Babies, toddlers, teenager, millennials, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation. People from all of these categories, and more, inundate my in-laws home at least once a year for a family get-together.
I enjoy these family get-togethers but I especially enjoy quiet times with my in-laws. Just recently, my wife and I were visiting her parents. Their authentic Christian lives have been an encouragement to me for many years. I almost always learn something from my father-in-law each time we visit.
Someday, my father-in-law will take up his residence in heaven. That will be a glorious day for him, but a sad day for so many of us. Thankfully, I will always have my Heavenly Father for the Bible says in Romans 8:15: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Now, this world is full of religions, with some claiming to be Christian. To be sure, there are aspects of Christianity that are pure religion. In James 1:27 it says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” And, yes, there are “do’s” and “don’t” in the Bible (1 Co 11:24 …this do in remembrance of me. 1 Jn 2:15 Love not the world…) but those are not religious rhetoric. They are about teaching an adopted child how to live in God’s Family. For, you can see from Romans 8:15 that I am an adopted child of God.
Yes, my parents’ histories are full of wild characters, yet even more so is my Father’s Family. I’ve read about an old prophet in my Father’s Family history that was thrown into a den of lions (Daniel), a young, insecure man that stood up and fought an army (Gideon) and, of course, One Man that died and rose again to secure salvation for all who accept Him (Jesus). I’ve got kings and princesses, farmers and tent makers in my Father’s Family.
When I am reading the Bible, I’m learning about my Family; often they are things about which only families care. I’ve read about Ruth sleeping at the feet of Boaz, Princess Esther daring to enter the king’s inner court without an invitation, the prophet Jeremiah being thrown into a well and living to tell about it, and so many more tidbits of Family history.
As I study my Bible, I am learning about my everlasting Family. And, as I read, these Family members seem to gather around me (Hebrews 12:1), rejoicing in God as the Holy Spirit helps me discover how Jesus is woven within it all. I’m slowly learning to live as an adopted son of my Father.