One of the true delights in life is God’s family. No matter what kind of earthly family we come from that might be filled with fights, disagreements, hard feelings, love, tenderness, nurturing…. all believers belong to God’s family, He is our heavenly Father and we can call Him, “Abba Father’. This is a term that was used to express a very close relationship with our father, like Daddy. Romans 8:15-17 explains our adoption into God’s family. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
I find this passage incredibly encouraging. I am adopted through faith in Jesus to belong to His family making me a join heir with Christ in heavenly things. I will have eternal life with Jesus, reign in heaven, have a home there, belong to God and I can call Him Father and Jesus brother. Jesus reaffirmed this truth in Matthew 12:50 when He was questioned about his brothers and sisters, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” I will also have support in the here and now through His indwelling Holy Spirit that testifies to my spirit that I belong to God and empowers me to live for Jesus each day. Being in God’s family also means I will suffer for His name as I stand up for Him and tell others about Him. It is all part of being ‘in the family’ of God.
Usually at Thanksgiving we think of family and give thanks for having those in our lives that care about us. Likewise, we should take time to be thankful for the family of God. Think of those brothers and sisters in Christ that are risking their lives to tell others about Jesus, those that are suffering great hardships around the world, those who we work with every day that are in need of a helping hand, an encouraging word or prayer. Philippians 4:6 is a promise from God that reminds us to pray with thanks. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Pray for your brothers and sisters today with calmness knowing they are loved by God and are join heirs with Christ. It is our privilege as members of God’s family.
I am thankful for each of you as you seek to know God more completely, and I pray that my words will be an encouragement to you!