Who is Our Family?

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

I want to talk about one word today, family. For some people, that word comes with feelings of love, affirmation and wonderful holiday gatherings. For others, that word may stir up feelings of deep sadness, anger or even bitterness. In our broken, imperfect world, I think it’s safe to assume many of us fall in between those two extremes. My early years found me as the only child in a broken home. My present years are lived in a God-centered marriage with four wonderful children. As soon as I had my first child I knew I wanted to provide the home and family life that I always wanted. God has been gracious to redeem and restore that path for me.

While our biological family was required to bring us into this world, I think it’s important to realize that just because we are related to someone doesn’t mean we have the same beliefs, goals and ideas of how a family should function. Our culture likes to tell us that family is everything and we must do our best to please everyone in our family, but sometimes this clashes with the direction God is asking us to go. Finding myself in the midst of one of these situations, I recently came across Matthew 12:48-50:

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

All of a sudden those verses, that I have read many times in my life, seemed crystal clear. My church family is an incredible group of solid believers. We worship together, do life together, encourage each other, pray for each other and stand up to help each other in a moments notice. These brothers and sisters in Christ are doing the will of the Father, and they are truly the greatest family I have ever had.

Webster’s 1828 defines family as: “the collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager”. I can’t help but see the similarity between this definition and how God sees his Bride (the Church). It’s “members” are all the different parts of a working body that come together and function as a whole. This is family.

Final Thoughts…

We all have members of our biological family that need to meet the real Jesus face to face. It is important to intercede for these individuals so that they too can one day be a part of a healthy and functioning family of Christ-believers. It’s a beautiful thing to have spiritual mentors, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters all in one place all doing the will of the Father. Our jealous God longs to adopt all of us into this family. He knows the kind of maturation, growth and discipling that happens when His Bride functions as it should. Lord, bring Your prodigals home.