11 Mar 2013 TonyaJohnson

Starting the New Year with an Old Principle

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adoptionThe Principle: Preserve the sanctity of human life

I learned from reading one of the awesome textbooks here at Regent University that during the times of the early Christian church, Christian men and women were instrumental in putting God’s Word into action by reaching out to those in need and taking in large numbers of children who were considered unwanted and had no homes.

The low value of life among the Romans was a shocking affront to the early Christians, who came to Rome with an exalted view of human life. Like their Jewish ancestors, they saw human beings as the crown of God’s creation; they believed that man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)…They also knew that God so honored human life that he himself assumed it by becoming incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, his only begotten  Son ( John 1:14). Thus, unlike the Romans, Christians did not hold human life to be cheap and expendable. It was to be honored and protected at all costs, regardless of its form or quality. By doing so, they countered many depravities that depreciated human life…One way that Christianity underscored the sanctity of human life was its consistent and active opposition to the widespread pagan practice of infanticide…If unwanted infants in the Greco-Roman world were not directly killed, they were frequently abandoned…As with infanticide, Christians opposed and condemned the culturally embedded custom of child abandonment…They frequently took such human castaways into their homes and adopted them (pp.48-49; 52-53).

Excerpt taken from: Schmidt, A. (2004). How Christianity Changed the World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Thus, caring for the needs of others via adoption was a regular practice for many within the Christian community. With this in mind, I am reminded of children here in America and throughout the world who are without homes and families to share their love with. In today’s society, many children and teens find themselves abandoned, living on the streets, in orphanages; shuffled back and forth from one family member to another; or from one foster home/group home to another. I don’t believe that this is what God had in mind when He originally created the institution of marriage and established the family structure.

Just as the brethren from the early Christian church, we are admonished to love one’s neighbor as oneself. “…There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31, KJV).

But what can we do about this devastating state of affairs? We can let go and let God fill and transform our hearts and minds so that we can sincerely embrace other human beings regardless of one’s nationality or kinship. As we reach out to those in need by opening up our hearts, homes, and lives and establish positive life-long relationships, we too are doing our part to follow the path of Jesus Christ and those of the early Christian church. What matters most is that we are connected to one another by God’s divine love and His blood which can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

This past year, I was deeply inspired by two sets of family members that put God’s love into action as they took in a teenage relative in need of love, guidance and acceptance, as well as adopted a foster child.

My cousin, who is a loving mother of two and a God-fearing Christian, had this to say after legally adopting her son:

“…today is…one of the happiest days of my life that I’ve been blessed to mother this delightful child. I’m grateful to God…It’s probably the best decision…I’ve ever made in my life. The opportunity to foster a child and to change a child’s destiny is just one of the greatest things anybody can do.”

According to reports, “…there are 23,000 children in foster care statewide…Brandon” was“…one of many…looking for good homes” (p.1).

Diana confidently echoed in a recent conversation the words of Jesus Christ according to Matthew, which states, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Diana further replied, “I know, in my heart that the LORD has called me to this awesome experience. It’s a part of my life journey, and I believe every day, that the investments I am making in the boy’s life will honor God and bring glory to His kingdom.”

Dearly beloved readers, I challenge you today as well as this year to search your hearts and do what’s right. Let’s love God enough to step out of our comfort zones to help those in need and make a difference in our sphere of influence and throughout the world. God bless.

Click photo above to learn more about Diana’s story.

Tonya Johnson

M.Ed. in Christian School Program

Online Student

New York, NY

I am blessed with a wonderful family and believe that nothing is accidential, but carefully orchestrated and presented by an all-wise, all knowing, all powerful and mighty God. Praying daily to be a willing instrument in His divine plan.
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