Membership Has Privileges

Many of us join different organizations and rewards programs for various reasons. We get things such as frequent flyer miles, discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals, discounts on other items we purchase; we also join organizations and clubs for social reasons, professional connections, support, community service and so many other reasons.  But none of these benefits come close to the privileges we receive when we become a part of God’s family through acceptance of His Son as our Lord and Savior.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become God’s children; He is our heavenly Father. That is something that makes me want to shout.  We are children of the most high God!  As earthly parents, we know how much we love our children and care for them and make sacrifices for them.  So just image taking that love to a totally new dimension, a whole new level!  As a mother of three kids, (all grown up now, but they are still my babies), I know the love I have for them.  Parents want the best for their children; they want them to live up to their potential, to be happy in life.  We rejoice in their accomplishments, and we comfort them in their pain.  We are there for them in good times and bad times. So just imagine what God will do and does do for His children!
I’d like to share with you a few times in my life that I relied on the privileges that come from being a child of God.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2002; that was my Christmas present that year. I had prayed that the biopsy would come back benign, but it didn’t.  God knew what was best, and I had to trust Him to see me through it. He was with me all the way, through the 4 rounds of chemotherapy and the 6 weeks of radiation.  He wasn’t like some of our so-called “fair weather friends” who are with us as long as things are going good, but when times are tough, they are nowhere to be found.  God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. We have that assurance that He will always be there to fight our battles, and He gives us strength to make it through.
When I was laid off in 2009 after thirty years of service, with 2 kids in college and a third in high school, God provided a way for us to put all 3 of our kids through college, and they graduated debt free. Ain’t God good! I never doubted that He would provide.  I knew that the company was not my provider; God is my provider.  Just as God had used that company to provide for our needs for 30 years, He provided other employers and means to provide for our needs after that.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time.  It was not a recurrence; it was a totally new cancer in the other breast. When my husband and I met with the doctor and nurse to go over the biopsy results, it was a very short and interesting meeting.  We were brought back to a room to wait for them to come in.  When they entered, the nurse had a box of tissue in her hand.  They sat down and told us the news that the biopsy results showed that I had cancer, again.  Undoubtedly, they had expected me to break down in tears.  I looked at my husband and told him that we had trusted God to get me through the first time, and I was going to trust Him to fight my battle and to bring me through it again this time. And He did!
Through these seemingly bad situations, God worked everything out for my good.  He showed me that He has great plans for me, plans to prosper me, to give me hope and a future. In 2011, I published my first book of inspirational poetry, which includes a poem about my 2 battles with breast cancer.  I also started my own tutoring company that year.  In 2013, I published a set of 3 children’s books for beginning readers. And just last fall, I, along with 3 other retired NCCU alumni and my daughter, started an independent, nonprofit K-2 school serving low-income families in the East Durham community. Starting and operating the school has had its challenges, but God has made a way, and we will complete a very successful school year in a few weeks.

I’ve learned that being a part of God’s family has lots of privileges. We are told to expect problems; everyone will have them; no one is exempt. But, as children of God, we have the assurance that God is with us and will see us through.  Sometimes He even carries us through, just as we read in the story “Footprints in the Sand.” He will fight our battles and nothing is too hard for God.  He will give us strength to endure. We know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory.  God has great plans for us and He causes all things to work out for our good.  These are just a few of the privileges of being in God’s family. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this family? The choice is yours.  God has already given you an invitation to make Jesus your Lord and Savior and become a part of His family. No application required. What are you waiting for?
Join the Fruit of the Spirit Messenger site and get in on the conversation, share your fruitful encouragement, receive your spiritual nourishment, and start living a fruit-filled life!  “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Deborah Watkins
“At Your service to do Your Will”