New Study Confirms Foster Care System Harms Children

by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a study [1] comparing “mental and physical health outcomes of children placed in foster care to outcomes of children not placed in foster care.”

The study [1] claims to be the first of its kind looking specifically at these health outcomes.

Similar to other past studies [2] looking at outcomes comparing foster children to those not placed in foster care, the results of this new study [1] were predictable:

We find that children in foster care are in poor mental and physical health relative to children in the general population, children across specific family types, and children in economically disadvantaged families… Children in foster care are a vulnerable population in poor health, partially as a result of their early life circumstances.

The study reached three key conclusions:

First, children placed in foster care had more mental and physical health conditions than children not placed in foster care. For instance, these children were about twice as likely to have a learning disability and 3 times as likely to have ADD or ADHD. They were also roughly twice as likely to have asthma and speech problems and 3 times as likely to have hearing problems and vision problems. Differences were even more substantial for other mental health conditions; they were 5 times as likely to have anxiety, 6 times as likely to have behavioral problems, and 7 times as likely to have depression.

Second, although some of the mental and physical health differences of children in foster care compared with other children were explained by characteristics of these children and their households, many of the differences in mental health persisted after adjusting for these child and household characteristics, suggesting possible effects of foster care placement on mental health. However, unlike much other research in this area, our primary goal was not to ascertain whether foster care placement has an effect on children. Rather, our goal was to use these large and representative cross-sectional data to provide a descriptive portrait of the health of children in foster care relative to other children.

Third, children placed in foster care were in poor mental and physical health relative to children in virtually every other type of family situation and in children in economically disadvantaged families. The differences in mental health outcomes (ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, behavioral or conduct problems) were statistically significant. The differences in physical health outcomes, although sometimes substantial, were not statistically significant. Additionally, the results show that children adopted from foster care had worse health than their counterparts placed in foster care. These differences could be driven partially by the fact that children in foster care only become available for adoption after parental rights have been terminated (and therefore these children have likely experienced more maltreatment than children who remain in the system) or because adoption subsidies offered in some states encourage adoption of children with health conditions.

Read the full study here [1].

Good Foster Parents Handicapped in a Corrupt System
Ryan White from the Center for Health Journalism at USC Annenberg wrote a piece on this study [3]. Some of the comments published at the end of the article point out the frustrations of those foster parents who often agree that children are better off with their biological parents rather than put into the foster care system.

A comment from “Shelly”:

Thank you for this. As the foster/adoptive parent of three, I love my children tremendously, but if I had a choice I’d rather that their biological families had the supports and opportunities to be healthy parents. Foster care is always a tragic choice.

A comment from “Carmen”:

I just read the article written by Ryan White and I agree with his observations and as a foster and now adoptive parents I went through these same stages. I learned that foster/adoption mental health services are not really equipped to help the amount of loss these children endure with the biggest loss of being removed from their families. I found that the kids develop coping skills to live within their families situations and in foster care/adoption spend years trying to overcome the effects of being removed from their families this has had on their lives.

So now I say if you can’t really help them then put impact services in the areas/schools where this is more prevalent so these kids can gravitate towards opportunities and healthy relationships vs removing them from their families and they can influence (empowerment) changes in their homes/communities.

One of the biggest factors is that most of my adoptive kids bio parents are developmentally delayed and so are the kids. So without opportunities for people in our society I have noticed that they all have turned to “survival” living.

And then, from the prospective from one who grew up in the foster care system, a comment from “Jeff”:

Let me start by saying that I am a former foster child. I grew up in 40-50 different placements ranging from mental hospitals, lockdowns, group homes, foster homes, etc al. Every type of abuse you can put an adjective in front of I personally endured. When I aged out I had less than 1 year of High school. On my own I got a GED, and a BSW in Social Work.

I initially wanted to be a social worker so that I could utilize my unique background to help other kids who are in a similar predicament that I was in. One of the first things that I learned in University was that most of my classmates were totally indoctrinated in the progressive view point of glorifying the victim. The professors were completely out of touch with reality.

