Family

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34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” — Mark 3:34 NIV

Our society becomes more and more mobile with each new generation.  This has been true from the beginning until now and it doesn’t show any signs of changing.  This fact has an upside and a downside.  The upside is that God uses these changes to spread the Gospel.  Paul went on missionary trips on roads built by the Romans.  His travels in one lifetime would have been impossible a few generation earlier.  For years, people debated about whether or not it was possible for every human to hear the Gospel.  Now we know that that could be done with one message broadcast on satellite TV.  Of course, there are many worldly benefits as well.  The downside of all this mobility is the loss of family.  We no longer live next door to our parents, siblings or any close relatives.  That fact contributes to a lot of loneliness and also the sense of what “family” really means.  But, God knew this was coming so He made it possible for us to have family wherever we find ourselves.  Each one of us lives in communities where, with a little effort, we could be surrounded by family.  Jesus was, at first, rejected by His family.  Yet, this did not deter Him from having a family.  If you find that your occupation and/or your decisions have taken you a goodly distance from your family, find a Church that believes in the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of Christ.  There you will find a new family that can mean just as much or more than your natural family.  And, of course, there is always Jesus, a friend who sticks closer than a brother or a sister or a mother or a father.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-14-2018

Spiritual Ancestry

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15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. – 1 Cor. 4:15 NLT

Paul has not been trying to shame the Christians at Corinth, but rather his intention is to teach them as a Father would teach his children. He wants them to have a closer relationship with Christ and to do this, they are going to have to have a change of attitude. He tells them that although they may have legions of angels watching over them, they have only one Spiritual Father and that is himself. Spiritual parents are the people who prayed for us and brought us to repentance through the preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel. They have, as it were, birthed us into the Gospel. Then as our spiritual parents, they feel a great responsibility to teach us how to live a Holy lifestyle. So, Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate his lifestyle of humility and obedience. Paul has sent to them Timothy, who is his Spiritual son, to help them to stay on course. Paul is reminding them that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. Again, it is a message, not only to the Corinthians but to us today.
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy​.​”​​​-​– 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-09-2018

“You’re A Good, Good Father”

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Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Gal. 4:7 NLT
It was God’s plan from before the beginning of time as we know it that every person that was born would have an opportunity to become His child and an heir. Under the law, man was a slave to that law and could not become an heir. When the set time had come, God sent his Son. Born under the law to a fleshly woman. God did this so that we could be adopted into His family. Now, that Jesus has been resurrected, we have the opportunity to become children of the Most High God and He would send His Spirit to make His home inside us. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we can call out “Abba”, which is Aramaic for Daddy. We are sons and heirs of God, not because of anything we did or could do, but simply because God loved us enough to make a way for us. He is not only our Father, but we have a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. So close that no matter how big we may get, we can still crawl up in His lap and He will hold us and love us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38, 39 (NIV)
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-95-2018

Taking Care of the Family

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15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. – John 17:15 NLT
 

We have the privilege of listening into a personal conversation between Jesus and our Father. As we read through the prayer that Jesus is praying for His disciples, we get a little glimpse of His love and compassion for them. Jesus is not asking God to remove all the bumps, He is asking Him to keep them safe as they travel the rocky road. He is also asking our Father to teach them the truth. Jesus, as the oldest of all God’s children, is taking the responsibility of being sure that the family is being taken care of while He is separated from them. Of course, He knows that our Father is going to take good care of the disciples, but His compassion demands that He set the example for them to ask. Not only that, but He is paying in advance for their care by giving His life on the cross. Jesus is the perfect example of a servant, a brother, a friend and a Redeemer.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-25-2017

Join the Family

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11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  —Romans 5:11 NLT
There is only one Creator who would create a creature knowing that it would require His death to redeem that creation. What kind of Creator has that much love for His creation?  God, and God alone, because He alone is complete, pure love. God, as the man Jesus did not die for some bogus religion of the world. He died to renew the relationship that He had with man in the Garden of Eden. We call that relationship, Christianity. There is no comparison of Christianity to any religion in the world. Christianity is eternal because it is based on Jesus Christ, who died and was resurrected for our sins. He knew from before the foundations of the earth that He would have to do that. Sin took away that relationship and introduced all kinds of false hopes, which the world calls “religions”. All those religions are named after and founded on the teachings of dead men. But, praise God, Christianity is named after and based on the teachings of a LIVING GOD and SAVIOR! One who longs to talk to You and show You His love in the tiniest details of Your Life.

If, up until now, you have only experienced “religion”, it is time for you to get into a “relationship” with the One and Only Living God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is standing at your heart’s door and knocking. Open up to the most beautiful and meaningful relationship you will ever know.

