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The resurrection reminds us why Christian service should be different


Most Christians agree that if we’re going to take Jesus’ words seriously, our lives should reflect the fruit of Jesus’ work in us. And here’s some good news — that is often the case today.

Compelled by the spirit of the resurrected Savior, countless ordinary Christians here in the United States and around the world are out looking for ways to bring healing where there is hurt in the name of Jesus. It’s why we see so many believers say yes to meeting dire needs, like plucking a vulnerable child out of an orphanage in China or fostering a teen from a group home in Chicago. 

Motivated by love, Christians often embrace the hard but important work that’s out there.

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As we turn our attention toward Easter this month, we ought to be reminded that, for many Christ-followers, choosing this kind of service is our unflinching first response because that’s exactly what our Lord and Savior did for us. And each day, He’s making us more like Him. 

A recent study confirms what we have seen across decades of work connecting vulnerable children with stable families: Christians who are active in their faith are significantly more likely to adopt or consider adopting than the general population in America. 

Some skeptics might assume that Christians adopt out of obligation, but from experience we can attest that’s simply not the case. Rather, we have a hope that drives us toward what others may see as hopeless situations. We know that we’ll soon live in a world with no more orphans, no more disease, no more hunger, and no more sorrow because of what Jesus accomplished, but until then, we have a responsibility as believers to stand in the gap of that brokenness today. On the first Easter Sunday many years ago, Jesus made a way for us to do just that. He gave us that hope. 

When we respond in service to the suffering we see around us as Jesus did, we are holding out hope to a world that’s desperate to receive it.

In addition to hope, we also have a perfect example in Christ to look to as we serve. Philippians 2 shares that Jesus came to earth and emptied Himself, taking the very nature of a servant. Though He had every right to be worshiped, He presented Himself to humankind as a living sacrifice. This demonstration of love is why we go to the hurting, the broken, the unkept corridors of humanity where no one else is standing in line to serve.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a couple who has served as foster parents for the last 15 years. They have adult children who are grown and out of the house, and they feel called at this stage of life to serve the Lord by loving these children. They admitted that when the babies leave their home to be reunited with their biological parents or move into a more permanent situation, they’re broken-hearted. It’s hard. Really hard. They love each child as if she will never leave, knowing for certain that one day she will leave.

Why do they willingly seek out this kind of pain? It’s because that’s what they saw Jesus do. The hope He provides and the example He sets compels them to serve others in the same way. And only He can comfort them in the deepest parts of their souls, because He knows.

This type of service can feel overwhelming. How do we meet all the needs that exist for vulnerable children here and around the globe? Easter reminds us once again — as ambassadors for Christ, we are all called to share the Gospel and serve others in some capacity. We each have a part to play, and those individual acts of service can add up to monumental change. 

Not every Christian will foster or adopt, but everyone can come alongside and help stabilize those who have said yes to this important work. If we’re tutoring a child in foster care or offering a respite evening to worn-out parents, we’re honoring our resurrected Savior well. 

So, this Easter, let’s choose service. May all Christ-followers find opportunities, through Lifeline or in another capacity, to demonstrate Jesus’s love by actively serving those around us with fresh vigor, renewed care and radical compassion.

It’s the life Jesus has called us to lead, and we can all live it out.

Dr. Rick Morton is the vice president of engagement at Lifeline Children’s Services. Most notably, Dr. Morton is the co-author of the popular Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care and the author of KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology. He and his lovely wife, Denise, have been married for oer 31 years and have three children, all of whom joined their family through internation from Ukraine.

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