A Family of Innocence


An African missionary family supported by my church came to the United States to visit when I was a child. During their stay, I remember sharing a car ride and a seat belt with one of the children, a boy about my age. He was black and I was white, and as we rode along, we felt each other’s hair and remarked to our mothers at the difference in texture. Our mothers laughed (probably noting how cute we were) before continuing with their conversation. My memory escapes me from here, but I have seen how time seeks to twist the innocence and fascination of children and replace it with fear of those who are different than we are. Thankfully, God has called those of us in the church back to innocence and to family and to him.

  • How has your redeemed identity as a child of God challenged you to see, love, and help others who are different than you?


27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Despite having different nationalities, how is the relationship between members of the two churches described in verse 29?
  2. What does Agabus’ foretelling from the Spirit communicate to us about God’s love?
  3. Cain asked God in Genesis 4:9, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Based on this account in Acts, what is the answer to Cain’s question, and why?
  4. The family of God transcends nationality and runs deeper than blood. How does this truth affect your worldview and the role you are called to play?


Where Judaism was a religion of ethnic exclusivity, Christianity blazed a trail of ethnic inclusion. The slave became the brother and the enemy became the friend. People of different languages and nationalities were born together into a new family as children of God, with the language that of the Holy Spirit, and the nationality, heaven. Perhaps God is giving us back our childlike hearts and a holy eagerness, where we help our siblings around the world and are filled with wonder at our differences.

  • In prayer, remember the needs of fellow believers around the world.
  • Ask the Spirit to give you a heart and desire to sympathize with and support God’s children.