As I begin to learn how to write legitimate sermons and examine God’s Word with a more accurate eye, I’ve discovered that application is the hardest part of the sermon writing process. For me, it’s easy to look at Scripture from a purely academic perspective, to see the historical context of a passage, or to look at words in their original language and contemplate the variations on meaning. There’s no problems with thinking of illustrations either: it’s mostly reminiscing on my life or historical events that I’m reminded of during my sermon preparation. But then comes the application. I sit for hours on end, stumped by how to apply a certain principle to my life. Maybe it’s my amateur status as a seminary student or my overemphasis on the academic, but application continues to be a haze of confusion to me.
Thankfully God has placed me at a church where I witness application on a regular basis. There is no better way to learn how to apply God’s truth to your own life than witnessing it in the lives of older, wiser, more Godly men and women. That’s why I’m posting this blog on behalf of Kelly and Shelley (and Zoe, their daughter) Kira (they didn’t ask me to do this either); they’re in the process of adopting a baby girl from Japan within the next few months. Her name is Piper Dawn Kira.
Of course there is the obvious theological application of adoption in adoption. There’s a direct correlation between a gospel-centered family adopting a spiritually-bankrupt child and how we, as Christians, were spiritually dead yet were adopted into and given a new life in the divine family of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, it doesn’t end there: adoption sets in motion a lifetime worth of applications of theological truths. Not only are the Kiras going to be charged with shepherding a child in the ways of the Lord (Deut. 6:6-7), but in sharing the gospel with her (2 Cor. 10:16), being gracious when she makes mistakes (2 Peter 3:18), disciplining her (Eph. 6:4), praying for her (Eph. 6:18), encouraging her (1 Thess. 5:11), being patient with her (James 5:7-8), loving her (1 Cor. 13), and giving her an eternal perspective (Col. 3:2). The greatest of all of these is the call to love because love encompasses everything else. And love is beyond blood relationship: in the family of God, love is the driving force behind our faith, it is what God calls us to and what Christ exemplified for us on the cross. Thus God’s call for the Kiras to love Piper is a tremendous example of applying what they know as Christians to what they do.
Looking at adoption logistically, there are tremendous financial burdens placed on the adopting family, which is why the Kiras have initiated “Project Piper” in order to raise some money for the adoption process. If you don’t know Kelly, Shelley, and Zoe I can vouch for them that as a family they are the most gracious, loving, and Christ-centered people you will ever meet. Kelly serves as an elder at Lighthouse Community Church and Shelley serves in the Children’s Ministry, but beyond how they serve at church, it’s how they love and live that stands out. They have deeply influenced most (if not all) of the people that have had the privilege of meeting hem, and personally they’ve been an example of faithfulness to me. It’s hard to find a family that exudes more joy and trust in the Lord (through all things) than the Kira family. I know that Piper will be tremendously blessed by having Kelly and Shelley as parents and Zoe as an older sister—I’m very excited for her to join their family!
So, if you want to help the Kiras in their efforts to bring Piper to the South Bay (CA), check out their website here. In order to raise money, they’re doing what they do best, selling t-shirts! So not only do you get to help out a great cause, but you also receive a trendy t-shirt! You can also find more information at the website, including a letter from the family. Praise God for our spiritual adoption and the blessed opportunity to adopt!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17, ESV)