Advent Devotionals

Advent Daily Devotional - Meeting the Family

Day 18

Carlos Santiago


Day 18 – Wednesday, December 14


Key Verse: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” — John 17:20-21, New Living Translation


Today’s Reading: John 17

Listen to today's reading on her.BIBLE®

I had all the normal anxiety that comes from meeting your girlfriend’s parents, but to make matters worse, our two families were like night and day. My family was small. Hers was huge. Mine spoke English, hers spoke Spanish. From money and religion to everything in between, we were just different. 

When God adopts us into His family, we don’t just gain a Father. We gain a family. Unfortunately, the first time I showed up to a Bible study at church to meet this family, it was just as terrifying as meeting my now in-laws for the first time. 

On the surface, it can look like you have nothing in common with other believers, but it’s an illusion. Every believer on the planet, from every nation, every race and every culture, shares one very important quality. At some point, they recognized their sin and desperate need for a savior. They may be at different points in the journey, but they’re all heading in the same direction. They’re all trying to look like Jesus. Because of this, there is a unity to be had in the family of God that is unlike any other.

Jesus prayed for his believers to experience this unity. It might be scary, but we can’t allow fear to keep us from surrounding ourselves with fellow believers. Christianity cannot thrive in isolation. We need to regularly go to church, attend small group studies and develop discipleship relationships. We must be vulnerable enough that we allow ourselves to be known by the rest of the family.

But we can only experience it when we dare to show up. Will you?



Do you have friends who help you grow in your relationship with God? If not, make a commitment to go to where other Christians are to develop those relationships.



Dear Lord, I confess that sometimes it is hard for me to reach out and get to know others in the body of Christ. It is easier for me to focus more on the things that separate us than what unites us – Jesus. Help me to recognize the image of Christ in them so we may have unity as we seek to build each other up in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Deeper Dive

Read more in this article about how God made us to live in relationship with others

Carlos Santiago is a senior writer for FamilyLife and has written and contributed to numerous articles, e-books and devotionals. He was also a contributing author to “The Story of Us: A Couples Devotional” and “Drawn Together: A Couples Devotional.” He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in pastoral counseling. Carlos and his wife, Tanya, live in Orlando, Florida.


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