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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#999. How do we become a part of God’s family? (27/2/24)

This week, in our devotionals in Luke, we are looking at what it means to be God’s family. Today, we simply want to ask how one becomes a part of God’s family. 

‘Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.  Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”’ (Luke 8:19-21)

Lesson: We are adopted into God’s family by God’s will


You can listen to this devotional at:


What was your family like? Was it a happy and healthy environment? Was it a home that you would seek to recreate? Many have mixed feelings about their parents and home-life, and this can have a massive impact upon our lives for good or bad. Jesus wants us to realise that if we are Christians, we have been adopted in a God’s family - We can learn from our past home and family but we don’t have to live in it any more! This is a home that has rules and characteristics that one has to learn to accept so as to enjoy our new status as God’s children. One of the vital characteristics of God’s household is that everyone in it has been chosen and adopted by God’s will and grace -  we are wanted and will never be rejected. Most of us struggle with fear of rejection. However,  being chosen and cherished by God is to become our new identity. A wonderful text on this is what we read in Ephesians 1:

‘For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ (Ephesians 1:4-6) 

Do you see that He chose you? Are you amazed that He chose you ‘before the creation of the world’? Do you understand that, in Christ, you are ‘holy and blameless in his sight’? Do you see His motive for adopting you was ’in love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will’? Do you see that our response is to ‘praise his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’? These are the most astounding and life-affirming truths that we can realise. J. I. Packer wrote:

‘In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship, and establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the father is a greater.’ (J. I. Packer. Knowing God. Page 233) 

To finish, I want to briefly say something about our need to enter into salvation and adoption. Having said that it’s by God’s will and pleasure, we still have a part to play. To enter into adoption, to join God’s household and family, we must receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. John tells us: 

‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’ (John 1:12-13) 

To be adopted, we must ‘receive Him’ and ‘believe in His name’ - we must put our faith in Christ. However, do you also see the deeper truth behind this that our salvation and new birth are by the will of God! This is paradoxical, but true non-the less. We chose and love God because He first chose to love us!


Response

We are adopted into God’s family by God’s will. Do you know your new identity and is it eclipsing anything else? Are we living in the joy of these amazing words:

‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.’ (1 John 3:1)

Let’s fight to hold on to this identity. The devil, as we saw earlier in the chapter, seeks to steal the ‘seed’ of God’s word and tempt us in many ways to throw His promises away. Today, let’s remember and celebrate that we are God’s beloved children. In our text, Jesus makes it clear that whatever claim that His mother and brothers has on Him, you and I are as much a part of God’s family as anyone! 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

There are no CG’s this week as we have our week of prayer. For details on meetings, please look at Church News, contact the church office or speak to your Community Group Leader. 

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