Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Month: October 2013

A Hope Deferred

A Hope Deferred

A Hope Deferred by J Stephen Yuille tells of his and Alison’s twenty two year journey of struggling with infertility and of their eventual adoption of a little girl from China. Through their experiences, they have gained a deeper appreciation of the biblical doctrine of adoption. This book beautifully combines the sharing of their heartaches and joys with looking at the ‘six blessings of adoption’ from Romans 8. The chapters regarding the blessings of adoption are headed:

  • Cleansed Sins.
  • Renewed Affections.
  • Satisfied Longings.
  • Answered Prayers.
  • Sanctified Afflictions.
  • Defeated Enemies.

It reminded me a little of Colin Urquhart’s excellent book In Christ Jesus in the way Stephen seeks to ground the reader in the gospel as he unpacks what Romans 8 says about adoption. He writes: ‘[God] doesn’t need to love us, nor does he need us to love him. Simply put, he doesn’t gain anything from loving us…. it should comfort us, because that’s the kind of love we need. We need someone to love us who doesn’t actually need us.’

‘Adoption is rooted in God’s sovereign grace. By definition, grace is undeserved and unmerited. By forgiving us our debt and lavishing his inheritance upon us, God puts the immeasurable glory of his grace on display for all eternity. In the plan of redemption, his main purpose is the glorifying of himself. The means he has designed for achieving that end is our adoption.’

I was blessed by reading A Hope Deferred. It is packed full of biblical truth, written in an accessible style. I think it would be ideal for a Christian at any level of spiritual maturity, but would be particularly helpful to a new believer or one struggling with their identity in Christ.

My grateful thanks to Shepherd Press and Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a free ecopy of this book for the purpose of writing a review.

Ordinary

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Five Minute Friday. This is where bloggers from all over the world write for five minutes, without stopping to edit, on a subject chosen by Lisa-Jo Baker. The topic this week is Ordinary.

Five Minute Friday

START

Most of us consider ourselves ordinary. We want to fit in, be accepted, and not stand out for the wrong reasons. Can our lives be significant?

Let’s think of an ordinary, everyday object:  a pen. Costs as little as a few pence (especially the blue Bic biro which is what I favour), but it can be used to do extraordinary things. A mere pen can be used to write an encouraging note, send a card letting someone know you’ve remembered them, or write a masterpiece. The way an ordinary tool is used can make it significant.

Pen

God doesn’t see us as ordinary. He loves us so much – and that includes you – that He sent His Son to die for us. We were cut off from a relationship with Him, which is a terrible position to be in. But the Father wanted that relationship restored and so He paid the only price that could buy us freedom and put us in the extraordinary position of being adopted by the Father: Jesus’s death was that price. The worth of an object is determined by its cost. Your worth is that someone who loves you more than you can ever imagine died for you.

When an ordinary person has been adopted by God, they become extraordinary. Life has significance and meaning. You can know genuine peace and security.

Don’t settle for ordinary – get to know God and be extraordinary.

FINISH

 

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