Today, The Morning Thing talked about family! We talked about the greatest family there is—God’s family and how you fit into that picture!
Reminder – you can hear Focus on the Family each weekday at 9:30am and 6:30pm on WNZR.
(from Focus on the Family)
What Must I Do to become a member of the Family of God?
A person who has faith in Jesus is a Christian. And a Christian is simply an individual who has felt the need to come home. You can come home, too, if you’re ready to make that commitment. You can become a Christ follower right now simply by opening the door to Jesus and trusting Him as Lord and Savior. It’s so easy a child can do it. But it’s also hard because we first have to realize that we cannot do it on our own.
Once you’ve counted the cost and decided that you’re ready to give your heart to Jesus, you can do so by following these three simple steps:
Admit you’re a helpless sinner (a person who has chosen his own way rather than God’s) and that you can’t come home without God’s gracious help. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Believe that Jesus Christ has come to be your Savior — in other words, that He died on the cross for your sins and wants to take you home to be part of God’s family. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1: 12).
Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and ask Him to come into your heart. Turn from self to God (repentance) and trust Christ to come into your life and make you the kind of person He wants you to be. You can receive Jesus by faith through prayer, as an act of the will. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart; but if you honestly don’t know what to say, you might try praying a simple prayer such as this:
Lord Jesus Christ, I need You. I agree that I am a sinner and have sinned in my thinking and speaking and acting. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I have counted the cost of following You. I repent and turn away from my past sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now, and Christ will come into your life, just as He promised:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
The Bible uses two terms to describe what happens when people say yes to God and join His family. The first is rebirth. New Christians become part of God’s family in the same way they became part of their earthly parents’ family – they’re born into it. God is their Father, and they are His children (see John 3:3-8).
The other term used to describe this relationship is adoption. Christians are adopted into God’s family and given all the inheritance rights of God’s Son. Because Jesus rose from the dead, those who trust in Him will also rise again. Because they are now officially part of God’s family, they can feel completely secure. Their Father will not disown them or rewrite His will. He has promised to be faithful to His children, and God always keeps His promises.
As children of God, Christians can have power — power to follow Jesus even when the way is hard, power to make Jesus known to others, power to love and to serve. They also have hope, confidence, and freedom from fear. They know that death can never ruin their plans or destroy their relationships.
Time to Grow
People begin life in God’s family just as they began it in their parents’ family — as babies. Baby Christians need to be nurtured, protected, taught and loved. Here are a few suggestions that will help you get the care and guidance you need as you begin to grow in your faith:
Tell a friend. Do you know someone who might get excited about the decision you’ve made — a pastor, maybe, or Christian friend? Tell him or her. Share the joy of your new commitment with someone else!
Read the Bible. Baby Christians need rich nourishment, and no source is better than God’s Word. The Bible is God’s message to mankind, so it’s vital for young believers to know what it says. You can get started by looking up and reading the verses listed in this article. After that, we’d suggest that you make a habit of reading a chapter a day, beginning with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — they’ll help you get better acquainted with Jesus). Next you could take a look at Paul’s letter to the Philippians and the letters of James and I John. To understand more about how Jesus’ death means life for you, read Paul’s letter to the Romans. If you have questions, a pastor or Christian friend will be able to help you in your Bible study. If you don’t have a Bible, please contact us and we’ll be happy to send you one.
Talk to God regularly. Make prayer a daily habit. This means talking to God about anything, at any time of the day or night. It can also mean spending a special “quiet” time with Him where you meditate on His Word, tell Him of your love and devotion, and talk to Him about others and their needs.
Get involved in a church. When you open the door to Christ and come home to God, you acquire a new set of spiritual brothers and sisters. God has many other children on the earth, and it’s important that they meet together regularly as a family. That’s what church is all about. The church is the best place for infant Christians to find the support they need to grow strong. Churches are where God’s people gather to worship, learn from the Bible, encourage each other and welcome new believers into God’s family. Find a church near you that does these things, and get involved. Your church should believe that the Bible is the accurate Word of God, that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, that He is fully God and man, and
that only through faith in Jesus Christ can a person have eternal life.
You will still have many questions as you begin your new life with God and His family of believers, but you’ve already taken the most important step toward getting them resolved – you’ve met the One who has all the answers. Meanwhile, we hope you’ll feel free to call and discuss any concerns you may have with a member of the Focus team. Our staff
chaplains would consider it a privilege to speak with you over the phone. You can contact them Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time at 855-771-HELP (4357). They’ll be happy to assist you in any way they can.
The Ideal Family
Homecoming can be a joyous time, even if the pumpkin pie crust is soggy and Uncle Joe has forgotten his table manners. But no earthly homecoming, no matter how memorable, can compare with the joy of coming home to God.
God’s love, after all, is the source of all earthly love. It’s stronger and more enduring than love between husband and wife, parent and child, brothers and sisters. At the same time, God’s love strengthens our human ties and increases our love for those dear to us.
We’ve tried to explain why people need God’s love. We’ve told you how to respond to His invitation and become part of His family. But there’s one thing we can’t do for you – we can’t say yes to God on your behalf.
If your heart is restless; if you find yourself longing for a home you’ve never known; if you would like eternal life with Jesus that begins now and continues in heaven where there is no suffering, sin, or death — say yes to Jesus. Join the family. Come home.
There’s no better time than now.