9/06/17 – Pastor Brian’s Blog

I was an avid baseball fan during my years in high school. I not only played baseball, I used to sneak my small transistor radio into my afternoon classes to listen to the World Series games. Back then professional baseball was not driven by TV revenue like today. When I was in High School you could actually listen to a complete baseball game during the day. Unlike today, when you start to watch the game one day and many times do not finish it until early the next morning. I feel a rant coming on but I will save that for another day and another blog.

For those that know me they may know that I am a source for some of the most useless information known to mankind. Why I can remember such worthless information is a question that my teachers used to ask me all the time! But I can remember watching the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Up to that point I do not remember a lot of baseball teams having a theme song, but this team did and it carried them all the way to World Series Championship. Their theme song was the wildly popular disco hit “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. The lyrics went like this….

We are family

I got all my sisters with me

We are family

Get up ev’rybody and sing

We are family

I got all my sisters with me

We are family

Get up ev’rybody and sing

Ev’ryone can see we’re together

As we walk on by

(Hey) and we fly just like birds of a feather

I won’t tell no lie

(ALL!) all of the people around us they say

Can they be that close

Just let me state for the record

We’re giving love in a family dose

I think God is leading me to do a series on the importance of God’s family at some point this fall at my church. Family, it is a word that many people know, but I am not sure that it is a word that many people understand. When I look back at what family looked like when I was growing up and what family looks like today, there is a huge chasm between the two.

Our youngest daughter Heidi and her family came to visit Nana & Papa last week and stayed through Labor Day weekend. My sister Kathy, her husband Tim, and my oldest sister Susan came down to spend Labor Day weekend with us as well. We had a great time together, we played games, had numerous cookouts, invited friends over to be with us, we all went to church together to hear my son-in-law David speak and well, it was just a fun time 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. That God’s family might be good but there are others things that are much better. 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, 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, not 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.

And 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 this…. Let us 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 so, 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 burn a hole in your 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 plan the next week, as you enter your church on Sunday, look around as a family member and not an isolationist, or 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 someone to 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 your 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

I think it’s about time that the church gets up and starts to sing about their family. I mean think about it, if people could identify Sister Sledge’s family, if the Pittsburgh Pirates could be remembered for being a family, then why not the church? We can, if we chose to begin building meaningful relationships with them.

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “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 13:33-35

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