver posted this great quote this morning. Soak in the truth of it today!
“My relationship to God is not a variable one. The case is not that I am a child of God, and then again not a child of God. That is not the basis of my standing, that is not the position. When God had mercy upon me, He made me His child, and I remain his child. A very sinful, and a very unworthy one, perhaps, but still his child!
And now, when I fall into sin, I have not sinned against the law, I have sinned against love. Like the prodigal, I will go back to my Father and I will tell Him, “Father, I am not worthy to be called your son.” But He will embrace me, and He will say, “Do not talk nonsense, you are My child,” and He will shower his love upon me! That is the meaning of putting on the breastplate of righteousness! Never allow the devil to get you into a state of condemnation. Never allow a particular sin to call into question your standing before God. That question has been settled.” ~Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” – Saint Augustine
I love this quote. Augustine was a great man of wisdom. Friends are naming their baby after him. I think that is cool.
He hits on something here that I have been wrestling with for sometime – this messed up world we live in, and my response.
It challenges me with the reality that things in this world are not they way they ought to be. I’m a “glass half-full” kind of guy and I don’t like thinking of what is wrong with things. But, I know this is true because the world is not like it was in the beginning and it is not like it will be in the end. We are living in a period of incredible brokeness and conflict.
It also challenges me with how often I lack this ‘beautiful anger’ towards the injustice in our world. I can blame this on my personality and my gifting (I am not a prophet or king but a priest) but I think it has more to do with my understanding of the glory of God and sin. I say that because the more I remember and realize that God is at work to bring His kingdom on earth – a kingdom of peace, righteousness, and justice – the more I want that and want nothing to get in the way of it. That then begins to stir in me a greater hatred toward sin – both personal sin and public sin. In many ways I feel like this is all new to me.
It also makes me thankful for those who seem to see things more easily from this perspective. Those, like a friend of mine, who lives in the innercity not so much because he “loves” poor people as much as because he hates seeing the injustice they experience. It is this burning heart for justice that drives him to risk comfort and fight for peace in his neighborhood. And, at the end of the day, he is truly loving them.
I am also thankful for those who are adopting because they are angry at the millions of orphaned children in our world and have the courage to add one more to their family that everyone around them (even in the church) says is full. I also think of the growing number of families adopting HIV+ orphans and those with severe medical needs. I think of two couples I know who have moved overseas to pursue their adoptions because things are not they way they ought to be.
Beautiful anger, beautiful courage, beautiful hope.
Lord, grant us more!