1 John 4:13: The Family Crest

I John 4:13 “We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”

My maiden name is Smith. Try as I may, I have difficulty tracing my family tree past a certain point. There are just too many of us! But the name Brumbaugh is a different story. Whenever we meet or hear of another Brumbaugh family, we know there is probably a connection somewhere or other.

Interestingly, there is a Brumbaugh family crest. It is a badge of belonging, showing that the bearer of that crest is a true member of that family. When I married my husband, I was given the right to claim that crest as my own. I am a Brumbaugh, my children are Brumbaughs, and their children will be Brumbaughs.

Old Stone Shield2

When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit is sort of like our family crest. On the outside, we may not look any different. It may be hard to tell us apart from the rest of the world, just by looking at the surface. But deep down, we will carry with us a badge of belonging – the Holy Spirit – which assures us of our status as a true child of God.

Having God’s Spirit live in us doesn’t make any sense to those living without the Holy Spirit. How can we possibly know that God is in us, when we can’t see, touch, feel, hear, smell Him? But I know. I know that I live in Him and He lives in me, because I have experienced Him in my life.

At the moment we acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son, believe in what He did for us on the cross, and accept His free gift of salvation, God adopts us into His family. At that moment, He marks us with the family seal, which is His Holy Spirit. Never again will I be without Him, for He lives in me, and I in Him. What a glorious discovery!

Now, many of His children choose to stray, and become wayward children living as paupers when they could be living as kings. But though our decisions may lead us astray, though our circumstances may change, we will always bear the family seal. We will always be His children, for though He may chastise us, He will never disown us. And like the prodigal son spoken of in Luke 15, He will always welcome us home with open arms, for that is where we belong.

Dear Father, Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, which marks me as Your child. When Your Spirit speaks to me, guides me, and whispers words of wisdom to me, help me to listen. I love you.

8 Responses to 1 John 4:13: The Family Crest

  1. June 14, 2009 #

    Excellent post! And that crest is visible in the whole realm of the spirit, even if it’s not in the natural. Like those invisible ink hand stamps that only show up under certain lights. I love it. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  2. June 14, 2009 #

    Thanks, Niki! It is an awesome thought, isn’t it?

  3. June 14, 2009 #

    Lovely. I am finishing up some genealogy work in anticipation of a trip to my mother’s family home in Pennsylvania. But my real genealogy work needs to be done in getting my heart in tune with the Holy Spirit.

  4. June 14, 2009 #

    What a great thought, Anne!

  5. June 15, 2009 #

    I love the prodigal son story. As I remember, not only did the father welcome him with open arms, he ran to him! To think God loves us so much that He would run to us–wow. I’m so glad to be in His family!

  6. June 15, 2009 #

    Me too, Cheryl!

  7. June 16, 2009 #

    That is really encouraging for me Renae. I mess up quite a bit, but just knowing that I have God’s seal upon my heart reminds me that I’m never outside of His love.


  8. June 16, 2009 #

    Hi Travis! You’re exactly right. We can never do anything that puts us outside of His reach, or outside His love for us. We were bought with a price. We have His seal on us. We are His, and He will never let us go.

    — Renae

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