Friday, April 19, 2013

We Are Family

“For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).

Since we know that Jesus is God then we know also that Jesus loves His family. But, if we truly know Jesus as He revealed Himself, then we also know that Jesus placed highest value in His spiritual family. It isn’t that He didn’t love His earthly family but His spiritual was motivated by the depth of His love. His spiritual family was made up of those who heeded His words, embraced His love and followed His direction. They were people who were united in their devotion to Jesus and His Father. His love wasn’t made greater because they listened to Him but it was engraved deeper into their hearts, and as a result, they were being transformed. The church today is the continuation of that family tree that has its roots in the truth revealed in His word.

Paul reminds us that the church is a family unit “having been knit together in love” (Colossians 2:2). He uses a form of the Greek word agape for “love” here to show that the love that binds us together is an acting love. What keeps the church strong is their willingness to serve, love and encourage one another. When we see a brother or sister in need, we unite as a group to bring strength to the individual. We do this knowing the church gets stronger when the struggling individual perseveres through the trial: “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). We are a caring group that is separated from the world because of our embracing our Lord’s love (John 13:34-35).

Our love for each other could not be complete without a deep down longing for Jesus’ teaching. Jesus came as One who had the mind of God and the heart to reveal that mind. He left the realm of heaven to come to teach us how to live as God’s chosen vessels. Remember, this world thinks we are all chosen vessels but the Bible shows us there are a certain group that continues to allow God’s love to mold them into His image instead of letting the world make us look like them. God’s plan is for His church to be cleansed for the work He has assigned them and without His cleansing one cannot be set apart for His work: “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Jesus used His words to reveal the mind of God to make known His purpose, power and presence in the church. When we love this teaching we make it our lives. And as we continue to grow and learn from our Master, we become more and more like Him every day. How can one not love His word knowing that it is preparing us for eternity?

The church on earth is known as His disciples. Disciples are people that learn. They deny what they once thought as truth and embrace the truth the Christ has revealed. They will not be persuaded by men, either by trickery or by force. Disciples have only one Master and that is Jesus. They know how important it is to live according to truth: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). Disciples need the love of Christ to survive. But to abide in that love they must stand against the trickery of people who have been deceived by the evil one who doesn’t want them to know the power of this love (2 Corinthians 4:4). True disciples give their lives to the cause of their Teacher, and that is to save the world from the hands of the accuser, who is trying to keep them from living eternally. Many in this world are disciples but only a few are true disciples of Christ. Only a few are willing to live and die for the purpose of saving souls.

In His Grace,

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