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Illustration;According to a study of more than 500 family counselors, the following are the top traits of successful families:
*Communicating and listening *Affirming and supporting family members *Respecting one another *Developing a sense of trust *Sharing time and responsibility *Knowing right from wrong *Having rituals and traditions *Sharing a religious core *Respecting privacy.
Focus on the Family Bulletin, December, 1988 .
1. How would you respond if someone asked you, "What are some of the benefits of being a member of the family of God?
Many of us would probably express our gratitude for Godís promise of eternal life, His protection and His blessings.
However, many Christians continue to fail to appropriate all the advantages they have as Godís child. Some live as rebels instead of children whose lives are pleasingly fruitful.
In Godís family we have a special identity, role and responsibility. Paul writes, "And if we are His children, then we are His heirs also; heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (sharing His inheritance with Him)." (Rom. 8:17)
Our heavenly Father bestows upon us a benediction, a blessing. God gives us of Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit Ė this is our greatest possession Ė His presence, His power and His love. (Psa. 16:11) He gives us a sense of belonging, acceptance and importance as children of a King.
God provides us with an inheritance of joy even with all the sorrows and hardships of life. The Lord bestows upon us a continual sense that we are secure since we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.
We are given so much and yet many will go to heaven with little in our hands to present as fruitful gifts to lay at His feet Ė why? Must we go on to heaven nearly empty-handed?
Ask the Lord to help you learn how to better appropriate the heritage that is yours as member of the family of God.
2. Paul teaches us that Godís family members have been delivered from bondage to sin. Godís children are liberated from sin, death and eternal judgment because Christís redemption.
No longer do His family members have to be defeated by guilt, helplessness or fear.
We can really mean it when we sing, "Iím so glad Iím a part of the family of God. Washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood. Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod. Iím so glad weíre a family. A family of God."
Ask the Lord to help you to be more thankful for delivering you and giving you liberty to do everything God asks you to do with Christís help.
3. Paul teaches us how to appreciate our adoption when we consider the plight of non-family members.
Consider the terrible state of non-christians. Not only do they not enjoy the privileges, benefits and advantages of being a part of Godís family but they remain alienated from God, imprisoned by sin, belonging to the kingdom of darkness, guilty, vile, helpless, self-destructive, hostile, spiritually dead, lacking spiritual wisdom, fearful, angry, lustful, covetous, selfish, impure, mis-directed, hopeless, and condemned Ė to name but a few of the disadvantages.
Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You are of your Father the devil." (John 8:44)
Ask the Lord to help you develop a greater passion for bringing people into the
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