Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 15

Day 15 - Formed For God's Family

"God is the One who made all things, and all things are for His glory. He wanted to have many children share His glory." - Hebrews 2:10A (NCV)

  • Our first purpose is to be loved by God and to love Him back.  
  • Our second purpose is to be a part of God's family.  

Let's be clear.  God was not lonely.  God desired a family to share His love with.  To share in all that He created in the Heavens and the earth.  Long before we were ever born, God thought of us, He cared for us - and He intended for us to be a member of His family.  

Often times our earthly family can be torn apart from us - through marriage and members moving away to create a family of their own - or though divorce - family feuds - and even death.  The fact is that our earthly family is temporary.  Our spiritual family - God's family, is eternal.  And when you are a member of His family - all who have chosen to as well, are your brothers and sisters.  And we are to treat them as such. 

Inviting Christ to be in your life - declaring yourself as a believer and follower of Christ is the first part of becoming a member of the family.  Joining all those who have gone before us and the millions who are still here in this place.  But that is only the first step.  The second is to be baptized.  

When you are born in your earthly body - someone takes you home and you become a member of their family.  You really are not given a choice in the matter.  But when you join God's family - it is a choice.  And in choosing to be a member, you must be re-born into that family.  

When you are baptized, as you enter the water, it is as when Jesus was crucified - your old life ends, it is a symbol of the death of your former self.  And when you reemerge from the water - it is as when Jesus was resurrected. You are reborn.  

Baptism alone does not make you a member of God's family - only faith in Jesus Christ will do that, but baptism is - as Pastor Rick describes - a physical picture to a spiritual truth.  He likens it to a wedding ring being a symbol of the commitment made through your heart. 

It is a public declaration of pride in your spiritual family and your joy in being reborn as a Christian. 

"His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ." - Ephesians 1:5A (NLT)