No! This is not about a winning a sweep-stake, a giveaway, or jumping on one of those discount coupon deals. “God’s Family Plan” is eternal. But, you likely already knew that. Am I right? On the off chance you’re reading this like a “deer-in-the-headlamps;” saying, “OK Marino, where are we going here?” I will proclaim you are in for a most indelible ride. For those who have unquestionably accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, please consider my musings as a “refresher session.” (God knows I need a “refresher session” about every 30 seconds.)
Becoming a life-member of God’s family is easy if only you believe and are willing to take a few small steps. Your life depends upon it!
Becoming a life-member of God’s family is easy if only you believe and are willing to take a few small steps. Your infinite life depends on it!
In the Old Testament, God promised to send a Messiah or Savior to His people. The Messiah would save God’s people from their sin, from the wrong things everyone has done. The people in the Old Testament times knew about the promise of a Savior and looked for Him.
In the New Testament, God’s promise came true! The Savior was born in Bethlehem, just where God promised! Jesus Christ was born, grew up and died for our sins.
Micah 5:2: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
God’s Word always comes true. You can always and should always put your trust in God’s faithfulness, for He made it possible for you to become a member of His family.
Step One | God Loves You
The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that “God is love.” He loves you very much. He loves you because He made you and He is concerned about you and your life today.
Step Two | You Have Sinned
The Bible also says that you and all other people have sinned. In Romans 3:23 we read, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We have all done wrong and our sins keep us from being friends with God. As you read in the books of the Old Testament, sin always leads to trouble. Because you are a sinner, your sin will cause you much trouble in your life. Romans 6:23 tells us how bad this trouble will ultimately be. “For the wages of sin is death.”
God does not want people to ruin their lives with sin. It makes Him sad when you sin and spoil your happiness and the happiness of other people. Because of sin, people cannot enjoy God’s loving presence in their lives, nor can they live with God in heaven. Not one of us is able to remove sin from our lives or earn God’s forgiveness by even our very best efforts.
In the beginning of the Bible is the story of Adam and Eve, the first two people. Adam and Eve lived happily with God until they disobeyed Him. That was the first sin. One of the results of the sin was that Adam and Eve were separated from God, thereby robbing life of its greatest joy and ultimately bringing the penalty of death upon themselves. All of us sin, so someday each of us will die, too.
However, the Bible is clear that there is another life after we die. The Bible is also clear that sin will continue to separate people from God’s love forever. Because everybody has sinned, how does anybody get to go to heaven?
Step Three | God Paid the Price
The Bible says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We have seen that the result of sin is death. However, because God loves us so much, He offers eternal life as a free gift. You cannot work hard enough to earn eternal life. All you can do is accept it as a gift.
God gave His only Son to die for you on the cross. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” Because Jesus was the perfect -man without sin- He accepted the results of sin-death-in your place. The Bible says in 1 John 4:14, “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”
Step Four | Ask God for Forgiveness
If you admit that you have sinned and believe that God gave His only Son to die in your place, God will forgive you and make you clean from all sin.
- Tell God that you know you are a sinner.
- Tell God you believe Jesus Christ is your only way to have your sins forgiven.
- Tell God you want to learn to love and follow Christ in every area of your life.
- Tell Him that He is great and wonderful.
If you believe and have told God you believe, you are now a child of God! God has forgiven all your sin. You are a Christian. And that makes you a member of His family.
God has made everything right between you and Him. He has forgiven you and He looks upon you as if you had never sinned!
Step Five | Live as God’s Child
The Bible says in John 1:12, “But as many receive him, to them gave he the power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name.” As a child of God, you receive God’s gift of everlasting life. God is with you now and forever.
Now that you are a member of God’s family, God wants you to live as His child.
Because God is your heavenly Father, He wants you to talk to Him in prayer. You can tell God how you feel, thank Him for His gifts to you, and ask Him to help you obey and follow Him.
You can also talk to God when you sin. Ask God to forgive you and He will. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God will forgive you and help you to do what He says.
You Can Read God’s Word
God gave His Word so that everyone can read about Him and His great love. Find out more about God by reading about Him in your Bible. The Bible says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). As you read God’s Word, you will stay close to Him. It’s just like reading a letter again and again. You can do the same thing with your Bible.
You Can Obey God
Your heavenly Father wants you to obey Him. He tells you in His Word how you should live. Jesus summed up God’s law with two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).
- Love God with all that you are.
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
- God wants you to be an expression of His love in the world.
You Can Tell Others about Jesus
Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall be witnesses.” Jesus was talking to His disciples before He went back to His Father. Even though Jesus was talking to His disciples, He was saying these words to you, too. You can be a witness when you tell others about Jesus and how His love has helped you. Ask God to give you opportunities each day to tell about-and to show-God’s love.
May almighty God bless you always.