There were three people who turned my life around. Two of them were foster parents and the third was a social worker without “proper” training that you described. There are several tangibles that an advanced degree is unable to teach chiefly empathy and love. I went to my first foster mother when I was 9 years old having come from a group home where I was repeatedly raped by older residents. Not only that but the so call experts (the ones that you want to turn to) were forcing me to take medication that no 9 year old should take in huge dosages.

My foster mother only had a high school education. She had no special degree or no special training (this was back in 1988). when I arrived in her care I could not even read and could only sign my first two initials ‘JL.’ The public schools did not want to work with me and the social workers constantly fought with my foster mother trying to take me away. She was able to keep me for nearly 3 years often fighting the system tooth and nail for my sake.

The social worker that I mentioned did not have a degree in social work when she became my worker. If I recall correctly she only had an education degree though later she was mandated to get a masters. What made her stand out though among the dozen of other social workers I had? She had a caring heart who could not stand injustice. She treated me as though I was one of her own children.

There are going to be bad social workers, supervisors, and even directors. Having a advanced degree as you advocated will not change that. I would even argue that having an advanced degree is oftentimes a detriment in this field. What needs to be done? Do away with children courts altogether (its unconstitutional) and forcing the state to make their allegations against the parent in a regular court of law. All parents have a right to be judged by their peers and not some judge! Also, stop incentivizing the state government through adoption grants. This amounts to modern day slavery when the federal government gets 80,000 dollar per year per child in the system and even more when they get adopted.

Read the full article and all of the comments here [3].

Not the First Study to Show the Failures of Foster Care
There have been numerous reports published over the past several years that clearly show the current foster care system is an abysmal failure. Children who stay with parents who are accused (but not arrested or convicted) of “abuse” or “neglect” clearly do better than most of the children being put into foster care.

In 2007 Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, published a study which tracked at least 15,000 kids from 1990 to 2002. It was the largest study of its kind at that time.

USA Today ran a story on the report – Study: Troubled homes better than foster care [4]. Here are some excerpts:

Children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care, according to a pioneering study. Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults.

Doyle’s study…. provides “the first viable, empirical evidence” of the benefits of keeping kids with their families, says Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a foundation for foster teens. Stangler says it looked at kids over a longer period of time than had other studies. “It confirms what experience and observation tell us: Kids who can remain in their homes do better than in foster care,” says Stangler.

Read the full study here [5].

Joseph Doyle did another study, one year later in 2008, comparing children left in troubled homes with foster care children to see which group was more likely to be arrested as adults. The study looked at 23,000 children, and it found that “children placed in foster care have arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rates as adults that are three times higher than those of children who remained at home.” Read the full study here [6].

In January of 2015, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack ruled against the State of Texas [7] stating that their foster care system was unconstitutional. In her 255 page ruling, Judge Jack stated:

Texas’s PMC (Permanent Managing Conservatorship) children have been shuttled throughout a system where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication, and instability are the norm.

She ordered the State of Texas had to replace their foster care system with one that was Constitutional. (Full Story [8].)

Molly McGrath Tierney, the former Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, gave one of the most insightful TEDx talks [9] about the problems with the “Foster Care Industry” – an industry where children become a commodity that profits doctors, lawyers, judges, social workers, advocates, and other organizations, an industry that can only exist by taking other people’s children, an industry that damages the very children it purports to be helping. She goes on to explain the trauma inflicted on children by the foster care industry, saying:

… we’re digging a wound so deep, I don’t believe we have a way of measuring it. This dismantling of families – it has enormous consequences. Kids that grow up outside of families – they don’t master the things that can only be learned in that context, like who to trust, how to love, and how to take care of yourself, and that frankly does more damage than the abuse and neglect that brought the kid to my attention in the first place.

Foster Care System Beyond Reform
The late Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer [10] wrote:

I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to these families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so. Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free. (Full story [10].)

With billions of dollars employing hundreds of thousands of people in the corrupt foster care system, it is unrealistic to think it could ever be reformed. The only solution is to remove all funding and abolish it. Local communities, as they once did, would then be responsible for dealing with the problems of troubled families, instead of State Government bureaucracies motivated with federal funds to put more children into the foster care system.

