National Adoption CenterCal Jernigan – Senior Pastor

What an incredible day today was! Today our son Jeremy and his wife Michelle legally adopted the little boy they have been fostering for the past several years. From today into forever Aiden Berra joins his three other siblings as a Jernigan (yes they all have a middle name of a famous Yankee ball player!). Part of what made this day so incredible was it was legally presided over by the Honorable James Beene. James has been a part of Central for many years and serves as a Superior Court Judge. His personal remarks and Biblical references simply put it over the top.

Adoption is a tangible manifestation of the Gospel.

I’m not sure who wrote these words but I found them on a handout presented today at Aiden’s adoption proceedings. Read them again and let the truth of these words soak in.

Adoption is a tangible manifestation of the Gospel.

You might have never given this much thought, but adoption is a very prevalent theme of the New Testament. Adoption is not a concept for a few lost orphans. Adoption is something everyone who has truly come to faith has personally experienced. Consider the following verses found in Galatians 4:4-7:

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

You see, adoption is exactly what the Gospel is all about. Those who were excluded (us) are now invited into the family. We who were outsiders are given the gift of becoming insiders. We who felt rejected are told that indeed we are desired. More than that, we are deemed desirable! We are wanted. We are welcomed into the family of God.

This is the reason that adoption is such a visible and tangible manifestation of the Gospel. God did this for us because we were in need and he deeply desired to bless us. Those who desire to bless others do the same thing for them.

At this point you might be saying… whoa! Hold on! I love the fact that I’m adopted into God’s family but I simply can’t imagine adopting a child personally. I hear you. I get it. I’m not saying you have to do this. But what I am saying is…

Adoption is a tangible manifestation of the Gospel.

This is why every Christmas our church knocks itself out to adopt as many families as possible for the Christmas season! Our Adopt-a-Family initiative this year is seeking to take in no less than 1200 families who are in need and shower them with the love of God. Life Groups are adopting families, groups of friends are going in together and adopting families, and even individuals are adopting families. What do you do with a family you adopt? You just find a way to provide for them the same sort of blessing you desire for your own family. You (and whoever you’re in cahoots with) commit to buying a few gifts for each family member, and you do what you can to provide the makings of a Christmas meal for them. You treat them just how you would love to be treated if you were in need!

Every year our family joins hundreds of others to bring this adoption experience to a family in need. It has become a part of what Christmas means. Every year we are POSITIVE we are blessed far more than we are able to bless.

You see, until you’ve needed to be adopted, you’ll never really understand what a blessing it is to know that someone cares about you.  Please consider giving this precious gift to a family who is hurting this Christmas.

Adoption really is a tangible manifestation of the Gospel.

Sign up at or go to the Adopt-A-Family table in the lobby of whatever campus you attend this weekend to sign up for a family. Now is the time to commit! Lisa and I are signed up… please join us in making this a very special and meaningful Christmas for someone who needs your help!


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