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Father’s and the Fatherless – Part 1

by Jason Kovacs Published Jun 16, 2013

We are in the middle of what many call a movement in the church when it comes to caring for the fatherless. This is really exciting but we can’t forget that it’s only been within the last 3-4 years that things have started to really move. I can’t help but look at the church and how for so many years it abdicated its role in caring for the poor and fatherless. That blame falls on the men leading our churches.

But, thankfully, this is changing! I want to share a few reasons I see why this is changing and why men are beginning to step up in the church.

1.)  Men are realizing that loving and caring for the fatherless is not just for our crazy wives but it is at the very heart of biblical Christianity and their identity as Christians.

We adopt and fight for the cause of the vulnerable and orphaned not because we are rescuers or saviors. No, we do this because we are the rescued. We do this because we were once in the most vulnerable of states in need of reconciliation with our Father and He reconciled and redeemed us by adoption as His very sons and daughters. And in this way, the gospel uniquely portrays, compels, and ultimately sustains our movement towards the fatherless. The church is God’s great multi-racial adopted family

J.I. Packer in his classic book, Knowing God, puts it this way:

If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out what he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as His father, if this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. 

Paul said it this way:

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3ff).

2.) Men are realizing that caring for the fatherless is part of the very nature of God Himself.

Psalm 68:5-6 says:

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home.”

In Scripture, the names of God carry great significance. They reveal to us who God is: His character, His works, His relationship with us, His very glory. Therefore, the fact that God aligns himself by name to the fatherless tells us God’s love for the fatherless is an essential part of who He is and what He does. In other words, God’s love and practical care of the orphan is part of His very nature and therefore part of His very infinite glory.

I love what Charles Spurgeon says:

“To this day and for ever, God is, and will be, the peculiar guardian of the defenseless. He is the President of Orphanages, the Protector of Widows. He is so glorious that he rides on the heavens, but so compassionate that he remembers the poor of the earth. How zealously ought his church to cherish those who are here marked out as Jehovah’s especial charge. Does he not here in effect say, “Feed my lambs”? Blessed duty, it shall be our privilege to make this one of our life’s dearest objects.” 

In this world there are over 145-200 million orphans worldwide in need of family and God is by nature passionate about this. If this is God’s nature it must also be the nature of His son’s and daughters. You cannot call yourself God’s child without having His character.

3.) Men are realizing that caring for the fatherless makes the gospel visible in our world 

Nowhere else is God’s power, mercy, and justice made more visible than when He unleashes it for the good of the most powerless and weak, and there are hardly any more vulnerable in our world than orphans. Since the good news of the gospel is that when “we were still weak” (Romans 5:6), God came to us in Christ, orphan care provides us with a unique opportunity to model and demonstrate God’s kindness on the horizontal plane.

Biblically, adoption and orphan care are not primarily something we do because we are infertile or want to meet a great need. Rather, they are very tangible demonstrations and pictures of the Gospel—of God’s adoption of us—put on display for the world to see and therefore to glorify God. 

Think about what adoption and care for the fatherless do: they provide a visible demonstration of the Gospel. Reunification to the adoption of children serve as a window into Christ’s rescue of sinners and reconciliation of sons. Our care for the fatherless displays Gospel-justice. Our efforts to fight for the vulnerble children of our world displays God’s patient, persistent pursuit and sovereign choice of us. Adoption displays God’s heart for rescuing a people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Because of what God has done for us in Christ, adoption and orphan care are signs that God’s kingdom and rule do exist in our world and will one day reign.

Men around our world are stepping up in amazing ways to the biblical reality that our care for the fatherless is part of the very mission God has called us too in our world.

May it continue!

 


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