Last Sunday, November 7, was Nationl Orphan Sunday. Below are my sermon notes from the that morning. Please take a moment to read. Who knows, mabye God will speak to your heart about adoption. May God richly bless you as you read. Just a note, I do not type my sermons in complete sentences.
Imagine being two years old. Your mother takes you for a walk through the local market. Once in the crowds you turn and your mother is gone. She has left you forever. You do not know where you will go. You are not old enough to take care of your own basic needs. Imagine the fear that would grip your tiny heart. This is the story of a real child living in an island nation in the south pacific. Mission 1:27 exists because of him and 143,000,000 like him all over our world. Mission 1:27 is an orphan care and adoption ministry. Our purpose is to live James 1:27, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress” NLT. Why do we do it? Because God so loved the world. Here in America we have so much to be thankful for, things that we often take for granted. These things that seem so basic to us are the very things that orphans around the world long for. We have been richly blessed. What would happen if we shared that blessing with these hurting children? During this Thanksgiving season, let me encourage you to be thankful for all that you have and be mindful of a child that does not.
II. We have a family.
In many areas of the world, orphanages are filled to capacity with infants that need changed and older kids that share a room with 30 others. There is no privacy. Though they desire a home to call their own, what they really need and want is a forever family. 15 million children in the world have lost both parents. 143 million have no permanent family. Here in the US there are 500,000 children in foster care. Do not take your family for granted; rather be as Paul in 1 Thess. 3:9, “How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence.” Be thankful for those loved ones in your life. What if you could share that love with a hurting child?
III. We have plenty of food.
Very soon we will sit down at a table with friends and family and eat all of the wonderful Thanksgiving food. The smell and wonder of the season will fill our hearts with thanks to God for His provision and blessing. Across the world a child will have less to eat on that same day than we throw away from our plates. Food and clean water is a basic necessity, but one that millions do not have. Many children adopted from around the world will come to the US severely malnourished. Malnourishment leads to many developmental problems. Why? Because they lack basic nutrition. 1Timothy 4:3-4 tells us, “They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.” The point Paul is making is simply this, be thankful for what God has given you. What if you could share your food with a hungry child?
IV. We have possessions.
When we finally make the trip to the Philippines, it is likely that our new son or daughter will own the close that they are wearing and that is it. We have shoes for everyday of the week and more toys than our kids can keep up with. So many children around the world will go this Christmas without a single toy or present. Phil. 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” This is a very hard verse for us to live up to. We all tend to worry about our needs. What if we strove to be thankful for what we have and were willing to share with a child that has nothing?
V. We have faith in Christ.
By far the most important thing in our lives is our relationship with Christ. It is something that we should continually be thankful for. Hebrews 12:28 “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Millions of orphans around the world have never heard the name of Jesus. They have never heard that Jesus loves them. If we do not tell them, who will? If we do not tell them now, when? What if we loved these children enough to rearrange our lives so that they have the opportunity to hear?
Those who have the most are often the least thankful. We lose sight of the fact that all that we posses is God’s and really has little to do with us. 2 Thess. tells us to be thankful in everything. What if we allowed that thankfulness to lead to action? You may be sitting here today asking, what can I do? Some can go, other can give, others can pray, still others can bring a child into their home. In the end if all of us do what we can, God’s work will be accomplished. I know not all can take the step to adopt, but you can love and support those who do. This Thanksgiving be truly thankful for what God has done in you and blessed you with and think of the little one on the other side of the world that has nothing. Remember that God loved the world enough that He gave His Son, with God’s help we can love the world enough to share His love.
I ended with the video below.