Monday

You're Invited to the Family Reunion - Second in the Series of Cruise Devotions

Have you ever been to a family reunion? 

My paternal grandmother, Myrtle Slice, had ten children, over fifty grandchildren, and innumerable great-grandchildren. Family reunions on the Slice side were amazing. Every few years relatives from as far away as New England and as near as Columbia would descend on family land in Sandy Run, South Carolina, for a day of fun, food, and family.

Reno & Rose -- my brother and sister
What I enjoyed most about family reunions as a child was the chance to meet relatives I didn’t know. Because of differing vacation schedules, not everyone attended each reunion. 

Our section of the family, affectionately labeled “the Yankees,” came from Rhode Island only every four or five years. At one reunion in the 1970s, my sisters and I were happy to finally meet several cousins who were close in age to us. We still enjoy the relationships we began at that family reunion.

I enjoyed an unexpected family reunion last week in Nassau, Bahamas.

My husband and I had spent the day on the beautiful beaches of Nassau and were making our way back to the cruise ship on which we were traveling. As we climbed out of the taxi van we had shared with eight other tourists, a man asked us a question. 

A conversation developed, and before long we had exchanged basic information. We discovered that Reno and his wife, Rose, were traveling on the Aida, a beautifully painted ship docked next to ours. They were German, and Reno spoke much better English than his wife.

Reno had noticed David’s Operation Christmas Child t-shirt and the cross around my neck and wondered if we were Christians. 

His questions and our answers helped us discover that despite being born in two different countries, speaking two different languages, and living in vastly different parts of the world, we were brothers and sisters in Christ. We experienced the indescribable sense of family connection as we swapped stories of our conversions, our local churches, and our ministries. 

While the joy of finding cousins I hadn’t met yet at my physical family’s reunion had always been delightful, finding members of my spiritual family that afternoon in Nassau was even more so. We shared the Apostle John’s deep satisfaction at being a part of a world-wide family of believers. He wrote about it in 1 John 1:3 when he said, “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

As we parted from Reno and Rose, we linked arms while my husband prayed for them. His prayer contained these words. “Father, as Reno and Rose board their ship, and we board ours, we know that we may never meet again on this earth. We know, though, that we will meet again someday in Heaven, and we will be together for all of eternity. Thank you for the chance to fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ today.”

It was one of the nicest family reunions I have ever experienced.

One day there will be an enormous family reunion in Heaven. It will be grand and glorious as all God’s children come to live with Him for all eternity. 

But like the Slice family reunion is only for those who bear our family name, God’s family reunion is also limited. It’s not enough to have been physically born. To be part of God’s family, we must also be spiritually born. Galatians 3:26 and 28 puts it this way, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

If you have never been born into the family of God, or perhaps you’re not sure, you can settle the matter today by praying a prayer something like this. “God, I know I am a sinner. I also know that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I accept what He did on my behalf. I repent of my sins, and ask You to come into my heart and life and make me a new person. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
 
If you prayed this prayer and meant it with all your heart, God’s word has a promise for you. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). This means you are now a member of His family. That makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Welcome to the family. I’ll see you at the reunion!




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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Perhaps you can use me and/or my story in some of your programs?

    I (Heather Heaton) am recommending my new ebook ("Her Letters from Prison") as a motivational resource for reading pleasure, review, contemplation, and comment. God changed my life in prison! My ebook will validate your inquisitive doubts about what goes on in women’s prisons (It is what it is!); it can justify the efforts spent toward Christian ministries to women’s prisons; and it can be an inspirational (tell-it-like-it-is) resource for drug rehab/prevention programs. The book is non-fiction, inspirational, prison romance; and the original letters (with prison art) are included as images for authenticity. You can go to http://www.heather-heaton.com, click on a direct link to my Smashwords "book pages", and purchase “Her Letters from Prison”, Parts 1 and 2.

    I am a 34 year old college student trying to better my life, in spite of the baggage I carry from my previous life.

    A brief description of the ebook follows:
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    5. "Breanna" was an inmate at Tutwiler Women's Prison from 2007 to 2009.

    6. "Breanna" benefitted from women's prison ministries and the LIFE Tech-Wetumpka state-funded self-help program. Breanna was blessed with a life-changing experience.

    Sincerely,
    Heather Heaton
    http://www.heather-heaton.com
    http://www.herlettersfromprison.com

    Customer/Reader Review of “Her Letters from Prison”
    Heather, ever since you first contacted me about your ebooks (and when I received them) I have been giving them traction. At least two women on my case load checked them out, (like a library card so I would get them back) and were very moved by the content. I haven’t had another problem with their behavior since they read them. So…I know they are working. They should be required reading, ordered by a Judge before women are sentenced to probation, so that they would fully understand the consequences of their behavior.
    Gary Parsons
    Parole Officer
    State of Alabama – Board of Pardons & Parole

    ReplyDelete