1/1/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –

Gower Family Christmas 2019

Three of our children came home for Christmas this year. Between Judy & me, and them, we represented 84 years of marriage!! We had a great time together! We played games and ate a lot of food. Judy made cookies with the younger grandchildren and we ate a lot of food. We got to watch some football and we also got to eat a lot of food. We got to play in the snow, do some sliding and ate a lot of food. We watched some movies, went to church together, and then ate a lot of food. There was a lot of noise to be made, presents to be opened, things to be broken, and, did I mention, we ate a lot of food!?!

For a couple of days we even spent some time at my sister Susan’s home, where 70+ of our family got together and played games, opened presents and ate a lot of food! I am not sure how many years of marriage were represented in that house, but I should mention that we remained friends and left looking forward to doing it all again next Christmas. It has just been a fun couple of weeks being together with family.

I think for some in the church today, we have forgotten how important family is to God. Sadly to say, it seems that some have taken on the attitude of the world. They might think that God’s family is a good thing but that there are other things that are much more important. Often we watch as people in the church live a life of isolation from God’s family, instead of living a life immersed into God’s family.

Yet the Bible is pretty clear from God’s perspective that His family is the most important part of all creation. He created people, not animals, not pets, not trees or mountains or any other part of his majestic creation to belong to his family; only humans. “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory. Hebrews 2:10 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5

We were formed by God with family in mind. Not an isolated family, or a dysfunctional family, but a family that does life together, a family that serves each other, a family that well…. operates like the Father, Son and Spirit operate, in relational harmony.

Yet you cannot have that kind of relational harmony without being together, spending time together, praying together, doing life together. God knows that too, that is why the Holy Spirit told us to… “Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

As much as we should enjoy being with our earthly family, our spiritual family should be even more important to us, because that family lasts forever. Although our families here on earth can be wonderful gifts, too often they are fragile, they can grow distant and cold, and they can be broken by divorce, drugs or alcohol. And of course there is physical death.

But our spiritual family is not this way. Our spiritual family is eternal, it is much stronger than blood, it is held together by the Holy Spirit. And because we are part of God’s family, everything He has, He shares with His family… “Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” Galatians 4:7

May this truth be embedded into our heart… “So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11  

If you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior, you are part of “The Family.” Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you and I will ever receive. Nothing else comes close. That is why Paul wrote… “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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 8:37-39

So as you make your plans for 2020, make sure you include time for your spiritual family. As you enter your church this Sunday, look around as a family member and not as an isolationist, not as a family member that thinks they already have too much to do. Look around and see what family member God would want you to minister to, to go out to lunch with, to pray with, to do life with, to serve or just share a word of encouragement with.

Oh it is important to invest your life in others outside the family, but God says it is of most importance to invest your life into His family…. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10

What a great resolution for 2020: choose to build meaningful relationships with God’s family, the family you will be spending all eternity with. Jesus said… “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples (family), if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

May your family grow exponentially in 2020!!