Most folks hate these social ailments, which often act as triggers for disparaging tragedies.
Bullying, shaming, varied prescribed medications and illicit drug abuse, among other uglies, have been blamed for a tremendous rise in teen-aged suicides. Another horrifying stat is how many children become active members in violent youth gangs, or simply develop behavioral issues. It’s my belief that teen suicide and gang involvement are two maladies that share roots in the same detriments.
“Results (of polled police departments) contradict the long-standing perception that gangs are primarily an inner-city phenomenon. Granted, the prevalence is highest in large cities, with 74 percent of those jurisdictions acknowledging the presence of gangs. But suburban counties aren’t far behind, at 57 percent, which is considerably higher than small cities (34 percent).”—Healthy Children Organization
It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. There are many teens who find no other escape from their heart wrenching emotional agony than ending their own lives. It’s like a bandit stealing off with the soul’s sense of self-worth—as a valueless object to be discarded by society as worthless. Many suffer this malady and spiral down into deep depression, even developing physical illnesses. Some of them become criminals, maybe even psychotic killers.
Below’s a link to just one of thousands: News reports on teen-aged suicides. There’s just as many on the increased danger of children joining street gangs. But you can come back to this later.
Imagine feeling that nobody wants you, nobody loves you—you just can’t seem to find any place where you fit in, a place to belong. It’s a hollow ache. Have you ever experienced being totally convinced there’s no group of people anywhere with whom you could have a sense of belonging? Street gangs prey upon young boys and girls who have this belief and offer them a sense of acceptance and camaraderie. Sometimes, it’s excitement and action that draws kids into gang life. But their emotional and social needs are legitimate. A healthy Psyche’ includes a sense of belonging—everyone possesses a need to be loved.
I watched several videos of little orphan children from all over the world, many of whom lived on the streets. They were picking through garbage bins trying to find something to eat. Their little melancholy faces stirred my heart—I wanted to break down and cry. But some orphans reside at orphanages or missions. At least they are fed a little. All of them apparently have the exact same hope of acceptance, and to have a family. They need to belong somewhere, with someone—other souls. Love is a fundamental need.
We have an extensively vast foster care system here in America. Dismally, many of the people who serve as foster parents only do so for the money. Unscrupulous ones even use the orphans as a free labor force, treating the children like slaves, as objects to be manipulated into profits.
What do you suppose every orphan hopes for?
That’s right, to be adopted by someone who will love them, protect them, and give them a home, and care for them. Someone who will give them a place to belong. Just one person to accept them would be enough, but better a group of people who would say “You’re one of us!” What they need—what they hope for, is a family.
When a couple has a child born to them they have no way of choosing what that child will look like. They can’t even choose whether it will be a boy or a girl. Parents try to teach their children moral values and rear them in a way that they’ll turn out to be good people, but there are no guarantees about that either. So, I want to share something with you about ADOPTION.
Those who have been adopted have been chosen over other people. There’s a whole lot of children to choose from. That makes a child feel very special. Adoptive parents have looked out across the whole world at the many thousands of orphaned children. Think of it, out of all of them, they choose YOU! That makes you pretty special.
To God, all of us are just like young Children.
My point here today, besides drawing attention to these social ills, is to highlight a stellar fact. If you trust the God of the bible, and you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, and you’ve taken Him as your Savior, then: YOU’VE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD TO BE ADOPTED INTO HIS FAMILY.
I’ll begin an explanation, but then, I’m asking us to follow the reasoning of the selected scriptures provided below.
When you’re born into a family on earth your parents cannot choose you, you’re just born to them. But God knew all about you before you were ever born, and He chose you to be His child. (Later on, read Psalms chapter 139.)
This, and other passages reveal that God knew everything there is to know about you, before He chose you. And the following scriptures assure us that God did in fact, select us, and it tells us at what point in time He did so.
“For He chose us in him before the creation of the world… He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.“ Ephesians 1: 4–5.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NLT
Jesus said, “For the Father himself loves you dearly, because you love me and you believe that I came from God.“ John 16:27
So what is it to love Jesus? What does it really mean to love Christ? He tells us.
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them.“ Let that part sink in for a minute.
Then it continues:
“And I will love them and will reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21 NLT
Think about this: How has Jesus revealed Himself to you?
“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.“ Ephesians 2:19
When we are saved, or, born again, we’re born into the family of God, and that’s what the bible is talking about when it says He adopted us. It also calls us “Children of the light.”
“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.“ 1 John 3:9
Now then, what are some of the benefits a child receives by having a family?
I’ve listed several of them. We’ve already established that they will be loved.
Provision for every need
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.“ Malachi 3:10 (There’s many more).
Psalm 144:2, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
“The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
“(You) who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
“The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” Psalm 37:29
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
“And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12
Romans 8:32 Eph. 1:18,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8: 35
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39
And Jude 1:24 “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”
There are other benefits too, of course, such as guidance, wisdom, a name, and lots more!
If you’re not already a part of God’s wonderful family, you can be! Feel free to contact me via Email at Penman4u@gmail.com. I will be happy to share with you how to do that. God Bless You. I hope you enjoy this version of a great old hymn as much as I did: “The Family of God.”