All families have stories to tell! Some stories tell about heroic deeds. Some tales are funny, or epic or sad or embarrassing or even tragic. Family stories are threads that keep us tethered together and part of the group! These stories help us to belong. These are our people.
Like most family, we have more than our share of family stories. I know stories of relatives who passed on far before I was born.
And we keep building up our family history by adding our own stories to theirs!
I recently took the Ancestry DNA test and what I found out was so interesting. I knew my heritage was Hungarian, German and Polish. And probably English too.
The surprising DNA result was finding out I am also Russian, Austrian, Scottish, Irish and Sweedish, Estonian, Latvian, and Dane.
The Sweedish part thrilled my son. As a teenager, he thought he had to be part Viking! And to his great delight, he was right!
So if you look at the map of the world my ancestors, in somewhat recent history, have not moved very far!
The DNA test actually gave some authenticity to family stories claiming we came from gypsies and had a relative called Washie Tillie from deep in the Appalachian Mountains who’s people most likely migrated from Scottland before the Revolutionary War!
So I guess you could say these are my people!
But these people are not my only family. Oh, no!
I also belong to an eternal family.
I’m studying the book of Ephesians and am overcome by knowing…
HE (GOD) PREDESTINED US TO ADOPTION AS SONS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST TO HIMSELF. Eph 1:5
So God, before He even created one single thing, marked you and me out to be adopted BY HIM into His eternal heavenly family as sons
Through Jesus Christ! These three words…
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
We gain entrance into our earthly family by birth. Just by being born we enter into a family. We have no choice. We get who we get as relatives!
However, we are not by natural birth children of God. Oh no! We are His creation but not His child.
Just like birth gives us entrance into our earthly family, to become a son of God we need to be born into it too! But not the earthy way.
To become God’s child and enjoy countless riches, blessings, and inheritance we must experience a second birth or be born again into His family through Jesus Christ.
When we accept Jesus’ death on the cross in exchange for our sins we then and only then are born again and adopted as God’s own son.
No matter who you are or what you have done or who your family is God wants to forgive your estrangement and open His arms to you. Whether you know it or not He is pursuing you and wooing you!
Because of His kindness and grace, even before He created one single thing, He desired that you be His son or daughter! God wants to be your Father!
The word SON in verse 5 in the Greek actually means a grown son (or daughter). Not an infant. A grown son can say yes or no to the offer of adoption. In other words, God has given us free will and a choice to accept or deny His offer.
You have a choice. You can be part of the family of God or not.
God will not force you or make you be a part of His eternal family! So you (and me) are left to choose.
I chose Jesus long ago and I have a huge, diverse, forgiven family! We are messy and often sinful but we are all striving to look like our Father in a very broken world.
And oh, what family stories I can tell!
I have thousands upon thousands and myriads upon myriads of family stories to learn about. Some of them are in our family history book called the Bible!
And someday soon we will have this huge family reunion that will go on and on. I can’t wait to meet my Father and God! I can’t wait to feel His LOVE for me face on!
I want to have lunch with Abraham and have an epically long talk with a king called David. I want to meet my amazing relative Deborah and sit with the woman at the well telling her we have some things in common!
I want to hold hands with Mary and together share our mother’s heart!
I want to be in a book club with Martha and Mary and Rahab and Ruth and maybe even Washie Tillie! And I want my earthly book club to be there too!
I want to sit at the feet of Jesus learning with John the Baptist and Joshua and Daniel and hopefully Nebukednezzer and many more!
I’ve never met Billy Graham or the apostle Paul or Constantine’s mother Helena but I’m sure we will get to know one another well!
I want to meet all my eternal family and hear their stories. Because these are my people. We are God’s children. Adopted into the family through Jesus the Anointed One!
How about you? Are you part of my family? If not I hope you join! God is calling you!
To know how to join God’s family through faith see…
This week’s verse to ponder…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1