Tag Archives: family

Chosen for God’s family

Ephesians 1:5-6  In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

God predestined us for adoption. He chose, before the world even began, to make us sons and daughters.  So often we see family terminology used in the Bible to describe our relationship with God.  He is our Father, we are heirs, adopted sons. We can’t choose our own family members, but God can and did choose His.  If you’re in Christ, God chose you.  You are His and He is yours.  And He chose you with a purpose.

God’s will is that we would bring Him glory.  His main purpose is not merely our redemption but that His holy name would be praised through our redemption.  He wants to pour out His goodness and grace on us in Jesus Christ for His glory.

There is nothing quite like the knowledge that you’ve been chosen by God Almighty to be part of His family to carry out His purpose.  But what are you going to do with that knowledge?  What will you do with that feeling you get from it?  He’s equipped you, so what are you doing to act on this fact?

The genealogy of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:17  So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

It’s no mistake and no coincidence that Matthew chose to begin his Gospel account with the lineage of Jesus.  While it may seem insignificant and we may choose to skip past this part of Scripture, every bit of it is intentional.  Jesus did not appear out of nowhere.  He was born to a specific human mother who was selected personally by God.  His earthly father was a man who came from a line of Jews that stretched all the way back to Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel.

It was Abraham who first received a promise from God in the form of a covenant, David with whom God renewed His covenant, and the post-exilic Jews who were told of the Messiah’s coming.  Each and every person in the history of Jesus’ genealogy is important as each of them has their own story.  Just as you and I are the product of our family line, so too is Jesus the product of His.  With the exception, of course, that He’s God.

Matthew’s inclusion of the genealogy shows the importance of the Old Testament to the New.  The story of Israel is the story of Jesus.  Those people who came before Him matter.  God ordained that Jesus be born into a particular family, to a particular mother.  But this was not the beginning of Jesus, only the beginning of His mission on earth.  Jesus existed long before His birth on Christmas…

The global Church

Ephesians 2:18-22 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

If the local church is a family, then the worldwide church is one great big family. All who put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation have been adopted into the family of God. That means that it doesn’t matter where you live on planet earth, we’re all one in Him.

This whole notion of a global Church is built on the foundation laid by Jesus Christ, the cornerstone. It’s in Him and through Him that the Church exists. If we’re in Him, we’re united as one. Regardless of language, worship style, Bible translation, or type of building, we share one thing in common: our Lord, Jesus.

This beautiful depiction of the church given in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians tells us all we need to know about the Church. Through Jesus we’re given access to the Father. We’re in one Spirit. We’re all citizens in the household of God, Jesus being the Head over us all.

If, instead of the Church being so divided, we’d come together, we’d see miraculous results. We’ll discuss further the idea of God’s people being built together into a dwelling place (living stones), but in the meantime take a few moments to re-read Ephesians 2:18-22 and really savor what it says. The global Church united under Christ is a thing of beauty.

The Church: a family

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

The church has been called many things. We use descriptive words to portray something that has various layers to it. When we think of the local church, many times the illustration that comes to mind is that of a family. The thing is, the church is not like a family, the church is a family.

Just as a family household has multiple people of different relations that all function in their own role, the church has lots of different people that are all related in Christ, each with his or her own specific place in the family.

That doesn’t just mean that we each have our own special talents to use in the church, which we do. It means, deeper than that, that we are called to be different things to different people within the church family. To some you might find yourself a counselor, to others an encourager, while someone else may need a mentor.

As followers of Jesus, we’re supposed to show love to everyone, but none more so than our own brothers and sister in the family of God. There’s no better place to find other people who will love us and support us, no better way to live out the calling in each of our lives.

The church is not like a family, the church is a family. It’s God’s family.

The true family of God

Ephesians 5:19-21 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,  giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,  submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

When God’s family comes together there’s a celebration. Because of all that the Father has done for us in Jesus Christ, there’s a lot to be thankful for, a lot of reasons to sing, so much to be thankful for.

How do you approach the weekly gathering of believers? Do you look at Sunday morning as a time to be solemn and quiet? Do you view it as a personal time of reflection? Those things have their place, but truly the gathering of the saints is a family reunion every time it happens.

