Professional door to door salesmen have a certain air about them when the front door opens. Kind of a mixture of formality with friendliness, practiced patter in smooth tones, dosed with expectation and anxiety. If they want success at this house, they need to perform. On the other hand, the kids in that household come to the front door, yank it open and go blasting through, shoelaces untied, jacket half off, enroute to the kitchen for a snack. Big difference. When you are a part of the family, you don’t need to perform to be accepted or even loved. You just belong, simply because of who you are.
This is especially true for those in God’s family. Who are they? Consider these verses:
12 Yet to all who received him, [Jesus] to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – (John 1:12–13 – NIV84)
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26–29 – NIV84)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1a – NIV84)
By trusting Jesus, we are welcomed into God’s family, not by adoption, as nice as that would be, but through birth, the birth of God’s Spirit in our souls. That’s better. As His children there is no pecking order; race, former religion, social status – none of that matters. We are treated alike, and have full rights as heirs. God arranges for this through a generous act of lavish love. Welcome home!