Friday, October 15, 2010

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Hallelujah, Julia's family is getting closer to rescuing her!!!  Please click HERE to go to Julia's family's blog, and be sure to leave them a comment of support.  I am so very grateful that God spoke to this family regarding Julia, but even more grateful that this family LISTENED and JOYFULLY OBEYED.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Thank you Schwenzer Family for answering His call!!!  You are living our pure and undefiled religion, according to James 1:27.

Also, I thought some of you might enjoy another adoption story of how God works to knit His families together.  Click HERE to wish Scott (an orphan in Serbia where Chrissie was from) a happy 7th birthday, and listen to how God connected these families. 

The family that is hosting the online birthday party for Scott (The Campbell Family) has an adopted daughter from Serbia who they named Christyn Joy and they call her Chrissie, after our Christyn Joy of course.  Well, Scott's forever family is here in the US (The Seversons), and we met them personally in Serbia last October while we were there adopting Chrissie!  Click HERE to meet Scott's forever family.   Upon our arrival in Serbia last October, after 30+ hours of travel, The Seversons invited us to sleep in their apartment in Serbia and fed us a home-cooked meal upon our arrival, which was such a sweet blessing after we had traveled for two days and knew no one in Serbia and had no place to stay!!!

Well, The Seversons knew God was calling them to adopt once again, and their newest child is Scott, who is celebrating his 7th birthday today.  The sad thing is that The Seversons were approved and invited to go get Scott, but they were lacking the remaining funds for the adoption, so they were not able to celebrate Scott's birthday in person today as they had hoped. 

God's plan is to come to every orphan (John 14:18), and He is depending upon His people (the Church...the body of Christ around the world) to answer His promise to come to the orphan.  There are families all over the world who are ready to go rescue God's orphans, but finances are holding them back.  Did you know that you have a responsibility to SEND families to rescue orphans?  All Christians are called to live out James 1:27:  Pure and undefiled religion is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  This is our litmus test of Christianity.  It's the only verse in the Bible that defines pure and undefiled religion.  Are you looking after orphans and widows? 

This doesn't mean you have to actually adopt an orphan in order to have a positive pure religion litmus test, but I do believe every person who claims to be a Christian should be caring for orphans and widows, according to God's definition of pure and undefiled religion.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world who could be financially supporting adoptive families, uniting orphans with their forever families.  It's just heart-breaking to realize that many Christian families are spending their finances on so many temporary things that have nothing to do with pure religion, things like new cars, new clothes, new shoes, hunting leases, Halloween costumes, new furniture, vacations and travel, green fees, school fundraisers, sports events...the list goes on and on.  I'm not saying God doesn't want us to enjoy these things within limits, but I am saying that something is wrong when a Christian does nothing to care for orphans and widows, and, instead, spends their time and finances on temporal things that bring nothing to the Kingdom and do nothing to show Christ's love to orphans.  Give FIRST to orphans and widows, then spend your other money according to how God has asked you.  I'm just as guilty as the rest, I'm not perfect, I am no financial expert, I misuse God's money every single day, but I am asking God to HELP ME live out James 1:27 in a variety of ways:  adoption, prayer, and giving to help unite orphans with their forever families.  Would you please join me in asking God to help His people answer His call?

A quote from last week's sermon at church:  "I've never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse."

Keep that quote in mind next time you're spending money.  Donate to bring orphans home.  Live out pure and undefiled religion.  Put your investments in His kingdom, store up your treasures in Heaven, because, after all, the temporary stuff you're spending money on now will not go with you in a U-Haul behind your hearse.

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