Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
TITLE: Thicker than Blood: Cousins in Christ
By Angie Phillips
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My favorite cousin sent me a pink satin scrapbook of memories in appreciation for joining her to rejoice the birth of her first son. She'd waited many years to marry but God favored her to conceive at the ripe old age of 42. Turning the lovingly written pages I ponder the special bond between my cousin and I. The saying goes, "blood is thicker than water" so naturally I favor my cousins more than friends and neighbors. We’re so genetically similar, people often remark about our common features. Often I admire my cousin's resemblance to my grandmother. We share common morals and values. We inherit the same culture and history. The scrapbook records memories of important occasions between us since birth.
We not only share rejoicing; we share grieving, too. When my dad passed away she took off work to mourn with me without paid benefits. Employers don't recognize cousins as immediate family! Likewise I didn't mind paying the price for a last minute plane ticket to rejoice the birth of her first child. We confess our most intimate thoughts loving each other despite our faults. Ultimately, our love allows us to make any sacrifice.
Our recollections parallel the story of two favorite cousins who also had God's favor. The aging barren Elizabeth and the unwed Virgin Mary rejoiced over the blessing of each others miracle conceptions. Mary wasted no time making the trip to join her favorite cousin, too.
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:39-41 NKJV
Elizabeth’s son John witnessed the Holy Spirit in the presence of his cousin, Mary's holy embryo. The blessed cousins inherited God’s favor to fulfill His promise, a divine plan made at Creation, an opportunity for the entire human genome to be saved despite our sins. John’s father Zacharias prophesied, “you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.” Luke 1:76 NKJV
According to God’s purpose John baptized Jesus in water then witnessed "the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and He remained upon Him." God revealed to him, "this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." John 1:32-32 NKJV
Blood may be thicker than water, but the Spirit is thicker than blood.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit creates a heavenly bond greater than genetic bonds.
The blood of Christ unites us eternally through spiritual ties in heaven stronger than flesh ties on earth.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 NKJV
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…Romans 8:16 -17 NKJV
As Believers we become part of a royal family; sisters, brothers, cousins, the joint heirs to God's kingdom sharing an inheritance in heaven with Christ.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV
Like my scrapbook, we have a testament memorializing occasions since creation that God inspired patriarchs, prophets and apostles to lovingly record for us. A loving family member, Jesus accepts our confessions loving us despite our faults. He didn't mind paying the price for our redemption. Ultimately, His love allowed the sacrifice of His own life for our everlasting life.
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29 NKJV
Cousins in Christ, we share Abraham’s heritage and God’s promise to his seed. We share common morals and values. Look on our Christian cousins’ face for their resemblance to Jesus. The world may not recognize our close family bond, but treat our cousins in Christ as immediate family. Believers! Love humanity as God so loved the world!
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