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Adopted

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2020 12:35 am

Adopted

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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December 20, 2020 12:35 am

In this episode, Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood share a personal story that is a beautiful illustration about how God sees us through Christ.

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life.

Rejoice, He's come for us, Israel Rejoice, Rejoice, our God is with us, Emmanuel Rejoice, Rejoice, He's come for us, Israel Rejoice, He's come for us, Israel Rejoice, Rejoice, He's come for us, Emmanuel Rejoice, He's come for us, Israel O come and see on bended knee The newborn child who's Christ the King O come, O come, rejoice O come and see on bended knee The newborn child who's Christ the King O come, O come, rejoice Rejoice, rejoice Our God is with us Emmanuel, rejoice, rejoice He's come for us O Israel, rejoice, rejoice Our God is with us Emmanuel, rejoice, rejoice He's come for us O Israel Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum and I'm with my co-host and good friend Bernie Dake. And Bernie, there's only four more days till Christmas. I cannot wait. I don't know what I'm getting. I don't know if you know what you're getting, but we all get to celebrate Christmas. That's a great thing. We hope that you're enjoying this Christmas series. We started this one on November 29th. So if you've missed any episodes, be sure to subscribe to Words of Life at your favorite podcast store or visit salvationarmysoundcast.org.

In this episode, Eddie shares another piece of his own testimony, which is a beautiful illustration about how God sees us through Christ. Cheryl, I don't want to be too deep with you this close to Christmas because I know that you're thinking about whether there'll be snow on the ground or all of the things that we miss while living here in the great state of Georgia. But I can remember one of the greatest Christmas gifts I was ever given was actually when I moved away from home and went to after college. We were at a family reunion and my grandfather drove my parents and I to a bus station so I could get on a bus and make the move to Washington, D.C., where we met again after you moved down there.

But it was such a simple thing. I gave everyone a hug, but my dad, for the first time that I could remember, and sometime I don't know why this is so vivid in my memory, had just given me a kiss before we left. And I got on the bus and I just watched my parents as they pulled away, crying. And then I realized what a gift I had been given by having godly parents who introduced me to Jesus and, you know, a good way to live your life.

Absolutely. That's a sweet story. Well, I don't know what your story will be for Christmas, and I hope that at the end of the day, the number one thing you understand is that God sent his son for you and I. And this is the time of year that we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us. Amen? Amen.

See you next week. After being married for one year, the parental instinct kicked in and my wife and I decided it was time to start our family. This was a big step for us as we were aware that life as we knew it would drastically change. But I was up for the challenge. You see, when I was born, I was immediately given up by my birth mother for adoption. She didn't want to see me, hold me or even name me. She was in a line of work where it wasn't helpful to have a child.

I mean, how can you pick up a John when there's a baby on your hip? I was very young when I accidentally overheard a relative and her friends talking about this. My adoptive parents, as loving as they were, had never told me I wasn't theirs, that I had been adopted.

My world was rocked. And even though I couldn't fully grasp what this meant, I immediately felt disconnected. I mean, they were still my family in every sense of the word, but yet they weren't. In my young mind, I began to question why my birth mother didn't want me and reasoned it had to be one of two things. I had done something so terrible that she couldn't be around me.

I was bad. Or there was something wrong, something defective about me. And as I grew, these, what I thought were truths about me, grew too. One other byproduct of this news about my birth was a total feeling of disconnect. Who did I look like? Who did I sound like? Was my personality like my mom's or my dad's? Who was my dad? And because there was no visible evidence that I belonged to the family I was adopted into, this, this hole grew inside of me. And for the longest time, there was an emptiness deep within. So having a baby was super important to me.

But there was a problem. One year went by and no baby. Two years went by and no baby. Three years went by and still no baby. We went to our doctor for tests and the sad news came back that we could not conceive. There wasn't going to be a baby.

There aren't words to describe my depth of despair. Throughout all of this time, God had called my wife and me into the ministry. We were open to this calling, but kept telling God that before we would go to seminary, we wanted to have a baby. Well, with the news that we couldn't have a child, there went our excuse. After all, we reasoned we could adopt a child in the future and give a kid a chance at a life they wouldn't otherwise have.

So off we went to study and train to become Salvation Army officers, pastors. Eight months into the training experience, wouldn't you know it, my wife became pregnant. And on December the second, 1982, a beautiful baby girl was born into the world. After the baby was cleaned and wrapped tightly in a blanket, the nurse handed her to me to hold. I remember as though it was yesterday, her ruddy cheeks pressed up against mine, her tiny hand clasping my trembling pinky finger. For the first time in my life, I was touching and being touched by my own flesh and blood. It was the most incredible thing I'd ever experienced, the most amazing gift I'd ever received. We would go on to have another beautiful baby girl, and then a few years later adopt a boy who had grown up in a Salvation Army children's home in South America.

With the birth of that first baby, the hole that had been in my heart for so long, the emptiness, the feeling that I wasn't worthy, the abandonment I felt as a child was washed away, far, far away. In the beginning, humankind walked with God. Adam and Eve knew God in an up close and personal way.

But, and there always seems to be a but, but sin destroyed that perfect relationship. You can read about it in the first three chapters of Genesis. God drew his presence away from humans. This broke his heart, and in the humans there grew this hole, this emptiness, this place of longing for God.

The philosopher Pascal said these words, There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ. Being separated from his precious creation broke God's heart, and humankind, in trying to fill that empty space, resorted to all kinds of imperfect ways to plug up that hole, each way moving them further and further from God. Humanity was bad.

Humanity was defective. But God loved the world, the people of the world, past, present, and future, so deeply that he knew he had to do something to restore it and make the people of his affection whole again. So he sent Jesus, an innocent, helpless baby, into the world to save it, to fill the empty place within the hearts of every human on this planet. And when Mary held that tiny baby, tightly bundled in a blanket, and felt his ruddy cheek against hers, and let him wrap his tiny hand around her trembling pinky finger, how could she fully know or understand that this child named Jesus would have the ability to fill the emptiness of every human heart, to restore humanity's righteousness and to save the world from its sins? This, this is the message of Christmas.

This is the mystery of Christmas that God, very God, would take on human flesh and be born as a helpless baby, grow and live among us, and then willingly die so that we could be whole and our relationship with God restored. I mentioned earlier that my adoptive parents were loving, and they were. When they adopted me, as far as they were concerned, I was their flesh and blood. They didn't see the unaccepted way that I had come into the world. They didn't believe that I was bad or defective. They loved me unconditionally and believed the absolute best about me. When they looked into my face, they only saw the hopes and dreams and high aspirations they had for me.

They offered me a new beginning, a fresh start at life. When God looks at you and me through the eyes of Christmas, he sees the possibilities, the potential that lies within for goodness, love, and wholeness. And it's all possible because of the Christ whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. Have you ever wished or prayed for a new beginning? Have you ever been frustrated by the knowledge that you've never reached the full potential for which you were created?

Are you tired of the whole, the incompleteness that's in your heart, the longing that it's never quite fulfilled? Let the child of Bethlehem, who grew to become the savior of the world, enfold you with his love that will make you complete and whole. My prayer for you from Ephesians 3, 19 is this. I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured.

Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support, and we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Music
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-13 13:48:38 / 2024-01-13 13:55:36 / 7

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