For a greater treatment of this subject, please see:

The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking [11]
Article printed from Medical Kidnap: http://medicalkidnap.com

URL to article: http://medicalkidnap.com/2017/01/05/new-study-confirms-foster-care-system-harms-children/

URLs in this post:

[1] a study: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/14/peds.2016-1118
[2] other past studies: http://medicalkidnap.com/2015/05/13/foster-care-children-are-worse-off-than-children-in-troubled-homes-the-child-trafficking-business/
[3] wrote a piece on this study: http://www.centerforhealthjournalism.org/2016/10/19/first-time-data-describe-toll-foster-care-takes-childrens-health
[4] Study: Troubled homes better than foster care: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-02-foster-study_N.htm
[5] full study here: http://www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/fostercare_aer.pdf
[6] full study here: http://www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/doyle_jpe_aug08.pdf
[7] ruled against the State of Texas: http://www.childrensrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015-12-17-Memo-opinion-and-verdict-of-the-court-2.pdf
[8] Full Story: http://medicalkidnap.com/2016/01/05/judge-condemns-texas-foster-care-system-that-abuses-children-as-unconstitutional/
[9] insightful TEDx talks: http://medicalkidnap.com/2015/09/02/baltimore-child-welfare-director-foster-care-is-a-bad-idea-kids-belong-in-families/
[10] Nancy Schaefer: http://medicalkidnap.com/2015/04/27/senator-nancy-schaefer-did-her-fight-against-cps-corruption-cost-her-life/
[11] The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking: http://medicalkidnap.com/2016/04/15/the-u-s-foster-care-system-modern-day-slavery-and-child-trafficking/
[12] Image: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/medical-kidnapping.htm
[13] Image: http://www.amazon.com/Medical-Kidnapping-Threat-Family-America-ebook/dp/B01C9HRG2G/
[14] Image: http://network.sophiamedia.com/openx/www/delivery/ck.php?n=af3e0a62&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE

“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
– Gen_1:4

Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of goodness, “Let there be light.” We who enjoy it should be more grateful for it than we are, and see more of God in it and by it. Light physical is said by Solomon to be sweet, but gospel light is infinitely more precious, for it reveals eternal things, and ministers to our immortal natures. When the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual light, and opens our eyes to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold sin in its true colours, and ourselves in our real position; we see the Most Holy God as he reveals himself, the plan of mercy as he propounds it, and the world to come as the Word describes it. Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colours, but whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life, all are divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the essential light be, and how glorious must be the place where he reveals himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of thyself, the true light.
No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than a division is necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided them, let us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with deeds, doctrines, or deceits of darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest, and bold in their Lord’s work, leaving the works of darkness to those who shall dwell in it for ever. Our Churches should by discipline divide the light from the darkness, and we should by our distinct separation from the world do the same. In judgment, in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the great distinction which the Lord made upon the world’s first day. O Lord Jesus, be thou our light throughout the whole of this day, for thy light is the light of men.  C.H. Spurgeon

“I will give thee for a covenant of the people.”
– Isa_49:8

Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Consider that word “God” and its infinity, and then meditate upon “perfect man” and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine-out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has he power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his heart which is not yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of his love, and you may say of it all, “It is mine.” Hath he justice? It may seem a stern attribute, but even that is yours, for he will by his justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And all that he has as perfect man is yours. As a perfect man the Father’s delight was upon him. He stood accepted by the Most High. O believer, God’s acceptance of Christ is thine acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father set on a perfect Christ, he sets on thee now? For all that Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus wrought out, when through his stainless life he kept the law and made it honourable, is thine, and is imputed to thee. Christ is in the covenant.
“My God, I am thine-what a comfort divine!
What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name.”

