Summary: Every person has two basic universal needs: “To love and be loved” and “to understand and be understood.” Those two basic needs are best met in a loving caring community of believers.
Belong to God’s Family
Do you remember the fun times you had in your family growing up? One of the things I remember is the times we drove to visit relatives. When visiting my grandparents in Kansas City, Kansas I remember sliding down the long hills on a sled. I remember eating persimmons off their persimmon tree. I remember my Grandfather could make a sound just like a train whistle. I also remember his clear cut testimony of his faith in Jesus and his faithfulness attending church.
I remember the vacation times we took our four children to various vacation spots. Traveling with four kids is a challenge. I did most of the driving. By my driving, Carollyn had the opportunity and privilege of refereeing back seat warfare. We soon traded for a large van to make traveling with four easier with spaces so no one had to touch.
When I drove I had a mandate to travel far with only stopping for gas. No need to ask for directions. Did Lewis and Clark ask for directions?
Vacation time and visiting relatives are rewarding and memorable times. Why? Because we love to be with the ones we love.
Why did God created humankind? God created you to belong to His family. He created you for fellowship.
Fellowship and being part of the Family of God involves a choice. You choose to belong.
I. Belonging to God’s Family Requires a
1. Becoming part of the Family of God requires a commitment. You have to make a choice to belong.
Fellowship was a vital part of the early church. Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
The primary place of fellowship for the early Christian was in their homes. There are a number of places in the New Testament where it gives reference to “the church in their house.” Christians gathered together in homes and enjoyed eating meals together and praying and studying the teachings of the apostles.
Every person has two basic universal needs: “To love and be loved” and “to understand and be understood.” Those two basic needs are best met in a loving caring community of believers. On occasion we sing: “I’ so glad to be a part of the Family of God – I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, the family of God.”
2. You become part of God’s family through personally knowing and living for Jesus. I John 1:7 the Apostle John writes: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
What does it mean to walk in the light? To walk in the light is to walk in obedience to the teachings of Jesus and the Word of God. Walking in the light is a daily surrender to honor and live for Jesus. When you walk in the light of God’s word you have fellowship with one another and with Jesus.
What is fellowship? Some might say it is eating out together or going to church. I might walk up to someone after church and say, “What do you think of the Australian Open Tennis tournament?” “This is the first Grand Slam of the tennis season.” The other person might say. “Yeah, but Sampras my favorite is not playing.” I might say, “Andy Rodick got beat by the Russian Safin in five sets.” “That’s to bad.” Well have a nice week, it was nice fellowshipping with you.”
Now is that fellowship? No! That’s just having an interesting visit and having a little chat.
I looked up the Greek word for “fellowship” – “koinonia” and fond several definition in the Greek lexicon: “Share something in common, partner, close relationship and sharing,”
Fellowship is loving God’s family. I John 4:21, “The person who loves God must also love other believers.”
We make a common mistake when we say, “I’m going to go to church,” as if the church is a place. Church is a family of believers you belong to. Church is more than a place, or a service, or a building. It is belonging to God’s family.
Ephesians 2:19, “You are members of God’s very own family and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”
The early Christians gathered together and devoted themselves to the Apostles Teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
To gather together demanded a choice. Jesus taught that becoming a growing and maturing Christian was to belong to a group of fellow believers. To not want to belong to a church – God’s family would be like a football player saying he don’t want to be part of any team. Of a tuba player saying, “I don’t want to be part of an orchestra.” When the last time you heard a tuba solo? Or a bee saying, I don’t want to be a part of a hive.” A Christian without a church family is an orphan. A Christian is meant to belong. God never intended for Christians to life in isolation.