13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)
You were an orphan once. You may have grown up with a father and a mother. Physically, you may not be an orphan.
But you were a spiritual orphan. You were a spiritual orphan until you were adopted by God. The Bible says in Ephesians 1:5,
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT)
God loves you so much that He adopted you into His family. And He doesn’t do so begrudgingly. He takes great pleasure in doing it.
The Bible also says,
“To show that you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, Father, my Father. So then, you are no longer a slave but a child. And since you are his child, God will give you all that he has for his children.” (Galatians 4:6-7. GNT)
God gives you all He has because you are now His child. We should show the same generosity toward physical orphans – those without parents – on our planet.
All throughout Scripture, God tells us that He’ll be a father to the fatherless. In the book of Proverbs, God tells us that we’re to speak up for those who have no voice.
God cares about orphans in a very special way. And so should we.
Many people wonder what true religion really is. The Bible leaves no doubt.
“Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.” (James 1:27 GWT)
Once we become believers in Jesus, we walk in our faith by caring for widows and orphans and keeping ourselves unstained by the world around us. James summarizes the Christian life as being about private purity and public charity. Jesus gives basically the same summary in the Great Commandment, Matthew 22:37-40:
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Once we realize how much God loves us and what He went through to adopt us into His family, we really have only two responses.
First, it’ll clarify with you how much your life matters.
1. We recognize how much our life matters
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24)
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
2. We are drawn to the plight of orphans around the world
How does the Bible say we should take care of orphans?
We are to defend their rights. (Psalm 82:3)
We are to speak up for them as advocates. (Proverbs 31:8)
We’re to feed them. (Matthew 25)
We’re to clothe them. (Matthew 25)
We’re to protect them from those who mistreat them. (Isaiah 1:17)
We’re to ensure justice for them. (Deuteronomy 24:17)
We’re to share our resources with them. (Luke 3:11, Romans 12:13)
We’re to find families for them. (Psalm 68:5-6)
- What does it mean that we are all once orphans?
- How does God’s love change us?
- How does God feel about the plight of orphans?
- What is our responsibility in taking care of orphans?