“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
1 John 3:1-2
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
I confess that I used to dread reading through geneologies, but now I cherish reading them, one name at a time. I know, it must not take much to entertain me, right? But behind each name is a story, and often one of dysfunction. Why does this comfort me, you may ask? Because these names that are a part of the line that lead to our Emmanuel were not perfect families which were a part of God’s background. The Son of God chose sinful man to be a part of His lineage.
A prostitute, adulterers, murderers, foreigners, deceivers, in-laws, non-biological parents, idol worshipers, and the list goes on and on. I love when I see families who leave a godly heritage, generation after generation, with no divorce. I wish that could have been my story, and yet I don’t. We can still leave a godly heritage to our children when our story has not been perfect. It is in the scars, in the hurt, in the reality of not being perfect that I was able to be embraced by my Savior, my Kinsman Redeemer, Who makes all things new. This fallen world and any labels people want to affix to people who are broken by sin’s stain, has no hold on me. I am a part of God’s family, too.
As a little girl I recall feeling strange as a child of divorce. Moving multiple times between homes was my newly accepted norm. When I came to know Jesus in college, I was excited about being in a Christian marriage one day and teaching my children about Jesus’ loving salvation. I married a Christian man and raised my children in the LORD. Little did I know the secret my now former husband had, which would break up my “perfect” family. How could this happen? How could God receive glory from such sin? And yet the hand of God guided me and led me to remarry a man who also had his heart broken. The Brady Bunch, indeed. So now, where did our family fit in? With God.
It still amazes me. Why did God choose us? To show His great mercy. To lavish His love upon His children. To heal. Whenever we begin to look at ourselves and compare to someone else, we need to remember that we cannot always see someone else’s struggle, and ultimately we are all the same in God’s eyes – all a part of His cherished family. Whatever you have been through, You belong to Him, and that is all that matters. The church is the family of God and is full of dysfunctional people, too. That is why we need a Savior. If you are a new believer, welcome to the family – love you! We are not perfect, but we are being made into His image, day by day.
Lord, heal hearts and families today that need to know they are accepted in Your sight. May You be glorified in our families and our churches.
Used with permission from Denise Pass at www.denisepass.com.