Summary: As Christians, we are adopted into God’s family, God becomes our Heavenly Father, and we are brothers and sisters. We are better together.
BETTER TOGETHER: MY FAMILY’S JOURNEY WITH GOD (20 YEARS AND COUNTING)
INTRO: Happy Father’s Day! SKIT GUYS FATHER’S DAY VIDEO
OPENING TEXT: “God’s unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” (Eph. 1:5, NLT).
THE BIG IDEA: As Christians, we are adopted into God’s family, God becomes our Heavenly Father, and we are brothers and sisters. We are better together!
I. ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY:
“So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family -- calling him "Father, dear Father.” (Romans 8:15, NLT).
• What an awesome privilege, to be adopted into God’s family!
#1 Family Value: Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35, NKJV).
• “God sets the solitary in families.” (Psalm 68:6a, NKJV).
II. MY FAMILY’S JOURNEY WITH GOD:
Today I want to share with you my family’s journey with God!
1. Bible College: Shortly after becoming a Christian, I went to BC to attend CFNI.
2. Desire: I wanted to get married, but came from a dysfunctional family (divorced parents).
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” (Pr. 18:22).
• Most important decision you will ever make (after Jesus) is who to marry!
3. Ministry: I got involved as a youth pastor, where I met Liza. Ministry together, missions.
4. Friendship: We became best friends for a year before we started dating.
5. First Challenge: After we got engaged, I got laid off from the church. How was I going to support my family? The Lord provided: job as a prayer minister at KCM.
6. Vision: We wanted a godly family with Jesus at the centre of our home:
“A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps. 127:1).
7. Priorities: Praying together, family devotions, and attending church.
8. Commitment: “Until death do us part.” Divorce was not an option. Challenges came!
9. Children: We wanted to have kids. Six months after marriage, Liza got pregnant:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5).
10. Dedication: With all of our children, we dedicated them to the Lord. We prayed for them, taught God’s Word to them, and took them to church regularly.
“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.” (Luke 2:22).
11. Devotions: Family devotion stories: children’s books, Bibles, dinner time priority.
12. More Challenges: First year of marriage, basement suite flooded. No insurance, thank God for church family that rallied around us and helped us out.
13. New Direction: Felt God calling us to leave our church (VCC). Sought God’s wisdom and direction as a couple. We didn’t just leave our church, but went to a new one:
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24-25, NLT).
14. New Church: Bible Fellowship. Caleb was a baby, went back to Bible College (PLBC).
15. Ten years at BF: Tori, Austin and Hannah, youth pastor. Greatest joys = seeing my children give their lives to Jesus, and get baptized (Hannah last one this year).
16. Church Family: Because we didn’t have family in BC, our church became our family!
- They were the ones we did life with – we prayed together, shared our lives together.
“And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity -- all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:44-47, NLT).
17. Always Extras: Our family almost always had extras in our home: Joel, Josh, Roxana, Geoff and Spencer, Paytin, Jayden, Scarlett, and Angie and Jarvin (World Vision).