The kids shuffled downstairs. Chairs scooted in and out at the breakfast table. Sleepy children yawned as they all gathered for morning devotions and Bible reading. This was how we began the day. But today was a little different. We had a new house guest, a young girl, Elaine, who eventually became a part of our family. I read out loud from the Book of Ephesians:
“Let him that stole - - steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to those who are in need.”
Elaine sat up straight and asked, “Where is that found?”
I told her in the book of Ephesians the 4th chapter.
Multiple problems had plagued Elaine’s family until she found herself without a place to call home. Her mother, a good friend of the family, was desperate and had asked if we would take Elaine. After speaking with my husband we agreed to accept her into our home.
The Bible reading completed, it was time for the children to get ready for school. My youngest daughter could not find her shoes. We searched all the familiar places, but they were not to be found. Finally, I asked the Lord to help me find those shoes.
“Behind the sofa”, He seemed to whisper.
Yes, indeed, there they were - in a place so unexpected!
I asked Elaine if she knew how they got there. With a smug little voice that sounded like she had just “got even”, she indicated that my daughter did not take care of her shoes and so she had taught her a lesson!
I tried not to laugh! Our children understood that they were to respect each other’s property, and if they saw money or other things lying around, it was off limits
Rather than start setting down blunt rules, I chose to use the Bible to turn on the light of our family principles. I explained that, in our household, we do not teach each other lessons. Each person in the family is responsible for their own belongings. We also LIVE in our house, so sometimes things just do not stay in place.
Elaine was so sweet and I discovered that she was a quick learner. Elaine wanted to please us and she also wanted to please the Lord.
So, off to school we went. More challenges! As much as we had decided to include Elaine in our family, I discovered that I could not enroll her in school because she was not a relative. What a problem!
I was advised that the only way she could be enrolled was for us to become legal Foster Parents. That was not an easy task. We had to be finger- printed, by the police department and have a home inspection by social services. Each of our children was interviewed and asked if they would accept Elaine into the family. They all answered, “Yes.” In no time at all, we were legal, and so was Elaine. She had all the privileges of the other children in our home.
What does it mean to be legal? In the USA it is to have a birth certificate saying you were born here, or naturalization papers. In heaven, it means to have your name written in the Lamb’s book of Life, signifying that you were born again. Accepting Jesus as your Savior puts your name in the book in Heaven and then you are legal with legal rights that come with it.
Years ago I can remember hearing David du Plessis minister at our church. He told us that God has NO Grandchildren. God also has NO Step children or Foster Children. We must not rely on our Parents, grandma, teachers or Government agencies to get us into heaven. Each of us must be born into the family of God and although we can sing “God of our Fathers”, He must be our personal God. We then become legitimate children of God receiving all the privileges that are ours because God is our legal Father.
Simply put, this is how to become a legal Christian. You say with your mouth that you believe Jesus was born and that He died on the cross for you. Acknowledge that He was buried, that He rose from the dead and is now seated in heaven. Then you tell him that you intend to follow him all the days of your life and invite him to come live in your heart. The Bible says that all those who come to the Father God in the name of Jesus, he will receive and not cast out. Now wasn’t that easy?
Are you a legal child?
Thank you for allowing me to make a joyful noise today.