Sunday 20 September 2015

Psalm 68:5-6 « He is a father to the fatherless and an advocate for widows. God rules from his holy palace. God settles those who have been deserted in their own homes; he frees prisoners and grants them prosperity. But sinful rebels live in the desert. »

How is God, the king of the universe, in His holy habitation?  He is a father to those who have none.  He defends those in society that are the most vulnerable.  And God is a God of the family.

Of all the things that God could have used to reveal Himself to humanity, He chose the image of a father.  And He did so knowing full well that the greatest destructive force in the world would be set against the family.  God always intended that the best school would be in the home.  The best place to learn about moral choices would be the home. And the place where we would discover and put to the test our personal identity would be in the love and security of the home.

But man cannot build something for which he doesn’t have a building plan.  He needs either a plan, or a model to follow.  And for most of us today, the families we grew up in were not great models.  So where can we get a model?

Again, I turn to the calling and purpose of the local church.  God intends the local church to see itself as a family and to build itself accordingly.  That means, my dear friend, that you have a place in the family.  And the extent to which you do not take hold of that place is the extent to which the church is incomplete.

Our church is first and foremost the place of God’s presence.  And we are called to be people of His presence.  Secondly, our family is called to build a culture of honor between the members of the family.  Thirdly, we are called to foster a culture of discipleship.  For every member should be a disciple and every disciple should make disciples.  And finally, our family is called of God to impact the world around us in a way as to advance the influence of God in the daily affairs of our society.

You have an integral part to play in this.  You should not be content simply to have your personal needs met.  You should be desiring to grow in Christ so that He uses you to touch the lives of others. We are not called to walk this walk of faith alone. Cherish the relationships he has given you with other members of the family.

I encourage you to re-commit yourself to what God is doing in your local church. Maybe you have allowed fears, disappointments, frustrations, or hurts to define your role in God’s family.  Trust in God’s presence and promise.  And allow Him to define your role in His church.  And whatever that role is, do it with all your heart for the glory of God.

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