You are here

You’re Invited into God’s Spiritual Family

Dear friends, it is Passover and Easter. For the first time in our lives, many of us are celebrating alone, behind closed doors, instead of with our faith communities and families.

The reason why I am behind closed doors is common to millions right now – we are afraid of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. But to be isolated and afraid actually brings us much closer to the experience of the first Easter. On the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples, he broke bread and gave it to his friends, calling it his body. Then he blessed the wine and shared it with them, calling it his blood that invoked a new covenant of the forgiveness of sins. He was foreshadowing his imminent death by crucifixion for claiming to be the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

Hours later, Jesus was arrested and the disciples fled. As he was quickly tried overnight and sentenced to death, they thought his promise that God’s Kingdom was being established on earth would die with him, along with their hopes. But when he rose from the grave on Sunday morning, which shocked them as much as Jesus tried to prepare them for it, his promise that indeed he was the Messiah was confirmed. God’s Kingdom had broken through, with power even over death. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed everything. (These events are recounted in the Bible, the book of Matthew, chapters 26-28.)

Friends, the power that rose Jesus from the dead still exists. It raises everyone who decides to follow Jesus from spiritual death into new life. And sometimes, miraculously, it heals the sick. May it heal all who are suffering from COVID-19 at this time.


The power that rose Jesus from the dead still exists. It raises everyone who decides to follow Jesus from spiritual death into new life.


Recently, I have been writing about the one global family, and how every human being is a member of it. I truly believe that, and long for us to live out of that truth more and more with our daily decisions. If we did, it would change everything – economics, politics, environmentalism and international relationships. It is important and essential. But beyond the one global family that we are all born into, there is another family that God invites us to, which we have to choose to join – his spiritual family. Becoming a member of God’s spiritual family is the most important decision you can make in your life, and it has eternal significance – it is the way Jesus promised we would receive eternal life.

More than that, joining God’s spiritual family strengthens our participation in the one global family. For some, it represents a 180-degree turn to forsake selfish goals and oppressive practices and adopt loving goals and generosity. For others, it provides the spiritual strength to follow the law of love more deeply – even sacrificial love, like Jesus’.

So how does natural birth compare with spiritual birth?

  • Natural birth gives you earthly life.
  • Spiritual birth gives you eternal life.
  • Natural birth is universal.
  • Spiritual birth is a universal invitation, but it is your individual choice whether you accept it.
  • Natural birth makes you a member of the one global family.
  • Spiritual birth makes you a member of God's spiritual family.
  • Natural birth gives you human willpower to do good.
  • Spiritual birth gives you the power of the Holy Spirit to do good (with our cooperation).


As Jesus explained to a spiritual seeker, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:3, 5-6, The Bible, New International Version).


"Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." – Jesus, John 3:5, The Bible


The Spirit that Jesus was talking about is the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God. During spiritual birth God’s Spirit is born in us, then forevermore lives in us. The Holy Spirit gives us supernatural strength to overcome our own selfishness and shortcomings, and live more and more (albeit imperfectly) as Jesus did – loving both friends and enemies, investing his life in the healing and wellbeing of others – in other words, showing us how to live out our dreams for the one global family.

In fact, our spiritual birth is why Jesus came. Continuing his explanation, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17, The Bible, New International Version). And the way God saves us is by forgiving our failures through Jesus’ sacrifice when he died on the cross, and attributing Jesus’ holiness onto us when we place our faith in him.

On the third day after the crucifixion, Jesus’ friend Mary Magdalene was weeping at the tomb, distraught to see it empty and anxious to find Jesus’ body. Jesus appeared to her and said, “Mary!...Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17, The Bible, New International Version). Jesus often referred to God as “Father,” as in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9, The Bible), but this is the first time he called his followers brothers and sisters. A profound spiritual transformation had taken place. Satan tried to vanquish God’s kingdom on earth by killing Jesus, but God’s triumphed over Satan by raising Jesus from the dead. A new era was born. And people, as many as believed in Jesus, were enabled to become God’s sons and daughters.

