Faith Matters: Strengthen your relationship with God. You will be glad you did

“When you see God first and foremost as your perfect loving Father, you will see yourself perfectly loved”

It would be fair to say that most believers in Jesus, when asked what religion they are or describe the faith they identify with, would respond Christian, and rightfully so.

But I want to challenge your thinking to cultivate your identity first as a son or a daughter of God. I am convinced that this powerful truth will change your life, the life of His glorious church and the people around you.

The term Christian is found in the New Testament only three times, while the term son and sons is found 479 times. In the Old Testament, the term people of Israel is found 10 times, while children of Israel appears 621 times.

Of note: These numbers were pulled from the New King James Version.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to begin with these two words: Our Father.

He did not say to pray to our provider, our healer or our deliverer, while all that and much more is true. He said: Pray, our Father, reminding us we are His children and that His Kingdom is a family.

Don Sturiano.jpg
Don Sturiano is the senior leader at Kingdom Life Christian Church in Bradenton.

What He wants most of all, from us all, is an intimate relationship with Him as beloved children.

But those who embraced him and took hold of his name were given authority to become the children of God! — John 1:12 The Passion Translation

Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in. — Matthew 18:3 The Passion Translation

Those void of the revelation of Sonship will live in the lesser reality of a spiritual orphan.

The foundation of an orphan is doing, the foundation of a son, is being. The foundation of an orphan is lack, the foundation of a son, is love, and love is endless abundance, because God is love.

Walking in Sonship is walking in love, walking in love is walking in assurance, walking in assurance is walking in abundance, and walking in abundance is walking in peace and joy.

Romans 14:17 (NKJV) for the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Orphan spirit = I do, so I can have ...

The Spirit of Sonship = I am HIS and one in Him, so I already have it all!

Acts 17:28 (NKJV) For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, “For we are also His offspring.”

“The Prodigal Son, was a son, who had forgotten, his sonship.”

Luke 15:17–22 The Passion Translation — Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing, and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees. So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love. “Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’ “The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’ “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger.

I no longer pray, asking God to make me a better husband, father to my children, a better pastor and so on. I pray; “Father, help me to further discover and be a better son to you.”

When I become a better son to Him, I become more like Him, thus becoming healthier at everything else.

Beyond anything else I could ever share with you; I offer you Jesus. Regardless of who you are, or what you’ve done, God is good, and He loves you. He sent His Son who paid the ultimate price for you. He died on a cross for your sins, but death could not hold Him. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you too can have a new and eternal life. Ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to heal you, to teach you His ways and to use you to help others. Welcome to the Kingdom, welcome to the Family of God.

Don Sturiano is the Senior Leader of Kingdom Life Christian Church, located at 3700 26th St W. in Bradenton. They meet every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Visit to learn more. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Bradenton Herald written by local clergy members.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald