, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

June 24, 2014

We get to choose to be in God's family

In the final part of my five-part series “Family Life” I want to talk about the most important family of all, God’s family. Making sure you and your loved ones are part of it is the greatest decision you will ever make.

In Matthew 12:46-50 someone in a crowd that Jesus was teaching told Him that Jesus’ family was waiting for Him outside. But Jesus’ response to this was probably not what the crowd expected to hear.

He said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

Pointing to his disciples, he said: “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Wow! That must have been a shock, at least at first, for people to hear such a thing from such a respected teacher. But I suspect there were no doubt many “aha” moments as His words began to sink in. Jesus was not disowning his earthly family. He was simply making the point that even though our earthly families mean a great deal to each of us in this lifetime, Christians are part of God’s family, which lasts into eternity!

About a week ago, Lisa and I returned from our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Florida and the Caribbean Sea. We had never experienced anything like that! The clear blue water and white sand beaches of the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel were amazing. I can barely begin to describe to you the beauty of God’s creation we got to be a part of there. I mentioned to Lisa that I think I may now have an idea of what the Garden of Eden was like.

But as wonderful as that trip was, and as blessed as I feel to have such an amazing woman in my life, I feel even more blessed that she and I both are part of God’s family. This means when Jesus returns to bring His faithful home, we will get to experience something much greater than a temporary relationship on God’s beautiful earth. We will get to experience paradise in heaven for an eternity that far surpasses our imagination and certainly any of God’s created things here on earth! We are doing our best to guide our children in this way, too.

Children have no choice as to which earthly family they are born into. In Old Covenant times before Jesus came to Earth, children born into the nation of Israel were automatically God’s chosen people. But in New Testament times, through Jesus, we have “the right to become children of God (John 1:12-13).” It is a choice to obey God’s will and let Him add you into His family of believers (Acts 2:47). Will you choose Him today? Have a blessed week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or

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