We belong to God by creation. We belong to Christ by redemption and we belong to the Church as a whole being part of God’s family. 1 Timothy 3:15 says, “The family of God is the church of the living God. It is the pillar and 17 family affairfoundation of the truth.” Paul tells the Ephesian believers that they are not Jewish, they are not gentiles, they are not strangers to one another any longer, but they are “citizens together with God’s holy people.” He then says to them, “you belong to God’s family.” (Ephesians 2:19-20). It’s interesting that the language of the New Testament regarding entrance into God’s family uses two key phrases. We are born into God’s family by faith. Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again” to enter into God’s family. It also speaks to us about being adopted. We are not part of God’s family until we come to faith in God’s Son, Jesus, at which time we become brothers and sisters in one big happy family of God’s redeemed children.

It’s not enough for a Christian to believe. Being a “believer” is not the end of it all. Every believer must also be a “belonger.” It is through belonging in a family that we grow up. We learn to relate to one another, to forgive one another, and to understand one another and to serve one another and to care for one another. It requires good healthy nourishment for us to grow up spiritually strong and mature in God’s family. God’s Word is our food. Jeremiah says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name…” That means he’s in God’s family. Job said, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Jesus also said that His food was to do the will of the Father (John 4). God’s Word, the Bible, is often referred to as food. God’s Word is bread (Matt. 4:4), milk (1 Pet. 2:2), meat (:Heb. 5:12–14; 1 Cor. 3:1–2), and honey (Ps. 119:103). As we meditate on God’s Word, the truth is “digested” inwardly and we receive strength ( Josh. 1:6–9). When we are babes, we receive the Word from others who have “digested” it for us (1 Thess. 2:7–8); but as we grow spiritually, we learn to feed ourselves and enjoy the full diet of the Word. We can enjoy the “meat” as well as the “milk.”

I wanted my sons to eat right. I try hard to get my grandsons to eat the healthy food, to drink their milk, eat their vegetables and meat. But too often, they only want mountain dew and candy! (So do I!) But God, being the good father that He is (Perfect!) wants what’s best for us. I love the way The Message translates Proverbs 15:14. It says, “An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth; fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.” As members of God’s family, He wants us to grow up and learn how to live with each other in the way that pleases Him and brings a healthy and wholesome relationship with the rest of God’s family.