Friday, August 27, 2010

Ephesians 5 - “Living in the Light”

“Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.”
Ephesians 5:1-2

Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:14

Oswald Chambers Devotional for February 16 uses Ephesians 5 to talk about “The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative”.

Not all initiative, the willingness to take the first step, is inspired by God. Someone may say to you, “Get up and get going! Take your reluctance by the throat and throw it overboard – just do what needs to be done!” That is what we mean by ordinary human initiative. But when the Spirit of God comes to us and says, in effect, “Get up and get going,” suddenly we find that the initiative is inspired.

We all have many dreams and aspirations when we are young, but soon or later we realize we have no power to accomplish them. We cannot do the things we long to do, so our tendency is to think of our dreams and aspirations as dead. But God comes and says to us, “Arise from the dead…” When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to “arise from the dead” and do the impossible. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we “get up and get going. God does not give us overcoming life – He gives us life as we overcome. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, “Arise from the dead…” we have to get ourselves up, God will not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13). As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed. But he had to take the initiative. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because he immediately gives us the power of life.

I share this devotional because it makes me think of the thoughts and dreams many of us have to adopt a child. We dream about holding our child in our arms but often times fear or other circumstances seem to stand in the way. I personally know that when the Lord comes in and says, “Get up and get going” that the impossible dream can and does become a reality. I share this devotional in the case that you are reading this right now and are in that place that seems impossible. Seek the Lord and take the initiative. Allow the Lord’s divine and miraculous power to come in and make the dream a reality. I personally know the difficulty of these decisions and the journey, but I also know that the Lord is able and will provide. I needed to take that step and reach out my hand to the Lord and to the child that the Lord had waiting for our family.

As I share these thoughts I also want to share about 4 new children that just arrived on my desk from Bulgaria. They desperately need a family and a home. If you are not their family please pray for them and pray for the Lord to bring their family quickly. They are waiting and I can only imagine how long that wait must feel for these precious children and the many more that long for a family.

Girl S (Age 4)

She is simply lagging behind and has no real neurological diagnosis. The orphanage workers think that if she would have a family to teach her and love her that she would be able to greatly make up for all the lagging behind. She likes contact with others and is so adorable.

Girl Y (Age 8)

She has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome but according to Toni she is doing quite well. She attends a mainstream preschool and is neat and orderly. She is attached to the other children and the staff. She easily forgives and adapts well to new environments.

Boy R (Age 5)

He has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome and really needs a family all his own to help him to progress. He is serious and rarely smiles. He can walk by holding onto a hand or the wall for support.

Boy M (Age 6)

He has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, but seems to be a favorite of the orphanage staff. We have many photos and two videos for this adorable little guy. He loves to go outside for walks and he absolutely loves to cuddle with an adult.

If you have any interest in knowing more about any of these children that need a family or any of the other children listed on Lifeline’s Waiting Children lists please contact our office for more information (205-972-8496). If you just have questions about adoption or seem to be in that place of not knowing what direction to turn please contact us. We will be more than happy to talk with you and to pray with you. The Lord has a plan for your life and if we can help in any way please let us know. It would be an honor and a blessing.

In Christ’s love,

Stephanie Carpenter
International Adoption Specialist

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