It’s popular today to dismiss all religions as merely an accident of birth. If a person is born in Pakistan, the odds are that she will be a Muslim. India produces Hindus, Thailand makes Buddhists, Brazilians tend to be Catholics, and so on. Have you wondered if the only reason you believe in Jesus is due to the influence of your parents or others? Is becoming a believer simply about being born in the right family?

The Christian faith does tend to run in families, and for good reason. God often uses people to bring sinners to Himself. Paul said, “ ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? . . . That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’ ” (Romans 10:13-15). This might require crossing an ocean with the gospel, but it should always start at home.

Paul told Timothy that a Christian heritage is a reason to praise God. He wrote, “Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers” (2 Timothy 1:3). The apostle chose to follow Christ and he implored Timothy to do the same. If you learned about Jesus from your parents, that’s something to be thankful for. But, regardless of where you were born or how you were raised, you can truly give thanks for the family of believers you’re now a part of. And, at home with those you love as well as with others you know, it’s your joy to freely share how to join the family of God.

This first appeared in “Our Daily Journey” (http://www.ourdailyjourney.org/).