By Marni Montanez
John 1:12-13 - Family
New International Version (NIV)
12. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13. children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
In other words the verse describes being “Born again” into the family of God
In this last year I have understood more about what a functional healthy family truly looks like in God's view than any other time in my life. I see how this kind of healthiness allows freedom of expression and encouragement to be honest with feelings and emotions.
Being part of a family is a huge responsibility. It is to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself. In a family there are challenges that provide opportunities to grow and change and become all that you were meant to be. If it is a healthy environment, it means learning to communicate in appropriate ways that bring peace.
In some ways we become like the rest of the members of this unit. We eat certain foods and celebrate similar events together. There are characteristics that become part of our interaction and our beliefs are shaped and shared as we live and commune. In God’s family it is no different. As we come to know the Father and spend time with Him we start becoming more like Him and more like minded with each other. It is a place where the best you is encouraged to thrive and where the worst of you is forgiven. A family has a common goal and that is to help one another succeed emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
In a family there is constant compromising and renegotiating with the others. This experience helps each one to enter the world feeling safe and steady knowing there is always someone standing alongside ready to cheer the other on.
We have lost a lot of this connection in churches. The church was once a place where a sense of family would unite hearts, but now we build high protective walls and know nothing or very little of each other’s battles. We’re like strangers who join together to worship God and then when that allotted time is over we walk away in our pain and loneliness. This is how the enemy has been able to pick us off one by one. We need to start looking at each other as part of a real family….God’s family at the foot of the cross where the blood of Christ runs through our spiritual veins and where our common belief in Jesus Christ purposes our hearts to walk in one direction; to live for God.
Challenge: Start reaching out to others in your church and find out what is going on in their lives. Build relationships.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.