This Beautiful Inheritance: Ends of the Earth: The Gospel Demonstrated

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ends of the Earth: The Gospel Demonstrated

First, I'd like to announce the winner of my Prayer Book Giveaway. Congratulations Kelly Hostetter! I will email you shortly about claiming your prize. Now, I'd like to introduce the writer of today's guest post, Melissa Furnell. Actually, I'll let her introduce herself.

My world is gloriously centered around my God, my man and my two boys {waiting on the third to come home from Uganda}. While my husband and I are currently busy training our boys, home educating and adopting, we are also wrapped up in the greatest love affair ever. I am insanely blessed! When it’s all said and done, I hope to have spent my time, energy and resources knowing Him and making Him known. My heart’s desire is to leave my life exhausted!

I long to live a life of significance... to live for a something greater than myself.
I think most people do.
I'm convinced that such a life lies in being a co-worker with the Giver of Life Himself...
While my vision can, at times, be limited by my own concerns, culture, circumstances and ideas, at my core I long to make every effort to follow Christ's example of living a life emptying myself for His name's sake. My desire is to give my life as an offering to the One "who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Over the years, God has woven His commands and truths together in my life to bring me to places I did not plan to be...
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
It's hard to place my finger on where our current circumstances all began. One clear marker came a couple of years ago, as I worked through a semester of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. God began to widen my scope of vision even more. He began to transform my heart, awaken awareness, and replace assumptions with truth. He challenged me, and He forever altered my "perspective." It became undeniable to me that God is to be loved, served and worshipped by all humanity (every nation). I am not called to simply love God but to labor that He will be loved... to see that He is loved, worshipped and followed in every people, all nations. One thing that is irrefutable is God's love for all people created in His image and His plan from the beginning to make His name known to the world.
"For I am a great King," says Yahweh of Hosts,
"and My name will be feared among the nations." Malachi 1:14b
"And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation." Revelation 5:9
As a result, our family began to earnestly ask God how He wanted to use us in His Kingdom's work in relation to "the world." And during the time He was widening our view of His heart for the nations, His charge to care for the fatherless also came glaringly into our line of sight.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded..." Luke 12:48

We realized there were multitudes of ways to obey God's command to care for orphans. We began to seek God regarding this as well. We had no plans to expand our family of four. The first couple of years after our oldest son (who is now 11) was diagnosed with Autism seemed to make that even more apparent for us. We felt we were giving all we had and were stretched thin with the demands of parenting and understanding his special needs.

 After months of seeking God, things began to become clear to us that we did not anticipate.
In different ways, the Holy Spirit made clear that laying our lives, home and family down as an offering through international adoption was the direction in which He was leading us. Not only would we be adopting, but we would be adopting from another country. For quite some time, we have had an unexplainable connection to Africa. In the midst of pursuing clarity in all of this, my husband had taken a trip to Uganda that was related to church partnerships. Adoption was, in all honesty, the furthest thing from our minds at the time. People ask us, "Why Uganda?" For the most part, our unquestionable draw to that country is simply from the leadership of the Holy Spirit and our desire to embrace our role in reaching the nations.

 While I trust that God will continue to guide us in these truths in more specific, tangible ways, this is where He has chosen to lead us for now. This is only one chapter in God's story for our family, and I find confidence in knowing He orchestrated it all and that He will be with us through each step of the journey.
Through the adoption process, I pray that God will make Himself known. It has become obvious to me over the past year that adoption is a living-breathing picture of the Gospel. Ephesians 2 and Galatians 4 speak of God's great love and how He brought us out of our detrimental state and into His family through the blood of Christ. I long to see that very thing come from this: the Gospel demonstrated!
I recently watched a video of a large adoptive family. A furnace repair man had stopped by and made a comment: "This looks like some kind of United Nations meeting!"
I loved that.
We're headed in that direction as we work to bring home our son from Uganda.
If that's what Heaven is going to look like, why not start in our own family right now?!?!

To read more about the Furnell family adoption (and get involved), visit their blog.

1 comment:

  1. You are so awesome! I do not think I've truly read anything like that before. So great to discover another person with a few genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

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