“For your sakes he became poor.”
– 2Co_8:9

The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor.” As the rich saint cannot be true in his communion with his poor brethren unless of his substance he ministers to their necessities, so (the same rule holding with the head as between the members), it is impossible that our Divine Lord could have had fellowship with us unless he had imparted to us of his own abounding wealth, and had become poor to make us rich. Had he remained upon his throne of glory, and had we continued in the ruins of the fall without receiving his salvation, communion would have been impossible on both sides. Our position by the fall, apart from the covenant of grace, made it as impossible for fallen man to communicate with God as it is for Belial to be in concord with Christ. In order, therefore, that communion might be compassed, it was necessary that the rich kinsman should bestow his estate upon his poor relatives, that the righteous Saviour should give to his sinning brethren of his own perfection, and that we, the poor and guilty, should receive of his fulness grace for grace; that thus in giving and receiving, the One might descend from the heights, and the other ascend from the depths, and so be able to embrace each other in true and hearty fellowship. Poverty must be enriched by him in whom are infinite treasures before it can venture to commune; and guilt must lose itself in imputed and imparted righteousness ere the soul can walk in fellowship with purity. Jesus must clothe his people in his own garments, or he cannot admit them into his palace of glory; and he must wash them in his own blood, or else they will be too defiled for the embrace of his fellowship.
O believer, herein is love! For your sake the Lord Jesus “became poor” that he might lift you up into communion with himself.  C.H. Spurgeon

COMPARE THESE TWO MEN

 
1. A VERY RICH MAN
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (Luk 16:19)
 
2. A VERY POOR MAN, A BEGGAR
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, (Luk 16:20)
 
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (Luk 16:21)
 
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Luk 16:22)
 
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luk 16:23)
 
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luk 16:24)
 
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Luk 16:25)
 
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (Luk 16:26)
 
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: (Luk 16:27)
 
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. (Luk 16:28)
 
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. (Luk 16:29)
 
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. (Luk 16:30)
 
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luk 16:31)
 
Dear reader, please spend an hour in prayer over this passage. What did each of the men have after death. I know that if you have heard sermons on this passage, they were usually about the misery of the rich man. Those miseries are real and they are eternal. However, my burden is in a different place right now. What was the condition of the other man? He is no longer a beggar. What is he? What is his condition? According to many of the false gospels preached today, you would expect the beggar to now be clothed in purple and fine linen.  But what are told by the Master Teacher?
Please be patient with this old preacher. What did the former beggar have? Again, what was the condition of this second man? What did he have? What did he have?  What does it mean to be saved?  What does it mean to be lost?
Bro Hal

We must love Jesus, as carrying on this great work of our salvation. Go on then, O my soul, put fire to the earth, blow thy little spark, set before thee God’s love, and thou canst not but love.

In God’s love consider, 1. The time. 2. The properties. 3. The effects of it.

1. For the time. — 1. He loved thee before the world was made. Hast thou not heard, and wilt thou ever forget it — were not those ancient loves from all eternity? — 2. He loved thee in the very beginning of the world. Was not the promise expressed to Adam intended for thee? As thou sinnedst in his loins, so didst thou in his loins receive the promise. “It shall bruise thy head.” And not long after, when God established his covenant with Abraham and his seed, wast thou not one of that seed of Abraham? 3. He loves thee now more especially, not only with a love of benevolence, as before, but with a love of complacency: not only hath he struck covenant with Christ, with Adam, with Abraham, in thy behalf, but particularly and personally with thyself. And Oh! what love is this? If a woman lately conceiving, love her future fruit; how much more doth she love it when it is born and embraced in her arms? So, if God loved thee before thou hadst a being, yea, before the world, or any creature in it, had a being; how much more now?

Oh the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, of this immeasurable love! O my soul, I cannot express the love of God in Christ to thee. I do but draw the picture of the sun with a coal, when I endeavor to express God’s love in Christ.lighthouse6

2. For the properties of this love. — 1. God’s love to thee is a free love. “I will love them freely,” saith God. And, “The Lord did not set his love upon you, and choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, — but because the Lord loved you.” There can be no other reason why the Lord loved thee, but because he loved thee. 2. God’s love to thee is the love of all relations. Look, what a friend’s love is to a friend, or what a father’s love is towards a child, or what an husband’s love is towards a wife, such is God’s love to thee: thou art his friend, his son, his daughter, his spouse; and God is thy all in all.

3. For the effects of his love. — 1. God so loves thee, as that he hath entered a covenant with thee. Oh, what a love is this! Tell me, O my soul, is there not an infinite disparity betwixt God and thee? He is God above, and thou art a worm below: he is the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, and thon art less than the least of all the mercies of God. O wonder at such a condescension! that such a potter, and such a former of things, should come on terms of bargaining with such clay as is guilty before him! Had we the tongues of men and angels, we could never express it.

