It's not OK with me that there are over 145 million orphans in the world.
It's not OK with me that the poorest of the poor in America are among the 9% richest in the world.
It's not OK with me that there are 45 million orphans on the continent of Africa alone.
It's not OK with me that 3/4 of the world lives on less than one dollar a day.
It's not OK with me that 3/4 of the world does not have a toilet, not even a pit latrine.
It's not OK with me that 6500 Africans die each day, 1500 each month (the same amount as were killed by the tsunami) from HIV.
It's not OK with me that more non-christians donate to AIDs and orphan charities than do Christians.
It's not OK with me to withhold lifesaving ARV's out of deference to the office of patents.
It's not OK with me that where you live determines whether you live.
It's not OK with me that every fourteen seconds another child is orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
It's not OK with me that the church has been slow to respond to the modern day Leprosy of our time.
It's not OK with me that 2,102,400 more children become orphans each year(in Africa alone). It's not OK with me that In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.
It's not OK with me that every hour one thousand children die from HIV/AIDS.
I think you get the point, or at least some of it. I am here today to talk about God's love of the poor, the orphans, the widows, the strangers of the world. I am here to talk about what you can do to make a difference in the world and in the life of a child by following God's word. I am here to tell you that the nameless and faceless orphan found in these statistics is by no means nameless or faceless to God.
Psalm 139:13-14 says
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Mostly I am here to deliver the message of our Lord that Caring for the least; a major ingredient of Biblical Christianity has been forgotten by the church. I want to ignite this fire within each and everyone of you today. Throughout scripture and throughout the history of his people, God has called his chosen one's to spend themselves on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan, the widow, the prisoner, and the stranger in the land.In fact, caring for the orphan is mentioned over 40 times in the scripture. Poverty is mentioned over 2100 times. Now that's a lot of airtime my friends.
Galatians 6;2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of ChristJames 1;27 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 from the world.
Mathew 25;40 The king will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
Mathew 18;10-14See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.
For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.The gospel that I believe in offers a cup of cold water in Jesus' name. The only gospel worth living is the one that incarnates love. The only gospel worth giving our lives for is the one that elevates the needs of others above our own. That's what the good news is all about folks. History will judge our generation by how we responded to those in need. History will judge the church by how it responded to those in need. We have the opportunity to show the world just what it truly means to be Christ-followers. You and I can make a difference. Someone once told me when I first wanted to adopt that I couldn't change the world. Well I happen to disagree. With God at my side anything is possible and you and I can change the world. We change the world when we lead with compassion and move from apology to action. And out of action springs hope- and out of hope, life. So for our mistakes, I am sorry. But for our potential, for the impact you and I can have on a world in need....I am hopeful. Our adoption by God cost us nothing. However it did cost God something; it cost him his son. The high fees and costs for adoption today are indefensible, but they are not inconceivable. Adoption is costly. Whether in the realm of finances, emotions, relationships, time, or effort, adoption will cost.But think of what it cost God, and yet he was willing to undergo that cost. And not simply undergo it but to undergo it with joy. I have heard so many comments from people about adoptions and the ones that stun me the most are from Christians, like, Well can't you have anymore children? Why don't you just have another child? Oh it's not that we don't want you to adopt but we just feel sorry for that poor black child being raised in a white family. You don't have the money. You will be taking away from your kids now. Oh do you really want to do that to yourself. First, yes I can have more children. and I don't know why people find it so hard to believe that I want to give a child a home that needs one. And the sacrifice? Well taking care of one God's orphans is the least I can do to repay the price he paid for me. We were not put on this earth to get by with the least possible. We were put on this earth to serve the Lord. Through adoption, I am serving the Lord. I don't expect it to be easy. And about the poor black child being raised by a white family as opposed to not eating every day, sleeping on dirt, and suffering from needless illnesses, I think living with a white family may not be ideal, but we are all God's children. God adopted all of us, black, white, chinese, indian. We are all God's children. He did not think twice about adopting us. It was more difficult for God to adopt anyone of us than it would ever be for me