The purpose of getting together with others who follow the Lord is to encourage each other, to build each other up, and to praise God in community with one another. We use our gifts to serve each other, put each other first, and honor Christ by doing so. Don’t be afraid to sing, don’t keep to yourself, don’t make it all about you. Sing, serve, encourage, and enjoy.

Learn to pray as part of a family

Ephesians 3:14-15 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

When we pray, we don’t do it as a chore that’s required of us to please a deity that doesn’t care about us personally. When we pray we approach our loving Father, who cares about us. He’s not distant from us, He’s only a prayer away.

All too often we neglect to pray in the context of a family. If you’re a child of God who has been adopted into His family, then every other one of His children is your sibling. Families think about what’s best for every member, and Christians ought to do the same. We’re called to be part of God’s family, to project His image into the world, and to carry out His purposes — together.

That means when we pray, we should be thinking about the greater context of God’s family. What’s best for the overall purposes of God? What will best benefit all of His people? Who can we pray for right now that’s
-weak and needs strength
-lonely and needs comfort
-sick and needs healing?

What does the Father want for me in the context of everyone He’s called to be His own? Does He want me to pursue something that makes me uncomfortable? I should pray for His guidance. Does He want me to reach out to someone? I should pray for boldness?

When you bow your knees before the Father, do so in a way that keeps in mind your place in His family, among many other children.

Member’s of God’s household

Ephesians 2:17-22 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The startling truth about God’s work to reconcile us to himself through Jesus Christ is that it comes with full acceptance. It’s not just that God forgives us and then forgets about us. He doesn’t forgive in a way that is passive. He fully forgives, so much so that He brings us on in to His own family and His own household.

Stop, think about that for a minute. You’re part of God’s own household. Does that seem a little crazy? It’s right there in His Word. It says it plain as day. He joined us together with Him and welcomed us into His household. We’re not strangers, not even just acquaintances. We’re His children and we belong in His home.

You know what you do with people who are truly welcome in your home? You invite them to make themselves comfortable, to eat of your food, to use your facilities. “My home is your home,” as the saying goes. But God is the one calling us to His home, allowing us to partake of everything that is His. This passage rightly points us that we are being built together as a dwelling place for God, with Jesus as the cornerstone. What a picture. What a home!

God Cares For His People

God is the ultimate family man.

1 Kings 17:8-16  Then the LORD said to Elijah, 9  “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”

10  So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11  As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

12  But she said, “I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

13  But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14  For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”

15  So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16  There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.

Every time that God punished the nation of Israel there was always a prophet to announce to the people and make it clear that the harsh times that were coming wasn’t just a coincidence but that it was a result of their sin and turning away from God.

God’s punishment for the sins of the nation of Israel didn’t exclude the prophets that were sent to announce the coming judgment, they also had to live through the hard times, but God took care of the men that took a stand for him and were willing to live for him.

Elijah told his countrymen that there would not be any rain which would in turn create a famine and even though Elijah had to live through the condition that he prophesied about he was sustained by God’s care. At first God provided a brook for Elijah to drink from and he sent the ravens to deliver meat for his prophet, but then after the brook ran out of water God chose a different way to provide for Elijah.

There were plenty of widows in Israel, women whose husbands had been killed in battle but God didn’t send Elijah to live with them but instead he was sent to a Gentile widow. Who knows, maybe this Gentile widow was a God fearing woman and was far more faithful than any of the widows of Israel. She certainly had some measure of faith since she was willing to prepare food and water for Elijah prior to feeding herself or her son. She believed in the promise of God and showed it by giving him his part first and then taking her portion from what was left.

Over and over again in scripture we see the Lord use the weak in this world as we see him give them the opportunity to do his work instead of the strong.

God’s people will have to suffer in this world when the country that they live in strays away from him. As America drifts away from God his people may have to suffer and may be persecuted but he will sustain his people and give them a bright future.

In desperate times we need to have the faith that God will sustain us.

Thank you for your love and goodness that provides for and sustains your people. I pray that our country will return to you and declare that you are the one and only God.