God so loves thee, as that in the covenant he gives thee all his promises. Indeed, what is the covenant but a heap of promises? As a cluster of stars makes a constellation, so a mass of promises concurreth in the covenant of grace. Wherever

Christ is, clusters of divine promises grow out of him, as the rays and beams are from the sun. As God hath given thee his Son, so he hath given thee himself, and in that God hath given thee his Son and himself; this is a greater degree of love.

Christians! stand amazed. Oh, what love is this to the children of men! Oh, that we should live to have our ears filled with this sound from heaven! “I will be a God to thee and to thy seed after thee; I am the Lord thy God, I will be their God, and they shall he my people.” O my soul, where hast thou been? Rouse up, and set before thee all these passages of God’s love in Christ: are not these strong attractives to gain thy love? Canst thou choose to love the Lord thy God? Shall not all this love of God in Christ to thee constrain thy love? God in Christ is the very element of love. Every element will to its proper place. Now God is love, and whither should thy love be carried, but to this ocean or sea of love? “Come, my beloved,” said the spouse to Christ, “let us go up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vines flourish, whether the tender grapes appear; there will I give thee my loves.” The flourishing of the vine, and the appearing of the tender grapes, are the fruits of the graces of God in the assemblies of his saints. When thou comest to the word, prayer, meditation, be sure of this, to give Christ thy love.  Isaac Ambrose

“Whose heart the Lord opened.”
– Act_16:14

In Lydia’s conversion there are many points of interest. It was brought about by providential circumstances. She was a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, but just at the right time forlighthouse3 hearing Paul we find her at Philippi; providence, which is the handmaid of grace, led her to the right spot. Again, grace was preparing her soul for the blessing-grace preparing for grace. She did not know the Saviour, but as a Jewess, she knew many truths which were excellent stepping-stones to a knowledge of Jesus. Her conversion took place in the use of the means. On the Sabbath she went when prayer was wont to be made, and there prayer was heard. Never neglect the means of grace; God may bless us when we are not in his house, but we have the greater reason to hope that he will when we are in communion with his saints. Observe the words, “Whose heart the Lord opened.” She did not open her own heart. Her prayers did not do it; Paul did not do it. The Lord himself must open the heart, to receive the things which make for our peace. He alone can put the key into the hole of the door and open it, and get admittance for himself. He is the heart’s master as he is the heart’s maker. The first outward evidence of the opened heart was obedience. As soon as Lydia had believed in Jesus, she was baptized. It is a sweet sign of a humble and broken heart, when the child of God is willing to obey a command which is not essential to his salvation, which is not forced upon him by a selfish fear of condemnation, but is a simple act of obedience and of communion with his Master. The next evidence was love, manifesting itself in acts of grateful kindness to the apostles. Love to the saints has ever been a mark of the true convert. Those who do nothing for Christ or his church, give but sorry evidence of an “opened” heart. Lord, evermore give me an opened heart.

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.”
– Rev_3:4

lighthouse5We may understand this to refer to justification. “They shall walk in white”; that is, they shall enjoy a constant sense of their own justification by faith; they shall understand that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them, that they have all been washed and made whiter than the newly-fallen snow.
Again, it refers to joy and gladness: for white robes were holiday dresses among the Jews. They who have not defiled their garments shall have their faces always bright; they shall understand what Solomon meant when he said “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. Let thy garments be always white, for God hath accepted thy works.” He who is accepted of God shall wear white garments of joy and gladness, while he walks in sweet communion with the Lord Jesus. Whence so many doubts, so much misery, and mourning? It is because so many believers defile their garments with sin and error, and hence they lose the joy of their salvation, and the comfortable fellowship of the Lord Jesus, they do not here below walk in white.
The promise also refers to walking in white before the throne of God. Those who have not defiled their garments here shall most certainly walk in white up yonder, where the white-robed hosts sing perpetual hallelujahs to the Most High. They shall possess joys inconceivable, happiness beyond a dream, bliss which imagination knoweth not, blessedness which even the stretch of desire hath not reached. The “undefiled in the way” shall have all this-not of merit, nor of works, but of grace. They shall walk with Christ in white, for he has made them “worthy.” In his sweet company they shall drink of the living fountains of waters.  C.H. Spurgeon

