Monday, March 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Adoption is a blessing, being adopted by God, even sweeter

By
From page C3 | September 08, 2013 |

Recently, several in our congregation and community have shared with me that they were adopted as children. Taking just one glimpse of my family or hearing our story seems to open a door for these personal revelations.

The majority of our six children are adopted, and biracial. Needless to say, our family portrait is a unique one and shouts to everyone that we are huge advocates for adoption.

Over the years my wife Michelle and I have heard repeatedly how “blessed” our children are to have parents like us. We always smile and gently remind them that we are the truly blessed ones! The Lord in His infinite kindness has shown us great love by allowing us to provide a Christian home for the little ones He created and graciously entrusted to us to nurture and raise – those made in His very image.

Students of the Bible are familiar with another huge advocate of adoption – God Himself! Paul the apostle wrote to his friends in ancient Ephesus (1:5) that all who call on the name of the Lord and trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are personally adopted by God into His eternal family. In other words, Heaven will be filled with children God chose through His gracious will and pleasure.

Though I still hear some say, “I was an accident,” I try to assure them that there are no accidents with an Almighty God! He deliberately raised you from death to life, gave you a new identity, and gave you a special place at His family table. The Bible states emphatically, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).

One of my fondest memories was the adoption ceremony for our daughter Emma. Our family gathered at the courthouse in Tampa, Fla., to join us and witness the ratification of our precious child officially becoming a “Kiefer.” We sat nervously fidgeting as the judge entered his chamber, sat down and reviewed our case file with a stern face. Then he said and did something that will always be tattooed in my mind. He told Michelle and I to come over and stand by him with the baby while he signed the document. Our family stood nearby pressing in, giddy with anticipation with cameras ready. “When I sign my name on this line, Emma will be all yours,” he announced. As he scribbled his signature, his once stern expression transformed into a wide toothy smile and with a loud exclamation he said – “It’s official!” The room instantaneously broke into cheers, tears and hugs. Since that day more than 15 years ago, we have experienced it again and again; and I can tell you, it never gets old.

As a father and pastor, I see several similarities between those courthouse proceedings and celebrations and what it truly means to be adopted by God into His personal family and kingdom.

First of all, our adopted children didn’t need to qualify or audition first to be part of our family. They didn’t need to be good enough or gifted enough. No probationary periods were required. Absolutely nothing hinged on their performance. Instead, it was hinged on our love for them and our desire to share our lives and love with them. In the same way, God loves you today and wants to adopt you. Oftentimes I hear people tell me that when they finally clean up their act, they’ll be ready for God to take them in. As a beloved reader, allow me to share something important with you – you can’t clean up your act! God wants you just as you are right now. Through Christ’s redemptive and substitutionary work on the cross and the regenerating and transformative work of the Holy Spirit, He will graciously do the necessary cleaning up part in you required.

Second, our adopted children, with one stroke of the judge’s pen, became ours, enjoying all of the rights and privileges of naturally born children. They not only got our name, but every blessings and perk of being a fully-identified family member. Friends, the blessings and privileges of being a Kiefer are nothing compared to the blessings and privileges of being God’s adopted child! To have an ever-growing intimacy with Him and accessibility to Him is an opportunity too sweet to ignore or pass up; knowing that He’s always available to hear me, help me and restore me. His ears are always open, His shoulder always available and His heart always tender with immeasurable unconditional love, patience, wisdom and restoration.

Lastly, allow me to share the best memory of adoption with you. The sweetest moment was when Michelle and I actually got to take our baby home. It was the culmination of all of our desire and preparation. It’s funny that not one of our children remember any details of their nurseries; yet, Michelle and I took such great joy in preparing every detail with eager anticipation. Jesus told His friends just before going to the cross, “I’m going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3).

Though nothing can adequately prepare us for the sting and ache that death brings, for God it is a sweet moment to finally take His adopted child home and share with them all that He has prepared. Scripture tells us that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)

Are you an adopted child of God?

Like me, you may have had wonderful parents, but you still might be lying in a spiritual orphanage. Your adoption does not begin with you trying to clean up your life or trying to be good enough. Your adoption begins with an honest confession of your deepest need, your need for forgiveness and a new start – your need for a Savior – a need only Jesus can fill. Through Christ alone a courthouse scene can take place just for you.

The good news is, the judge doesn’t want to condemn you, but instead to welcome you into His eternal family, give you a new shame-free identity, and lavish you with His blessings, privileges and eternal hope. Jesus said that for every adoption here below there is a great angelic celebration that takes place in Heaven (Luke 15:7, 10).

So, why stay in the orphanage one more day? Call on the name of Jesus and start a party today!

Steve Kiefer is the lead pastor at the First Christian Church in Suisun City. He can be reached at www.1stchristianchurch.org. 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Jason KnowlesSeptember 08, 2013 - 9:42 am

    Pastor Keifer, kudos to you and your wife for doing the most "pro-life" thing one can do: taking orphans and giving them a loving, stable home. That is truly living your faith!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Easter activities, events abundant

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Christians begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday celebrations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

2 drivers killed in same area, an hour apart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
My guide to dining out

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

Local governments post week’s meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Top young spellers to compete for Solano title

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Police investigate shooting off North Texas Street

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo police seek leads in weekend homicide

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Biz Buzz: Re/Max hires new Realtor

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Biz Buzz: PAL receives donation from glass company

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Biz Buzz: Wiseman officer names Perez to key post

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Police ramp up rail-crossing citations after recent crashes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Analysis finds unequal pay for women on California Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Songwriter injured in California crash; motorcyclist killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Taylor Swift wins artist of the year at iHeartRadio Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Grandma is a centerfold: Rest home bares all for calendar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: 2 bodies found in NYC building explosion rubble

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Waving fronds around the world, Christians mark Palm Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Air Canada plane makes hard landing short of Halifax runway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
Parenting: If a father is abusive, a mother must act

By The Washington Post | From Page: B8

 
Horoscopes: March 31, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

TVGrid March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Michelle Obama declares ‘Black Girls Rock!’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Spartans Final Four-bound after 76-70 OT win over Louisville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Duke back in Final Four after 66-52 win over Gonzaga

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker wins hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oakland OF Josh Reddick won’t be ready for start of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California Chrome heads to Britain, to race at Royal Ascot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vettel wins Malaysian GP to end Mercedes streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Gibbs on son: most courageous person I’ve been around

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chodounsky defends slalom title at US Alpine Championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina earns 1st Final Four berth, beats FSU 80-74

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Turner says Saturday regional finals highest-rated in decade

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Apology for wrong anthem for El Salvador before game in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Montoya holds off Power to give Penske 1-2 sweep at St. Pete

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Randle chases school scoring record, title at NIT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cain goes 4 innings in Giants win over LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Graveman pitches into 7th inning as A’s beat Brewers 7-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Peanuts March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C. March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8