Years later, Jesus’ disciple John rejoiced, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:3, The Bible, New International Version). What a marvelous thing indeed, that we can become spiritual children of God!


“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – the Apostle John, 1 John 3:3, The Bible


Friend, if you have not taken a deep look at Jesus yet: his claim to be the incarnate Son of God, his promise to save those who believe in him, and his offer of eternal life, would you please consider it sincerely? If it is true, there is no more important investment you can make. It is lifechanging here on earth, and comes with Jesus’ promise of eternal life in heaven. I prayed a prayer of faith in Jesus for salvation when I was eight years old. I felt God’s spirit enter my heart, and it changed my life forever. I've shared some of my spiritual journey on this website. It has not been easy, but it has been remarkable, and I cannot encourage you more strongly to embark on a similar journey yourself.

If you want to learn more about Jesus, here are some great ways:

  1. Start reading the Bible, beginning with Matthew and continuing through to Revelation (the New Testament). Then cycle back and read the Old Testament, starting with Genesis.
  2. Find people to talk to. You could contact me, but even better is a Christian friend you know, or a local church you can visit when the present isolation is over.
  3. There is a very helpful course called Alpha that answers common questions people have about God, Jesus, and the Bible. It was started by a skeptical lawyer, Nicky Gumbel, who set out to prove that Jesus was a false prophet and instead he became a Christian. My church will be hosting an online Alpha course starting May 19, 2020, and you are invited to join us. You can also check or inquire at churches near you to find one in your area.
  4. Follow a Bible study plan that explains things in a way you understand. I love two resources – The Bible app (YouVersion), which contains many translations of the Bible, and helpful plans to learn more about it. I especially like The Bible Project’s “read the Bible in a year” plan, but again, I suggest you do it out of order, starting at Matthew. You can also browse The Bible Project's videos and learning plans on their website. Even for an old faithful like me, they’re fascinating!


After learning more about Jesus and his claims, make a decision whether you want to accept his invitation into God’s spiritual family. Don’t simply learn about him without doing something about it. As learning about water doesn’t quench your thirst, learning about spiritual birth doesn’t make you reborn. Perhaps you can put a monthly reminder in your calendar that asks if you’re ready to trust in Jesus yet. It’s a very important decision in your life. Please don’t put it off; make an intentional choice to either accept or reject Jesus’ offer. If you are ready to do so, you can pray this prayer and I promise, Jesus will answer:

“Dear God, thank you that Jesus came to earth to show me your great love for me. Thank you that you loved me so much that Jesus was willing even to die on the cross so that I could be raised into new life in you. I confess that I have done wrong, and do not deserve heaven. But I also confess that I believe Jesus is the Son of God, and I choose to be born again today, right now, into your heavenly family, as you have invited me to. Please help me grow closer to you day by day by reading the Bible, and lead me to a spiritual community where I can grow and serve. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”


The gift of rebirth through faith in Jesus is the deepest source of peace I know.


The gift of rebirth through faith in Jesus is the deepest source of peace I know. I sincerely hope you will accept it, if you haven’t already. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t share Jesus’ warning with you. In his conversation with the seeker, he said, “Whoever believes in [me] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18-19). Dear friend, do not risk condemnation. Jesus is talking about eternal judgment, about heaven and hell. Good deeds are not enough to merit heaven – only sinless perfection will do, and Jesus is the only one who can claim that. He offers to forgive us and accept on his perfect merits just by praying to him in faith. If you are ready, please pray the prayer above now. I would love it if you emailed me to share the good news!

Happy Easter! He is risen! Those who have already joined God’s spiritual family can personally attest to you that indeed, it changes everything.


God’s Choreography

Friends, when I attended virtual church this morning, I was delighted with God’s choreography! Unbeknownst to me, God inspired my pastor, Steven Cox, to share a very similar message. He even leads a prayer for people who want to place their faith in Jesus at the end. Plus, my church is starting an online Alpha course. Isn’t God good? I encourage you to listen to the whole message, and the inspiring songs chosen for Easter, but especially this part about joining God’s heavenly family:

God bless you this Easter.


Article Type: 
Location :