I have much people in this city.”
– Act_18:10

This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved. When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne. They are Christ’s property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the ale-house, and haters of holiness; but if Jesus Christ purchased them he will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which his Son has paid. He will not suffer his substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.
Nay, more, these ungodly ones are prayed for by Christ before the throne. “Neither pray I for these alone,” saith the great Intercessor, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Poor, ignorant souls, they know nothing about prayer for themselves, but Jesus prays for them. Their names are on his breastplate, and ere long they must bow their stubborn knee, breathing the penitential sigh before the throne of grace. “The time of figs is not yet.” The predestinated moment has not struck; but, when it comes, they shall obey, for God will have his own; they must, for the Spirit is not to be withstood when he cometh forth with fulness of power-they must become the willing servants of the living God. “My people shall be willing in the day of my power.” “He shall justify many.” “He shall see of the travail of his soul.” “I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong.”

C.H. Spurgeon

Looking unto Jesus, the beginner and finisher of our faith.”  Heb. XII. 2.

The most excellent subject to discourse or write of is Jesus Christ. Augustine having read Cicero’s works, commended them for their eloquence but he passed this sentence upon them, “They are not sweet, because the name of Jesus is not in them.”Indeed all we say is but unsavoury, if it be not seasoned with this salt. “I determined not to know any thing among you,” saith Paul, “save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” He resolved with himself, before he preached among the Corinthians, that this should be the only point of knowledge that he would profess himself to have skill in, and that in the course of his ministry he would labor to bring them to. This he made the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, of his knowledge. Yea, doubtless, saith he, “and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” In this knowledge of Christ there is an excellency above all other knowledge in the world. There is nothing more pleasing and comfortable, more animating and enlivening. Christ is the sun and center of all divine and revealed truths: we can preach nothing else as the object of our faith, which doth not some way or other either meet in Christ, or refer to Christ. Only Christ is the whole of man’s happiness; the sun to enlighten him, the physician to heal him, the wall of fire to defend him, the friend to comfort him, the pearl to enrich him, the ark to support him, the rock to sustain him under the heaviest pressures; “As an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Only Christ is that ladder between earth and heaven, the Mediator betwixt God and man; a mystery which the angels of heaven desire to pry into. Here is a blessed subject indeed: who would not be glad to be acquainted with it? “This is life eternal, to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” Come then! let us look on this Sun of righteousness; we cannot receive harm, but good, by such a look. Indeed, by looking long on the natural sun we may have our eyes dazzled, and our faces blackened; but by looking unto Jesus, we shall have our eyes clearer, and our faces fairer. If the light of the eye rejoice the heart, how much more when we have such a blessed object to look upon! As Christ is more excellent than all the world, so this sight transcends all other sights. Looking unto Jesus, is the epitome of a Christian’s happiness, the quintessence of evangelical duties.

In the text we have the act and object. The act in the original is very emphatic, but the English doth not fully express it; it signifies a drawing of the eye from one object to another: there are two expressions; the one signifies a turning of the eye from all other objects; the other, a fast fixing of the eye upon such an object, and only upon such. So is it both a looking off, and a looking on. On what? That is the object, a looking unto Jesus: a title that denotes his mercy, as Christ denotes his office. My meaning is not to insist on this name, in contradiction to any other names of Christ. He is often called Christ, and Lord, and Mediator, and Son of God, and Emmanuel: but Jesus is all these; Jesus is Christ, as he is the Anointed of God; and Jesus is Lord, as he hath dominion over all the world; and Jesus is mediator, as he is the reconciler of God and man; and Jesus is the Son of God, as he was eternally begotten before all worlds; and Jesus is Emmanuel, as he was incarnate, and so God with us. Only because Jesus signifies Saviour, and this name was given him upon that very account; “for he shall save his people from their sins”: I shall make this my design to look at Jesus more especially, as carrying on the great work of our salvation from first to last. This indeed is the glad tidings, the gospel, the gospel privilege, and our gospel duty — looking unto Jesus.  Isaac Ambrose