to take care of one of his children. We were not a cute little puppy, looking for a Father. No we were evil and putrid and we were repulsive. Some of us would reject him forever, some of us would never want to know his love or grace and yet he still adopted all of us, even if only one would ever love him and come to know him. Can you imagine dying for someone that would reject you and that you knew would reject you? How many of us would do that?The adoption journey is not an easy one, but every hour of toil, every obstacle encountered, every tear shed, every sleepless night---all are but a shadow of the price that God paid for us. Jesus came to be a ransom for many, and if God was willing to pay that ransom for us, how much more will he be willing to lead us in ransoming his beloved children from their state as orphans? And it is his love that compels us onward in obedience, whatever the cost, for he who calls us is faithful. Our God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, who is rich in mercy and grace, who generously provides for all that we need, this God knows the costs we will incur, and promises to be with us and for us every step of the way. This is about faith in action. This is an invitation to experience god in ways we've never experienced him before. In Matthew, Jesus says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." God's heart is invested in adoption. Let us view the costs, both known and unknown, as an invitation for us to invest our resources, and therefore our hearts into the things of god. You know I used to think the same way, that going to church, living right, praying, and talking to the Lord was enough, but the scripture tells us that faith is not enough. Faith without deeds is dead. It's like a quarter with only one side. Faith on one side and deeds on the other. You can spend it unless you have both. Bono tells a story of a wise man that changed his life. He told this man that he was always seeking the Lord's blessing when he had a new song, had a family to look after, or a crazy idea. The wise man said " Stop. Stop asking God to bless what you are doing. Get involved in what God is doing-because it is already blessed." Well, God as I said is with the orphaned and the poor and the widows. That I believe in what God is doing. And that is what he is calling us to do.I have often heard people talk of seeing the face of god in the poor. I never really understood it until the Lord sent me to Zambia with his own intentions in mind. Well let me tell you my friends that the orphans, the widows, the poor, the sick and oppressed is where God said he would be and it's there that you will truly experience him, see him, touch him, and walk with him. I know that 40 million is an unconceivable number to comprehend. Sometimes we hear the numbers and they are too overwhelming. I want you to think about this number for a while. Think about 40 million children going to bed at night without a kiss from a mom or dad, 40 million children that will never have anyone teach them how to ride a bike, rejoice with them every time they make an A on their spelling test, cheer them on in their soccer game, 40 million children with no mommy or daddy. I also know that as a Christian not one of you would purposely ignore the grave statistics. Sometimes the sheer magnitude of the numbers is just too much to handle so we block it out and go about with our lives. It's so easy to just turn the channel instead of watching the two year old with big brown eyes and a swollen belly. But I am asking you right now; right now if I told you that there was one child depending on you, one child that needed you, would you say no. As a Christian could you say no I won't help. I don't think you would. If you knew there was one child in the world that needed you, I think you would reach out and do whatever you could to help. So don't tell me that I can't change the world. I along with everyone in here can change the world. My God is bigger than the 145 million orphans in the world. My God is bigger than the HIV/AIDS crisis. How about your God. If you think you can't change the world by helping one child then you are wrong. That one child is one of God's chosen ones, destined for greatness. If you think you can't change the world by helping only one child, why don't you ask that child, because I guarantee you would change that child's world. So I am asking each and everyone of you today to let this hurt into your heart. You can take this message and turn it off just like you do the TV shows or you can let the hurt in, feel it in your heart and decide to make a difference in the world. A difference in one of God's miracles, the lesser. So I am asking you today to not only let this hurt into your heart but also to act on it. Turn your faith into a faith with action. I am asking you not only to believe in God, but to also walk the walk. You don't have to adopt a child to help out, but someone in your church, or family, or neighborhood may feel the calling for adoption. This family may not have the financial resources to adopt. Support that family financially. Start an orphan ministry within your church to support families that feel called to adopt. Support a child through a christian foundation for 30 dollars a month. Go on a mission trip to an orphanage and teach the children about God. Tell them that even though they feel all alone in this world that they are God's chosen ones and he will not forsake them.