1/3/2018 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
For Judy and me the Christmas season is one of our favorites; at times it can be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” when our kids and grandchildren come home to be with Nana & Papa. This past Christmas was one of those times. Although not all our children and grandchildren were able to come, we did end up with 6 adults and 9 of our 16 grandchildren under our roof.
If you have not enjoyed the snow storms and the cold this Christmas… it is Bella’s fault! Bella is our 6-year-old granddaughter that is from South Carolina. She has been praying for the past month that we would have snow and that it would stay while she was with us. I have been thinking, as I have been thawing out pipes these past few days, now that she is gone, it is time to tell her to stop praying!
The kids had a wonderful time sliding on the hill behind the house, playing in the snow, and just being together. One day I took my oldest grandson Jesse to Bass Pro Shop to spend the gift certificate that he got for Christmas. Although I don’t understand it (maybe you fishermen might), Jesse was so excited to be at Bass Pro Shop that I actually believe that Jesse thought that Bass Pro Shop would be what heaven would look like!
Then we went to my sister Susan’s where 60+ of us spent a couple of days together, in one house, and… we all left friends. That is quite an achievement when 4 of the 60+ people are pastors and 2 of those pastors are reformed!! 😊
As we look around us, we see that “the family” is being attacked from many outside sources: dual income families, kids’ extracurricular activities, sports, school activities, distance between family members, personality differences, unforgiveness, divorce, and the list goes on. These same things also attack the church family. The quality and quantity of time we have for each other is affected.
Our physical family and our church family is important for many reasons, but the most important reason is because these families are important to God. After all, family wasn’t something man came up with. Family is God’s idea. He designed it. He planned the family.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24
God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Genesis 1:28
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. Hebrews 2:10
God is all about family. Not only our physical family but our spiritual family as well. God’s very nature is relational. He describes Himself in family terms, such as Father, Son, and Spirit. The trinity is God’s relationship to Himself. It is the perfect pattern for relational harmony.
Family is important to God… He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:18. God didn’t need a family; God desired one, so He came up with a plan to create us, to be born like us and then to die for us so that we could become part of His family.
Although all people are created by God, not everyone is a child of God right now. I had no choice when it came to what family I would be born in; that decision was made by a sovereign God long before creation. Being part of God’s family is different: God doesn’t decide when we into His family, we do. For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:13.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
Every one of us belongs to 2 families. Our physical family (the families that we are born into) and the family that we chose to belong to (either God’s family or the family of God’s adversary, the devil).
I love it when my family comes to town. But my greatest joy is when my physical family chooses to be part of God’s spiritual family. My physical family is important to me, so I do all I can to bring them into my spiritual family because that family lasts forever. Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you and I can ever receive.
So, as we enter the new year, 2018, don’t be so caught up with what the world would have you do, that you forget your family. Make every effort to lead your children and grandchildren to Christ, because when you do, you get the opportunity to spend time with them for all eternity!
Sorry, but I need to go now, I must ask Bella to stop praying for snow!! Happy New Year.