court is tomorrow, easter is today

I don’t get to be at home to preach on this fine Easter Sunday, so this is my version of a sermon. Really this is what I am thinking today, so you guys get to share in it. It is adoption related since that is how my mind works right now. We also have some court day thoughts mixed in here.

Adopted. It is who we are at our core if we are in Christ. We were predestined to be adopted according to God’s favor and will (Eph. 1:5). But the predestination in itself didn’t finish it. It established what was to come, and even settled it, but it had not yet come into effect.

But then came Jesus. Jesus. The one who would pay the debt for the sins of the world. Jesus. There is no sweeter name.

So many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, give lip-service to the name of Jesus. He was a good man. He helps us in life. He saves us and loves us. He was our example. He is who you need to “pray to receive.” In some ways he has become cliche and maybe even vintagey or possibly even cool in some weird, sick way to talk about. Not that Jesus being cool is a sick idea. To those who have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness he is very “cool.”

But honestly Jesus is not “cool.” John Piper says a good word about this in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, but cool is just too flippant and idiotic to call Jesus. He is the Savior. He is holy. He is the King of all kings, the God of all gods. He stands in judgment over the entire world and everything is laid bare before his eyes. Knowing who I am, that doesn’t sound cool. It sounds freaking scary. Like I would rather pee in my pants than give him an ongoing, dap, slap, shake, grab, snap, cool handshake.

But the glorious thing in that is that he knows who we are. He knew who we were when he chose us. He didn’t choose us because we impressed him or because he thought we might make good pastors, or church planters, or parents, or accountability partners. He knew we were wretched and gross and filthy with the guilt of our sin and that we would continue in it up until the day he saved us and only get slightly better about it afterward. He knew us before and knows us better than we know ourselves…and he saved us and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace (2 Tim. 1:9). We are his because he chose us to be his, and he chose us to be his knowing exactly what he was getting and what he would need to do to make us who he wanted us to be.

He adopted us. And our adoption was not cheap. His grace to us was not cheap. It was costly…deep…overcoming.

He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by his wounds.
We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6 

You were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19

Not sure we can live up to the standard of our own adoption in our adopting process. Not sure we can really even come close. But what we hope is that this process and the final outcome will be such a clear picture of the gospel to anyone who cares to observe it that they will rejoice in our own adoption as sons and daughters. The blood of Jesus is rich, and it changes everything. His resurrection gives us victory over death. Amen.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul. 

Tomorrow we go to court. It has sobered us some. It’s a really big day. This is the day we have been working two years to get to. It’s tomorrow at 3pm. We have been working 2 long years to get to tomorrow at 3pm. How glorious is that? How stinking scared should we be. But we’re not. We’re nervous of course, but we are confident that the Lord will do what seems best to him, and we trust him.

Please pray.
1) that these 2-3 issues that we have been warned about will not come up or be minor, passing issues.
2) for peace in our hearts as we prepare and as we listen and speak.
3) for favor and a soft heart in the judge.
4) for clarity and favor as we make our statements to the judge.
5) for all the details that will go into tomorrow by a lot of people.
6) for approval.

Thank you for walking with us. Maybe, just maybe, we are getting close to the end of the road. Or at least to the end of this road before a new one goes in a new direction.

7 responses to “court is tomorrow, easter is today

  • Hal and Karen

    Aaron and Charity – It has been a pleasure supporting your adoption efforts through prayer and following your adventure on your blog and YouTube. Please know that there are many more praying for you that you may know nothing about (the Monday night men’s group at FBC Terrell, the Friday morning Bible study group at FBC, and many individuals). We can hardly wait to meet Sam in person. By the way, Aaron, your parents are going to be totally obnoxious, doting, bragging grandparents (especially your dad) – and we think it is just wonderful how they light up when they talk about Sam.

    Also, I think your Easter sermon on the blog may be the first one I ever heard that uses the words “pee in my pants” in a sermon. May be a trendsetter…

    We love you both (actually all THREE of you now).

    Hal and Karen (Uncle Sabe and Aunt Nana)

  • Kyle and Ashli

    Woke up praying for you! Love you!

  • Aunt Mel

    Hey guys, I’m thinking and praying for you guys tons tonight. Man, I praise the Lord for His good work in you guys. Praying for favor and approval today.

    Love you guys! See you soon,

  • Justin S.

    Well, I was home on this fine Easter Sunday, and I did get to preach…to the college group in your place. I just thought I should let you know that I shared a lot of these same thoughts this morning with the group, and I even specifically used the adoption analogy with you guys and lil Sam. I also think I might have said Jesus was cool at one point…..sorry.
    It’s true though, and it never ceases to blow my mind when I stop and look at what God did. Now wonder Paul can say stuff like Gal. 6:14.
    I’ve got to get up around 4:45 tomorrow morning to drive to Dallas, so I’ll be praying for you guys in court (possibly real time!).
    God is big.
    You guys are awesome.

  • Barbara P.

    Just wanted to say I’m thinking about ya and prayin’ for you.

  • Tori

    So, right now you two are sleeping (at least I hope you can) and I’m on the other side of the world counting down to 3pm Kazak time. I’ll be sleeping when you go to court, but only after I’ve fallen asleep praying for you and the judge. Promise. Your words on adoption touched me in a very profound way. On Easter Sunday, there is no greater analogy and I am grateful my heart truly heard what you were saying. My tear stained cheeks are folded into a grateful smile.

    Ironically, I picked up “Don’t Waste Your Life” off our bookshelf earlier this week and began reading it for the first time. You had given it to my parents a long time ago as an iWitness “thank you,” and they passed it along to me. I am reading and studying it very slowly, but I already sense it’s purposeful message and want to thank you for sharing it.

    We got together at the farm yesterday for some Pops Honey Friend Chicken and family time and all missed you guys terribly. I REALLY hope Sam gets to see the farm soon. I think a golf cart ride and catching a fish with a piece of corn would lead to one of those fantastic Sam giggles that we can’t wait to hear in person. Side note, Mom and Dad got a new puppy since they lost Gus to a big truck. The new puppy is probably going to wind up with the name “Buffett” and he’s a 6 week old yellow lab with blue eyes. He’s just Sam’s size!

    My last words are of encouragement. Prov 3:5-6 (you know it well) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

    His will be done,
    Cousin Tori

  • Angela

    thank you-so good-had to share with my friends on facebook-a word aptly spoken-iron sharpening iron:)

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