The other day my brother and I were watching the new season of Duck Dynasty. If you haven’t seen it, Duck Dynasty is a reality show about a family from Louisiana who makes Duck Commander duck calls for a living. Even though they had very modest beginnings, in the last decade the company has exploded into a huge company. They have a reality TV show, they’ve written books, and tour all over the country. Along the way they’ve become very wealthy and very famous. They are also born again Christians who use their platform to share their testimonies.
As we were watching, we noticed a new face. After a few scenes they explained that this was a new member of the family, Rowdy Robertson---a 13 year old boy recently adopted by Willie and Korie Robertson.
As they told the story, I thought to myself, “This kid hit the adoption jackpot.”
Think about it: most of us have heard that most parents who adopt want babies or young children. Sadly, by the time a child is thirteen, the odds of them finding a forever family are slim.
Yet, here is this young man who statistically had very little chance of ever finding a forever family---who was not only adopted, but he was adopted into a family that has everything.
They are a close, loving family.
They are born again Bible believing Christians.
They have more than enough money to provide everything he’ll ever need.
And they adopted him as their own.
He gets to be a part of this amazing family. They call him “son” and he calls them “Mom and Dad”. At one point in the scene they say, “You’ll be a part of this family forever.”
From having nothing---not even the hope---to becoming part of a family that has everything---who could refuse this offer?
And yet, we, as human beings are given the same offer by God.
We, who have and deserve nothing but misery, pain, and heartache, have been offered the opportunity to move from “fan” to “family”.
To be given everything:
forgiveness of sins,
Heaven for eternity,
a personal intimate relationship with God,
healing for our hurts and wounds of our past,
restoration and the opportunity for a new life here on earth,
and the chance to be a part of God’s purpose and plan in the world.
And yet so many turn down the offer to become have a relationship and become family, but say, “I’m just good with religion. All I need is to be a good person, go to church, give to charity and do community service and I’ll be okay. I’ve got all that I need----I don’t need God getting too involved in my life trying to change anything."
Because of this choice of “religion” over “relationship” they are missing all of the benefits that come from having a personal relationship with Jesus and the life-changing difference He wants to make in their lives.
This absolutely breaks my heart because it’s such a waste….and honestly, such a lie.
God wants our adoption story to be so much more.
He wants to be more than just a part of our lives, He wants to BE our lives. He wants to give us more than just the hope of a future in Heaven, but He wants to offer us a rich, full, abundant life right now.
This can only happen when we choose to move past religion and begin to develop a personal relationship with Him.
It's when we move past being Sunday morning Christians, and make Jesus Christ the center of our lives every single moment of every day that we can experience everything we are offered rather than just sampling from the outside.
How do we do this?
First, it begins by moving past religion and confessing your sin and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is the beginning of your relationship.
That relationship develops as you spend time with Him in prayer and reading His Word.
As you learn His ways and choose to live by the principles laid out in the Bible.
When you open up your heart to Him and allow Him to heal the wounds of your past, set you free from the sins that are destroying your life, and make you into the new creation He wants you to be.
As you get to know Him personally, day by day, your relationship with God will grow and become stronger.
The more you live with Him, walk with Him, talk with Him, and allow Him to influence your life, the more you will begin to experience the benefits that come with going from "fan" to "family."
It all begins when you say, “Yes”
“Yes, I will accept God’s offer. Yes, I will stop following my own path of religion, confess my sins, and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus.
Yes, I want more than just religion---I want to be a true follower of Jesus.”
Just like Rowdy Robertson, the whole world has been offered to us---we have the opportunity to go from “fan” to “family”.
The question we have to answer is “Will We Accept It?”
Do you want religion or a relationship?