Post 10-09-2016

Pray Together – Stay Together

even-smaller-bug-light11 Then Job replied to the Lord:  2  “I know that you can do anything,   and no one can stop you. — Job 42:1,2 NLT

Job 42:1-7

​We are all familiar with Job’s story and all the things he had suffered at the hands of satan.  ​God had allowed this to happen even though God considered Job a righteous man.  Remember that God pointed Job out to satan and asked him “have you considered my servant Job?”  Reading through the book of Job brings up a lot of questions.  It also shows us that sometimes good friends can give us some bad advice.  God wasn’t happy about the advice Job’s three friends had given him.  It is good to get advice from Godly people, but sometimes God wants to speak to us directly and wants us to lean on Him and Him alone.  There are mysteries that only He can solve and situations that only He understands.  There are lessons that only God can teach us.  God considered Job a righteous man but that doesn’t mean that Job didn’t sin.  After all, there has only been one perfect man to ever walk this earth.  Perhaps Job sinned in that he was always the one that offered sacrifices after the lengthy parties that his sons threw at their homes.  Job1:1-5   We are not told whether or not he taught this practice to his kids, only that he always did it for them.  Which begs the question. are we actively teaching our kids how to walk with integrity before God?  Are we praying with them or just praying for them?  When situations arise, are we doing all the praying and sacrificing or are we teaching them that the whole family prays, ask for God’s forgiveness and sacrifices together?

Post 04-09-2016

Why is Assembling Together Important?

even-smaller-bug-light134 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” — Mark 3:34 NIV

Our society becomes more and more mobile with each new generation.  This has been true from the beginning until now and it doesn’t show any signs of changing.  This fact has an upside and a downside.  The upside is that God uses these changes to spread the Gospel.  Paul went on missionary trips on roads built by the Romans.  His travels in one lifetime would have been imposssible a few generation earlier.  For years, people debated about whether or not it was possible for every human to hear the Gospel.  Now we know that that could be done with one message bradcast on satellite TV.  Of course, there are many worldly benefits as well.  The downside of all this mobility is the loss of family.  We no longer live next door to our parents, siblings or any close relatives.  That fact contribues to a lot of loneliness and also the sense of what “family” really means.  But, God knew this was coming so He made it possible for us to have family wherever we find ourselves.  Each one of us lives in communities where, with a little effort, we could be surrounded by family.  Jesus was, at first, rejected by His family.  Yet, this did not deter Him from having a family.  If you find that your occupation and/or your decisions have taken you a goodly distance from your family, find a Church that believes in the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of Christ.  There you will find a new family that can mean just as much or more than your natural family.  And, of course, there is always Jesus, a friend who sticks closer than a brother or a sister or a mother or a father.
Post 02-18-2016

Family Court

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

​1​ If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!–1 Cor. 6: 1-6 NIV
​Can you​ imagine what it would be like to attend a congregation where everyone agreed to take their complaints against each other to the congregation and accept their decision? Wouldn’t this be a good example for the world to see? Paul says we should be able to judge the trivial things ourselves. Anything short of salvation is trivial. Why do we ask the world to judge between us? Is it ego, greed, or revenge? Since we have access to heavenly wisdom, who could be wiser in judging than God’s children? We are all one family, the family of God. For us to ask the world to settle our disputes is somewhat like hanging out the family’s dirty laundry. The world is probably never going to recommend that we just forgive each other and move along since they look on humility and meekness with scorn. But that is exactly what the Holy Spirit recommends for members of the body.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.—Eph. 4:31,32 NIV
Post 05-18-2015

Daddy’s Love

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 ​What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir– Gal. 4:1-7 (NIV)
​It was​ God’s plan from before the beginning of time as we know it that every person that was born would have an opportunity to become His child and an heir. Under the law, man was a slave to that law and could not become an heir. When the set time had come, God sent his Son. Born under the law to a fleshly woman. God did this so that we could be adopted into His family. Now, that Jesus has been resurrected, we have the opportunity to become children of the Most High God and He would send His Spirit to make His home inside us. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we can call out “Abba”, which is Aramaic for Daddy. We are sons and heirs of God, not because of anything we did or could do, but simply because God loved us enough to make a way for us. He is not only our Father, but we have a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. So close that no matter how big we may get, we can still crawl up in His lap and He will hold us and love us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38, 39 (NIV)

Post 04-01-2015

Have the Attitude of Christ

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion​ ​and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!—Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV)​
In today’s world, it seems more and more​ that we hear about evangelists and preachers that have been caught in compromising situations. We know that now, just as in the first century, there are those who preach the gospel for the wrong reasons. Paul spoke about this in his writings.
18 But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.—Philippians 1:18 (NIRV)
​Jude, the ​brother of Jesus, spoke about it as well.
4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.–Jude 1:4 (NIV)
​Once we have​ heard the pure word of God and accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the battle has just begun. There will be those people who want to lead us astray for their own gain or fame. But, we must remember that true repentance is not only turning from sin but it is turning to Jesus. There is no turning back.​Does this mean that we will never fall?​ No, but it does mean that we won’t return to our old lifestyle. Our focus has turned from pleasing our flesh to pleasing our Lord and Savior. We need to ask Jesus for forgiveness when we fail, but we don’t need to let the devil keep us “sin-conscious”. We need to stay “Jesus conscious”.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.–Phil. 2:5 (NASB)
Post 03-17-2015