Our God is a God of love and compassion. These attributes of our God transcend gender, class, and race. God’s love and compassion for the marginalized is a focus throughout Scripture. God’s heart brings healing to the brokenhearted. In John chapter 14, Jesus teaches us the depth of His compassion. The King James Version translates verse 18 by saying, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
“Comfortless,” surely this is a foreshadowing of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the comforter. Translations that are more modern use a different word here. The NIV says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Caring For The Orphan
Jesus proclaims that we are not abandoned. We are not without identity. Our identity is in our God. What a profound mystery, that God has chosen us to be His sons and daughters. We bear our Father’s likeness. We bear our Father’s name and we seek to bear His character. Caring for the orphan is not a suggestion, but a mandate. It is the very heartbeat of our heavenly Father.
Too often people are confused by the word orphan. What is an orphan? Is it only a child that has lost both father and mother, or is it any child that is without proper care, love, and family identity? Perhaps, George Müller said it best, “My business is, with all my might to serve my own generation; in doing so I shall best serve the next generation, should the Lord Jesus tarry…The longer I live, the more I am enabled to realize that I have but one life to live on earth and that this one life is but a brief life, for sowing, in comparison with eternity, for reaping.”
Müller, that great man of faith and power, lived his life to serve his generation. God has not called today’s church to serve those who will live 100 years from now but to serve those who live among us, searching for identity and an act of compassion.
The book of James tells us that we are to care for orphans. Not all are called to foster or adopt. James does not say that we must open our home in this way, but that we must “care.” So, you may wonder, what can I do? There are so many ways to care and show compassion. Pay for a foster mom’s next oil change. Babysit an adoptive family’s kids so mom and dad can have a date night. Give diapers to the grandma down the street that just received custody of her infant grandbaby.
Love! Serve! Show Compassion! We, the Church, must mobilize in obedience to His Word. We must show the love and compassion of our God. You may not be called to open your home, but you are called to open your heart.
Thank you, Pastor Darren Lewis, for writing this week’s post. When you’re ready to open your heart to orphans, click here to see all the opportunities and needs Orphan Care Alliance has.