Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Approved - - A Legal Child (repost)


Approved - Custody
image courtesy photobucket.com

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, Nancy, 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.”

Nancy sat up straight and asked, “Where is that found?”

I told her I was reading in the book of Ephesians chapter four.

Multiple problems had plagued Nancy’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 Nancy. 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 Nancy 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

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.

Rather than start setting down blunt rules, I chose to use the Bible to turn on the light of our family principles.

Nancy was so sweet and I discovered that she was a quick learner. Nancy desired 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 Nancy 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 four children were interviewed and asked if they would accept Nancy into the family. They all answered, “Yes.” In no time at all, we were approved legally, and so was Nancy. 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 Rev David duPlessis 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. He approves you as His child.  Now wasn’t that easy?

The question is - - Are you a legally approved child of God?

This post is linked to One Word at a Time Carnival. The word is Approved
Also linked with Jennifer at: God-Bumps and God-Incidences

11 comments:

  1. What a great message, Hazel!

    God bless you for considering Nancy one of your own. You are a woman after your Father's Heart!

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  2. Yes! Legally adopted! It makes all the difference!

    "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)

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  3. I am always so overwhelmed at the graciousness of others to raise children that are not there own. My home life was so insecure growing up and I had some kind people do that for me too. I know what a gift it truly is. Lovely story.

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  4. This post mirrors a message that we heard on Compassion Sunday this week at church -- God has adopted us into His family, so we must extend this grace to others. Your story illustrates this beautifully.

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  5. We heard a sermon this Sunday that mirrors your post -- God has adopted us into His family, and we are called to extend his grace to others (as you did so beautifully to Nancy!)

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  6. As the parent of three adopted and two permanent foster children, this post was especially meaningful to me. Thank you.

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  7. I AM approved. Ain't any other way I could be if He hadn't done it. Period.

    NOW, re: David duPlessis. Your church? What a blessing! Have you read They Speak With Other Tongues by Sherrill? I think you and I have so much in common re: some of this. [I was blessed in Redwood City to hear Corrie ten Boom and so many other really amazing people, but duPlessis would have been a huge blessing.]

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  8. People like these are nothing else just pure blessings!

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  9. Oh how beautiful this post! You and your family, which includes your daughter Nancy, my sister, have blessed me beyond my wildest imagination! You too are my family... I don't think I've written it before, but you already know, and your daughter already knows... I love you guys. I truly thank my heavenly Father for you and your family. I'm lifted because of you and your heart and your loved ones....... Thank you

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  10. Yes, ... I am approved! And I am absolutely in awe of God's amazing grace.

    Your post is so truth-filled. I love this, Hazel:

    " ...and although we can sing “God of our Fathers.” He must be our personal God."

    Your wisdom and writing bless me greatly.

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  11. I saw the prompt for this carnival and thought back to when we got the paperwork indicating we were approved to adopt our children. It felt like a weighty transaction. How much more so, my approval through Christ!

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