You’ve got family you’ve never met

We’re all adopted. You know that right? If you’re a Christ-follower, you’ve been adopted into God’s family, and you automatically have brothers and sisters in every nation on Earth. You may not know their customs. You may not speak their language. But you both belong to Jesus.

There’s nothing more amazing to me than meeting someone from another country and instantly having a connection because you both love Jesus. Even if you have nothing else in common, Jesus is enough to bridge cultures and bring people together as long as He stays the main thing.

We’re all one family. Have you ever thought about that? So why is it easier to focus on how we’re different instead of how we’re the same?

people-crowd-child-kidToday’s verses are Ephesians 2:19-22.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

Family means different things to different people. But to me, my family is one of the central, most important factors in my life, but I’m well aware that family isn’t as important to other people. But family, as it was supposed to be, is designed to be our shelter, our starting point, the place where we experience God’s design.

So what would your life look like if you had a brother or a sister you trusted? What would you be like if you were best friends with your brother or sister? Maybe you’re blessed (like me) and have experienced that relationship. Maybe you’re not, and you’d leap for joy at the thought of having someone in your life like that.

Did you ever think that maybe the person you’re looking for is someone you already know?

That guy you sit next to on the bus? If he knows Jesus, he’s your brother. That woman at the office, the one who drives you nuts? If she knows Jesus, she’s your sister. But it’s easier to focus on the things that you don’t like about them than it is to treat them like family.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about people. Yesterday I was sitting at Mead’s listening to a guy in the corner go off the rails about how much he hates America and wants to change his citizenship and move to Singapore. And I jumped to a conclusion about the man. That he’s not very bright. But that’s wrong of me to say. He could be perfectly bright and just vocal about his opinions. Fair to say I don’t agree with any of his conclusions, but that’s not my job.

Don’t switch your brain off. Obviously sometimes you have to make judgment calls about people or situations, but there’s a vast difference between making a judgment call jumping to conclusions.

If you’re lonely or looking for family, you have one. You have access to family members from around the world. You don’t have to look very far. There are millions of people all around you who know Jesus. We just need to stop seeing them from the outside and hear their hearts instead.

You have family you’ve never met, and eventually you’ll get to see them someday. But there’s nothing wrong with looking for them now. Who knows, they may be just as lonely as you are.

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You always have something to talk about

Have you ever had to go to someone’s house for a party or an event where you didn’t know anyone there? If you’re an introvert like me, there’s nothing more uncomfortable or awkward. I don’t do small talk very well.

Now add another level of awkward. You don’t come from the same culture or speak the same language. All you can really do is sit quietly and try to understand everything that’s being said and pray that you don’t say or do something offensive.

Ever been there? I have. On multiple occasions. But you know what has saved me? The fact that the other people in the room are Christ-followers.

Last night I got to go to my best friend’s small group, and in any other circumstance it might have been really uncomfortable. But I knew walking in that many of the people in attendance were Christ-followers. And that makes everything different. That means, walking in, I have something in common with them. That means we’re family.

Pipes from the organ at Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle, England

Pipes from the organ at Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle, England

Today’s verses are Ephesians 2:19-22.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

No matter where you are or who you are, what language you speak or what culture you come from, if you know Christ, you are part of one big family. And you have something in common with the other Christ-followers around you. You’ve got Christ.

You all worship Him. You all live for Him. You all have stories about how He changed your life. And He’s always doing something new.

Having something like that in common is priceless, because it’s something you can talk about that will always change your life and the lives of people around you. And what’s great is that whether you are walking into a room full of Christians or not, Christ will still give you the strength to speak, the courage to be yourself, and the wisdom to know what to say.

So if you’re sitting in a room full of Christians feeling like an outcast, like you have nothing in common with anyone else–don’t. If you are around other Christians, even in a culture that isn’t your own, you have the greatest Person in history in common.