My husband had a student in our church come up to him and ask about a song he'd just heard. It was by a Christian rap artist named LeCrae, and in it he speaks of Jesus being a rebel. The student said, "I'm not sure about this song. I mean, he calls Jesus a rebel! What do you think about that?" My husband's response? "Well, yeah, Jesus was a rebel! Maybe the greatest rebel ever! He changed everything! He stepped in and called their way of living into question. He said if you wanna live this life, you've got to lose it!"
It reminded me of how, as imitators of Christ, we should have that same character. When people look at us, as Christians, they should not see the status quo. They should take one look at us, how we run our lives and our families, where we put our money and energy, and think that we're just weird. It's not commonplace to put the desires of others before your own. It's not popular to forego the material wants of this world and instead pursue with passion the things of God. But hey, isn't it what we're called to do?
"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal. If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you'll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment's notice. The Father wil honor and reward anyone who serves me." John 12:24-26, The Message
The call to orphan care is not for the faint at heart. It is not normal to yearn and desire for a child who is not your own. The ladies in your social club most likely will not understand if you choose to wage war against poverty and disease in order to defend the orphan in their distress.(James 1:27). It is not common to pack yours bags and go to a foreign country in order to give aid to those less fortunate. There very well may be people within your church who do not understand. This call may not be popular, but it is necessary. After all, we are called to live with abandon for Christ's sake. We are called to go against the grain; to be rebels for God's glory.
God’s position on orphan care is clear. Orphan care is not merely charity; it's Gospel. He wants us, as Christians, to have a part in it. Adoption and orphan care are not suggestions of how to go about ministering, they are mandates for Christ’s church. They spur us to join Christ in advocating for the helpless and abandoned, and beckon us to give ourselves away in order to bless another. One of the most selfless things we can do is open our hearts and homes to a child. It involves putting our wants to the wayside, and truly becoming the hands and feet of the church. When we reach out to children that are not our flesh and blood, may not look like us, talk like us, or be the same color as us, it slaps Satan in the face! The very notion that we would love outside of ourselves goes against everything the world has to say about Christians. It's weird.
The Bible says we should be set apart. The end of James 1:27 states true religion is to "keep oneself from being polluted by the world", and the world knows this. A watching world is waiting to see if we will live out the hope we proclaim in Christ Jesus. Our unbelieving neighbors are watching us intently to see if we practice what we preach. Let's show them just how reckless we can be.
Are you ready to be a rebel?