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We Are Family

Today is a guest blog from my friend Kathy Howard, one of my favorite and most trusted bible teachers.

Here’s Kathy’s wisdom:

My friend Kayleen is one of nine children. She has four sisters and four brothers. The family intentionally works to stay close and connected. Most of the them come out in force for weddings, baby showers, and significant birthdays. They hold an annual “Glynn gang” family reunion and enter a float every year in the Cedar Rapids’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They even have their own family Facebook group. When all the siblings, spouses, children and grandchildren gather, the group totals 114.

I admit I’m a little jealous. My younger brother is amazing and funny and I enjoy spending time with him, but I always wanted more siblings, a bigger family. And in Christ, I have that.

God’s family is one of the greatest benefits of our salvation. We are related to everyone who belongs to Jesus. God blesses us with a spiritual family to share life with. We cry together and rejoice together. We encourage and admonish each other in our faith. We will also spend eternity with this extended spiritual family. Not strangers, but brothers and sisters. A beautiful, endless family reunion, much larger than the Glynn gang.

In Hebrews chapter 2, the author highlighted the familial nature of our salvation. God the Father adopts us as His children. The Holy Spirit within believers whispers this truth to our spirits.

“You are a much-loved child of your Heavenly Father” (Romans 8:15-16).

Jesus, the Son claims us as His brothers and sisters (vs 12).

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.  (Hebrews 2:10-11 ESV)

The Son’s perfect obedience to the Father on the cross initiated this spiritual family. According to “Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words,” the Greek word translated “perfect” in the ESV (vs 10) generally means “to bring to an end by completing or perfecting.” In this case, it specifically refers to the fact that Jesus not only fully obeyed God’s plan for Him (Philippians 2:8), but also that His obedience was adequate for “bringing many sons to glory” (vs 10). Jesus’ sacrifice was His final act of obedience in a lifetime of complete obedience to the Father. The salvation His obedience provided means we will eternally share in His glory as His brother or sister. This glory is our eternal, family inheritance.

Jesus accomplished something else for His spiritual siblings that impacts our lives now. He freed us from the fear of death. Through the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin. Through His resurrection, He broke the power of death. Satan lacked the strength to hold our Savior. Jesus rose from the grave with the keys of death firmly in His grip. The Son paid our debt and defeated the grave, making eternal life with God possible.

Unless Jesus returns first, every person will experience physical death. Since the day we were born, we’ve all been barreling headlong toward the end of this physical existence. Those without eternal hope in Jesus have great reason to fear death. This fear enslaves them like chains bind a prisoner. But death holds no fear for the child of God. Instead, when we leave this life we enter into the glorious presence of our Savior. Let the family reunion begin!

This post was adapted from Kathy’s new devotional book “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Hebrews.”

Are you spiritually exhausted? Following Jesus can be hard. Discouragement, difficulties, and defeat often wear us down. So, why bother? The book of Hebrews answers that question. This 40-day devotional journey provides encouragement to run our race of faith with endurance and reminds us that our Savior is far superior to anything and everything the world can offer.

Like the rest of the Deep Rooted devotional series, the Hebrews volume uses the 4-R Bible study framework to help you learn how to interact with and respond to Scripture, not simply read it. These meaty, daily devotions will increase your hunger for God’s Word, encourage spiritual growth and stability, and lay the groundwork for a life-long, spiritually-healthy habit.


Kathy Howard is a treasure hunter. She hunts for the creamiest chocolate, richest coffee, and cherished stories of faith. She also digs deep into Scripture, mining God’s eternal truths. Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education and has taught the Bible for more than 30 years in a wide variety of venues. Kathy is the author of 14 books, including “Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith” and the “meaty” devotional series “Deep Rooted.” Kathy and her husband live in north Texas. They have three married children and six grandchildren. Find free discipleship resources at

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