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Adopting God's Heart
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. PSALM 82:3
In his book Fields of the Fatherless, C. Thomas Davis writes, "If you searched the Bible from front to back, you'd find many issues close to God's heart. But you'd also notice three groups of people coming up again and again. They appear so many times, in fact, you have to conclude that God mentions them purposely to make sure they are at the top of our priority list."
They are orphans, widows and aliens (or strangers). God demonstrated His care and provision for these three groups through His instructions to the Israelite farmers in Deuteronomy 24:19: "When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands" (NIV).
Similarly, if we want our Christianity to be its purest, we too must actively exercise our concern for the left-out and the abandoned: "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" (James 1:27-28).
Caring for the fatherless is not simply a compassionate act. Adoption is not merely an additional means of growing our families to the desired size. Caring for orphans is about obedience and expressing the heart of God. Perhaps God is calling you to the redemptive task of adoption, as He has Barbara and me. If not, each of us can be part of supporting, praying for and encouraging those who are in the midst of adoption, those who are seeking to acquire God's heart for the fatherless.
Discuss how you can express the heart of God in caring for orphans. Also ask yourselves, Is there a reason why adopting a child would not be a possibility?
Promise the Father that you will pursue His heart for the fatherless and orphaned, in whatever way He directs you to do so—orphan care, foster care, adoption or mission work.